I was having a chat yesterday with someone in the office and then started in on the whiteboard to play with numbers. We've got five games in December and that means 19 games to play in 2016. If we accept that 40 points is needed to stay up (it may very likely be less, but it's an easy number), then we need to have 20 points after these five games to be half way to where we need to be.
And that means, with our current total of five points and fifteen to play for, we need to win these next five games to go into the season, on target for staying up.
But that means having to to do better than my win one, lose one and draw one. And actually we need to do better than that at the moment, but we can quickly get back on track with that as long as we win three of the next five. The reason in writing this is not to scare, it's to set the foundation for this post.
You see, I listened to the 606 podcast from Saturday yesterday and you've got to love Savage and his mate. The default response for Savage is it's an opinion but it's not really. He makes a prediction and then calls it an opinion. Well, what one is it? Then you've got his pal that starts questioning the management of Aston Villa in appointing Garde. And sure, that's an opinion, but what he's doing is sowing doubt and that's what starts supporters thinking that we need to change.
Supporters have to give managers a chance but the media are the ones questioning the appointment and his start and then complaining when supporters don't give them a chance. I supposed it's the new posting for effect.
On one hand they're saying managers need to have time and on the other they're planting seeds that get supporters thinking it was the wrong decision. Only one thing follows from that. But there was a caller on the show, I think his name was Pete, that was positive about Aston Villa and I have to agree with him. What we saw in the first half against Watford was some of the best football I have seen in a long time.
Micah wants positivity
And while you've got Shirley and Gladys talking about how a new manager has to have an instant impact, I like to think that change isn't instant and while we have let in seven goals in two games what we need now is belief. I've long written that behaviour breeds behaviour, but with five games to go until the end of the season, now is when we need it more than ever and positivity is infectious. Which leads me on to Micah Richards.
Now, you know I'm not a big fan in his current position. I think his role is a good one, I think we need a captain that is going to speak out and he did this week. He asked for positivity. And needing to win the next five games, we need as much as we can get.
But while we can play our role and while we can all see that the football looked much better during the first half against Watford, it has to come from the players and it has to come in the form of three points this weekend at Southampton. It really has to start there, because supporters can not be blamed for not supporting. And I really do have faith in our new manager.
But this is quite possibly the biggest season these players will ever experience because of where we find ourselves right now. This is going to need a monumental effort and a determination that they've only ever imagined. To turn this around is more than just ability, it's about belief and about creating and taking chances but for the likes of Richards, it's about putting themselves on the line. It's no longer about 100% effort on the pitch, it's about more than that.
Some of these players will never reach their potential if the worst happens and I wouldn't be surprised if some don't fully come back. At the exact same time, if from this position we do manage it, some of these players will take it to the next level because they'll figure out what's needed to play at it over the next half of the season. It really is make or break for the players and the club now and the easiest part is going to be the 90 minutes each week.
So Micah asks for positivity. But it's more than that. Actions speak louder than words.
Drinking before lunch is never good
And before I go a message to that Irish journalist that said relegation would be good for Aston Villa; don't write or give an interview when you've been drinking all day. Relegation might be something we have to accept and something we have to embrace and we were never going to win the Premier League so why does it really matter, but one thing it wont be good for is the Football Club.
And you might have thought with the headline that this was a message for Jack Grealish, but no. However, on Grealish, I think I agree with the manager now with what he's doing. He's picked the brightest prospect and he's showing everyone at the Club that he's the boss. I like it.