The Four Year Odyssey: Villa’s Long & Winding Road to Redemption (Part 1)

Saturday 16th April 2016. A painful date etched into the minds of all Villa fans; the day that a solitary Marcus Rashford goal confirmed Aston Villa’s relegation from the top flight for the first time in 28 years leading Joleon Lescott to infamously describe it as a “weight off our shoulders”.

Aston Villa’s captain Joleon Lescott walks from the pitch with teammates as their team is relegated from the English Premier League after being defeated 1-0 by Manchester United at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Saturday, April 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Combined with Randy Lerner’s increasingly remote, seemingly apathetic ownership, a succession of failed managers and a scattergun mass recruitment drive of players that never gelled into a team (many of whom have since built successful careers elsewhere) and Villa’s once touted “bright future” looked like a distant, crumbling memory.

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