Aston Villa: Stalking Horses For Relegation?

The gloves came off at Villa Park last night. Leading by a goal and having dominated the match at half-time against Bolton Wanderers, Alex McLeish’s team threw their lead away and now sit just three points above the relegation places with three matches of the Premier League season left to play. And with this defeat, the sullen cloud of dissatisfaction that has sat over Villa Park this season lifted, but what replaced it was a thunderstorm of noise and abuse. Aston Villa, their supporters will tell you, have been in a desperate state for months and months now, but this is something that had, perhaps, slipped under the radar of the press in many respects until last night. With the precariousness of the club’s position now starkly obvious to anybody that glances at the league table for more than five seconds, the obituaries for their time in the Premier League are already being written. That Alex McLeish should be the target of the ire of Villa supporters is no great surprise. After all, as a former manager of Villa’s arch-rivals and the man that had taken them through the trap-door out of the Premier League at the end of last season, the well of goodwill afforded to him was always going to sparse, with some never accepting a former Birmingham City manager at the club in this ultra-partisan day...

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