Dave Woodhall ponders another eventful week at Villa Park.
I don’t know. Whatever the question is, where Villa are concerned I don’t have the faintest idea.
I don’t know why the players have behaved in the way they have all season. I don’t know why we destroyed any hope of survival by not spending in January.
I don’t know why, after ten years when the lack of footballing know-how at boardroom level was screamingly obvious, we appointed a couple of big hitters only for them both to resign within weeks. I don’t know why David Bernstein and Mervyn King were put in the position where they felt they had to walk out. I don’t know what was in the e mail exchange leading up to their joint decision.
I don’t know what Randy Lerner was on when he composed his annual mystifying address to fans, although I suppose we should be grateful that he said anything at all.
I don’t know why Eric Black puts out the teams he does game after game, when it’s clear that they’re making the worst of a very bad job. I don’t know what goes through Leandro Bacuna’s head every time he makes another of his goal-costing mistakes.
I don’t know why Villa started the second half on Saturday a bit brighter, with Carlos Sanchez in particular looking capable of improving his game towards the dizzy heights of mediocrity, only to be substituted with a third Southampton goal soon after the inevitable result.
I don’t know why Jordan Ayew was taken off for Rudi Gestede when it was obvious that playing one up front was working as well as it ever does.
I don’t know how many goals have been conceded and points lost due to errors that would be an insult to schoolboys if you called them schoolboy errors.
There are a few things I do know, though. I know that the current team are as bad, and the current situation as shambolic, as anything we’ve ever witnessed. I know that without any clear direction this situation will get no better.
I also know that our supporters have been ludicrously patient and deserve far better than all this. On that subject, it was noticeable that the atmosphere brightened when Kevin Toner came on and his every touch during an impressive debut appearance was cheered. There’s nothing to be lost by giving a similar chance to other youngsters.
It can’t be over-emphasised just how bad Villa were against yet more average opposition, who racked up four goals without really trying. The debacle was witnessed by our first sub-30,000 Saturday afternoon 3pm gate for a long while. Exactly how many of those tickets sold were actually used, and how many remained until the extremely bitter end, is I suspect another story. But it won’t be the last time we witness such an event unless things change dramatically between now and August.
Talking of which, we don’t know who will be owning, managing or playing for the Villa by then. Which makes buying a season ticket such an intriguing prospect. In the words of lifelong Villa fan Tom Hanks, “You never know what your’re gonna get”.