Aston Villa FC

I have been a die hard Aston Villa fan all of my life because although neither my father nor any other member of my family has ever shown any interest in the beautiful game, I grew up in a huge house that had many lodgers in it and one of them – Paco, a Spaniard from Valencia, had lived in Birmingham before he moved in with us in our London home and so was an Aston Villa supporter. Its been years since they were able to challenge for real honours, though the fact that Villa Park has a huge capacity has meant that they have always been been able to generate the revenue necessary to stay in the Premier league.
Paco would sometimes take up to the Midlands from London to watch games. We would stay in a cheap Birmingham hotel if we could find one, though sometimes we would also travel to away games and I remember once searching for hours for cheap hotels in Derby before a match between Aston Villa and Derby County when it seemed that absolutely everywhere was booked up. We eventually found one but it was so ridiculously crummy that we ended up arguing with the owners the morning after and bargaining their price down to just fifty per cent because there were cockroaches climbing the walls and when we woke in the morning our skin was covered in bites from the thousands of bed bugs that lived in the mattresses.
These days Aston Villa are in their usual state of being in no fear of relegation, yet certainly not going to be able to challenge for the Premier League or either of the domestic cups and its been years since they were in Europe. The last time they were in the UEFA cup was when Dwight Yorke was still playing for them and they managed to reach the semi-finals before being knocked out by FC Stuttgart on the away goals rule after conceding a late fluke in the first leg of the tie.
This season they will be lucky to get into the UEFA cup again as the standard of the Premier League has risen so much that they have become more of a feeder club for the teams that can be sure of attaining a European spot each season, as was exemplified by Ashley Young’s departure to Manchester United and Stuart Downing’s sale to Liverpool in the summer. The Villa owner Brad Lerner invested some of the money, namely £11 million in the Wigan winger Charles N’Zogbia as a replacement for Ashley Young on the left wing, but their midfield has still not been providing the service that Darren Bent thrives on up front. He is a quality striker that could easily do well for England at Euro 2012, especially now that Wayne Rooney is suspended for the first two games, but he is a player that strives on service as he is not one to create chances for himself and so needs creative midfielders to create the goal scoring opportunities for him. The question of how ell they do this season could well depend on the extent to which Stilian Petrov N’Zogbia are able to link up in midfield and dictate the pace of play in the middle of the park.

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March 5, 2012 | Author: | Posted in Sports


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