S, proper football is back and there is talk of a near full house to see Dean Smith take control of his first game. I think it's fair to say that optimism is high. I think it's also fair to say that Dean Smith has probably had his eyes opened to how bit the job really is this week too.

He's probably never done as many interviews or had as much press coverage in his entire career. And like a mug, I've gone had a couple of bets because I've bought into it.

But it is a huge job and it's certainly going to test him. He's going to have to do better than he's ever done before and for all the learning he's done during he previous two Clubs, he's going to be learning more and faster than ever before.

And this is the part of supporting Aston Villa that I don't particularly like. You see, Smith is an Aston Villa fan and because of that, he's getting a lot of praise and support right now. What happens if things start to go wrong. I should say what happens when things start to go wrong. How much harder is it going to be on him when supporters turn on him?

Naturally, I hope we go unbeaten for the rest of the season and finish in the top two. But if he doesn't get us up this season some supporters will think he's not good enough because he's been forced to say that he wants promotion this season. It will be 'he was brought in to get us promoted and failed'. And I know that's ridiculous, but there are some ridiculous Aston Villa fans.

But all that is for the future. I hope he can get us promoted this season because I think new manager syndrome is always good and we have a very good squad. Lets just see how he copes. I think he'll cope well having John Terry there to guide him when needed.

Swansea at Villa Park

And today is where it all starts and it's a good time to play anyone. We have a new manager and we've got the best squad in the League. And everything the manager has been saying has been great. I sort of expect us to win today by a few goals and I sort of expect to see Jack Grealish flourish.

I think this is the type of manager Jack Grealish needs because I've noted a few people starting to get annoyed with him of late and I can't say I blame them, but they also need to look at the circumstances. There is a video on the Aston Villa YouTube page showing all his goals. It's the shortest video on the page. Why did they make the video .. are they trolling Jack Grealish?

But it's not just about Jack. There are other players that I hope will flourish under this manager and his style. I'm really optimistic that he's going to get the playing this way and we're going to score more than the opposition and we're going to climb the table. I'm taking it one game at a time and one season at a time.

I'll be back later, with a glass of wine or two inside me no doubt and a minced beef pie in the oven.

Match facts from the BBC

  • Aston Villa have lost their last five league matches against Swansea, all in the Premier League between April 2014 and March 2016.
  • Swansea have lost all five of their away league matches against Aston Villa outside the top-flight, though these matches were played between 1936 and 1972.
  • Aston Villa striker Tammy Abraham has scored 31 league goals in his career - including five last season for Swansea - with all 31 scored from inside the box.
  • Swansea are the only Championship team yet to score from a set piece this season, while Aston Villa have conceded more set piece goals than any other side (11).
  • None of the last six permanent Aston Villa managers have won their first league match in charge (Alex McLeish, Paul Lambert, Tim Sherwood, Remi Garde, Roberto Di Matteo and Steve Bruce) since Gerard Houllier won his first in September 2010 against Wolves.
  • Swansea have not scored a first half goal in an away league match since December 2017 against Everton - they've played 16 games on the road since, scoring all 10 goals in the second half of games.

Bet of the day

At Unibet, the Club sponsor, you can get a good price on us to not lose at home for the rest of the season and you can also get a good price on us to finish top two. The bet of the day though, the banker, is for us to win today.

You put £10 on us to win today you'll double your money. Double your money. Think about that for a moment. You can do that here.