Streams of Consciousness

"See, there's about five minutes left, so we can still manage to give this away." (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

Streams of Consciousness is basically whatever Gareth Simpson decides to write about on a Tuesday. This week, it's Aston Villa's loss to Stoke City. Well, mostly.

I'm just going to be honest with you guys. I didn't watch the Stoke City game. I'm busy on Monday nights, and I don't have time to stay up and commit to a match on my DVR. I probably will never watch the Stoke City game, because I've basically seen it by this point. We're Aston Villa, and we collapse. We collapse in winnable matches, and our best games of the season nearly always happen before March.

I've been trying to understand what being a "big club" entails, because it seems to be the sort of thing Aston Villa should be, or maybe something Aston Villa once was. Aston Villa has won a European Cup, the biggest trophy in club football. Then again, so has Nottingham Forest, and they're in the Championship. So maybe that doesn't make us a big club. We're based in the biggest British city not named London, but Aston Villa regularly draws less than Newcastle and Sunderland, two northern cities that have a mere fraction of the population of Birmingham. So it doesn't really matter where we play, does it? As far as I can tell, we do okay financially. We're clearly not too rich, we have to sell to buy, but who doesn't these days? Well, aside from the obvious.

You know what really makes a big club? Big clubs don't make a habit of choking against lesser opposition. Right, Manchester United? Right, Barcelona? Right, Bayern Munich?

You know what, maybe this is just a thing. Maybe this is just a club that got rocked by a couple of major departures as the season was just kicking off. Maybe we're a little unstable. Maybe Stoke City has an excellent home record. 

Or maybe I'm just grasping at straws. I don't know any more than you do. I just know that I'm a little sick of feeling a sense of dread when I check the score on the Villa game. Ugh. Gerard Houllier can't get here quick enough.

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