Reviving sleeping giants (chapter 2): Aston Villa

Oct 8, 2015
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Pre-season 2026/27: a heartbreaking goodbye

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A new board means new investments, and the board have planned for a new stadium which will be completed in 3 years! It'll increase our maximum capacity by 15,000 people which is pretty huge considering the other stadiums in the league, and it'll be fantastic for a city like Birmingham. I am really annoyed it wasn't named after me though! You'd think after the success I brought this club, it would trump Ramsay's 6 Premier League and FA Cup wins...

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Three club records broken from last season's heroics. The most impressive one being quite clearly Giles' 69 goals...

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With Pickford and Tierney's contracts expiring at the end of this season, I had to extend their stay here due to their impressive performances for the club since their arrival.

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Two departures from the club with Angel Gomes never getting to his potential and leaving for Newcastle, while Alistair will be going to Watford on loan until the end of the season.

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My hopes of getting the England job have become virtually nonexistent as Southgate's England side wins the 2026 World Cup over the summer! What an achievement 60 years after England's first World Cup win.

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The heartbreaking departure is Asensio, who said he didn't have anything to achieve here anymore and wanted to go back to France after some time with PSG and Monaco in the past.

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Asensio's replacement is another Spanish player, but one from Barcelona who comes in for £90 million up front. Fernando is a ridiculously talented player who was one of the top scorers in the Champions League last season and I can't wait to see him with a Villa shirt now.

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Bookies believe we'll be the first team to defend the Premier League trophy since Manchester United won 3 years in a row back in the 2006/07 season until the 2008/09 season. It is crazy to think that it's been 20 years since a Premier League team defended their title!

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Two big injuries to end our pre-season as van der Meer and Dumitriu will miss the start of the season and will watch our games from home or the sidelines. Big shame as Paul and Andrei are two great players for this team.

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We end our busy pre-season on a low, winning the Community Shield but losing the UEFA Super Cup on penalties against Bayern. We did well in our friendlies though, winning all 6 of our games, including 3 in our trip to China in late July/early August.

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An easy win and a brace from Giles wins us our first trophy of the season, as meaningless as it is.

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A disappointing end to a successful pre-season, fair to say I might have to look through our penalty takers and make a few changes ahead of the start of the Premier League!

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#9 Kylian Mbappé
27 years old
Right midfielder/left winger/striker
French


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Mbappé is my player of the pre-season after some great performances through July and early August. His trip to Mexico with France was cut short after a shock group stage exit in the World Cup, so he was available throughout pre-season and he was a fantastic player throughout.

ChallengeWhat is it?Completed?
Brexit (kind of) means BrexitCan only sign a maximum of 2 players not from the UK per season (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) -UNLESS A NON-UK PLAYER IN THE TEAM IS SOLD, THEN AN ADDITIONAL SPOT FOR A NON-UK PLAYER FREES UPYes
2017/18
2018/19
2019/2020
2020/2021
2021/2022
2022/2023
2023/2024
2024/2025
2025/2026
Ah millennials...At least 5 players from the academy or U-21 must play at least 10 games each every seasonYes
2017/18
2018/19
2019/2020
2020/2021
2021/2022
2022/2023
2023/2024
2024/2025
2025/2026
The good old daysWin every trophy that Aston Villa has won in their history (lower league trophies like the Championship or League 1 can be disregarded once we make it to the Premier League)No
Carabao Cup (2020, 2021, 2023, 2026, 1 more to go)

FA Cup (2020, 2022, 2024, 2025, 3 more to go)

Premier League (2022, 2024, 2026, 4 more to go)

Champions League (2026, completed!)

Europa League (2020*, 2023*)

Sky Bet Championship (2018*)

UEFA Super Cup (2020, 2023*, completed!)

Community Shield (2020, 2024*, 2025*, 2026*, completed!)

