Call everyone you know; Aston Villa have won a football match. It’s taken 19 games for the boys in Claret and Blue to finally grab a win but is Mission Impossible now on?
Remi Garde has had the unenviable task of having to rebuild the confidence of a side who couldn’t even get inspired by Dr. Motivation himself, ‘Tidy’ Tim Sherwood – whose win percentage certainly took a hit having won just one league game this season before getting the boot.
After the game against Wycombe Wanderers, there was some tasty language from a few select fans as they vented their frustration at the players. As wrong as this may be, it seemed to have provided the proverbial kick up the backside for a hard fought win against an in-form Palace side. Garde dropping the likes of Guzan and Richards last night is a reminder that if you don’t prove your worth, it won’t be tolerated.
The fans are understandably upset, and the players seem visibly terrified on the pitch – however there have been positive performances since Garde took over. The 0-0 vs Manchester City and the 1-1 with West Ham were both games in which the passion and fighting spirit carried Villa through.
The question is whether ‘Mission Impossible’ has even a chance of being executed. 10 points from safety, the only hope would seem to be that the ‘Shelvey-less’ Swansea, having lost to Sunderland last night, drop off and Newcastle United end their flirtation with resurgence. Villa’s fate can still be in their own hands however, but they’d have to sign some real talent and hope it pays off.
Bringing in Champions League (or as close as they can attract) quality talent would be expensive but may be a calculated risk and long term money saver if they were to stay up. Taking into account the financial consequences of relegation however, the more astute move may be to bring in more affordable top Championship talent; as Bournemouth have done with Benik Afobe. They could look at taking the likes of Charlie Austin, Ross McCormack or Curtis Davis to ensure they have the best chance of promotion next season and avoid ‘doing a Leeds United’.
An interesting movement during the week however, may suggest that Villa won’t be investing much during this transfer window. News came through today that they’ve attempted to solve the problem of having a lack of football experience in their board by, wait for it… appointing a local businessman as Chairman who doesn’t seem to have any football experience???
Villa fans are predicting the worst this season and having struggled for the last five seasons, aren’t happy to hear their new Chairman Steven Hollis state that ‘money doesn’t buy success’ when clearly, sitting rock bottom of the Premier League and fighting perennial relegation battles is hardly going to be solved by a minor ‘shake-up’.
Villa won this week though. That’s what matters isn’t it? The fight to stay in the race rather than rolling over and accepting defeat. Will Villa stay up? Probably not. Can they? Well, let’s just hope Remi Garde can channel some of Nigel Pearson’s voodo magic from the end of last season (with a little less controversy perhaps).