Ashley Young's contract is still in doubt, and it appears as though Aston Villa supporters might not know the final color registered on the Ash-o-Meter until mid-June, the deadline the club has set for deciding whether or not Gérard Houllier will return as manager. After last August's fiasco, Villa have decided that there's not enough whisky in the world to deal with another year without the manager at the helm during preseason, and so Houllier's health be damned, we'll know if he's in or out in just a few short weeks. Which is fair, really -- it seems wrong to jeopardize the health of millions of fans while waiting to see if Houllier's heart can handle the strain of watching the Villa lose to ten-man West Brom.The amount of time we've spent waiting to learn the future of Ash borders on the ridiculous. Villa fans thought he was leaving in January of 2010. Then we were convinced he was gone last summer, and then again in the last transfer window. Yet somehow Young-the-Greater has stuck around. Personally, though, I'll be glad to have this saga over with. I love Ashley Young, I really do. I own his kit (although I was tempted to burn it on Saturday in a symbolic gesture that would have absolutely no effect on him or the Villa) and I think he's a fantastic player, one of the best crossers in the English game and full of little tricks that make him a blast to watch.
But it's time to either fish or cut bait. You want a relationship, Ash? Well, so do we. Villa fans are tired of losing their best players to supposedly bigger clubs. If you want to follow in the footsteps of James Milner and throw temper tantrums when you're pulled off the pitch after a rare start, fine, go, but please, do it soon. We'd like to get some money for you before the entire footballing world cottons on to the fact that you no longer have the ability to take a set piece -- and yet won't give up the option.
It's understandable to want to wait to find out who will be guiding Aston Villa next season. I wouldn't fault any player who abandons the claret and blue upon learning Gary McAllister will be the new manager. But as soon as that role is decided, Young must be pinned down -- or sold for mucho mucho pounds. What do you think, Villans?