There is a predictable unpredictability about the summer break that as Aston Villa fans, we know all about. And this is going to be a time when we write about specific players, have a season review or three (if you have one, send it in, if you'd like to see it published in the site) and then season predictions.
But what do we know? Well, we know that Dunne, Given, Ireland and Bent are all probably off and we know that there will be a player or two coming in. Or we hope.
We also know the likes of Benteke, Weimann and probably Lowton, will all get new contracts and we hope that they sign them with every intention of staying for many more seasons and telling us that when they've signed.
But rather than just hope for new players, ask yourself this; where should they go and are we not happy with the players we have; haven't they shown heart and desire and isn't that most important?
You could argue we need a central defender and a central midfielder, but are we not happy with who we have? Since the team started to play well together haven't we all felt optimistic and hopeful?
And I know some are going to say we need a new left back and a midfield enforcer, but I'm not so sure we do. More important, I'm not so sure the manager is going to want to replace any of the players that have put in a shift this season for him and that he has faith in.
If you look at the second half of the season, let's say from January 1st so we are all on the same page, had the season started there and we only played the games this year, we'd have finished 8th in the table. Move forward a month, from when we really did start to look better and only take the games from February 1st onwards and we would have still finished 8th.
The same is for games from March 1st. But if you look at the games from April 1st and only take those seven matches, we would have finished 6th.
I know I'm breaking this down and I could probably pick any period and it might even look like we were going to finish second, but if you look at the first half of the season (or until December 31st), when the manger tried lots of new things and lots of players, we would have finished 17th.
And it was a new team and his first season. All things considered, I think he might be quite happy with how it turned out.
Actions speak louder than words
So, it's fair to say that the team, performances and results got better as the season went on and that is exactly how you would like it to form isn't it. Which is why I'm writing this post and how I'm getting to my point; if a player or two is coming in, they're going to have to be special.
The manager has faith in the players he brought in. I like Clark, Baker and Bennett and I think the manager sees great potential in them. And while Benteke made a great impact and there were positives to begin with, it still took him some time to get firing on all cylinders.
So the point of this post; there will be speculation this summer but I really don't think it is going to be the really interesting speculation. I think if that is to come, we need to have a season next season like the last seven games of the one just gone.