Aston Villa is the only team from the Midlands that has been a real mainstay in the Premier League since it’s birth in 1992.
There have been some good times, such as the Martin O’Neil era where the club were led to top half finishes and regularly battling for Europa League places, as well as a Capital One Cup final against Manchester United in 2010, which they lost 2-1.
Yet the good times are seemingly gone, and Villa are a team constantly battling relegation. For the first time in years, their Premier League safety is at risk.
With Villa sitting bottom of the Premier League table with 13 points, they are ten points off survival, and have only won two of their 23 Premier League games so far. As a club they don’t seem to know where they sit anymore, highlighted by their 17th place finish last season.
When you consider that their last few seasons have seen them finish 15th or lower since O’Neil left, it is perhaps no surprise they are now staring relegation in the face. This is a club that is never far from the headlines, with an owner in Randy Lerner who doesn’t look like he wants to be at the club: something that has definitely affected transfers and team morale.
Tim Sherwood openly admitted that he did not have a say in much of Villa’s summer transfer activity, with players like Joleon Lescott, Scott Sinclair and Micah Richards being the recognisable names coming in. Ayew, Amauvi, Veretout, Gueye also arrived in the summer, all of which were arguably signed behind Sherwood’s back.
It would perhaps explain why Sherwood was let go: he was a popular figure at Villa, yet through not playing the players bought in led to the appointment of Remi Garde.
Garde had no managerial experience in the Premier League before he arrived, and was sacked by his last club Lyon. And although Villa’s performances have improved slightly, the fact it took them until January to win only their second game of the season suggests Villa should now be looking down, rather than up.
With Villa looking to be like the new Wigan, constantly defying relegation season upon season, this campaign looks to be the one where their luck finally runs out.
With only a few more days left in the transfer window, only a better goalkeeper or a few signings could give Villa hope of staying up. It seems extremely unlikely, though.