You know, what is there to even say about Aston Villa right now? We can sit here and try and write 600 words about the upcoming fixture against West Bromwich Albion tomorrow but, you know, I guess it's a thing?
The Baggies come to Villa Park tomorrow night and, let's face it, they aren't really that good. Their team is Saido Berahino and… yeah, that's about all that scares me. (Oh and Gary Gardner's older brother, whatever the hell that guy's name is.)
Apparently Berahino might miss the match which would be cool, I guess? He's already hurt so this isn't a bad thought, right?
But Saido Berahino FC beat Southampton on Saturday which was quite the surprise and the Baggies will be flying high coming into the first of two trips in five days to Villa Park, looking to just about secure their position in next season's Barclays Premier League.
I know what you're thinking. "Wet Sandwich Albatross" have 30 points through 27 games which isn't necessarily a "win one more game and you're safe" situation. But this year in the Premier League? 33 could very well be enough. Coming to Villa Park with an opportunity to put "Big Brother" in a really bad spot? You better believe the visitors will be up for this one.
The question is: Will Villa be?
In the last few games, sure, they've shown spurts of it. The second half against Leicester in the Cup — inspired by Sherwood — and the first halves in both the Stoke City and Newcastle matches showed big strides forward for Villa and their attack. The team played relatively free-flowing, generated chances, and actually looked like a team capable of staying up.
But they got nothing from either of the League matches. And that's bad news for Villa who are quickly running out of time to save themselves from what might eventually be inevitable.
So… onto this match.
It's Tim Sherwood's third in charge which means that he's actually had some proper time to spend with the lads and… I've no idea what he's seeing in Gabby Agbonlahor and Andi Weimann that the rest of us just, quite frankly, aren't. As Jack pointed out in the tactical preview earlier today, Gabby attempted all of 10 passes Saturday and completed just half of them. He's miserable. Why he plays ahead of Carles Gil? I've not got the slightest idea.
I'd start all three of Gil, Scott Sinclair, and Leandro Bacuna tomorrow in a 4-2-3-1 behind Christian Benteke, who really needs to get firing. The big Belgian striker looked confident in the first half at least Saturday which is something nice but the goals have to start coming. Sherwood will continue to revolve the attack around him, you'd think, but we'll see if it pays off any time soon.
Also random thought: WHY THE HELL CAN'T VILLA PLAY A SHORT CORNER EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE?
If Ashley Westwood was to be sold tomorrow, I wouldn't be upset. Because we'd never have to see another one of his miserable set piece routines again. I'd return Carlos Sanchez to the XI and give a nod to Fabian Delph, who needs to get back to his best quickly.
Back to the actual preview…
The reason I've avoided talking a lot about this game so far is that, quite frankly, this week terrifies me. I'm not sure of a single Villa supporter that's upbeat and heading into these pair of matches thinking we're going to win and that's just a miserable spot to be in. Aston Villa have devolved into a club devoid of really anything inspiring. We show up every game to our computer screens, televisions, and to the match full well expecting that we're going to walk home dejected.
I'm not sure what the worst thing is either. This team is clearly good enough to better than they are and everyone can see it. But the performances haven't been there.
The potential ramifications of WBA doing the treble over Villa this season are frightening. Villa are quickly running out of winnable games on the fixture list and if a pair of WBA League wins are part of what send us down, we'll never hear the end of it. Couple that with a potential knockout in the cup quarter-final at the weekend and this could be the week they talk about down in Tescoland for the rest of their lives. The blank DVDs are ready!
But at the same point in time? Villa seem to pull out their best performances sometimes when nobody's expecting it.
So what the hell? We're gonna win tomorrow.
Bet on it.