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The depredations of Villa's midtableness


Marka Ragnos
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There's a natural order to football, based on a mix of money, fanbase, and prestige. Clubs like Liverpool, Man Utd and Arsenal will always be hovering around those top spots, even when they're doing "badly". Clubs like Huddersfield, Bournemouth, etc. will always be delighted to just be top flight.

Obviously you can change your status with good leadership and a big injection of cash (or vice versa, you can destroy a club with bad leadership and debt) but there's a reason we all expected Villa to be back in the Premier League... because we are clearly one of the 20 biggest clubs in England, even when we were in the Championship, and most of us would argue we're comfortably in the top 10 biggest clubs in England.

But things change over time, and if Man City can become an elite Champions League side, then so can any "mid table" club. They used to be perennial relegation battlers.

Think we just have to accept that it takes time to fix things, and that mid table PL is a big improvement on mid table Championship 3 years ago. Our current "midtableness" is still progress, IMO, whereas under Doug Ellis it was season after season of mid table, with no real ambition to improve on that. John Gregory was spot on. That's the kind of midtableness that would bother me.

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57 minutes ago, Marka Ragnos said:

I need to discuss Villa's' current syndrome of being one of the great middle children of football.

Is there any spot quite as complicated and doldrummy as the PL's mid-table? I find our current midtableness more and more confusing. In a weird way, it's kind of comfortable. But therein lies the rub. It's a land filled with the pitfalls of complacency. I know I'm glad we're not (for now) in the dropzone, but my vague dreams of Europe from earlier this season begin to fade, and, well, I'm simply not sure how to feel or what to wish for.

Yes, I want to win against Watford. Of course I do. But what if we lose? So what? We'll still be in the middle. And if we win? So what? The middle awaits.

I can't imagine it's very easy to motivate the squad when, realistically, the most exciting thing we can do is end up maybe eighth or something? Break out the bubbly!  We could be ... eighth! Somehow, it rings a little hollow.

I love reading posts by people who see secret reservoirs of greatness and ambition in our club's future, but I'll admit I often wonder if they're a little naive or just pleasantly self-deluded. I want to be there, because it's a bit of a mental holiday from Middle Land, but I guess, in an unhealthy way, I think I'm sort of content in Middle.

And discontent. Somewhere ... in the middle.

Help me out of here!
  

 

  

  

Your probably correct. For fans of most clubs following said club - will bring a series of false dawn's and heartache.

But it's that hope that keeps us going + and keeps us coming back for more.

Bit like night clubbing in your 20s - your convinced every Friday that some big busty blonde will jump on you and perform all sort of manoeuvres until you you can't move with exhaustion.

Most often you end up with a big cheeseburger in your gob - spitting stale beer over anyone who will listen .....

But your back again the following Friday.

Hope - it's addictive.

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Supporters acclimatise to their club’s position and subsequently adjust their expectations very quickly. 

Leicester City supporters probably expect to be regularly pushing top six and anything less is below par. However, pre 2016, a top ten finish for Leicester was probably an exceptionally good season for the club in a historical sense.

Likewise Man City supporters are probably like “Oh yeah, another league title, great…where’s the champions league trophy?”

But I do think this acclimating goes both ways. I’d be willing to guess that, however briefly, Sheffield United supporters acclimated and expected to be a solid midtable club in the Premier League. Now I could easily imagine that’s been readjusted to “Hmmm, maybe being like Norwich wouldn’t be so bad…”.

Villa have been a midtable club for one season (likely to be two shortly). We were recently more often a 15th-17th place side. That was worse than this season.

It’s arguable we haven’t been a regular midtable club for decades. O’Leary’s second and third seasons Villa finished 10th and 16th, O’Neill then finished 11th. And for me, 16th doesn’t count as midtable so I’d be looking before then.

If over the next two seasons we finished 8th twice, that would be really quite good. But we all know some of us would be getting restless by the end of that second season. On occasion I’d probably include myself in that.

I think it’s just a case of seeing the season out, knowing there’s no looming disaster (I hope). Enjoy the wins when they occur, try not to be too despondent over the defeats, hope the football is somewhat entertaining and that there are signs of something to look forward to for next season. 

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You all are forcing me out of my Midtable Bunker mentality. Ahhh, cheers! At the very least, you're making midtable seem like a much more attractive and rare place than I gave it credit for ... 

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2 hours ago, Aston_Villan4 said:

We've been midtable for a little over 1.5 seasons. Sounds like more of a personal issue with impatience.

You may have something there ...

28us5v.jpeg

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11 hours ago, hippo said:

Your probably correct. For fans of most clubs following said club - will bring a series of false dawn's and heartache.

But it's that hope that keeps us going + and keeps us coming back for more.

Bit like night clubbing in your 20s - your convinced every Friday that some big busty blonde will jump on you and perform all sort of manoeuvres until you you can't move with exhaustion.

Most often you end up with a big cheeseburger in your gob - spitting stale beer over anyone who will listen .....

But your back again the following Friday.

Hope - it's addictive.

I had the blonde and the burger, pretty much meh ever since

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16 hours ago, Only2McInallys said:

The funny thing is I longed so much for mid table mediocrity when we were desperately fighting relegation or trying to get promoted.

Just to be able to enjoy the football without worrying too much if we drew or lost.

The game against Leeds we created 3 brilliant goals with one of the worlds most talented players isn’t that enough?Who cares that we drew the game.I quite like not having too much pressure put on the result.

We should enjoy it.

Trouble with mid table is there's always a feeling of if you can string a decent run together you can feasibly challenge for europe.

We were pretty much level with Wolves over xmas. Since then they've hit a very good run of form and are looking good to finish top 6.

Think that's the frustration. We win today and Spurs lose at Man. city and suddenly we're 6 points off them and they were 4th about two weeks ago.

This is better than just losing most weeks and not scoring for months under Lambert anyway but still they'll be frustration especially given the players we've signed in last 12 months which should've meant top 10 as you're always looking to improve from previous season.

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On 19/02/2022 at 08:46, VillaChris said:

Think that's the frustration. We win today and Spurs lose at Man. city and suddenly we're 6 points off them and they were 4th about two weeks ago.

This is better than just losing most weeks and not scoring for months under Lambert anyway but still they'll be frustration especially given the players we've signed in last 12 months which should've meant top 10 as you're always looking to improve from previous season.

What a difference 24 hours makes. Yesterday, this-or-that middleness, today feels like ...  

Toy-Story-3-When-Toys-Hold-Hands-as-They-Sink-Into-Incinerator.gif

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