I've had a hectic week which is why there hasn't been a post. I've been on two separate flights, three train journeys and three cities. That was by Wednesday and on Monday, just as I was leaving, the first signs of a stomach bug appeared with my son, that appeared with my daughter on Wednesday and have appeared with the wife this morning.

So in between, work, travel and looking after a sick house, now I have a little time for Aston Villa, but not much. And apologies for the personal memoir, but that really only describes about half of how hectic it really was.

To Aston Villa

So, how is everyone feeling? A win last weekend saw us leave the relegation zone. Fat Sam had a breakdown on national TV and while we haven't had the usual PR from the club after a win (or have we) we did have a mention of Rob Vlaar at the stadium on some advertising.

But what is the tone? Does the victory against West Ham mean we're going to beat Arsenal and catch Liverpool? I'm still not convinced, but that is just me.

And I really don't think one win should make us feel that confident as we're still in a horrible position, with Manchester City and Liverpool in March as well as QPR and Reading. But we know the games we must win and in the others, we're now a team that has to be happy with a point.

Just this season

But don't take my bleak outlook as something permanent. I'd happily take points against Manchester City and Liverpool now. Hell, I'd take defeat if we picked up six points against Reading and QPR, because they are the matches we must win. And it will get better.

If we stay up, there has to be more money. If we stay up, we will get the one or two players we need to kick on a little bit further and the players we have will have learnt a lot by this experience. Or you'd like to believe they will anyway.

And just because right now I think it comes down to May (Norwich, Chelsea and Wigan) doesn't mean it will or that it will be like this next season. In my head, we will need points from those three games, but as long as we get them, we'll be okay. We will sign a relief and I will wear the t-shirt.

Twelve games to go, 36 points to play for. Anything is possible and right now, I'm back to 60/40 we'll stay up, but those numbers are sitting on a pendulum and we can't get carried away by one win. There is a massive hill to climb and I don't buy into all the hype surrounding one victory.

If we beat Arsenal though, I'll start to believe. But it is still a pendulum.

Video of the week because I love this


Player map

And because I had a bit of time on my hands tonight, I thought I'd create this map. It shows all players since the start of the 1992/93 season that have represented Aston Villa in any competition, but only first team. It also shows their position and place of birth. A bit geeky, but I found it interesting.

View Aston Villa players from 1992/93 season onwards in a full screen map

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.