COMMENT by Amir Mir
It is fair to say that over the past six years, the passion and life has been sucked out of the Aston Villa faithful and who could blame them?
Constant relegation battles in the Premier League during this decade which resulted in the worst season in the club’s history last term – 16 points and three wins, a recipe to drive any fan away.
All of that struggle and mess has found its way into the Championship where Villa are currently six points off the drop zone.
Steve Bruce, who replaced the sacked Roberto Di Matteo in the Villa Park dugout in mid-October, has been finding it tough to bring some much-needed stability to the club.
Owner Tony Xia has pumped a lot of money into the Midlands outfit since his arrival in June, adding 17 players, but that method has not worked.
The Chinese businessman should look towards adding former Villa manager John Gregory to either the club’s coaching staff or board and helping stop the club’s decline.
Gregory, who is currently out of work, is a much-liked figure at the club and his presence would lift the glum and toxic atmosphere around Villa Park.
Not only that, Gregory understands what the supporters want, having played and managed the club for a number of years.
During his four-year stint at Villa as manager, Gregory guided the club to Europe and top of the Premier League table for a brief period.
He did it by managing the club like a supporter and that is the ingredient and feel good factor Villa need around the club at this moment in time.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that Villa will gain promotion to the Premier League, but it will certainly help bring the supporters back and help steady the sinking ship in the Midlands.
In other Aston Villa news, supporters react on Twitter as this powerful defender trains with the club.