Let me get this out of the way first and apologies if this turns out longer than it should; the protests today are pointless. Pointless is a strong word, but this manager is already off. There is absolutely no chance of him winning over the supporters now and it was inevitable.
To confirm how pointless it is, the only way it can be a success is if nobody turns up and nobody knows there was actually a protest. Sun Tzu said something about knowing your enemy. What he meant was you have to know why your enemy does what he does as well as know yourself.
Time for some wise words
Randy Lerner is only here for what he can get out of Aston Villa and if Villa Park is full, he is happy. If the protests fill the ground he will want more protests. If all of a sudden Villa Park is empty, he'll want to know why and he'll do whatever he has to do to fix it. As for protests that don't actually make any protest in front of the TV cameras, it's madness.
And all I'm suggesting is exactly what is happening in the 19th minute for Petrov. On a set time in each half, hold up your flyers or red cards or whatever it is and protest. The players know the applause in the 19th minute isn't for them, they'll know that the red card isn't for them too.
If you are not going to hit the owner in the pocket (although lots are by not renewing season tickets and well done), embarrass him into doing something, not do exactly what he wants.
But not everyone will see the protest as pointless and no doubt this is just the first of more to come. Hopefully the next ones are directed at the CEO - where they should have been directed in the first place.
Don't blame Randy, look to the CEO
If Spurs win today, they go third with one game to go. If they finish the season third, they automatically qualify for the Champions League. I fancy they will win today. Writing that, about Aston Villa going into a game and expecting to lose, is also very sad, but this owner and more importantly, this CEO, have done this.
The worrying thing is this; if the owner doesn't get rid of the CEO, this will continue to happen and soon it will no longer be sad, it will just be accepted. The club need a CEO that truly knows football, understands the culture of Aston Villa and has a record of driving success.
We can not really blame the owner. He isn't here and he only wants to make a return on his investment. The thing is, you can only make so much money out of a football club in the Premier League and he is, but to make proper money and to see a much quicker return on his investment, he must create success. Financial success of any football club can be directly linked to success on the pitch.
Our current CEO is the problem, not the owner or manager; one is just investing, the other is a dead man walking. The protests should be aimed in the direction of the person who forced through this appointment and wiped the arse of Randy Lerner after he took a dump on all Aston Villa supporters after his CEO told him where the toilet was.
To the match
I've wasted too much time above but I did warn you and even apologised in my first paragraph, but I've not wasted as much time as some have wasted on protests, so it isn't that bad or actually, a little embarrassing.
I think the embarrassing way they've gone about this is something I've not touched on, but the way we are going about this does make us look like a small time club; protests at last home game of season when we are not even assured of Premier League status against a manager that most accept is already off. Are we sure?
Really, to the match
So, apologies again for that and remember, it is just opinion, but to the match. As and when we have updates, they'll come here. Updates through the match will happen here and if for whatever reason you can not get to Villa Park, you know you can watch the match here.
There will also be updates on Twitter but today, because other results are very important for us (we have to hope West Brom and Stoke win), there will be updates here on a very regular basis. Odds below, team news to follow and my bet of the day is; Newcastle draw, West Brom win, Stoke win.