This is no ordinary Sunday. This is a game that Aston Villa must win or there is every chance the manager could be facing a very difficult meeting on Monday where he's going to be fighting for his job. Leicester are, after all, bottom of the table.
Scrap all that. We all know it doesn't matter. I just made that up to make it feel like it was an important game. The manager has two defeats in the bag at the moment, so he's got a nice big comfort window of not having to care and if we do win and we really should win today, he'll have four defeats in the bag and that will see him through to January, when it will be too late to make a change.
So you could say this is the biggest game of the season for Paul Lambert. If he wins, he is safe in his job. That's what it has come down to as manager of a club treading water. But you never know, there was a story put out last night that Lerner has put the naming rights to the Holte End up for sale and that could make getting rid of Lambert something that has to happen, even though I don't see the logic in selling the naming rights to one stand.
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are people willing to pay for the naming rights to the Holte End. I'd buy it for £500 quid for example, but I'd name it the Holte End. It's just that I don't understand why we'd sell the naming rights to just one stand and I'm not sure who would really be willing to pay for it when we're struggling. It might make it easier if the club had ambition and the people interested in buying naming rights knew the owner wasn't doing it just to raise money.
But the logical thing would be to sell the naming rights to Villa Park and for me that makes sense, but again, I question who would want to buy the naming rights to a stadium of a club that is struggling and can't even sell out the stadium. And don't get me wrong, I'm all for selling the name of the stadium. It's not as if a. I'll ever call it that or b. that it will last forever, but another thing I can't seem to get my head around is would it be worth it.
The thing is, the exposure a company would get by buying the naming rights to Villa Park would be quite a lot but for it to be something really worth considering and investing in (paying to have the rights is only part of what the actual cost would be), they'd have to feel fairly confident that that things are going to happen. How can anyone have confidence in that at Aston Villa at the moment?
But would it be worth it to Aston Villa. I mean, surely to sell the naming rights to Villa Park we'd want £20mn plus a season, but who would pay that? I think it would be easy to find someone to give you £5mn a season, but that is when I question is it worth selling your name for something that will have little impact. It's just me, you might think £5mn is a lot or even £10mn, but I'm not sure there is anyone that stupid who will pay that.
Aston Villa v Leicester
But today isn't about me buying the naming rights to the Holte End, it's about Leicester and as I wrote yesterday, I think this could be a cracking game. We've got two Championship managers going head to head and those that have seen some matches in the Championship will tell you, it's like watching proper English football and it's end to end. Hopefully Lambert doesn't get ideas above his station, because the truth is, his Aston Villa side will lose to a Championship side if they try to play anything other than Championship football. He's got to try to imagine it's his first season in the Premier League again.
This isn't a game for the manager to think he's a Premier League manager for real. This is a match the manager has to win. And if he does, he can scrap that contract extension, he might very well get a stand named after him.
Updates, team news and all that coming as it comes in and win, lose or draw, I really do think this will be a cracking match today and a great advert for the Championship. And I mean no disrespect to Paul Lambert, he's doing his best. I just hope today he remembers, it's not about playing Premier League football, it's about scrapping for everything, but in truth, that is one thing you can't say our team never do. We are scrappers.