Rise and Fall of Aston Villa

By EliotEmoneyBenNer
Feb. 11, 2017

- Villa Park Birmingham, England

The feeling of a Villa fan is there’s negativity everywhere it really is as bad as it gets Villa mean everything to me it’s my family my blood it’s just a part of who I am Aston Villa are a huge club absolutely massive club in terms are history we are one of the original premier league sides we won the European cup not many teams in England can say that. It’s just bad at the moment there’s nothing positive that can be said about this club there is just a looming feeling surrounding Villa park.

When I was a kid we had access to all the EPL games on the weekends I would watch all the games with my dad but I didn’t have a team of my own that I could call home. His name was Juan Pablo Angel Aston Villa’s Colombian Striker the teams #9. Right when I saw him for the 1st time I feel in love with him he played so gracefully I immediately was in love he just was like hero to me I don’t know why it’s hard explain seeing the graceful Colombian with long hair attached me to the team I loved everything about him he Played for Aston Villa a club located in the midlands it just seemed like the team for me I didn’t want to be like everyone and pick a team like Man United. I have been an Aston Villa fan since I was 9 years old once I found my team Aston Villa a team that I could call my own I started learning about the club it was a team with such a deep history but was in a dry spell of success and I just wanted to be a part of it. All these guys growing up were my heroes they might not have been the best players in the world but I felt a real connection to them Aston Villa was my safe place no matter what was going on in my life Aston Villa was always their they came through when I needed them the most win draw loss sun rain snow every week they played. For those 90 minutes nothing else mattered some of my hardest things I’ve going through had to do with certain players leaving the club I even once ended a relationship over Ashley Young’s sale to Man United. A lot of my emotional capability is directly related to the Aston Villa they pump my blood are so much more than just a club to me. The Selling of Ashley Young is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever gone through I don’t cry over relationships I cry over players leaving and cup losses. Last Year before the start of last season My step dad passed away after a three battle a three-year battle with cancer it was only of the most difficult things I ever went through. Last season Villa hung on for dear life they fought for survival it was yearlong battle. Aston Villa’s survival was also my survival because to me the only way I can overcome the adversity is with the game Villa avoiding the inventible doom helped me grief this is more than a Club this is everything to me. It’s been great emotional disappointment of the way the season has gone. Which is why I take everything negative about the club personally Randy Lerner makes me want to hate Americans he Legitimately is killing the club that means more to me than life. It doesn’t make any sense for us to be in this spot less than 10 years ago we were a team fighting for champions league places now we will be playing in the 2nd division for the 1st time since 1988 having lost the battle with relegation. The Team slowly started to crumble in 2010 after O’Neil left the club due to frustration with the board we hired the worst managers possible ones that made no sense for our situation it felt like Learner and the board was killing the club intentionally Paul Lambert Gérard Houllier, Alex McLeish, Tim Sherwood, Remi Grade you can’t say that all of them are bad managers the problems lied deeper I hate having to write negative stories about the love I deeply care about but that’s the way it is even though it is mostly Learners fault but at the same time I’m not going to sit up here and complain whine because things aren’t going well one day he will be gone but the problems might not be we can blame him all we want but it’s not helping the situation we should be trying to use positive energy to help us improve and to attempt to help us return the top flight complaining on how awful he is isn’t going to make the rebuilding any easier it will just make it worse.

in a time like this regardless of how difficult it may be. It just feels weird to think of Aston Villa not in the EPL generations of fans including myself have only ever been a part of top flight Villa teams a lot of us has never been in a lower league this team won the European Cup for god sake it’s going to be a very difficult time for me honestly and for other Villa fans as well Regardless Aston Villa still has a huge part of my life I’m really not sure how I’m going to handle this going forward even though it was expected the everlasting shock can’t really prepare you for that feeling.

Aston Villa are one of the oldest and the most successful football clubs in the history of English football. Villa won the 1981–82 European Cup, and are thus one of five English clubs to win what is now the UEFA Champions League. They have the fifth highest total of major honors won by an English club 20 major titles to their name, having won the First Division Championship seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the Football League Cup five times and the UEFA Super Cup in 1982 as well as the European Cup or the Champions League as its known now .

Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa were the originators and founder members of the Football League in 1888. They were also founding members of the Premier League in 1992, and have remained there ever since. Aston Villa has always been English football royalty one of the most historical teams in world football. Aston Villa is one of the most historical teams over 20 trophies even captured the European Cup in 1981 beating Legendary Club Bayern Munich. Even in recent memory Villa legend Dwight York lead Villa in the 90’s winning two league cups which were Villa’s most recent trophies. In addition to that from 2007-2010 Villa had three consecutive seasons in which they finished top 6 which qualified them for a Europa League. Even had some really great players over the years it had seems like there were getting close to getting to a Champions League. They were getting better year by year had a young talented squad that was poised for greatness but the now glory years seem hard to remember now they seem like there lost in time.

Aston Villa went through a similar situation 10 years earlier they were struggling to get results the chairman was looking the sell the club the manager was under immense pressure to get results it just seemed that the club was going absolutely nowhere it was a depressing time. For a club with so much history to be in such bad shape were they too good to go down. Than in 2006 fortune became to change American billionaire Randy Learner purchased the team and started to rebuild the team appointing Martin O’Neill as the New manager. With his Fortune a vast of young players began arriving at Villa Park he brought in players that would play big roles in advancing the club, he signed Ashley Young from Watford, Petrov from Celtic & John Carew from Lyon as well as making James Milner’s loan deal permanent from Newcastle United he signed many other quality players in the coming years in addition to the players he brought in also Youth product Gabriel Agbonlahor became a big part of the Villa future as well. A lot of the players brought in that season became Villa fan favorites becoming greatly impactful for the midlands side. Ashley Young & James Milner being the standout stars Ashley young & James Milner both won the FA Young Player of the Year in back to back years as well as both being featured in the premier league team of the season in their time there. Petrov ended up becoming captain before being forced to retire after being diagnosed with leukemia. Pretty much every player the boss brought in ended up a success and greatly helped the club. With all the signings in place along with current club players Gareth Barry Gabriel Abgonlahor & Martin Laurensen and other the team started clicking right out the gate. The Martin O’Neill era was the best Villa years of my life time. This team was young but a very talented squad that could push for Europe the glory days were back. During O’Neill time at Aston Villa, Villa park had a level of excitement that as I kid I hadn’t seen there was a renewed energy. Villa would finish very respectably managing to get a 11th place earning 50pts finishing with a 11-17-10 record were 12 points clear of the relegation zone as well as finishing 5 spots above the previous year. O’Neill’s impact was felt it felt like Villa’s Messiah. He followed that up by giving Villa with three of the greatest seasons of the decade. Villa created a three headed monster with strikers Gabriel Abgonlahor, John Carew and Ashley young they became a very formidable unite the importance of Carew and Young played a huge importance to Gabby’s career the three of them along with James Milner and Barry would create a very lethal offence they did not have that one big star they had a lot of good pieces and the worked together as a team had great chemistry and a solid defense led by Bounma this was a team that was capable of chasing Europe. The next season Villa finished 6th with 60pts posting a 16-12-10 record scoring 71 goals which was the 3rd highest scoring team in England that season and even had the biggest away win of the season beating Derby 6-0 it was a very talented Villa side. As O’Neill continued to spark the turn around the highlight of the season beating arch rivals Birmingham City 5-1 at Villa park The Blues loss to Villa led to their relegation from the premier league. Ashley Young had a breakout season scoring 9 goals after only finding the net twice his 1st season. In his 2nd season with Villa Had Earned Two Player of the Month Awards that season as well being elected to his 1st Team of the Season. The following season O’Neill’s tactics proved to be once again brilliant as once again Villa were a team to be reckoned with even played in Europe making it to the Round OF 32 in the Europa League was a great achievement it was the 1st European completion that Villa participated in since Dwight York played for Villa when they made the Third Round of the UEFFA Cup during the 1998-1999 season. Despite not making it very far it was a great achievement for the club. In that season that finished 6th again for the 2nd year in a row. Aston Villa ended the season with 62pts with a 17-10-11 record improving on the year before by two points. The usual stars stood out once again Carew and Abgonlahor lead the team in goal respectively Agbonlahor was the Premier Leagues 4th Highest scorer with 12 Goals but Ashley Young was arguably Villa’s best player scoring 9 goals and getting 15 assists. Ashley young & Gabby both received Player of the month awards but Ashley Young was Villa’s standout star and His hard work was rewarded at the end of the season he was awarded The FA Young Player of the Year as well as being elected to the Team of the Season for the 2nd year in a row. In What would be Martin O’Neill’s Final season it would be one to remember at Villa Park the team didn’t lose a step putting together another a great Farwell season it would be the best season of the Martin O’Neil era Villa once again getting 6th place finish for Martin O’Neill’s men as it seemed it would only be so long before they challenge the top four. This would be the closest Villa would get to Champions League football. Aston Villa ended the season with 64Pts posting a 17-13-8 Record were within 6 points of 4th place conceding the 2nd lowest amount of goals in the league this was a team that would be skilled in both offence and defense was one of the very best team in England that season Making the League Cup Final controversially losing to Man United in the Final in the same year they also made it to the F.A Cup Semi Final. Gabby and John Carew were the team’s top scorers once again James Milner also put together a great season himself registering 12 goals as well as Ashley Young Yet again making his contribution once again nabbing 9 goals in his own right Gabby was in the league’s top 10 scorers for the 2nd year in a row still was a tremendously talented team going places. At the end of the season this time it would be James Milner collecting the awards receiving The FA Young Player of the Year and was named to team of the year as well. Things were going so well at Villa Park it was only a matter of time before they get over that barrier and crack the top 4 so we thought. Everything that made this team great starting changing beyond the 2009-2010 season things would start to go south.

