Ask a so-called football pundit which three sides are going to be relegated this season and nine out of ten will include Aston Villa. One of those so-called football pundits even predicted it at the start of the season.

Not many like Robbie Savage, but you have to admit, he saw this coming and that was even after we spent £20mn in the summer. Love him or hate him, it's going to take something close to miraculous to keep us up this season now.

Okay, maybe not miraculous because we're still playing for 39 points and anything is possible, but I'm starting to believe we're going to need 40 points to stay up because the likes of Wigan, Reading and QPR are going to be going for this and nobody can say it isn't going to be tight.

Starts this weekend

The thing is, after 25 games this season, we've won only four times and there is only one team that has won less and they are bottom. Proof, if ever proof was needed, that it's about winning games, not picking up the odd point.

So this weekend, we have to win. This weekend we have to beat a side that has won twice as many games as us this season (still less than a third of the games played) because it all starts on Sunday. Anything other than three points on Sunday not only means we will stay in the bottom three (something that might even be the case if we do win), but it will be like a hammer blow to supporters and players.

I'n not having a pop at West Ham, we are in no position to have a pop at anyone at the moment, but this match isn't about who plays the better football, it's about who wants it more and hand on heart, if Paul Lambert can not get these men up for ninety minutes of football on Sunday and we don't go and beat them, then we might as well accept relegation, because from the top down, it will be what we deserve.

Not only do I firmly believe that man for man we have a better team than West Ham, I also believe that man for man, we should want it more. As this home side but also because it's Aston Villa they are playing for. That is why if we don't win on Sunday, my 60/40 becomes 70/30 that we will be relegated this season.

About a team

So, this match becomes about the collective. It isn't about one player, it is about the eleven on the pitch. It's also not about going to war, it's about winning the game. From the moment they step onto that pitch they have to give 100% and they have to move forward. In the final battle, if you sit back, you lose and every match we have between now and the end of the season is the final battle.

What was it Sun Tzu said; warriors win first then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then look for a win. Think about it.

Author: Damian
Damian started The Villa Blog as a passion project quite a few years ago while he was living in South Africa. Now living in Sweden, it continues. He's originally from Chasetown and grew up when supporting Villa meant there was a real chance of silverware at the start of every season.
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  • Guest - tearsonmyscarf

    Morning all . any news from cypriate ?? ( he asks knowingly)

  • Benteke determined to leave at the end of the season according to The Star, contracts seem to be worth f**k all these days. If this is true stick him in the stiffs we only want players wearing the shirt who are committed to the club and the cause. I know he is our main strike threat and would be cutting off our nose to spite our face but he needs to remember who gave him the platform to show how good he is before coming out with this stuff.

  • knock knock "who's there"? Peter Odemwingie!

  • bobvillian : I qualified my point by saying "if this is true" for that reason, you wouldn't totally dismiss it though.

  • Regarding the Daily Bollocks

    ASTON VILLA sensation Christian Benteke has piled the pain on boss Paul Lambert after deciding to quit the club at the end of this season.

    The striker has told pals he will leave the Premier League strugglers, even if he helps them avoid relegation.

    The news will come as a hammer blow to Villa and spark a £16m race for the Belgian’s signature

    Replace the word Palswith the word Agent chasing his next payout or alternatively anyone of the following - Dealer, parasite, plague, scum, Cnut the choice is yours

  • come off it lads,agent or not we all know Benteke is gone.Its 25m in the EPL or 5m in the championship,lets just hope we stay up!!!

  • Guest - Ben Woodsmith

    So the spending regulations seem to be taking hold where clubs will be fined points if they get into too much debt - this means clubs can't continue spending huge on fees and wages. All sounds good. But then I read that Aston Villa voted against the move. Forgive my ignorance but can anyone tell me why we would vote against it, when it seems designed to help clubs like us?

  • load of BS about the spending regulations.Just pushes the top teams further forward because the teams below wont be able to put in a big cash injection.

  • Guest - B6 villa

    We are not in the same league as the top four clubs so if they come calling for one of ours stars who is doing well there is not much we can do. As for Benteke who could blame him for wanting to play at a better club with better players and playing on a bigger stage and playing for trophies and sorry forgot mention more money. All we can do is look at the only positive and that is making a good profit

  • Dont blame anyone for wanting to better themselves but did Benteke and his advisors not know what they were coming to when he signed his contract? Or did they think Lambert was a fairy godmother? Yet again we are used as a stepping stone. No loyalty or honesty left in the game amongst owners, managers or players and its all down to money, the only honesty is amongst fans and clubs with shareholders who tell it like it is (but I suppose that is only because they have money in a club) the game is going to hell in a hand cart and the fair play rules being proposed will simply send the best players to some other country to milk some other poor mug punters the way we have been milked for years.

