I read a Tweet at the weekend that went something along the lines of 'Aston Villa fans always turn on themselves before turning on the manager' and it does seem a little like we've been here before. I then Tweeted something along the lines of why do we have to have this 'the manager needs time' view, manager after manager, for the same thing to happen, when so many other managers seem to not need that time.
And don't forget - it's new players for every new manager.
And this post could very well have started as a paste from another post and one before that. But then I think, why can't we just embrace what we have. Why do Aston Villa or why do I as a supporter of Aston Villa, think we have a right to be one of the big clubs when all around, there are snide remarks and fighting amongst ourselves?
That I believe we are a big Club will be lost on some, but the number that know is still large.
Where it all begins
The questions and frustrations that many Aston Villa supporters have at the moment come from the manager not knowing his preferred formation. They come from us seemingly not having any pattern to our play or direction. They come from not winning matches that we should be winning. The questions come from many places and that is why supporters are arguing. It's not just he has to go or he has to stay, it's because there are so many areas for concern.
But things are close. But again, I've written that so many times before too.
But there is something that the manager needs and you'll be surprised to hear it from me, but it's time. But time is good for both parties and I believe our CEO is working on what he needs to be working on. But if we accept that it doesn't really matter if we are promoted or not, that we're happy in the Championship, time isn't an issue, it's his job not to fail or succeed.
I wrote after the match at the weekend that we need to have a minimum of nine points in October (from a possible fifteen) and we need four points from the remaining two fixtures this month. If we don't get these things, then we're in trouble and when I write trouble I mean that we're not going to be automatically promoted without something fairly super impressive happening.
But that's if we want automatic promotion. Do we?
And let me clear this up before it's mentioned, what the manager did with West Brom and Chelsea can be classed as quite impressive, but it was like he walked into the restaurant, ordered food and ate dinner. It wasn't like he had to build a team or qualify for the Champions League. But there is hope, there has to be, for those of us that want it to happen. And that is taking nothing away from Di Matteo, it's just that we're 18th in the Championship and it's bloody frustrating.
But I don't think I want it to happen if we're not going to really push on and if we're making fundamental mistakes now, I can't see us fixing those errors in the future. I've not written that before.
I want the chart to lie
So then I turn to the chart. I look at the team selection and formation. I look at how we're playing football and this is just my view, but things don't look good for automatic promotion. But I grasp on to that last bit of hope I have. I convince myself that next time out we will win and dominate and that these professional players will go out there and demonstrate why they are paid so much.
Next up is Newcastle. It's a huge match for a lot of reasons.
And the chart can be wrong. Numbers don't always tell the truth about the actual position you are in. I then think to myself, because I'm entering ground where four plus six doesn't equal ten, if the rumours are true and Xi Jinping is a big Aston Villa fan and our Chairman purchased the club to make friends and impress, then anything is possible.
I tell myself that as long as we're in with a shout come January, money will be spent and even though I don't like that aspect of the game, we have to accept it because those are the rules. I convince myself that it should be by any means necessary. And for those that don't know, Xi Jinping is the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and President of the People's Republic of China. He's the top man in China and everyone wants to impress him.
But then I loop back to if we are to be in with a chance come January, we have to start winning and that there will come a time when the right decisions will be made, even if they're not the right ones. Because we need that chance. I then look at the squad and I believe we have the players. And then, even though I don't buy into it, I default to the manager needs time so the players can figure out what it was they have done in the past that made them the player they were.
Never going to give you up
And I hold on to hope because there has to be something better than Steve Bruce. I hold on because even though I embrace the Championship and accept that we are here, I know the CEO and owner want Premier League football and if they have to make the decision to make changes they will.
There is also a feeling that it's now only a matter of time for Di Matteo and I think when you get to this point, you need wins. Nothing else will be good enough for Di Matteo. But if he gets the four that he must get out of the remaining fixtures between now and the end of next month, it should be enough, you would hope, for the players to start believing and to start putting in the right type of performances where the results take care of themselves.
But you know what, we're in the Championship and I wrote that appointing Di Matteo would probably mean more than one season here. And as you know I'm also quite content because I've accepted it all and I embrace it. Some will think we've been aggressive and done our best to get promoted because we've spent money and brought in so many players, but you all know my views on this, I'll leave it at that.
So I accept all of this but I'm not going to stop supporting Aston Villa because we're a Championship side. It's the Football Club I support, not the manager, CEO or owner. But the manager will get time. I'm only making guesses about when he'll get the sack if we don't get the results, it could be tomorrow or never.
I'm looking forward to Newcastle now. It should be a cracking game and a win is exactly what we need. An emphatic win could be what turns around our season.