Despite the fact that they didn't play, the weekend saw a number of positive results for Aston Villa in the Premier League. West Bromwich Albion and Fulham lost, Crystal Palace only managed a point, and Stoke and Norwich City held each other back and made sure that neither gained too much ground. Thanks in part to the weekend's results and in part to the 4-1 thumping they put on Norwich eight days ago, the relegation battle is quickly being left behind for Villa.
So now it's time to look upward, says Ryan Bertrand. A quick glance at the table shows that 10th is a distinct possibility, since Aston Villa are tied on points with the team occupying that spot. But that's not what Bertrand wants. "We're looking at as high as ninth in the Premier League."
It's official. Bertrand is crazy. And I absolutely love him for it. The Claret and Blues currently sit closer to the absolute bottom of the table than they do ninth place. There's almost a 0% chance that Villa can challenge Southampton for that position. But here's the on-loan defender, a week before he can't play in a match against his parent club, foaming at the mouth for as many points as are possible.
It's probably not going to happen though. Let's be overly optimistic and say that Villa win all of their remaining matches against teams below them in the table. And since they're chasing the Saints, let's throw that win in too. That's 18 points, which would put Villa at 49. Now, if we perform the same exercise for Southampton, they only have to get 7 points to match the total and 8 to exceed it. Still left on the docket for Southampton are Norwich City, Cardiff City, and Swansea City. There are probably 9 points right there.
But I won't lie, as I looked at their schedule, I found myself envisioning Southampton in a tailspin. They do, after all, have matches left against Tottenham, the Manchesters United and City, Newcastle, and Everton. Not to mention the mighty Villa. That's actually a wickedly tough run-out. And Villa do have a relatively easy stretch in the same amount of time. It could happen, couldn't it?
Nope. But that's what Ryan Bertrand has done to me. He obviously loves this club, and he's a hugely ambitious player. Having him around is fantastic and I certainly hope the logjam in Chelsea's backfield will mean that Villa can pry him from the London club over the summer. Because the one thing this club could really use is some lovable crazy.
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