  • Pete Colley Sky Sports News Reporter for the Midlands

    On Twitter:

    Pete Colley ‏@petecolley
    "PL on Benteke, if clubs want to come in for him (summer) they better have a lot of money! He's more than doubled in value."

  • Does this mean that Lambert has already resigned himself to the fact that he will sell Benteke?

  • i rmember when benteke was interviewed in his car when he came in.He said im looking forward to playing in the CL :):):) He was right though,he wil be next season and doubled his value,no he has tripled imo.25m minimum in tiodays market!

  • and to jonnah yes i think PL has

  • Guest - expat007

    Good morning all,

    New Spending regulations for next season
    Don’t know why you are worried about this as it doesn’t effect Championship Clubs


    Benteke determined to leave at the end of the season according to The Star, contracts seem to be worth f**k all these days. If this is true stick him in the stiffs
    Benteke joined Villa thinking they were a London Premiership Club and would have preferred Arsenal. Is it possible that he was conned like we fans?
    By the way dropping him is ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’ That would be stupid as he is a top quality Premiership player and believe or not ‘we aint got lot of them!!’

    jonnah & B6
    I'm sure Benteke would play anywhere if asked,
    Of course he would, Arsenal, Man U, Man C, Chelsea……………:D:D:D:D

    Re: Mr. Peter Odemwingie! Every morning Lambert has been sending search parties to the Villa Park and Bodymoor Heath car parks looking for his car. Hoping to sign him, no! to give him a parking ticket to help the funds.

  • jonnah: how refreshing would it be if Lambert said "dont care how much money we are offered Benteke is under contract and he is staying her"?

  • Windy, it would have been refreshing, but it also would have been a load of ******.

  • pitbull inferno: I realise there was never a chance of it happening but it sort of gives the vultures the green light to start hovering now when we have far more important things to worry about - and so I hope has Benteke, it seems as though we have signalled the start of the Dutch auction ourselves with Lambert's comments.

  • expat 007

    Benteke may well go in summer and TBF if we get triple for him so be it! But if he goes to Arsenal he will only be sold the next year to Man Ure or Citeh as the gooners are now a top four feeder club

  • At least DB9 whatever we think of him has never given any real indication that he wants to leave, although we all know he will probably go also there are right times and wrong times for this sort of talk and the timing of this (if accurate) stinks.

  • windofchange only because no one wants him!

  • Guest - expat007


    the gooners are now a top four feeder club
    Yes you are quite correct. Apart from making profits, having one of the best stadiums in Europe, being 6th in the league and in the final stages of the Champions League they are fu*king useless compared to The Villa.
    God I wish I was so knowledgeable as some commenting on here;););)

  • Guest - Lerner Out!

    We all know Benteke will be off in the summer and Lerner will be rubbing his hands at the thought of a nice profit. Also on their way will be Bent, N'Zogbia and if we go down Wiemann, Ireland (good), Vlarr and a few more. A nice 50 million in old Randy's pocket of which he will give Lambert about 10 million to invest and the rest will make up for the tv money. The West Ham game is the biggest game in our recent history where anything less than 3 points will mean certain relegation and life in the lower league's for many years to come. Lay off Guzan, he's been superb this season and was again at Everton and cant pass the ball out if there's no one there to pass too. Someone said that there will be 25,000 on Sunday but if you care about the club you'll get down there and give it your all. Villa Park should be packed out, not to support Lerner but the club and if you can go but choose not to then you can't whinge about the result. Lose on Sunday then lets give Lerner and Faulkner hell for the rest of the season including a no show at Villa Park in front of the camera's against Man City but first of all get behind OUR club on sunday and we can win it!!!! VTID

  • (Lerner Out!): you are correct in most of what you say, but I think when Villa Park is full Lerner sees that as an endorsement by the fans that they are happy with the way the club is being run.

  • Guest - expat007

    Lerner Out!

    We all know Benteke will be off in the summer and Lerner will be rubbing his hands at the thought of a nice profit.
    I wonder if there is a buy out clause in Benteke contract, not unusual these days! If so it would not be more than £10 million for sure.

  • Expat 007

    With 007 in your name I guessed you might be a little pretentious but there is no need to be so sanctimonious and deride my ironic comment on the state of the game or Arsenals position. The fact is they like us have sold their better players at the expenses of silverware. This was not a comparison with Villa merely a glib comment, Gooner fans are not a happy bunch and up in arms much like us but for different reasons.

  • Guest - KrisAVFC

    Only loyalty in today's game is the fans and low and behold we're the ones worse off!!

