Ask a so-called football pundit which three sides are going to be relegated this season and nine out of ten will include Aston Villa. One of those so-called football pundits even predicted it at the start of the season.
Not many like Robbie Savage, but you have to admit, he saw this coming and that was even after we spent £20mn in the summer. Love him or hate him, it's going to take something close to miraculous to keep us up this season now.
Okay, maybe not miraculous because we're still playing for 39 points and anything is possible, but I'm starting to believe we're going to need 40 points to stay up because the likes of Wigan, Reading and QPR are going to be going for this and nobody can say it isn't going to be tight.
Starts this weekend
The thing is, after 25 games this season, we've won only four times and there is only one team that has won less and they are bottom. Proof, if ever proof was needed, that it's about winning games, not picking up the odd point.
So this weekend, we have to win. This weekend we have to beat a side that has won twice as many games as us this season (still less than a third of the games played) because it all starts on Sunday. Anything other than three points on Sunday not only means we will stay in the bottom three (something that might even be the case if we do win), but it will be like a hammer blow to supporters and players.
I'n not having a pop at West Ham, we are in no position to have a pop at anyone at the moment, but this match isn't about who plays the better football, it's about who wants it more and hand on heart, if Paul Lambert can not get these men up for ninety minutes of football on Sunday and we don't go and beat them, then we might as well accept relegation, because from the top down, it will be what we deserve.
Not only do I firmly believe that man for man we have a better team than West Ham, I also believe that man for man, we should want it more. As this home side but also because it's Aston Villa they are playing for. That is why if we don't win on Sunday, my 60/40 becomes 70/30 that we will be relegated this season.
About a team
So, this match becomes about the collective. It isn't about one player, it is about the eleven on the pitch. It's also not about going to war, it's about winning the game. From the moment they step onto that pitch they have to give 100% and they have to move forward. In the final battle, if you sit back, you lose and every match we have between now and the end of the season is the final battle.
What was it Sun Tzu said; warriors win first then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then look for a win. Think about it.