Call me sad, but I'm quite excited about going to see the new season kit unveiling tomorrow and then Walsall a week on Tuesday. It is a sign that we are counting down to a new season and what a great season.
For first time in years we have all the local teams in the top flight; how good is that? It will just be like my schooldays back in the late 70’s when it really mattered if Villa won or lost.
I might be approaching my mid-forties but I am already getting excited about Saturday August 14th. I really think it is going to be a great season to be an Aston Villa fan. I mean, we are at home first game, last game and on Boxing Day. We have all the local derbies and even a trip to Blackpool to look forward to.
Yes, transfer talk is fun, but If we started the season with exactly the same squad as we have now I would not be disappointed. It is the time when the likes of Gabby, Young, Downing, Warnock and Milner (although he might be knackered) should be reaching their peaks.
Carlos should be better in the right back position. Delph is recovering quickly and will, one day, be a star. The ‘Fonz’ is ready to be unleashed and Curtis Davies might even get back in the team and become the player we all know he should be.
With the new 25 squad rule it means our talented youngsters will also get more chances.
Martin has done what all previous Aston Villa managers have failed to do and he has established us as a top six club. He is the first manager in my time to give us three consecutive top six finishes. For the first time since Ron Saunders we finally have an Aston Villa manager getting a fifth season.
Aston Villa are a team on the up and I believe silverware will be coming our way in 2011.
I don't think Tottenham can do as well a second time of asking, especially with the distractions of the Champions League. Liverpool are a team about to be broken up. Manchester United really are a one man team. Arsenal will not be as good without Frabregas and Manchester City just have too big a squad to also have a settled team. The team to beat is the ageing Chelsea side.
So I want it known that I am really optimistic and can't wait to get pre-season going. Up the Villa!