About an hour ago I published my season-preview essay that was staid, settled, and "reasonable." Aim for mid-table mediocrity, it said. Aim for survival and comfort by April. You know, slightly more optimistic than most but within reason of course.
Well f*** that. Aston Villa are winning this whole damn thing this year. Tottenham fans who can't stand Tim Sherwood are going to weep tears of pure unadulterated sorrow. Chelsea fans are going to run around looking like Jose Mourinho after getting a red card
Everyone else is going to disappear behind the strength of 38 wins and 114 goals.
Sure, maybe that's crazy. 38 wins you say? That's impossible. Okay, you're right. We might draw a match somewhere in there.
But just like we'll forget the Adebayor transfer saga when he completes his hat-trick to win us the League Cup over West Brom, we'll forget that lone draw. We'll console ourselves as the Premier League's leading scorer Jordan Ayew is lifting the trophy above his head to signal that we are the champions. We won't even have a thought for the years of misery under Paul Lambert when Jordan Amavi kisses the FA Cup in a cloud of confetti, a site viewed by Theo Walcott through his tears accepting his runner-up medal.
This is Aston Villa's year. Tim Sherwood is more than just a great motivator, he's a great manager. He's the manager of the year, and twelve months from now we'll be reading about him rejecting offers from Bayern, Barcelona, and Real Madrid. Why would he go to any of those clubs just as he's getting ready to beat them in the Champions League?
Brad Guzan will finally put it all together. He'll allow a few goals, that's for sure. But they only come when he intentionally confuses his own defense to give the opposition a pity goal. Jordan Veretout and Idrissa Gueye will run Villa Park so well that they'll be given the lease on the building. They can do it better anyways, why not let them? Joe Cole? Joe Cole will play so well that he'll take Fabian Delph's spot on the England squad.
We've spent an entire year being pitied. When Sherwood joined, Spurs fans couldn't stop falling over themselves to say "we like you, and we're so sorry about Sherwood." The rest of the footballing world said we were going to ride Tactics Tim right into the Championship. And he proved them all wrong.
Then this summer, we lost a snake and a heroic Belgian. "Surely Villa are doomed," wrote Luke Whatshisname in the Birmingham Mail. He didn't care that PFA Young Player of the Year in Waiting Jack Grealish was still around. He ignored the fact that Rudy Gestede, his head graced by crosses from Jordan Amavi, would score eighteen goals. And he underestimated Libor Kozak, a man who will kill you with kindness and then rip out any hope you had of stopping him. He tried to figure out the inexplicable magic of Crespo the Magnificent.
The logic side of your brain says that finishing somewhere midtable would be good. But the fan side of your brain is busy trying to put all of the pieces together and puzzle out how anyone can stop us. Deep down inside I know you feel it. This summer has been a steady build to the most glorious season Aston Villa have had since the 1980s. It's like the first two minutes of "You! Me! Dancing!" by Los Campesinos. We started quietly, built slowly over the summer, and then with a few sharp hits on a snare plunged head-first into guitar-riff-driven glory. When you wake up tomorrow before you head to Bournemouth, put that song on. When you wake up before coronation day on May 15, play it again before you head to the Emirates in London to watch Villa lift that glorious trophy. Just remember, it'll be the first of two times that month that Gunners fans will shake their heads while the Lions celebrate in the capital.
Logic be damned. Reason be damned. The rest of England be damned. We're Aston Villa. We're fan-fucking-tastic. And we're here to win it all. If you don't like it, get the hell out of our way, 'cause we're riding this thing right into glory. At the end of that road is nothing but you and me, dancing.