The Villa Rant: Anger Builds as Premier League Drop Looms for AVFC

The Villa Rant column lives up to its name after horror show at Carrow Road

Premier League Drop

Bye-bye Premier League? It’s difficult to even decide where to start at this stage as Aston Villa again reached the end of 90 minutes without anything to cheer. Week by week the ‘next’ game has become increasingly important and as a result every failure becomes more and more devastating.

I actually have sympathy for Villa managers as the club is an absolute car crash

Until now clasping at hopeful straws, a sense of complete disbelief, and some occasional small signs of improvement have been the only things keeping Villa fans going, but today anger has boiled over among the fans and rightly so. The club is dying a rapid death, and the possibility of a miracle seems long dead as the team once again surrendered to a rival team that should be beatable.

Car Crash Club

The players have not been good enough. The last few managers have not been good enough. This all stems from one place, the board.

I actually have sympathy for Villa managers as the club is an absolute car crash. Since Lerner decided to completely abandon his initial interest and ambition at the club after O’Neill’s years in charge each manager has had to work on ever shifting boardroom strategies, which are drawn up by executives who know very little about football, and are admittedly ‘not football men.’

Any argument that Lerner is a businessman and that they wish to run it as such, are nonsense as surely forfeiting a massive TV deal next year by neglecting the club’s needs makes no sense on any level, regardless of the board’s intentions. If Lerner wants to recoup the money he paid for the club, then devaluing it at an increasing rate makes no sense.

It will be very interesting to see what comes of Tom Fox’s meeting with the Villa Supporter’s Trust late in January, although regardless of what jargon is regurgitated, it will surely be too late to actually make a change with over half the season gone and Aston Villa still well adrift of the rest of the league. Hopefully he shows up with a letter of resignation from the whole incompetent board, who have run this club into the ground for much longer than just this season.

Some say that relegation may be good for the club, and may give it a chance to rebuild. The problem is those who must rebuild the club are the ones who have destroyed it in the first place. If a drunk driver totals his car would you trust him to get in another car and start again? Villa are in real danger or plummeting into obscurity.

Severing Ties

It’s obvious that huge amounts of blame rest at the feet of the board but performances on the pitch have not been good enough either, and ironically it’s the ‘experienced’ members of the team, who we need to stand up the most, that have most regularly disappointed.

The mistakes and lack of concentration from Clark, Hutton and Richards, all led to the teams downfall and what’s most worrying is that the same mistakes are being repeated every single week.

It’s not just those at the back that are to blame. I struggle to think of any team who seem to possess worse decision-making capabilities. The midfield dribbles on occasions when doing so seems hopeless, shoots when they have no chance of getting a shot on target, commits needless stupid fouls, and regularly deliver balls gift wrapped to the opposition.

We all agreed with Tim Sherwood when he stated that the club needed to shed some dead wood. Unfortunately the cull has not gone far enough. It seems that the mentality and belief of this squad is rotten, and instead of some dead branches being cut off, the roots may need to be pulled up altogether, regardless of which league we are in next term. The club must ring in wholesale changes through recruitment or the introduction of youth but too many past failures, ‘utility men’, and underwhelmers are still stealing a wage from the club.

The question remains though, who would want any of these rag tag bunch, barring an obvious few with potential?

At a minimum Villa need a Goalkeeper, full-back (another on loan), centre midfielder, and striker. That will take an uncharacteristic level of investment and besides who will want to come to Villa in January with the knowledge that a miracle will be needed to survive?

Even the few bright lights in the team such as Ayew, only really serve to highlight the lack of quality, organisation, and belief around them. Too often Ayew is left completely alone to do it himself, or Adama delivers a good cross into a box devoid of any Villa attackers.

Team Selection

Villa’s approach needs to change and the players who can make a difference must be utilized more. Both Adama and Ayew must start regularly, as most likely does one of Gil or Grealish. Villa won’t survive without scoring and that must become a priority. Draws are useless now and will do little to build confidence or momentum.

It seemed very harsh to drop the much improved Lescott this week and Clark and Richards did little to justify the change at the back. While Hutton deserves credit for his efforts going forward too often his distribution and willingness to track back is lacking. If Richards really wants to show his love of the club, it may be time for him to return to his original right back berth and allow Okore to take his place in the middle.

Something needs to happen at left-back too as neither Bacuna or Richardson are capable enough there. Expecting Cissokho to return and fix everything is ambitious, but it can be worse than the alternative, although I’d even be tempted to utilize some more of the youth set up in the team and give them a chance to prove something, as the senior players aren’t adding much.

The problem is those who must rebuild the club are the ones who have destroyed it in the first place.


