Aston Villa is in the FA Cup Final. You're not dreaming. A few months ago, this would have seemed improbable, unlikely, even impossible. Since the arrival of Tim Sherwood, however, there is a new belief surging through the team, and that belief was clear to see at Wembley on Sunday. The passion of the players, manager, and fans was plastered on television screens for all to witness, and the new attitude has carried over to club's the front office.
While owner Randy Lerner was absent from Wembley, attending to a death in his family, Villa's CEO Tom Fox has been saying all the right things in the aftermath of the Claret and Blue's victory. "Here we are heading into a final with another great club," said Fox. "That's the company Villa needs to keep and hopefully where we can put the club". Since coming to Villa from Arsenal at the start of this season, Fox has maintained a forward-looking perspective, convinced Villa can regularly be competing for cups and higher places in the league table.
In line with his future-oriented philosophy, Fox also managed to stay level-headed about the semi-final victory. "We have a lot of work to do to put the club back into a place where this is a thing we can do on a much more regular basis" continued Fox. And after asked about Villa's potential qualification for European football, Fox wisely kept the focus on league survival and the final versus Arsenal (Fox's old employers) at the end of May. "It would be such a positive emotional driver for what we want to do. I am more focused on that than what it means for Europa League qualification" said Fox.
These are good things to hear from the club's CEO. The buzz surrounding Aston Villa is exciting, and that's something that has been lacking for quite a while, for both the players and the fans. You want that feeling to be reflected in the front office, and Fox has seemingly found the balance between celebration and pragmatism. As he said, Villa certainly has a long way to go; but performances like Sunday's provide a glimpse of what this team could be on a consistent basis. Winning the FA Cup would be a huge step in Villa's journey to return to glory.