* = not needed

 

coolmcool

Member
May 30, 2011
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Amazing read, just caught up, you are at that amazing stage in a save now where their is no more wheeling and dealing and you can just replace each ageing player with a quality younger better player, your team is looking insane and i look forward to seeing where you take them
 
Oct 8, 2015
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Amazing read, just caught up, you are at that amazing stage in a save now where their is no more wheeling and dealing and you can just replace each ageing player with a quality younger better player, your team is looking insane and i look forward to seeing where you take them
Cheers mate, there's definitely a lot of that going on now although I feel bad replacing players like Pickford or Tierney or Hughes who have been such stars of the save and now they're just too old so they have to move on! Considering some of them have over 200 games for the club, it's just a little depressing hahah
 

robbieboro82

Member
Apr 10, 2010
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Awesome Story, could I ask how you take your screenshots and upload them as when I do it they are really small!!
 
Oct 8, 2015
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Awesome Story, could I ask how you take your screenshots and upload them as when I do it they are really small!!
Cheers mate, I'm on a Mac so for my screenshots I just do command+shift+4 and select the part of the screen I want a screenshot of, and as for how they appear on the website once you've uploaded them you just need to double click on the image once they're in the text box and uploaded, and just switch the format to "large"!
 
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August 2026: not another bad title defence...

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With just one big arrival, we did make the biggest transfer of the whole window but that was about it really. Let's hope that one arrival will be enough to see us successfully defend our title.

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Bjelanovic has only been here for a few months but absolutely deserves a new contract considering his great performances as one of our starting centre backs.

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We've really not had the best start to our title defence. Most teams have clearly strengthened and it showed in those 3 games. I hope we'll be able to do better in September, as the Champions League starts...

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We face two sides we've faced before in the Champions League: Dynamo Kyiv, who we've always had a decent time against, and last season's Champions League semi-finalists Marseille! Should be a really interesting fixture that, especially given the history between us in the last few seasons. As for Gladbach, it's interesting to see them in the Champions League so who knows what'll happen in those fixtures.

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We've not had the best of starts in the league so far, but quite a few teams have struggled as well. Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool have all had pretty average starts so that definitely makes me think we'll be able to turn it around sooner rather than later.

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#14 Laurent Giles
24 years old
Striker
Welsh


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Not the best month for any of our players to be honest, but Laurent was the best with two very good performances from 3 games. I hope his form will carry over from last season though as he was so incredible last year!
 
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September 2026: back in the goals

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Apologies for no updates for the last week! I only just realised it had been that long... nevertheless, I was quite busy in the last week but am now back. I am also running a chairman game however (Monopoly CHAIRMAN GAME Deutschland if anyone is interested in joining) so updates might not be as frequent. I am determined to finish this story though and I'm just a few titles away from managing it!

An awful start to the month for us with our world class striker Giles going out for half the month. He'll miss our games against Liverpool and our Champions League title defence opener but should be back for the rest, which is a relief.

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Speaking of the Champions League, Manchester City are once again the favourites to win the whole competition, just like last season. There is a new name in there though and that's us! We're also given the best odds to win the competition after last year's success, so let's see if we can do as good a job this season.

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You'll remember that we struggled for goals and results in August after a difficult start to the season, but we absolutely smashed it this month. With 17 goals scored in 6 games and just the one conceded, we really have exploded this month and I now hope this form will carry over to next month.

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It's great to see Hughes back in the side and doing well. A 4-0 win against Liverpool is just another huge win against what should be a top team though. Our Premier League title defence didn't start off really well but this is one way to turn things around!

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A disappointing night at Borussia-Park. I would've liked us to get off to a better start in the Champions League but Mönchegladbach are clearly a good side and one of my long-term targets in Ekuban was fantastic. We don't have the easiest of groups so 3 points would've been ideal, but we push on.

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Arguably the best team in England alongside us right now, this was always going to be a tough game at the Etihad Stadium but Mbappé made sure we've got the win to affirm ourselves as probably the best team in the country right now.

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After a disappointing opening game in Germany, this was the perfect way to turn things around and give ourselves some momentum in the Champions League. A red card coming in the 53rd minute for Kyiv didn't help that and only made their situation worse, as we scored 3 goals after that red card.

