Aston Villa’s rapid decline this season has come as a quite a shock. Many thought they would be amongst the sides vying to avoid relegation, but few would have predicted the horror show that has ensued.
Villa fans were in high spirits after an opening day victory over Bournemouth, many of whom predicted would be a tough game against a keenly promoted Cherries side. Yet Villa came away from the match with a 1-0 victory and hoped that this could be the season they would avoid a relegation scrap.
How wrong they were.
Nobody could have predicted the sheer free-fall Villa have suffered since, with the side having picked up only two wins since the opening day. These were wins that both came in the League Cup, results that did little to boost the rock-bottom morale that is eating away at the panic-stricken club.
And it was only this week that reports have suggested Villa are already preparing for life in the Championship by scouting bosman players that have proven Football League experience.
How the mighty have fallen. It seems laughable that a side who only this summer spent over £50million on an array of French talent are now sending top-flight scouts to look for a midfield snotter to tough it out in the Championship.
It’s unbelievable stuff but it well and truly shows the nature of the Premier League – truly unpredictable.
Villa look a lightweight side and the manager has instructed his scouts to look for muscle that will graft in order to secure a quick return to the Premier League. It seems ludicrous that a Premier League team are already preparing for life in a lower division, bearing in mind we still have half of the season to play for.
But this really does show the scope of Villa’s troubles and desperation.
Let’s make no mistake – on paper, Villa should not be where they are. Some of these players have Champions League experience and most have played in the top leagues across Europe. But they are good players being dragged down by a mixture of troubles on and off the field.
Villa is a club currently lacking an identity, a true leader and on-the-pitch fight. Remi Garde has inherited a squad that is severely lacking belief and is rooted so firmly to the bottom of the table, an escape looks like an impossible task.
It’s difficult to point the finger but you know if your manager is preparing for life in the second division at this point, your club has serious problems.