2016/17 Fixtures!! League Cup Draw + Eric Black & Tony Parks depart.

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The good news just keeps on coming.

It has been a steady stream of departures out of the club every since the arrival of Steve Hollis as Chairman.  The cull now that new owner Tony Xia is on the scene continues.

The latest names to be shown the door are caretaker boss Eric Black and goalkeeping coach Tony Parks.

Eric Black shouldn’t have annoyed us quite so much, but his limitations were visible even from the early days assisting the doomed Remi Garde.  The results never came, the idiotic soundbites accumulated and the rest is best consigned to history.

Black had a 7 match managerial spell in which he could have tried a few unfamiliar faces and binned any number of flops.  In a perverse, cowardly or perhaps even stubbornly brief tenure, Black will be recalled for changing little if nothing.

In fact, he incomprehensibly persevered with the likes of Bacuna & Lescott despite the toxicity they brought.  The performances & atmosphere were arguably worse than at some of the lowest points of the season.  An achievement indeed.

Nobody was expecting a miracle worker or a turnaround with a few kids.  However, what we weren’t expecting was both more of the same as well as pitiful results that accompanied it.

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Tony Parks was an appointment by Tim Sherwood in February 2015, who despite a mixed CV, often cut an animated figure on the touchline.  Still, lots of arm waving and animation clearly doesn’t win football matches or evidently improve our goalkeepers.

Parks certainly suffered for the change in management and can now also reasonably be judged against the standard of goalkeeping at the club.  

Arguably the erratic form of Brad Guzan did little to help, offset against the lack of a competition for the number one spot, borne only by the limited Mark Bunn after Shay Given’s departure.

It’s fixture time!!

The short  wait for our Championship fate is sealed.

Plot your way to Rotherham.  Plan the beer tourism of Burton.  Prepare your decontamination suits for Small Heath and Wolverhampton.  Football is back.  But you still have to go to Norwich.

Check out Aston Villa’s fixtures for their first Championship season in a generation here. 

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Following on from this, the First Round of the (cringe-worthily) re-branded English Football League Cup will include Villa.

Bizarrely, Norwich and Newcastle are permitted byes until the Second Round as the highest finishing of the 72 Football League clubs.  Therefore, we have an extra fixture on our hands in an already congested calendar.

The draw is at 1pm via a live Facebook feed (& also on Sky).

Another twist is the separation of the pot into ‘North & South’.

Villa could potentially draw the following:

Seeded South Teams (local sides highlighted):

Birmingham City, Brentford, Brighton & Hove Albion, Bristol City, Cardiff City, Charlton Athletic, Coventry City, Fulham, Gillingham, Ipswich Town, Millwall, Milton Keynes Dons, Peterborough United, Queens Park Rangers, Reading, Walsall, Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Un-seeded South Teams

AFC Wimbledon, Barnet, Bristol Rovers, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United, Crawley Town, Exeter City, Leyton Orient, Luton Town, Newport County, Oxford United, Plymouth Argyle, Portsmouth, Southend United, Stevenage, Swindon Town, Wycombe Wanderers, Yeovil Town.

Our opening Cup game will be played on the 8th of August.

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