After Three seasons in which the club finish 6th in the table being as close as 6 points from the champions league the club started to decline after frustration for not being able to break into the top 4 Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner tightened the reigns on spending to try to keep pace with the likes of Manchester City & Arsenal losing James Milner to Manchester City for 26Million and Losing long time Villa player and captain Garth Barry to Man City the year earlier added to the frustration it turned out to be very costly as Martin O’Neill ended his time at the club as he would quit as Aston Villa manager prior to the upcoming campaign. Due to the fact that O’Neill was the only real football man on the board it would start to crash and burn despite having a decent season even brining in Striker Darren Bent for club record 18 Million Villa managed the secure a 9th place finish a very respectably as well as making the quarterfinals of the League Cup but after that season Villa would begin to fall deeply. That summer losing Ashley young to Manchester United and Stewart Downing to Liverpool others also began to head for an exist route. After O’Neill quit Villa went through managers such as Paul Lambert Gérard Houllier, former Birmingham city boss Alex McLeish along with Tim Sherwood and Remi Garde. Outside of Sherwood None of these appointments were any good godawful decisions making by the board. Over the next four years Villa wouldn’t finish any higher than 15th despite quality signing of Belgium striker Cristian Benteke who scored 49 goals in three season to single handily help Villa avoid relegation three years in a row before leaving for Liverpool last summer. Despite Benteke’s Brilliance and a FA Cup Final Villa were absolutely abysmal ever season since O’Neill left. The men they choose to replace the him would have to work in a very different financial climate they were forced to build the team through their youth on a much small budget they did find minor success beating some big teams but ultimately the once great club would start to fall apart the final blow was this season where they were relegated for the 1st time since 1987. It felt like they were in the same situation every season. Every year we they hung on by the skin of their teeth we became a relegation side every season it felt like it would only be a matter of time before relegation would become a reality for the 1st time ever in the Premier league era Aston Villa have been relegated. since the beginning of the 2015-2016 Premier League season Aston Villa were one of the worst team in EPL history they have gone through Three Managers this season

