It’s not just been bad for Aston Villa, it’s been downright horrific.
From start to end, top to bottom, the Villains have been awful, both on and off the pitch. The team have been rocked by a number of off-the-pitch allegations, whilst on it they’ve struggled for form all season. This has led many fans to question whether back-to-back relegations could be on the cards.
It’s a rarity, but when it does happen, it can be devastating. Ask Wolves, Wigan Athletic or Blackpool. All have been Premier League sides in the past decade at least, but they’ve all fallen to multiple relegations in as many seasons and it looks like Villa could go the same way.
When Villa fans came away with three points from the south coast from the opening weekend win over Bournemouth, few would have expected to end up in this mess. Few football fans in general would have thought that a team flirting with European competitions a decade ago would end up in this situation, but at the end of the day, that’s modern football.
The team are relegated, there’s no question about it. Yes, it hasn’t been confirmed just yet, but they’re as good as down and a major rebuilding job is needed in the summer. There’s great tension between the players, the fans and the board and it’s even been described as “toxic” by former Villa star Stan Collymore, who has often bore the brunt of fan frustration on social media this season.
But it seems that at one point or another, Villa fans will have to make peace with owner Randy Lerner and the players, because they’re going nowhere with the current atmosphere.
Lerner has tried and failed to sell the club for at least two years and it seems there is no Saudi Prince that is going to come along and save them.
Villa Park is a cauldron of hate, and with every goal conceded the mood worsens. 40,000 still flock to the ground most weeks, and what do they see? 11 players who don’t even look like they want to work together. Branded a disgrace by Jamie Carragher, most professionals would be furious with such comments.
But there’s a real lack of fight, of passion, of hunger. At Sunday League level players show fight and passion, even if they’re being played off the park by opponents they know are simply a better side.
There are players in that Villa dressing room who should know better. Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott have been singled out on multiple occasions this season, and rightly so, too. Whilst their overall performances have been no worse, as local lads and leaders, they should be showing the youngsters and foreigners what it means to wear the shirt.
There’s been none of that and Villa fans must face the prospect of back-to-back relegations if things don’t improve. The Championship is a tough league to get out off, after-all.