August 16, 2012
Beware of false dawns? No need to remind Villa fans of the need for caution and patience as the new Premier League season approaches.
Expectations have been firmly grounded after two bitterly disappointing campaigns – the last of which was just about the most dismal nine months of football many a Villain can remember – and yet there is no denying the welcome feeling of genuine optimism around the club.
June 22, 2012
I've kept a low profile for the past couple of weeks. I haven't been on holiday, I haven't been totally obsessed and engrossed with Euro 2012 - although I am enjoying it - and I haven't forgotten about the Villa.
But here's the thing: I haven't forgotten about Villa, but I have stopped worrying about them.
May 25, 2012
So much for Solskjaer, and a swift conclusion to Villa's latest managerial search. Following the Norwegian's decision to withdraw himself from the running for the position as coach, seemingly before he had even been offered the position, concluded a series of rather bizarre days for Villa.
May 14, 2012
Direct, decisive and damning.
Less than 12 hours after watching the 'highlights' of Villa's final match of the 2011-12 season, scowling at yet more defensive irresponsibility, player indifference and managerial culpability, before skulking off to bed to lie awake and inwardly fume at the sheer incompetence that had rendered the previous nine and a half months the most shambolic and miserable I've ever endured as a fan, news.
May 11, 2012
I don't personally know any Wigan fans, so I can only guess at how they were feeling over the past weekend.
Triumphant? Jubilant? Proud? I'd guess at all three, and I can understand why. Their team looked doomed just a few short weeks ago, but instead of staring down the abyss and panicking, they galvanised themselves as a unit and propelled their way up the table with a series of impressive results.
April 26, 2012
Maybe now it's beginning to feel real. Villa could get relegated.
I've been poor wind-up value over the last couple of months. Friends and colleagues - smug grins on their faces - have been falling over themselves to get the Villa jibes in; things aren't looking good, eh? Starting to struggle, aren't you? Reckon you'll get sucked into the battle at the bottom?
April 20, 2012
So, welcome back, Martin.
We knew you'd return one day, although, if we're honest, it was something of a mild surprise that you're back with Sunderland; thought you'd have kept on eye on events at Chelsea and Spurs, maybe even the England national team, played the waiting game, stalling for a bigger prize.
Still, we're hardly in a position to judge, so forgive us if we've come across as a bit sour. We still are, you see: sour, sore and slightly jealous. You might feel some of those emotions coming from us on Saturday.
April 12, 2012
There's no substitute for winning matches.
That's the lesson Villa need to learn after the threat of relegation was put firmly back on the agenda. It can still happen, if we don't wake up to the danger and actually approach a match with the intention of winning it.
March 30, 2012
I was exactly 232 words into this week's Villa column when I heard the news. Stiliyan Petrov, Villa's captain, has been diagnosed with acute leukemia.
March 23, 2012
... and everything feels much better.
It's been almost pleasant being a Villa fan for the past couple of weeks; with this Tuesday's scheduled match against Bolton being postponed, the glow that comes with winning has lasted that little bit longer. There's nothing like a victory to put an extra spring in the step and Villa's 1-0 win over Fulham was perfectly timed; without a home win since the beginning of winter 2011 (November 5, to be precise), this was a first Villa Park three-pointer for four months.