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We sit in 3rd after 6 games, just behind Stoke who are somehow in 2nd and the leaders Manchester United, who have slowly become our regular rivals for the Premier League title. In the Champions League, things are looking good so far as we're in 2nd, 3 points clear of Gladbach in 3rd.

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#9 Kylian Mbappé
27 years old
Striker/right midfielder/left winger
French

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Kylian has certainly started his second season in Birmingham well claiming his first 3 goals of the season and making 3 assists as well, taking his tally to 3 goals and 4 assists in 11 games so far. He didn't have a great time against Gladbach and Liverpool but has definitely done enough in the other matches to earn the Villan of the Month for the countless time.
 
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October 2026: Giles to finish with more goals than games again?!

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Huge blow for us with van der Meer and Mbappé, arguably two of the best players in the world right now, out of the team for at least a month each. They got injured in mid-October as well, so we'll be without them until most likely the end of November which is just annoying.

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Some huge wins this month, especially against Stoke who were 2nd at the time of playing them. Giles scored a quadruple against Wolves to put us through to the Carabao Cup quarter-final as we continue our crazy form that started back in September.

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Stoke had a great start to the game, to the point where I was worried we'd go on and lose it but some heroics from Pickford and a great performance from both Vidal and Giles means we did enough to get all 3 points against the 2nd placed team in the Premier League.

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Marseille are definitely the most dangerous team in our Champions League group but we completely crushed them and brushed them aside with this 3-0 win, putting us firmly in control of this group.

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There once was a time where we really struggled against the likes of Fulham and Wolves, but those times are over as Giles scores 4 goals and gives us a crazy win over Wolves to put us through to the next round. Easy.

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United dropped points in their last game as they played City, allowing us to hop over them and into 1st in the Premier League. The battle for the title is definitely not over, but we've put ourselves in a good spot after 10 games. Not the same can be said for Tottenham though, who are looking like they might get relegated for the first time since 1976/77. We're ahead in our Champions League group as well but after 3 games, nothing is confirmed yet so we'll need to play well in the next 3 games to secure our place in the next round.

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#7 Andrei Dumitriu
23 years old
Left winger
Romanian

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With Giles scoring 12 goals in his last 6 games, you would've thought he'd be the one getting the Villan of the Month for this month but no! Dumitriu managed to score 4 goals while making 6 assists as well and overall was more consistent than our star Welshman. This is great for Dumitriu since he's developing so well but at the same time it's not good for me at all because once van der Meer and Mbappé come back, I'll have no idea who to put in the starting 11!
 
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November 2026: first defeat of the season

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Another big injury as Joe Gomez, who's not been playing that regularly this season, is out for at least a month. I really don't know what it is with me and 1-month long injuries, but I get those literally every month, and every time it's a really important player being injured! Sigh...
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A few great results this month with wins against Gladbach, Marseille and Newcastle but with those good results also came our first league defeat of the season against Chelsea. The Blues really are one of the only teams that we seem to always struggle against, even with the crazy goalscorer we have in Giles!

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A huge win against Marseille to basically put ourselves through to the next round. It was a little odd seeing N'Golo Kanté playing for Marseille, but that's where he's decided he'll (most likely) end his career so fair enough! They're a great side and should make it out of the group with us.

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Dumitriu gets another man of the match performance despite a disappointing result. Pinamonti is really turning out to be my nemesis in this league. We go back to Birmingham after a weekend in London disappointed, but also excited to get back to it against Newcastle next week.

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A very easy and dominant win against Gladbach officially confirms our spot in the next round of the Champions League. As the board expects us to get to the final of the competition, I definitely won't get all excited from making it out of the group but it's great to achieve it nonetheless.

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Our Champions League campaign turned out a lot easier than I anticipated, and our game in December against Kyiv should be a fun one. In the Premier League, we're still top but by just 2 points no nothing is done yet. The big surprises so far I would say are to see Stoke in 4th, City in 6th and Tottenham in 20th! What a crazy year it's going to be in the Premier League.

