As the sun set on that glorious day at Wembley and the weeks passed by, I admit that like many fellow Villa fans I allowed myself to dream of what we might be able to achieve as signing after signing was coming through the front door at Bodymoor Heath, and the optimism swirled around Villa Park.
I consider myself lucky to be writing this article, incredibly fortunate that Jack Grealish exists, that he stayed at Villa this long and that I have watched virtually every single second of his impassioned and glorious career thus far. I know I am not alone in proclaiming him my favorite ever Villa player, and he is certainly the most gifted that I have seen don the famous claret and blue to represent the pride of Birmingham. A season ticket holder from the age of four, and Villa roots that stretch way back to his great-great Grandfather (Billy Garraty) winning the FA Cup for Villa in 1905. How many clubs are captained by a player with such a special connection to the fan-base?
Finally the last day of the season has arrived and it’s not for the faint hearted nor for any fan who who can’t tolerate the chaotic and frantic tension that will surely be increasing all of our heart rates.
On Sunday 12 July, Wilfried Zaha revealed on his official Twitter account that he had been subjected to racial abuse via messages sent to the player’s social media pages. It was an eye-opening social media post into the mindset of some British citizens in the 21st Century.
Four games into Project Restart and the Premier League is back in full swing, just not as we know it. In amongst the empty stadiums and socially distanced substitutes however, some things never change and Aston Villa are still in a relegation battle. It’s hard to know exactly how to feel regarding the team, especially as tensions are so high at the moment, but rest assured, I’m here to lay out some important strengths and weaknesses to consider after the first four games of the restart.