Last Season we had renewed hope despite the disaster season. We started the season great being as high 3rd place in the table, even beat Liverpool away but it would be short lived as we would drop the next 8 games. We continued to slide all the way down the table nothing seemed to click until February when young Manager Tim Sherwood Arrived to take over Villa after Paul Lambert was sacked. He brought the team hope Hit man Christian Benteke found his form again and Villa Started playing together as a team. The team improved as the results followed Sherwood’s side showed its true quality as he took the team on an F.A Cup Cinderella Run making it all the way to the F.A Cup final but an embarrassing 4-0 loss the Arsenal damaged the team’s future going forward although Tim Sherwood with the Help of Benteke who scored 16 of the teams 31 goals. Aston Villa would survive relegation by the skin of their teeth finishing 17th. We all thought Tim Sherwood was the guy for Aston Villa we all thought that he would be the guy to take us back to glory days. After a busy summer where the club spent 51 million on transfers which was the highest amount the club has spent in quite some time brought it a bunch of Unknown French players that have never played in the Premier League. Classic Villa there was more great failure during the summer window, Liverpool met Villa’s top scorer Christian Benteke’s Buyout clause at 32.5 Million to lure him to Anfield to Join Liverpool leaving Aston Villa in heartbreak Benteke was Villa’s top scorer in each of his three season scoring 49 goals 101 appearances for Aston Villa was even the league’s 2nd leading scorer becoming the 1st Villa player since Juan Pablo Angel & Dwight York to reach 20 league goals.

It was huge loss but this would just be the beginning others began to follow suite. Tom Cleverly would reject Villa to Head to Goodison Park to join Everton he was on loan from Man United but had no intension of returning Villa had a great chance of getting him but yet again they lost another player. They would follow than up with Weinmen and Darren Bent Heading to Championship Side Derby Country. Than Aston Villa captain and Player of the season Fabian Delph delivered a gut punch to the Villa faithful. During the summer there were media personal sudjest that the Villa captain was leaving for Manchester City days later he denied it saying that he will remain at Villa Park he then made a U-Turn on his decision days later as he departed the club for Man City he became public enemy #1 being labeled as a Snake. Villa would go into the new season without The team’s captain & top scorer the season seemed doomed before it began. The highlight of the season came one the opening day of the season against Bourmouth picking up an opening victory of the season along with a Win in the 2nd City Derby against Birmingham City in the League Cup. It would be the only positives Villa would experience all season. There French additions for the most part struggled to adapt to the new surroundings outside of Jordon Ayew and Jordan Amavi no one seemed to be adapting which questioned the signings the team made. It would become very costly to the team. After their opening win they would crash and burn in a blink of an eye they found themselves at the bottom of the table through 10 games they team only collected 4points it untimely cost Tim Sherwood his position as manager a decision that would come back to haunt them. To Replace him they hired former Lyon Manager Remi Grade he had no prior premier league experience but it seemed like he could turn Villa around unfortunately it never materialized it would end up being a disaster. An opening draw against 1st place Man City gave Villa Brief hope It would be shorted lived Villa would receive bad news before they played another game. Young Defender Jordon Amavi Torn his ACL while on international break and would miss the rest of the season losing him ended Villa’s slim survival hopes weeks later Adama got hurt it was just the end relegation at that point it was written on the wall. Remi Grade was unable to bring anyone to Villa during the winter transfer window. If that wasn’t enough negativity the players lacked the desire it was disgusting the way, the players He did lead Villa to two wins and two draws but it wouldn’t be enough it would get worse after a 6-0 Loss to Liverpool rumors about his future started Circling than in March he eventually departed the club on mutual consent. By April Villa only had 16pts with a 11 points away from the safe zone. It was the final blow as Villa would be official relegated the very next week against Manchester United. A team that once challenged the top was begin axed from the EPL. Sacking Tim Sherwood was proved to be a very vital mistake Randy Lerner was destroying one of the biggest clubs in World Football. You can’t sell players without replacing them it was it was one of the biggest problems with the decline of the club. We need an owner that cares we never see him at a match he needs to sell the club. Days after relegation two board members quit it seems like it’s going from bad to worse. We will go down with the history and pedigree and we will come back up with the history and pedigree. I love this club more than life its self this is more than a club this is much more than that I would do anything for this club but there’s nothing any of us can do but turn up every week……...