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We’re Finally Safe – Why Next Season will be Better

Aston Villa Blog have agreed to partner fellow fan site Aston Villa Life and have agreed for editor Matt Turvey to come on board as a guest blogger. Matt will be writing a bi-weekly article on the hot topics at Villa, while Villa Blog editor Martin Laurence will return the favour for Aston Villa Life to ensure the readership of both will get a variety of news, views and opinions on the happenings at our great club. So here is Matt’s first column on why a brighter future awaits. UTV!

We’re finally safe.

For once this season, I actually looked forwards to watching highlights of our football match.  The performance against Arsenal wasn’t world class, nor was it purely down to us.  The defending that Arsenal made was pretty shocking.  Still, three points are ours and, if anyone was lucky enough to get on the bandwagon, you could have had 10/1 on a Villa win earlier that week.

So what has the Arsenal game given us?  It’s given us another two reasons why buying Darren Bent was a master stroke and, in all reality, that the purchase has been one that has saved us from relegation.  It showed that Dunne and Collins can operate as a defensive unit so long as we play midfielders in front of them.  It even gave us a chance to see Fabian Delph make some good moves.

Many of us could look back on the season we are just finishing and be angry.  I wouldn’t blame you.  After all, to secure safety in the league in game 37 is far from good form.  That said, it does give us a bit of perspective.

Perspective in the sense that it might put into some of the fans that sixth, in this league, really was a pretty good achievement.  Villa have resources, top players, and a lot of other positives that should have us competing in the top half, but I’m sure we can all list at least five clubs that will finish above us next year.  I’m not viewing this as defeatist, but I am looking at it logically.  After all, can you see us finishing above Manchester United?  Chelsea?  Arsenal?  Liverpool?  Man City?  Spurs?  Chances are all six of those will finish above us, and at least five of them will.

Some might say this is defeatist, but I call it realism.  The reality is that we are a big club who are on the start of a new journey.  Whether the journey is led by our current manager or a new one is peripheral for the sake of this argument but it is, one way or another, a new beginning.

A new beginning because from where we finished this year, the only way is up.  Villa played badly this year, but we really aren’t that bad.  The league table never lies but we will do better next year.  It might not be sixth, but it’ll be better.

It’ll be better because it’ll either be a chance for Houllier to sign players to fit the system, or it’ll be a chance for the new man to shape the team his way.

It’ll be better because we’ll have Darren Bent up front from the start of the campaign.  For me, he has been the most exciting purchase Villa have made in the past 10 years.  Without a doubt.

It’ll be better because we’ll have new players who will be wanting to fight for the cause.  We’ll get the essence of what Ashley Young had when he burst on to the scene.

It’ll be better because our youngsters will be a year older.  Bannan, Delph, Albrighton, Delfouneso, Clark.  There are just five of the players who will play more of a part next season.

We’ve had, for the most part, a proud history.  Here’s to a bright future.

Matt Turvey

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