Gather (with a pint) ye round the football
for it is time for the creation of a list.
On one side — a celebration of those who gave all
partnered with others whose 2017 was a miss.
Topping the list is man who brought joy!
First with assists in the spring and now 10 league goals this fall —
but bigger than numbers was the smile like a boy,
who appears to remember that the sport, at it’s heart, is a game with a ball
The wily winger, who made @_AlexCarson happy by playing on the left,
— at least once he got off the pitch.
I give you Albert Adomah — without whom Villa’d be effed,
who has done but enrich.
One room for the Lions seems to be full.
Those who seek medics must stand in a line,
for the injury list makes fans to yell a profanity, first syllable bull.
Some may critique — saying this a whine,
but damn it — I want to watch the actual starting eleven.
Instead — at times — we’ve had no Kodjia, No Terry, no Green,
No Irishman Hogan, no tall mister Samba, no Jack, no Jedi -- and that’s only the first seven.
A great Christmas gift -- would a bill of health, clean.
But the critiques are right —
don’t tell them I said that.
The team must adjust to offer a fight.
So now a frustration I often pick at.
The total lack of rotation from the man we call Bruce
Earns him spot two on the list for the naughty.
“No changes,” he must say, “You have no excuse.”
But playing the same eleven is nothing but haughty.
I’ll be back to Bruce — for more aspects must be cited.
But it is time for a positive addition to this silly-themed rhyme
and that is the keeper on loan from Manchester United.
Sam Johnstone has saved Aston Villa many a time.
His performance has been so fantastic
now others are sniffing around which is quite grim.
So I call on Steve Bruce to do something drastic —
hide Mr. Sam — tell Man U — you can’t find him.
Any positive list for the year of Villa things,
would be lacking without credit to those in the stands.
In cordoned off sections the away fans proudly sing,
about shacks of the garden that aren’t quite so grand.
They mock the seats that sit oh so bare,
and sing of lessons passed down by men who are old.
From an ocean apart I smile from my bar chair,
for the Aston Villa away section is a sight to behold.
But enough with the smiles — time for the Grinch.
And the man in the middle — who plays vital in parts.
The ball finds Glenn Whelan, causing many to flinch,
for the Irishman is subject to occasional brain farts.
Stability is key when holding the line —
And — though I don’t think he is the scapegoat that others do see —
I call upon the veteran to be better than fine,
For his performances have earned him naughty number three.
The gaffer is back on the list and he’s not going to like it.
This summer Brucie decried the loss of young Jack —
for the system was created around him to be fit.
So the time had come to design a new attack.
Alas — the man once mocked as Mr Potato
seemed to struggle to adjust and from his initial strategy he would not flee.
So as it happens Villa settle on a plateau
for the man in the box seems to have no plan B.
A second stanza the tactics do need.
For Bruce has changed when players grew hot.
Like young Davis — who opponents have learned they must heed,
But the striker grew tired and defenses adjusted — but Bruce, quite simply, would not.
“It worked last week so nothing must change
For past performance must mean future gains.”
Oh please — Mr. Bruce show us a tactical range
or the rest of the season could mean Villa in the Championship remains.
Oh but not all is bad as the time ticks on quite fast
for the Nice list is back for we only have three.
The club seems to have learned a lesson from a past
the starlets have signed contracts and will not walk for free.
Among those are Davis, Hepburn-Murphy, and the young lad O’hare
will see what the future holds in the Claret and Blue.
Sure — teenagers are a wing and a prayer
but the deals mean all benefit — if they come true.
In conclusion, for those of you still reading,
I unveil the final — and most vital — of naughty list members.
Math — sad to say the numbers aren’t misleading,
the automatic promotion hopes are nearly nothing but embers.
Success in fits and starts is not enough
when consistency is what is needed for the promotion scene.
The playoffs are possible — if Villa is up to snuff.
So, in the end, hope lives for 2018.