Date: 5th August 2011 at 4:24pm
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Let thy will be done, until the Villa Kingdom come, for ever and ever.

Esparanza muera al ultimo!

Yep, its hope that dies last, and it has to be said that although Villa look hopeless right now, I am not without hope myself.

What I am hoping is that Faulkner McLerner has a crafty plan, which involves using the first half of the coming season’s fixtures to assess his squad and then buy accordingly. McLerner could hardly offer reassurances that heis giving the likes of Ireland, Warnock and Beye a chance to prove themselves, if he is seen to be shopping for replacements, at the same time.

And whether it is the booing, the emptiness of the Villa Park stands, or the prevalence of the dreaded r-word, in discussions about Villa, Faulkner McLerner will be well aware of the club’s requirements by the time the transfer window opens in January.

No doubt we’ll have learnt long before then, whether the jokers in the pack are worth their millions in wages, or not. And, January is usually the time of year when the shortcomings of a squad start to reveal themselves, what with injuries, suspensions and the extra demands of the cups (should Villa find themselves still in them).

And it has to be said that a few late buys, after Christmas, have saved Villa’s bacon before – Blair and Hunt, end of season 84-85; and the two Grays (Stuart and Andy) in promotion season ’86-’87. Dunne and Collins, season 2009-10; Bent, season 2010-11.

So until reality deems such delusion and denial untenable, I shall stick to that view; or at least try to.

Despite all worries otherwise, back in the winter and spring, it turned out that the Premiership pass-mark was once again 40 points, or 35% of the 114 points available at the start of the season. So 11 wins and 10 draws is all Villa need, which doesn’t seem such a mountain to climb, at the present remove from reality. As ever the newly promoted teams will be expected to struggle to make the adjustment but one of those will surely have enough momentum and adrenalin to defy expectations, leaving one of last season’s escape artists to get involved in another scrap. As ever you have to expect one of the more established clubs will get dragged into it, as the tinkerers and consolidators pay for their hubris. Stoke’s European adventures will certainly test their resources.

I can’t see Villa being able to avoid a brush with speculation about relegation, at some time during the season, but a series of favourable fixtures could also provoke talk of Europe, even if it is quickly dismissed as a load of baloney by the pundits and realists.

Assuming that they fall fairly evenly over the season and the majority are at home, ten wins and eleven draws could leave the Villa fans with the perception that the season isn’t going too badly, and its actually possible that Villa could make the transition from big loss-makers to fiscal paragons, without too much misery. With Birmingham City well out of reach of unfavourable comparison, Villa’s transition will be substantially less painful than it could have been, unless the dreaded happens.

But one thing I am certain about. Even if I accept that McLerner’s present ambitions for the club, no longer include the Champions League, I am pretty confident that he will not risk the value of his asset, for the matter of spending a few million should the need arise.

Its going to be yet another season of consolidation for Villa and yet another adjustment of expectation for the fans. We can’t help but approach the season with a little bit of trepidation and it will take a few decent results to give the fans the reassurances they crave. If Villa struggle against Fulham and Blackburn, teams they might consider their peers based on present squad comparisons, then the writing will be on the wall. And that writing will not spell out, ‘We love you McLerner’.

In the meantime we can only look forward to seeing our new player, Charles N’Zogbia. There is little doubt that Charles can be a very special player for Villa, and he is gifted with an incredibly powerful shot, which neither the recently departed could match. As the big-money departures all prove, Villa is the perfect stage for a good player to establish his credentials as a really top class performer.

It is to be hoped that Charles becomes another example, to add to that illustrious list.

I don’t think Sir Bobby Robson can be doubted when he described the lad as one of the most naturally gifted players he’d seen. But it does sound like a cross between a euphemism and a backhanded compliment; implying that he needs to apply himself to fulfil that talent. As the oft repeated anecdotes all prove, Sir Bobby was the master of wrapping up criticism in something rather easier to digest. So we get the message and we can only hope Villa’s Prince Charles did too.

The message is that we need a miracle.

So as the new season approaches and the day we have to face reality gets closer, we the Villa beloved can only get down on our knees and offer up a prayer to the football gods, give thanks for good fortune granted us in the past, and humbly beseech the powers that be, that our masters are not punished for their wicked hubris, and that in this hour of our Lord two-thousand and eleven, we can survive the travails of the coming season with patience, forbearance and above all forgiveness, for those who trespass upon our hopes and trample upon our dreams.

Let thy will be done, until the Villa Kingdom come, for ever and ever.


Keep the faith!


5 Replies to “Something For The Weekend (343)”

  • Well that certainly is something for the weekend, it’ll take a whole weekend to digest all of that….Lol Seriously though, some good points well made, so lets see where we are and exactly what else is required come January. And let me be the one

  • another season sat in mid table is looming, Hopefully we can see some stability and start to challenge next year.

  • Fine sentiments…….I can see us getting plenty of draws but wins? still cometh the hour and all that….Just a force in central midfield could make all the difference…hope they don’t leave it to late….Fairly obvious weakness really, so if the power

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