Aston Villa
Aston Villa – State of the Season
editor
69 days ago
The 2019/20 campaign has proved a tough reintroduction to Premier League life for struggling Aston Villa.

Where they stand

The Villans sit in 19th place, four points ahead of Norwich and – crucially – within two of Bournemouth, Watford and West Ham, all on 27. While all three enjoy a marginally better goal differential, Villa have 10 games remaining to save their season, while the rest of the bottom half have just nine. This extra 90 minutes could make all the difference as six clubs – all the way up to Brighton, just two points further ahead on 29 – look to avoid the drop.

What's left to play for

Money – and a lot of it. The financial advantage of staying in the Premier League is the obvious carrot on offer to all sides down at the wrong end of the table. To begin with, all 20 clubs receive an equal payout of around £35m each season; after this, there are facilities fees, merit payments and commercial monies to factor in. Last season's bottom club Huddersfield Town received just shy of £100m with all remunerations taken into account.

And naturally, it goes without saying that Premier League status facilitates the procurement of quality players, a task which becomes that little bit trickier for members of the lower echelons.

As a side, Villa fans would take great pleasure in lauding their superior divisional status over city rivals Birmingham City for another year.

Star man

All roads lead to Jack Grealish. The lifelong Villa fan has been at the club since the age of six and as the great-grandson of Billy Garraty – a member of the club's 1905 FA Cup-winning side – his blood runs claret and blue.

The 24-year-old has been the standout performer in a struggling Villans side, registering seven goals and six assists – figures unmatched by any other English midfielder this season. But such talent does not go unnoticed; Villa may face a battle to keep their man over the summer, with Manchester United and Tottenham reportedly interested.

Best game

In a campaign of few stellar performances, Villa were at least able to let loose against Norwich City at Carrow Road, condemning their hosts to a 5-1 routing. Brazilian striker Wesley struck twice early on, before Grealish, Conor Hourihane and Douglas Luiz put the visitors five goals to the good after the interval. Josip Drmic bagged a late consolation as victory took the Villans as high as fourteenth, with the Canaries dropping into the relegation zone.