    F*** you Benteke! thanks for humiliating our club you prick

  • Guest - Lerner Out!

    It's simple! If you love the Villa get down their on Sunday and support OUR club. Its not about Lerner this weekend its about ASTON VILLA and our future as a loss will mean years in the lower league's. This is ASTON VILLA for god's sake, not some two bob club but a huge club with a magnificent history and when we get Lerner out a bright future. Give it your all on Sunday for the club we all love. Lerner might have raised the white flag but we ain't. Sitting at home if you are able to go is not an option because relegation will mean the end of our club as we know it! VTID

  • Guest - expat007


    Again you are quite right. Why there is a waiting list for season tickets for The Emirates Stadium when there is so much discontent amongst the Arsenal fans I just cannot comprehend. Could be the cheap beer and pies, no cant be that as The Emirates is the most expensive stadium for fans in Europe.

    I may be pretentious and maybe there is no need to be so sanctimonious. I do post these comments to try and stop those on here taking the out of successful clubs like the Arsenal, Man U, Man C, etc, we should be trying to emulate.

    He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.

  • Guest - expat007

    I missed the word pi*s:D:D

  • Expat007

    Again you missed the point and whilst I agree with your envy comment, my point although it escapes you is nothing to do with envy. There are only three clubs in this league who appear not to sell Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea - all sadly with huge debt one way or another.

    Arsenal could sell out every week and if you have the money to pay that then fair play, I would choose not to and prefer the Barcelona model which rewards season ticket holders iwth cheaper tickets. The fact remains full stadium or not NO trophy for 9 years and selling the top players makes fans pissed of

  • Guest - expat007

    Lerner Out!
    Absolutely, its all about supporting the Villa. Its not knocking other clubs or getting at our own players when they are wearing the shirt. For more years than many on here have been on this earth I was at Villa Park, never booed our team, a player, the manager or even Deadly when at a match, after the game with fellow Villa fans, well that was different.

    Unfortunately I will not be able to be at Villa Park, but I and others will be 100% behind them this Sunday. Premiership football next season at Villa Park is all that matters.

  • i quite enjoy taking the piss out of Manure.My hatred for them runs deep.hate the manager,hate the players and hate the fans,even more so after their disgusting behaviour during the 19th minute applause.You know the old saying about finding a Manure fan in Manchester!!

  • and dont forget guys to switrch over to BBC for the "real" game of the weekend when the Villa game finishes.

  • Guest - Lerner Out!

    As for Man Utd, Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea etc couldn't give a s**t about any of them and never have. Win, lose or draw my club's ASTON VILLA a proper club with proper working class local supporters not glory hunters. Never been envious of any of the plastic fans who wear their shirts, just feel pity for them as they dont have a clue what the games all about!

  • Guest - expat007


    You say I missed the point, don’t think so as you are now trying to dress it up differently or are you telling me you respect Arsenal, be honest now?

    Barcelona have huge debts unlike Arsenal. Although their attendances are higher their revenue is not that of The Arsenal.

    By the way Man City and Chelsea do not have huge debts one way or another. They are both financed by their owners who have very deep pockets and that is not a debt whichever way you try to dress that up.

    Unless you can tell me what it is you are trying to prove I will not bother to reply any more as we are just going around in circles.

    PS: Besides having respect for Wenger, I feel the same way at Fergie. In my day you could support The Villa and admire other Clubs and their players. Many times I can remember Villa fans applauding the oppositions team and players. To many of today’s supporters, of all Clubs it is more like tribal wars and nothing to do with football. I have never got much pleasure out of other peoples failure, I cant see how it can possibly help.

  • Guest - Lerner Out!

    Except the failure of small heath, now that does help surely!

  • Guest - expat007

    I don’t think they care one iota for your views. I cannot agree with you regarding Fergie or their players as they are amongst the best in the World.
    As for their fans I totally agree with you as they are so similar to too many English so called football fans, they are fanatics in the wrong sense of the word. You again disappoint me with this childish behavior.


    is a belief or behavior involving naive zeal or fanatical enthusiasm.

  • Guest - Jimmy Milners Handlebars


    You're a few olives short of a pizza fella if you can't understand what blade is saying.

  • Expat

    My first Villa game was aged 7 in 1971 the good old third division, I was also lucky enough to see Santos play at VP. My dad spent a lot of time around villa players as Grandad went to the dog track with Pongo et al.

    I don’t envy any club but I do love Villa., it’s in my blood!