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#7 Andrei Dumitriu
23 years old
Left winger
Romanian

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Another Villan of the Month award for Dumitriu who continues his world class performances. If you don't believe he's playing this well, just think about the fact that's getting the award for 2 months in a row ahead of Giles, who's scored 18 goals in the last 2 months, or 11 appearances...
 
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December 2026: writing the Villa history books

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Arguably one of our best players this season, Vidal is another lad who joins the injury list to keep our medical staff busy.

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And another one of our starters now joins Vidal and Gomez as our injured players. This is never going to stop is it!

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December was very eventful, as you can see: Giles continued his ridiculous scoring form from October and November only to just stop after the FIFA Club World Cup final, as we experienced a brand new competition for the club's first time in history and we won it. That was obviously a huge positive in a month which saw us lose, really annoyingly, a couple of big games.

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What a way to finish off our group stage campaign! An easy few games against Kyiv and Marseille give us a 9-point lead over 3rd place Gladbach as we comfortably win our group and go through to the next round to face... Inter. We've faced them in the past and have struggled previously but I think we should do well enough against them now! How about Giles' 5 goals by the way? He now has 9 goals in the Champions League, so just 8 away from Cristiano Ronaldo's 17-goal record from 2015. Will he manage to break the record?

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Giles can't stop breaking records as we win the club's first ever FIFA Club World Cup. We got past Guangzhou in the semi-final and easily beat Boca in the final to assert ourselves as the best football club in the world right now. How about that!

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After all this happiness and excitement from our Club World Cup win, I was expecting a much better performance. Maybe not necessarily performance, but I was at least expecting Giles to score a goal! What is going on here! We're out of the Carabao Cup, which is really disappointing since we still need a couple of them to be able to complete the story!

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Two really frustrating defeats in a row were preparing me for some pretty tame and sad New Year's celebrations... Thankfully, we still had Burnley and Arsenal to play, and both of them have not been doing well at all so far this season.

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We end 2026 on a positive note with a goal from Mbappé, who's been really absent on the scoresheet recently, and a win against the Gunners. We absolutely deserved that result and I'm really glad we can now all go away and celebrate New Year's properly and in a good mood as well.

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Tottenham have gotten out of the relegation zone for now, Arsenal are in 10th and we find ourselves 4 points behind United with a game in hand. We're now a side competing for the title every year as good as it would be to sit just a point behind United, it's still not first place and that really annoys me.

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#9 Kylian Mbappé
28 years old
Right midfielder/left winger
French

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Kylian didn't have the most amazing month to be fair, but no one at the club did either! He was the most consistent decent performer in the team so far this month after Giles decided to stop scoring around the 22nd of December. Maybe he got a little too excited and invested in Christmas? Who knows. Kylian has been one of our star players for the last year and a half now and with that on top of being part of a Champions League winning team, the historically big sides in Europe were always going to come knowing. Real Madrid want him, and they want him bad. It could really be a problem in the January transfer window.
 

danjames101

Member
May 30, 2018
122
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jusgt caught up with it all after a few weeks away. Fair few changes to your side, but what a team you've built! Class mate
 
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jusgt caught up with it all after a few weeks away. Fair few changes to your side, but what a team you've built! Class mate
Cheers mate, really like the team I've managed to build here especially because the turnover of players in my teams is usually really high, but I've kept most of my players at Villa so it's always nice. I am thinking of adding a no-transfer rule to make this a little more interesting though as it's seemingly getting a little easy...
 
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January 2027: losing momentum

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With no transfer or wage budget to mess around with this window, the only business we could really do was to extend Tavares' stay at the club. His wage hasn't increased but he's now become a key player in the side after reported interest from Monaco.

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Vidal gets injured at the worst possible time with a twisted ankle on the last day of January, which will keep him out for the whole of February meaning he'll miss our first leg in the Champions League against Inter...

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No huge shocking matches or exceptional performances to speak of. All went like expected to be honest. A few good results in the FA Cup sees us in the 5th round where we'll hopefully win again and get to the final later on, as the board expects from us.

