Think everyone will agree this season is one best forgotten and if we go down, the summer will be spent thinking, what went wrong? If we stay up, I'm sure the same question will still linger at the forefront of everyone's mind only joined by its cousins what next and how can we avoid a repeat nightmare?
So instead of focusing on doom and gloom, I thought it would be a change to look forward and draw up a wish list for the summer and as we know, Lerner has stated their is little money available to rebuild the playing staff and in the latest 'club statement' he also believes he shares in the fans frustration, so something's gotta give.
A new manager
This is a no brainer so I'll spend little time on it. He's run us into the ground. His tactics (though I don't believe he has any real tactics, any real formation, any real sequence of play) are abysmal. The fans have turned against him, though few welcomed his appointment in the first place. He's a laughing stock. Please walk. Wake up and smell the coffee Lerner/Faulkner.
A solid defence
A few seasons back we had one of the tightest defences of the league, now it's a shambles, too often they run into each other and the opposition runs round them. Penalties, free kick and yellow cards are given out unnecessarily. With a little control and a stricter playing sense, we could close down the opposing team as successfully as we once did, without the thuggery *ahem* Hutton.
We simply cannot defend set pieces, the very sight of a corner kick turns us in babbling idiots. 25% of goals conceded have come from corners this seasons and we went a string of nine matches conceding one corner goal per game, what is that all about?
A winger who plays on the wing
Bannan tends to draw the game into the centre in the same fashion N'Zog does and I feel a lot more play could be created if we used the space available on the wings.
Sitting on the half way line, I often see bags of space available on the wing, for example both at Sunderland and Bolton, Albrighton was standing arms stretched a metre apart waiting for whoever was in possession to look up and play into the space. Instead of crowded in together, littering one area until the space gets so tight the ball ends up at the feet of the opposition.
A striker who scores goals
Not much to ask really is it. Bent's injury has dropped us in it a bit this season, but he wasn't really getting the service anyway. Gabby hasn't been fully fit for long periods either. Keane did well for us, played a bit deeper than your usual forward but just as it all began to gel, he was back in America.
Weimann looks bright but has only been given the exposure recently despite Bent knighting him "the best natural finisher I've ever seen". As for Heskey, he can last an hour at most, and tends to fluff the lines when he hits the stage.
Delfouneso hasn't been given the time to showcase his talent really, despite being pacey and spatially aware as a player. Brett Holman has agreed to join us come the end of his contract, personally haven't seen him play much but four goals this season, judge that as you like.
Attacking, forward thinking football
Whether we're away at Millwall or home to Arsenal opening game next season, I'd like to think that whoever comes and goes this summer, will take stark lessons from this years mistakes and remould the Villa style of play.
Players shouldn't be scared to shoot, or avoid the box like a nasty disease until the very last moment. Corners should mean goals. Wings should be used as space, play should not revolve around one single part of the pitch for any long period. Stop playing the long ball. Keep it on the deck. Play short passes. Build an attack.
We should always have an option, far too often the ball is played into the oppositions box only to be fumbled away or hoofed up field, to no-one, as every player is littering the box, straight back to the opposition and repeat.
Substitutions should be made in order to react to situations not to settle for what has happened in the previous 80 minutes. Always play for the win whether it's Barca or Barnet. Fix that and we might be alright.