    Man City (£100 million loss) and Chelsea (£68 million loss) are both in debt to their owners and without the bail outs (or sponsorship) they receive from their respective owners they would be in serious trouble. Barcelona are no different as they are also in debt much like Madrid, Milan Juventus et al. – German clubs seem to have this nailed.

    The big French clubs will a benefit from new stadiums/refurbs etc paid for by the government because of Euro 2016, just before Mr Platini’s new regulations come into force.

    I like Arsenals model and respect their decision to fund the team from their activities on and off the field, it doesn’t change the fact that they have had little success and sell their best players – which if you go back to first point even if Benteke went there he will be sold to a bigger club. This is not jealous, respect or anything other than fact based on previous actions.

  • Expat how is it childish?!! Fergie is a scumbag,a bully who manipulates everyone from the FA to officials to the press.He uses the siege mentality (which works) in his player team talks and encourages his players to be hated.They are bad winners as well as bad losers and cant forget they pinched their 2 recent CL titles,one after being comprehensively outplayed by Bayern and the other a penalty win.I can choose who i like and dislike and i fooking hate Manure end of!!

  • Guest - expat007

    Lerner Out!

    ASTON VILLA a proper club with proper working class local supporters
    Although I come from a working class background I was lucky enough to doreasonably well in business and have many business friends including MD's, a barrister, a solicitor, a financial adviser and others who do not come from the working class, but like me are great Villa supporters.
    I do not see many cloth caps these days. I not saying its right or wrong, but times have changed from the day when I could have gone to Villa Park by a Football Special, seen the match had a pint of bitter for five bob (25p for you youngsters) and got change. Not 1900 but 1970. You could stand at The Witton End (North Stand) for two bob (10p) same as a the bitter.
    As I said times they are a changing

    I list below a few more working class Villa supporters:
    Prince William – The man who will be King
    Lord Mervyn King - Bank supreme
    Lord Digby Jones
    Tom Hanks – Actor
    Amy Winehouse – Now departed Musician
    David Cameron – Prime Minister
    Nigel Kennedy – Violinist
    Mark Williams – Actor
    Emma Willis – TV presenter
    Ritchie Neville – Former Boyband member
    Oliver Phelps – Actor
    David Bradley – Actor
    Pauline McLynn – Mrs Doyle in Father Ted
    Ian Bell – Cricketer
    Martin Shaw – Actor
    Ian Lavender – Pike in Dad’s Army
    Kris Marshall - Actor
    Lenny Godber - TV character
    Geezer Butler – Musician
    Stephen Duffy – Music producer
    Jacqui Smith – Politician

  • Fergie is a scumbag,a bully who manipulates everyone from the FA to officials to the press.

    I have a grudging admiration for SAF its the muppets who allow themselves to be manipulated by him who get on my nerves. He sticks up no matter what for his players, his club, his fans and I wish we had someone like him standing up for us and our team. Best manager I can remember by a country mile.

  • Guest - expat007


    The big French clubs will a benefit from new stadiums/refurbs etc paid for by the government because of Euro 2016, just before Mr Platini’s new regulations come into force.
    Sorry but your knowledge of French football is a little limited.
    The majority of the Stadiums are owned by the local councils and the Clubs pay a rent to them.
    The vast majority of French Clubs have large debts and no assets and have to sell their stars. The players in the French National side nearly all play for foreign clubs, many in England.
    There attendances are paltry and Rugby Union gets similar support to football.
    Marseilles are the second biggest supported French club and cannot even pay Barton £30,000 per week, they are in default. Its only because QPR pay the majority of his wage that he stays there.
    Finally there is really only one solvent club in France and that is Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) why because they are wholly owned the Arabs (Qatar Investment Authority) and that is why Becks has gone there.
    Why do I know a little about French football, possibly because I live in France and go to many Bordeaux matches.

  • Guest - expat007

    At Bordeaux I sit in the stands and the cost per match is about £15 and that is a good seat. Most seats are about £10.

  • expat007 how close is union to football in terms of popularity? The Toulouse,Toulon and Clermont fans are wild(in a good way) when ive been watching the HC and the fan bas seems to be huge.

  • Guest - Lerner Out!


    Working class to me means any person who works for a living and does not live off the back off anyone else's hard work or does not use their parent's money and sit on their backsides. I have no problem with any person getting on in life as I have done too but still class myself as working class as I've had to work bloody hard to get where I am today. It doesnt matter what job you've got or how much money you can still be classed as working class. Some of those in your list are comical and I would only choose a few as being supporters including Lenny (rip), a proper local working class lad. Football (like it or not) is a working class game that is the place to be seen for so called "upper classes". I wonder how many of your list give a s**t if the villa lose on Sunday. Proper club, proper working class supporters, thats ASTON VILLA!

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