I wanted to write something yesterday and even after the match, but I couldn't bring myself to do it and be happy. I convinced myself that we have the right manager and we do, but that our board made the wrong decision when appointing the previous manager and they did, but it's still not hard to accept that we're not going to go up without getting lucky and possibly fortunate and most certainly without a huge element of risk.

I felt huge disappointment because we're Aston Villa and this shouldn't be happening to us.

I know many will think that we have no divine right to be challenging at the top, but I'm 42 years old and I believe we do. And you've all read my posts in the past about how I grew up in a time when going into a new season there was a real hope that we could challenge, so I'm not going to write that again .. even though at the start of this season, I thought it possible, even if my head told me we would be stuck in this league because of Di Matteo.

I conned myself into believing that the powers that be had a plan and now that plan looks like it is going to come down to a nail biting end of the season because even if I still pretend to myself that there is a chance we can go up automatically, it's not something I would bet on and I have a hard time convincing myself that we are playing good enough to end up in top six.

So I didn't write because it wasn't the start to 2017 I was hoping for. It wasn't fighting like lions.

In other news

And with that written, Rudy Gestede has left us to play in the Premier League and we have loaned Sam Johnstone from Manchester United so he can get a few games instead of not playing for them.

It's not that I don't have anything to say on either of these, it's that Rudy has scored goals in this league in the past and I know nothing about Sam Johnstone to be able to comment, but I do know it's important to build from the back and I suspect Bruce wanted someone he knew a little something about.

Spurs at the weekend and I'm going to convince myself that they are going to be too tired after beating Chelsea last night and that we can go there and get something. And you know what, I have and we can. It's the magic of the FA Cup.

Until then, I hope for breaking news that we've signed that central midfielder we've needed since the end of last season.

Author: Damian
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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.