Another Saturday brought another defeat for Aston Villa.
Their 2-0 loss to Liverpool represented an eighth failure to win in nine Premier League games at Villa Park, while it’s seven straight top-flight outings home and away that they’re without a victory.
A paltry 11 goals makes them the division’s lowest scorers by some margin and it’s been a ludicrous eight hours and 42 minutes since they last netted in the league.
However, despite these horrendous figures there is somehow a three-point bridge between themselves and the relegation places.
Owing to the financial implications, a divisional demotion is forever being billed as an unparalleled catastrophe, but given the travails Villa are enduring, and seem to endure on an annual basis, there’s a case to be made that dropping down to the Championship would actually be the best thing for them.
A price of 5/2 says they tumble out of the top-tier this term and current form makes them worthy contenders to land the punt.
The Villans remain proud holders of Premier League ever-present status and to relinquish this wouldn’t reflect well on boss Paul Lambert, but he’s a proven promotion expert, having guided Norwich through two divisions during his time in Norfolk.
It’s easy to envisage key players such as Gabby Agbonlahor, Nathan Baker and Ashley Westwood sticking around regardless of the west Midlanders’ demotion disappointment.
Were they to keep this core intact, Lambert would have the resources to dominate the division, meaning goals, wins and potentially something to celebrate at the end of the season.
From a fans’ perspective, surely this is preferable to the also-ran existence in the Premier League they struggle towards every year.
Clubs of similar stature in Newcastle and West Ham have both been relegated in recent campaigns and have savoured much greater fortunes since.
From an accountants’ viewpoint, a year of parachute payments, followed by promotion, plus the profits made on the sales of prized assets like Christian Benteke would mean the club were no worse off than they currently are at the moment.