On Sunday, May 4, Aston Villa secured safety in the Premier League with a Norwich draw against Chelsea. The season ended a mere seven days and two matches later. In their final nine matches, Villa won one, drew one, and lost seven. It was a downward spiral of death that seemed to have no bottom.
And Ron Vlaar is happy to tell it like it is: “If you are honest we should be happy the season isn’t two or three games longer because we were in big trouble."
That's about right. Notice that I called this hilarious up in the headline. It helps to have a dark sense of humour here (the sort which allows you to laugh your way through the movie Fargo) because otherwise this is just painfully true. Sure Villa were able to beat Hull City when they needed to, but if I were to tell you that suddenly the Premier League had tacked on two matches to the end of the season, would you give the club a chance of surviving?
It's just another reminder that Villa are part of the Premier League next season not because of anything they did. If they had it their way, we might have found ourselves magically transported to League One. No, Villa survived due to the awfulness of the clubs around them, and we are all ever so lucky for that.
The upside here is that Vlaar, who is the team's captain, seems pretty angry about this whole situation. "We got the win against Hull and it was massive but that’s the only good result besides the other draw against Southampton. It’s not good enough." Hopefully he can knock a few heads together when preseason training starts in about two months.