Earlier this year, some Aston Villa fans were pondering if a push for Europe was possible.
The team remained within touching distance of the top six. However, inconsistent results over the last two months would appear to have dashed those ambitions. Two draws and two defeats from four the first games in March hardly helped, with the absence of Jack Grealish clearly felt. Although still mathematically possible, an almost perfect conclusion to the season is required, if Villa Park is to host European games next season.
Aston Villa are priced at 19/1 in the latest football betting odds to finish in the top six, which increasingly seems a tall order in the final stretch of the Premier League campaign.
At 1/4 odds, bookies regard the team as being almost guaranteed to finish inside the top ten. Rather than a push for Europe, the 2020-21 season has been one of consolidation.
A disappointing night but we will keep fighting until the end.
Keep believing pic.twitter.com/LaxOD6hnGW
— Emi Martínez (@emimartinezz1) March 22, 2021
Worth bearing in mind is the fact that progress continues to be made. After three seasons in the Championship and upon returning to the Premier League last season, Aston Villa narrowly avoided relegation by just a single point. To finish the current campaign in the top half of the table is a huge improvement.
Rather than lament the potential of missing out on Europe, which is undoubtedly something the vast majority of Villa supporters crave, they should also take stock of where the club has been and where it is now. The last time the team finished in the top half of the Premier League was ten seasons ago. Fans have endured a decade of suffering since then.
To look at the current position of Aston Villa in an entirely more positive light, this is the laying of much stronger foundations. Instead of the house of straw fans had grown accustomed to, the club appears to be in much better shape to build for the future. Steady growth is also much more sustainable, no matter the appeal of instant success that can also be fleeting.
— Ezri Konsa (@EzriKonsa) March 22, 2021
The dynamic ownership duo of Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens are certainly not lacking in ambition, although they also appear realistic about what can be achieved in the short to mid-term future. Important investments were made in the squad last summer, which have resulted in the Aston Villa team becoming much more competitive this season.
Further spending is expected in the summer, although aside from the quantity of money spent, the most important element aspect is always having a sound project. This is something that runs throughout the entire club, from the technical department to the coaching staff and the players. So long as the core project is realistic, success is always possible to achieve.
Being unrealistic doesn’t help anyone. Villa fans are already familiar with that sensation, following years of broken promises from the club hierarchy and previous owners. Now, the club has owners who appear to know what they are doing, it’s a step in the right direction.