Villa Blog

How Does Villa Stay In The Premier League?

How does Villa stay in the premier league?. Aston Villa is a Premiership team. We have debated to death how we have got to the Premier League. Bruce, NSWE, Smith, Grealish, our defence, can we make the playoffs, FFP / P&S, Armageddon next year if we don’t make it and nerves and joy of the dreaded play-offs. That is all in the past and just to reiterate the key point: Aston Villa Football Club is in the Premier League.

Looking forward, the single most important objective for AVFC must be to retain our Premier League status next May. If this is achieved by finishing 17th on goal difference I will be a happy Villa fan. Obviously, I will be happier with a top-half finish!. The coming season is going to be very tough. Just think about away fixtures to Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs. Unfortunately, I can’t see too many points out of those fixtures.

The corresponding home fixtures will be hugely challenging too and I haven’t even considered the likes of Everton, Leicester and Wolves. And lets not forget we failed to beat Sheffield United or Norwich, home or away this season. That said, I believe we can stay up. 35 point would have guaranteed Premier League survival this season. I am not really thinking about the points tally. I am thinking we just need to finish ahead of three other teams. My thoughts are that these will from Brighton, Sheffield United, Norwich and Burnley. Not an impossible task but equally not a stroll in the park.

How Do Villa Ensure Survival

So how do we achieve that?. My view is that we must ensure that Dean Smith remains as the manager for the entire season. Smith has demonstrated this season that he is able to get us through a difficult period. He has demonstrated that he can win games under pressure. Dean Smith has also demonstrated that he has a good eye for a player in the transfer window. And he has demonstrated that he has the ability to build a team spirit and get players playing for each other and their shirt. He has also proven that when people were questioning if Smith was the right man for the job. That they were wrong and that the CP made the correct decision to stick with Dean Smith.

The task ahead of Smith is gargantuan. He inherited an imbalanced ageing squad from Bruce, and with a bit of shrewd transfer business in January. And with some good coaching, he got us to scrape over the finish line to get us into the Premier League. Since last Monday we have released 10 players and signed one. Our squad is threadbare and the spine of the team is broken.

The spine of our team was Mings, Tuanzebe at the back, Jack and SJM in the middle and Tammy upfront. Three of these five players are no longer at Aston Villa. Yes, we may get Mings back but I don’t expect Tammy or Tuanzebe to be wearing claret and blue next season. Smith must address this and it will take a bit of time for players to gel. We also need upgrades at fullback, right-wing and DM as an absolute minimum and we also need a good back up for each position. And the biggie, we need a striker that will score 15+ goals.

A New Dawn Begins

I think the start of our campaign will be crucial. We will need to pick up some points and try to make Villa Park an intimidating venue for visiting clubs. I fully expect us to be flirting with relegation in Oct / Nov time. And I truly hope that our fans have the ability to reflect on the season just past and stick with Smith, and give him and the team the support they need. Worst case scenario is that we get relegated but that would come with a new set of parachute payments, a good manager in situ who knows how to get promoted (some may call him a specialist) and also I expect a good squad of players. Changing managers and still getting relegated would be a disaster in my opinion.

Everything NSWE has done since acquiring Aston Villa has been just about perfect. From employing CP to extending Jack’s contract to hiring Smith they have absolutely nailed their decision making. I believe that they will make the right decisions in the coming season too and I expect Smith to be our manager in 12 months’ time. My biggest fear this season is that the fans may turn on Smith.

Up the Villa, I can’t wait to see our squad by the time we kick off our first game in the Premier League (my tip is Crystal Palace at Villa Park) and I am really looking forward to what will be a tough and hopefully enjoyable return to the top table.