Down & Out: Fantastic Villa fans but no masking Arsenal mauling. 4-0. Championship.

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I guess few, myself included to a degree, cared greatly for the outcome at Arsenal.  It was always about damage limitation. Sadly, in our worst ever top-flight season, where lows have been aplenty, this will stand as a limp and especially poor defensive display.

Quelle surprise.

Our fans though, as ever, were superb.

Whilst it can be lost on some how our self deprecating humour sits, the facts are what they are.  Gabby is fat.  We do have d!cks in our team (easy fancy dress).  And celebrating corners (and opposition goals) are now second nature.

It’s not what we want to be doing, nor how we want our players to be representing our football club, but as fans we might as well mock them with the rest of football.  They will forever be ridiculed and remembered with disdain.

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In terms of the actual football, Villa were barely at the races.  What fleeting opportunities we fashioned were spurned.  Ayew, a bright spark amongst dung looked sharp, but the chances he crafted usually relied upon Leandro Bacuna growing a brain.

Arsenal were easily capable of absorbing our impotent attacks.  Eric Black, thankfully his last game in charge, opted for 9 at the back.  See you Eric.

Arsenal controlled affairs, opening the scoring within 5 minutes.  After shocking marking, actually, no marking, Giroud headed in unchallenged.  The ball may have gone out during the build up, but, our defence didn’t.  Where were we?  On the beach.

Giroud’s second was a well worked finish, but the third demonstrated our feckless defending.  Played on by a solitary figure, the Frenchman did well to steer past the helpless Bunn.

The fourth summed up our season.  In typically romantic terms that only Villa could fulfil, Arteta emerged from the bench to hammer the bar in injury time.  Naturally, Bunn obliged by providing his back to knock the ball over the line.  The Spaniards final appearance for Arsenal gifted a goal by Villa.

Desperate, hopeless stuff.  Frankly exactly what we’d expected.

And that concludes a miserable, awful, record breaking season.

17 points in total.

27 games lost out of 38 

-49 Goal Difference.

76 Conceded.

The table doesn’t lie.  Even a government spin doctor couldn’t make those statistics look good.

As a club we have a massive job on our hands.  We need nothing short of new ownership, a competent manager, backroom team and wholesale change in playing personnel.  

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Whilst it would appear drastic in any other circumstance, there are genuinely very few worth retaining from this squad.  They are either simply not good enough, or horrendously scarred by the culmination of 6 years of failure under Randy Lerner.

The looming prospect of The Championship is a challenge enough without such upheaval.  This is of course parking the issue that the season starts on the weekend of 6th August; giving us just 12 weeks to overhaul our entire football club, root and branch.

It would be a lie to say that we won’t miss The Premier League, but, with our relegation it will hopefully force us to rethink our purpose.  Aston Villa wasn’t founded on the basis of wallowing in the doldrums, surviving by the skin of its teeth or being the butt of jokes amongst football fans.

We are a million miles away from the grand, respected and feared footballing institution we once were.  The next year will be defining at best, at worst, a whole other nightmare entirely.

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