We all hope that we hit the ground running ahead of a new season, and this season will be no different. I say it every season, Well at least till the fixtures come out. Then before I know it, I’ve made allowances and adjustments because the fixtures have not been kind.
Surely I’m not alone in this process? Is it too much to hope, that one day we won’t need to worry or fear anyone or have to reevaluate the points were likely to get before a single ball as been kicked?. Because in the Villa ranks we will have players of similar ilk to Messi, Mbappe, De Bruyne, Oblak, Van De Beek to make sure we hit the ground running. Well, I hope so because worrying about who we going to get first, second, and third game and relying on the kindness of the fixtures and good fortune favouring us is not good for your health.
In the meantime, I’ll just have to continue to cross everything and hope for the best. That said, I am still unsure what I class as a kind start on a fixture list?. After all, it’s the Premier Leagues, but I guess not playing any of the top 6 teams would be a nice start. Although it’s not what happens in the first few games of the season, that determines our season. It can set the tone to how we continue. However, It’s still how and where we finish that matters. Survival and consolidation were all that mattered last season, with it being our first season back, well for me at least. But this season I have to see growth in our team and improvement in our finishing position.
Money Guarantees Nothing
We all know Aston Villa is going through a rebuilding process. With that knowledge, I am not sure how come some fans did not show a better understanding of our inconsistent results last season. Surely they’re an inevitable part of the building process?. Yet already it seems fans expectations have reached new levels because the media say we have another 100million transfer kitty.
Already the talk is we should make the top 10 at the very least. I’d agree for sure if we could get the players needed to take us to that next level. But having money is one thing. Being able to attract those sort of players at present, may prove more difficult. It’s not so simple when you just avoided relegation. We’re unlikely to allow ourselves to be held to ransom or break the wage structure. A 100mil is nothing in today’s inflated market. 4 x 25mil, 3 x 30mil players. How many times have Everton got top 10 or Crystal Palace in last 6 seasons?. three times Everton, once Crystal Palace respectively. Now take a look at the image below showing clubs investment over the last five years in Premier League.
Lessons Need To Be Learned
The truth is no amount of money alone invested guarantees anything. Not top 6, not top 8 or top 10. Especially not if Dean Smith fails to learn from his previous mistakes. This is key to us improving this season and Villa being able to raise the bar. Entwined with this is the club needing to recruit and strengthen in those key area’s identified where we were weak. Then look to add more quality to give our squad strength in depth. However, both club and fans alike, need to be realistic with how much improvement can be achieved over the course of the coming season with 100million cash investment.
Unless You Have A Crystal Ball
Right now, none of us knows who going to rock up at Villa Park, or for better words who we’re likely to sign. Which makes all predictions right now pie in the sky comments. Blind optimism, Of course, you can have aspirations of top 10, top 8 or even top 6. But how realistic is it considering we survived relegation by a hair on the final day.
Considering no one been signed yet I will assume and work on the basis of us improving as a unit after a full season together. Along with expecting players to cut out the previous seasons silly mistakes. I will settle for finishing anywhere between eleventh and fifteen. I await with anticipation of who will arrive, and if the fixtures are kind to us or not.
If it turns out we have a tricky start, just remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I recall the season Tim Sherwood was appointed?. Villa under Lambert hit the ground running we got off to a flyer. We took 10pts from a possible 12. Yet we stayed up by the skin of our teeth. So much for hitting the ground running.