Some will call me negative, fickle etc, but Villa are half way through the season and seem dead and buried. Yes I’ll be supporting next week. Yes, I’ll continue to love the club even if it goes down, but I can’t spout optimism when there is increasingly little to cheer at the Villa, and there is such a clear neglect coming from the board and team.

Sunderland are not a good team, but either were Norwich, or Newcastle. Without Ayew (suspended) I struggle to see us getting anything, particularly as the manager, board, and players seem completely unaware that they have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

I’m still hoping for a miracle but so far there has been little reason to believe it can happen, especially with our absentee landlord letting the place crumble from the foundations up. All we can do is hope that the new year will bring big changes at the club.


Follow Finn on Twitter – @FinnMongey

And make sure you’re following MOMS on Twitter – @oldmansaid


  1. Goodnight my love sleep well my child and one day we all know the giant will reawaken and rise to the top once again!

    We still love you but we all know its time for you to go, probably not even a championship team or league one if we tell you the truth!

    But while we have someone in charge of you who thinks the beautiful game is called “soccer”, you won’t ever show your true colours!

    Lerner you may of spent £50 million in the summer, but on what?……. what type of business do you run, why not just cut that of your asking price and sell, instead you cut our wrists and watch us bleed a slow painful death.

    You have taken our club to the brink, now go before you do.

    Somebody take it off him he can’t be trusted any longer…….!

    Rise and join together and save our life our love our club!

    We have history, we have loyal fans who will follow you down the dark roads, wherever it maybe, that you can’t kill or ever take away!

    We have carried the burden now for a lifetime of Midlands football so perhaps one of you might like a spot in the big time for a while, go on we dare you!!

    Let it be the Wolves or the Albion, Walsall or Small Heath Town even you lot in the east, Leicester, Derby or Forest, but remember the city is ours and one day….you will hand it back.

    The lion might be severely wounded, but its not dead!

    Close your eyes my love, go to sleep now.



  2. Going down that’s for sure. Poor quality players, Clueless succession of managers. I have sympathy for the managers as they can’t hire the help we need. It was no secrete Sherwood wanted good Premiership experienced players, even on a loan basis. Players from the French second division were hired instead. Garde has improved the quality of play, but just like Sherwood, makes some very odd decisions. The changes made for the Norwich game were bewildering. I doubt Lescott said “I’m 33, please don’t play me I’m very tired”.

    Richardson and Sinclair contribute only to our downfall, they’ve nothing to offer, and have had nothing to offer for quite a while. How come they get chance after chance, and Kozac can’t get a sniff? Adama’s such an obvious choice for a birth up front, I doubt there’s a single fan that would leave him out of the line up, yet he’s used so sparingly. The development player thing is nonsense, he won’t be at Villa Park next year if we drop, so use him now! Only hope and that’s a slim one, sign a class goal scorer and a left back, hopefully The Cisco Kid will be on form as I don’t know why they would sign for us.

  3. there appears to be no board, but whoever sits alongside Fox – and the promised chairperson has not appeared – there is no football expertise available at the decision making levels, and all the decision makers have to report back to Lerner in the USA. Lerner is a poor businessman. No business expert would turn their back on their enterprise yet he seems to run the club by remote control.

    However the fans must take some responsibility, particularly the Trust, which has not made any attempt to communicate with its members to sound our their concerns

    if there is to be a meeting with FOx in January then they must ask their members what they want discussed. The meeting must be fan driven not another agenda dominated by the failed characters who have given us the current six years long decline.

    Trevor Fisher

  4. Agree with everything but starting Gil or Grealish, unfortunately neither offers anything when out of possession, and that has to affect players like Ayew who do so much.

    This is a six year car crash. However it was foretold, Lerner also owned the Cleveland Browns and according to hearsay did the same there, incompetent management, cheap players, no real investment. Though there is no relegation in the NFL.

    We are at the stage where unless Villa blow the wage structure we will have difficulty attracting talent. Would like to be at the meeting with T Fox. MOM’s you will provide a transcript please? Could you please ask him how wise it is to have players on the roster who know they won’t play but won’t leave, and how the contract situation came about so they could do this? Gabby, N’Zog, The swiss guy who’s name escapes me, Juan Angel, Bunn, do we need anymore than that? Oh and how about that investment in Bodymoor Heath, that certainly has paid dividends with all the homegrown talent we have coming thru into the first team, oh wait, no it hasn’t. Finally what does it say about the club that almost all of the players we sold in the last few years are in the Prem in teams higher up the league, would have to mention Marc Albrighton to him directly to see if he flinches, if he doesn’t react we’ll know he doesn’t care.

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