This is a sort of season preview post and I say sort of because I don't think I did one last year or the year before and I'm also not going to delve into anything too specific. But despite the harsh reality of facing a third season in the Championship, I do feel optimistic for this one.
And even though we know that the first season is the best chance at getting back up and the fourth is usually when it happens, if it's going to happen, I do feel good about this season, for the obvious reasons.
And there are more reasons than just the obvious to feel good about this season. The speculation surrounding loan moves. The hope that Andre Green continues (and he must play) his fine form from last season and the possibility that we keep James Chester and Jack Grealish are some.
But the obvious ones, new owners and sticking with Bruce, are the two that give me real optimism. As I'm sure they do for all sensible Aston Villa fans.
I'm not even sure it's called Financial Fair Play in this League, but it's something that we must be aware of this season.
But I also have to hold my hands up and tell you that I don't know that much about how FFP really works and I'm writing this because I see a lot of hesitation about new players coming in from social media, stating FFP as the reason. What I do know is that there are ways around it. With creative thinking and accounting, there are ways around it. With ambition and know how and common sense, there are ways around it.
Our previous owner didn't have any of these things and I sense that things are going to change under the new ownership. I also sense that it's not as bad as our previous owner, who couldn't see past his own ego, was telling us. Actions speak louder than words and time will tell, but these two are serious men.
So, the season ahead
I've written about that season two and three is hard. But that isn't to say it's impossible. These are just the numbers and there will be different reasons for why it's like this and it's not that it never happens in season three. For it to happen this season though, supporters have a role to play too, because it's going to be a long hard season.
And I know there will be some that leave a comment below just moaning about Bruce and his football and we all know they wont be able to see past that, but the silent majority know what is happening. The sad state of affairs at Aston Villa is however that even though the new owners have backed the manager and we've not even kicked a ball, yet some supporters want Bruce sacked.
It's shocking stuff, almost embarrassing. If they are questioned on if they are actual supporters, you can't be surprised.
This season is about supporting the Club, because we know it's going to be tough. It's about supporting the players and the manager and using that collective desire and purpose to move us forward. It doesn't happen when supporters are moaning constantly. And it all starts next Monday.
Me, I'm not happy that we're playing in the Championship, but I know we've just had the best season we've had in a long time and we saw clear progression from the season before. With new owners, I think we can go one better this one, but it needs everyone on side. If we don't have everyone on the same page, supporters and Club, we're just making it hard for ourselves.
I'm going into this season a little like I did when I was in my teens.