Hitch has submitted the following post for us to think about and comment on.
It’s really getting depressing at VP and although I thought the hand ball (penalty) against us at Leicester was a bit harsh and finished us off, we do look embarrassingly poor.
Getting relegated isn’t the end of the world as we were probably promoted a year too soon but I do worry whether the owners will lose patience and put the club up for sale, which would be a disaster; hopefully though they are in for the long haul. I see JG going in the summer but tbf it’s no good having one stand out player and a load of also rans as can be seen from his rapidly dipping performance levels – not that I’m blaming him for that. We do need to think carefully about future player investment though and balance the ‘moneyball’ approach with bringing in some quality late 20 or early 30 year olds with experience. We also need to bring some of our U23’s through. Frankly I can see us being in the Championship for a couple of seasons whilst we build a squad that can get us promoted and keep us in the EPL – Wilder has showed just how to do that without spending ridiculous amounts of money.
The big problem is who do we appoint as our manager? Do we keep Smith or do we look for someone else (and the thought that Terry might replace Smith doesn’t work for me!). I really don’t see a lot of point in replacing Smith on the basis that we’ll benefit from new manager bounce but it might make sense to bring someone in that can work with the group for a couple of months to get a good understanding of what is needed when we go into the summer transfer window. Either that or you keep faith with Smith a la Sean Dyche at Burnley. For me sacking Smith after we’re relegated makes no sense at all.
Final bit of waffle is around FFP. We’ve been cleared for the last three seasons by the EPL and I think we’ll be fine this season although expect the ground sale to rear its head again as I’m guessing the income has been deferred to the 19 /20 accounts. If we sell JG post 31st May which is Villa’s year end (and any other major sales), which is what will happen, then that income will all go into the 20/21 accounts and, as long as the finances are properly managed, that should get us through two EFL seasons and allow us to invest in new players.