Season preview: Time for Aston Villa to start acting like Aston Villa

It's hard to write a season preview when there is so much uncertainty around what we are told. And when things are not going as you might have thought they would when the new owner took over, it creates concern. We were led to believe the new owner employed nearly 40,000 people and was going to invest £50mn and it now appears one was a lie and the other isn't the case.

And there are more things. So many more. But we have to have hope that this is just him and that he has no impact whatsoever on football matters and this is his way of distracting everyone so the manager can get on with doing what he is supposed to be doing and the CEO can get on doing what he is supposed to be doing. You've got to have hope in the team.


And with all of these distractions, smokescreens and lets call them little white lies, we're all going to be surprised on one day when the Club announce all the business is done and we're in awe at our lineup for this season ... that starts on Sunday.

But I wrote last November that Aston Villa fans needed to brace for relegation and when I start to think about this preview post, all I can think of right now, is that Aston Villa fans need to brace for more than one season in the Championship and possibly a few.

It's about controlling disruption

Now, I could be wrong. I hope I am and I secretly think I could be and I'm not going to use this post to talk about players coming or going, but I will say you all know my views on change.

We've had too many seasons of creating disruption through change, that it would be nice if we didn't and we instead focused on working with what was apparently good enough the previous season. Especially when you look at in the sense that season after season of disruption has resulted in relegation.

But the truth is when I look at the teams in the Championship and the experience they have, in terms of players and management, my confidence factor is low. You could argue that Newcastle have little to no Championship experience, but on the other hand you could also argue that Red Rafa isn't going to drop to that level to try and win, he'll expect sides to get to his level.

I expect Newcastle to win the Championship and if they don't, I think we've got a good chance of promotion.

I write that, because I think we're setting ourselves up for a scrap. We're not trying to plan for next season in the Premier League.

If we were, we'd be bringing in or trying to bring in players that you'd expect to be playing in the Premier League. But I only write that because I thought we were going to be investing £50mn and with that type of money, we could afford to buy and pay two players of that quality and let me be perfectly clear, that is all we need, with what we have at the Club.

And yes, even though we're in the Championship, it's possible ... if you've "really" got the money.

A Tale of Two Cities

And when I wrote about preparing for more than one season in the Championship, I wrote it because getting relegated last season was the worst and best time to be relegated. You see, if we don't bounce back, there will be teams that are relegated with so much money that they'll likely be able to sustain a season in the Championship and continue paying Premier League wages and that will make it harder for us the season after.

But that is why it's also the best time to be relegated, if you want to look for hope. This season, if managed correctly will be the best chance we have of getting promoted because we are the team with the Premier League money.

But we've got to stop acting like a Championship club and we need to start acting like the Club we are. And that is from the top down.

And I'm only writing this next part because there will be some that say that we can't do that. And in response to that let me say this; Aston Villa is a global football brand and not just by supporters, but by people in the game. The name Aston Villa opens doors. The name Aston Villa resonates in halls and boardrooms. And in this country too, by the people that matter and the people that know.

You can have your FightLikeLions hashtag and use it to look back on the season it first appeared, the season we were relegated. But me, I'd rather look at the bigger picture and I'd like to believe that with the right people, we'd be able to use just our name and not have to rely on gimmicks.

It's this season or bust for Aston Villa, but there is still so much that needs to be fixed that like last season, I'm going to wait two or three months before I make a prediction. But I hope I can go to bed on Sunday night with a little bit more hope than I have today.