Things really can’t get much worse for Aston Villa, who currently reside at the foot of the Premier League table.
The Villans will be a Championship side in a matter of weeks. There is simply no hope for them now. Languishing at the bottom of the table some eight points from the relative safety of fourth from bottom, it’s merely a matter of time before the final nail is hammered into their top flight coffin.
Now, in what looks like a misguided attempt to boost the squad’s confidence, manager Rémi Garde pitted his side against the club’s Under-21 side, and promptly lost 3-0, according to Sky Sports.
More of a kick when you’re down than a confidence booster.
With only three Premier League victories so far this season, Villa are a side in desperate need of some form and with only twelve matches remaining, things are looking pretty bleak.
Villa is now a long long way away from what their history suggests. One of the league’s oldest and most successful clubs, Villa were European Cup champions in 1982, one of only five English sides to have had their names engraved on Europe’s most coveted trophy. Add to that the seven top flight titles, seven FA Cups and five League Cups, it is nearly painful to see just how far the club has fallen.
Now with only a couple of months left in the 2015/16 season, Villa is facing the prospect of falling out of England’s top division for the very first time. They are also one of only seven clubs who have enjoyed top flight football since the inception of the Premier League, the others being Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea, Everton, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. Privileged company indeed.
As fans look to Championship fixtures next season, they continue to hold out hope of a Lazarus style revival. While they remain eight points from safety, the clubs immediately above them – Norwich, Newcastle and Sunderland – are separated by a single point and are each facing their own battles for form.
Perhaps Garde might look to promoting his Under-21 side to the first team in a bid to drag the club over the line and secure another season in the top flight. I think at this stage, he must be willing to try practically anything.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena