I spent a number of days debating whether to make the trip up from London prior to our last game of the season against Newcastle on Saturday. Cost aside, was I willing to see the team I have supported for the past 20 years suffer a record straight 12 defeat?
Despite being already relegated, I knew this would be the last team I would see Villa in the Premier League (Not for to Long I hope). So I knew the answer had to be Yes. The journey had to be done. And boy did I not regret it.
Arriving at Witton around 2:15pm, I took a slow walk round to the trinity road end when I took great pleasure and pride in seeing my paving slab for my 30th from my boy a couple of years back. This really does feel me with pride. Its the first slab and you enter through the main gates. Whatever happens in a game, this alone always makes the trip worth it.
Upon taking my seat in the lower North, I was pleasantly surprised by how happy all the fans were around me. I won’t talk much about the game. It was rather awful from both sides. I was just happy we never lost and no new defeat record was set. I must say the atmosphere was phenomenal. For a team that was already relegated from the Premier League, the energy and passion by the fans made up for that which lacked on the pitch. It was great to see the Holte end rocking and watching all sides of the ground join in.
It was a shame to see players such as Jack Grealish being verbally abused by fans when warming up. There are so many people accountable for the demise of Villa without the need to single out individual players. There is a long building process that needs to happen and everyone has t support each other regardless of each individuals role at the club.
I was one of the last few to leave the stadium, coming to terms with the next time that I set foot in ground that we would be playing championship football – a rather sorrow moment. The Championship is going to be a mighty tough league to get out off. I hope, but don’t believe we will do it first time. We are a club that has never been relegated from the Premiership and we have not got the experience of dealing with how to bounce back. Smaller teams are going to see a trip to Villa as a cup final. No disrespect to any of the clubs but teams such as newly promoted Burton will probably get their home stadium in the away allocation of Villa park. Well, not quite but I think you all know what I mean. Let’s hope the sale is completed soon so we can move forward and hopefully upwards.