Date: 22nd July 2019 at 6:30pm
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Following on from a piece I did last week about whether our transfer spending this summer will see us ‘do a Fulham’, there’s been plenty of discussion on what our prospects might realistically be for the coming season. A writer at footballfancast.com also thinks the comparisons with how Fulham went straight back down are unfair on Aston Villa.

As the countdown to opening day draws on, thoughts inevitably turn to where we can expect to finish – are we nailed on for relegation like many newly-promoted clubs, or will we perform better, as Wolves did last season and spend the season looking up rather than down?

In the forum discussion, most seem to think that we will be fine, unlikely to struggle in a relegation fight, but perhaps not quite hitting the heights of a top-seven finish.

As forum user Villa since ‘63 puts it:

“The pundits know the same as us about our new signings, which is very little, and no one knows how those we have kept will adapt to the Premier League. The new boys will have to come to terms, some with a new country, a new system of play probably and settling in with a new group of players.

It all could go belly up or not but I have great confidence in our Manager, backroom staff and recruitment structure so haven’t looked forward to a new season with so much anticipation for a long time!!”

I think we can all agree that the coaching and management structure now in place will stand us in good stead. They’ve cut away the deadwood and added players that they either know well from last season (Mings, Hause, El Ghazi) or feel have huge potential which the club trust Dean Smith and his coaching staff to harness and allow to flourish.

The Fear agrees with ’63, adding:

“I can see us doing top six, I can see us going down, I can see us mid table. All because I genuinely don’t know and no one else does, how these players will settle, how good some are, etc. Excited to find out!”

Others are not so optimistic, however. Some feel we’ll be in for a huge culture shock having been away from the Premier League for three years.

Ricardomeister2 will be happy as long as we just stay up:

“With so many new faces it is very difficult to make a prediction. I think a top half finish is very unlikely and I could see us anywhere in the bottom half. 12th-15th would be pretty good for a first season but I’d take anything from 17th upwards.”

Silhillvilla is similarly cautious:

“I think we are in for a big shock once the season starts. The gap in the 3 years we’ve been away has widened massively. That said I think we will be lower/mid-table by season end, say 14th… it’s all about just staying up this season and consolidating. I’d be delighted with 17th.”

Most agree that we have enough about us to survive, notwithstanding the frenetic transfer activity of the past few weeks (and with potentially one or two more to come before we kick off).

Perhaps I will leave the final word to Langoe66:

We’ve got a clear plan, have bought players to fit that plan and have a coaching staff that will develop and improve their performance, something which hasn’t been the case for many a year. So, we’re giving ourselves a real chance to establish ourselves again in the top flight.

I just hope that when we hit that rocky patch, when we lose a few on the spin, the doom merchants don’t go into overdrive with the kind of rhetoric we witnessed in Jan/Feb last season!”


 
Previous Article by JPA – Kit, miss or maybe? The verdict is in on the new Villa kit.


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