Where next for Aston Villa?

Since the day Martin O’Neill left Villa Park for the last time, Aston Villa have been somewhat spiralling towards the lower echelons of the Premier League. Gone are the days of contending for a place in the Champions League, with ambitions to remain in the top flight of English football the order of the day at present.

The Villains have been in free-fall since O’Neill departed in 2010, with Gerard Houllier an Alex McLeish unable to replicate the exploits of the Northern Irishman. Now under Paul Lambert, many had tipped the club to rebuild, before challenging for a place in Europe over the next 18 to 24 months.

However, the Capital One Cup defeat to Bradford City on Tuesday night was hardly the confidence boost Lambert’s side needed. The Bantems put on a resolute display over the two legs to secure a 4-3 win over Villa and with it, a place in Wembley, becoming the first fourth tier side to book their place in a major domestic final in 51 years.

With Villa, however, the contrast of emotions are poles apart. Languishing one point above the relegation zone and looking low on confidence, Lambert has a real struggle on his hands to keep his side in the Premiership. After last season’s debacle under McLeish, it pains me to say it, but maybe relegation to the Championship may be the best thing for the club, in the long run that is.  

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