It feels like a good time to write a new post. The end of the season is nearly upon us and it all comes down to one match. Beat Fulham and we're back in the Premier League, lose it and we're in the Championship for another season.
To say this match is important is an understatement. The owner is banking on it. For some supporters, it's the biggest match they have experienced. It's edge of seat stuff and there are still three days to go. Me, my palms are sweaty thinking about it.
We all want to see Aston Villa challenging for silverware and competing at the top of the top division. It is for many of us where we belong and not just because we're told about how it used to be, but because we experienced it. This is a match to be enjoyed, but it carries the hope of thousands.
If we win, we can be allowed to dream. Rumour has it that if we go up, lots of money is going to get spent. Where that money is coming from is the part of the same rumour that worries me, but so what if we borrow and don't succeed. Football is about debt these days if you don't have a multi billionaire owner that has more money than sense.
And we only need to stay in the League for one season to create the potential for even more money and even more hope. And while I have written many times before that I've enjoyed this season, the winning matches and that deep down, it wouldn't really bother me if we didn't go up, I want us to go up and I want Aston Villa to be challenging for the Premier League title. I mean, it's all about winning isn't it?
And this part of the post is going to be full of clichés (is that the correct spelling) because I don't know how else to describe it. You see, it doesn't just come down to who wants it more, even though that plays a big part, it's about playing football the right way. You can't win a game if you have three chances and only one on target unless you're playing The Clowns.
We can't for a moment think we will beat Fulham if we only have one or two chances on goal. Sure, it could happen, but if we think and act like that, the chances are slim. But we also need experience and leadership. We need the voices on the pitch to communicate. We can't let our heads drop if we do concede and we have to believe completely that with the right application, that the goals will come.
My head tells me that the team that create the most opportunities will win. And by opportunities, I mean possession, corners and shots. If you have possession, the other team can't score. If you have possession you can create chances. Those chances create shots. The more shots you have the more that will be on target. Hell, even some not on target can get deflected in.
The more you have on target, the more will go in. I know it's a numbers game and I also know that one shot will do it. But it's attitude. I believe we can do it and I believe we have the players capable of doing it. I believe we have a manager that also knows what is needed.
The single biggest influencing factor though is Fulham and how they approach it. If they come for us from kick-off looking to do what I think we should do, then it becomes very much about who wants it more because it's about who is going to push themselves that much further to get to that 50/50 and who is going to keep running in the 95th minute.
It is with the players and manager and everyone else behind the scenes this weekend. Saturday is very much a team effort. I believe we can do it and I see myself on Saturday evening smiling. But all the work and effort, everything that is said from this point onwards has an impact. But ultimately, what happens for 90 minutes is all that counts.
And you know what, I'll take the 1-0 with ten men bending the ball if that is how we do it. But I'd far rather we announced to the Premier League we're back with a determined 3-0 win.