Under the guidance of Alex McLeish, the claret and blue troops will be ready for one of the toughest Premier League seasons as proved last season. With the additions of Shay Given, who’s already proved that he’s still got it after a year on the bench, and Charles N’Zogbia, who will surely be a worthy replacement for both Downing and Young at half the price; Villa look set to be back to their best. The season 2010/11 under Gerard Houllier was an inconsistent, bumpy road for the Villans because of the huge amount of changes made to Martin O’Neill’s sixth-place side. Fall-outs, change of philosophy, zonal marking and injuries meant an unsettled team and a relegation battle for the majority of the season. This season will hopefully and most certainly be a more stable season for Aston Villa fans to bear. Although there was uproar against the appointment of ex-Birmingham City boss McLeish, he has looked to set the record straight, meeting with Villa supporters and discussing with them as well as listening to claret and blue matters and also winning over fans with wins and a respectable defeat at the hands of Chelsea during pre-season. Bringing back the likes of Stephens’ Warnock and Ireland has also made the Villa faithful realise that McLeish is prepared to use his original squad which has flare and attack written all over them.
With the start of the season just 11 days away where Villa travel to Craven Cottage, we should be in for an exciting match. Both teams with new managers, new tactics and new players we’re guaranteed a game full of twists and turns. Aston Villa coming out on top if the same team spirit and togetherness, which has been evident throughout pre-season, stays with the team. Then comes Blackburn Rovers at the familiar surroundings of Villa Park where I hope the fans will be in full voice. Guessing it will be similar to when Blackburn usually visit we’ll enjoy goals, goals and more goals.
At times in football, things are never expected. They’re always unexpected, surprises and shocks. Do we ever regret them? Do we ever question why things plan out this way? It’s hard to write previews for the new season, especially when it’s a whole new start for your club, for your new manager, for your team. However, from what I’ve seen during pre-season I’m confident that Aston Villa will be back and with an explosive bang!