We’ve enjoyed poking fun at Aston Villa this season. And then we got a bit sad and felt pity. And now we feel fear at having them taken away from the Premier League because the stats show that they may not return for a while. Just ask these lads…
- League Two in 2017 will contain two ex-Premier League sides (Portsmouth and Blackpool)
- League One will have at least five (Sheffield United, Bradford/Barnsley, Coventry, Swindon and Oldham)
- Over two thirds of the Championship will have played in the Premier League – (Aston Villa, Birmingham, Blackburn, Cardiff, Fulham, Ipswich, Leeds, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottm Forest, QPR, Reading, Wigan and Wolves, with potentially Sheffield Wednesday, Hull and Derby)
This writer knows exactly what happens when a team goes down without a fight, he’s supported Reading and seen them go down twice, barely avoiding a drop to the third tier at one stage.
The longest it’s taken a side to come back up is 15 years (QPR went down in 1996 and only returned in 2011. They’ve been relegated twice since).
Of the 70 sides to have been relegated since the Premier League began in 1992-93, only 19 have managed to come straight back up the next season with Burnley this season becoming the latest. On average, the team that finishes 20th in the Premier League takes five seasons to return. It’s a dangerous situation for a club the size of Aston Villa to be in.
Now that’s all well and good in the past you might say, but we crunched the numbers from this season and it’s even worse news. Comparing Villa to four random Championship teams after 37 games show:
- They have a worse shot accuracy and less goals than 20th placed Fulham
- They haven’t created as many chances as 16th placed Reading.
- Leeds are 12th and yet they’d had more shots at goal than Villa
- And if you’re dreaming of coming back up straight away, playoff placed Hull had kept more clean sheets.
But that’s against weaker opposition we hear you cry? A new manager will sure to cut a rake of players. It’s not like Villa, even with that parachute payment of 100 billion dollars, will be able to attract high quality signings.
But fear not. With a back line featuring Ciaran Clark and the impressive Kevin Toner, the Villains have a solid base to build on. If they can hold on to Jordan Ayew and Ashley Westwood and rely on Championship stalwarts in Scott Sinclair and Rudy Gestede, they could have a chance.
Just don’t look at your history books.