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Probably our biggest game of the month against City at home. A 1-1 draw is more than good enough when playing against a team of City's quality, but I was hoping we'd use their bad run of form to get all 3 points. I guess it wasn't to be!

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An easy win against a weak opponent in Cardiff. We don't know who we'll face in the next round yet but I'm hoping it'll be as easy a game as this game against Cardiff and our game against Nottingham have been so far. Kylian caps off a really good month with 2 assists as he gets back on track following his earlier injury troubles.

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Our dropped points against City and Liverpool mean we remain 2 points behind United, despite them dropping a few points themselves. We do have a better goal difference now though which could prove to be incredibly important by the end of the season.

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#9 Kylian Mbappé
28 years old
Right midfielder
French

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What a surprise! It's Kylian Mbappé who gets the Villan of the Month once again after a really decent month in January, unlike in December when he was just a little better than average. With one goal and 5 assists in 7 games, he's clearly helping the team a lot and these stats take his tally for the season to 6 goals and 16 assists in 34 games. Not bad, but nowhere near Giles' 48 goals and 6 assists in 38 games...
 
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February 2027: more and more disappointment

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Not for the first time this season, Kylian will be meeting up with the medical staff to get him back on track. He's out for the remainder of February, which could have a huge impact on our Champions League progression if we don't do well in our first leg against Inter so this is a real shame.

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Our injury list grows a little more with Dele now out for over a month. That's now 3 of our key players out at the same time...

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Dropped points in the league against Brentford and Watford, knocked out of the FA Cup by West Ham and a 1-1 draw at the San Siro in the Champions League. This month just spells out disappointment. This is usually where we start to get firing and become completely unbeatable, but I guess we used up all of that in the first half of the season so far...

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I will say this: it's a disappointing result, but not the worst we could've got. Inter are a good side and to come to their home of 80,000 people and get a draw to go back to Villa Park with an away goal is huge.

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West Ham's Ricardo scores 3, so one better than our star man Giles to give them a 3-2 win at the London Stadium to go through to the 6th round of the FA Cup. Credit to them, they played really well even though I think we could've and perhaps should've gotten the win. Those two goals conceded in the opening 5 minutes really didn't help.

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Now out of the Carabao Cup and FA Cup, we can fully focus on the Champions League and the Premier League. Manchester United have a game in hand and are a point ahead, so if they win that game they'll find themselves 4 points clear with 10 games to go. Fair to say it could be a really tight end to the season.

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#14 Laurent Giles
25 years old
Striker
Welsh


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It was about time Laurent got his Villan of the Month award to be honest. With the quality and goals he's provided the team this season, he gets it this month after scoring 5 goals and making an assist in 6 games, taking his tally to 53 goals this season now, just 16 away from last season's record breaking 69 goals he scored.
 
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March 2027: defending our title?

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I just needed to share this screenshot with you because I don't think I've ever seen a result like that in the Premier League before! 17th placed Watford were taking 19th place Brentford and they won 9-2! Just insane...

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Some really decent results in March and a 5-1 win against Inter in the Champions League means we're through to the quarter-final.

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This is something we've seen so often from this side and I couldn't be happier. We have a decent result away from home and then destroy our opponents in our home leg. A superb performance from Giles means we're through to the quarter-final where we'll play Bayern.

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How about that for 2 wins in a row? 5-1 against Inter and 4-0 against Chelsea! That win also puts us top of the league ahead of United's game in hand over Bournemouth. Let's pray the Cherries get a result against them!

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We go top of the league 4 points clear with just 7 games to go. Can we defend the Premier League for the first time in 20 years? Two of our final 3 games are against Arsenal and United so this could be a huge final month or two in the league.

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#10 Fernando Vidal
25 years old
Attacking midfielder
Spanish


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Vidal gets the Villan of the Month award in his first season here. With 3 goals and an assist in 4 games, he absolutely deserves the award as he's been our driving force in centre attacking mid since his move here last summer from Barcelona.
 
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April 2027: a disappointing exit

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After a couple of decent results in the league, we officially qualify for the Champions League and are given £35 million for next summer. I can't think of any area in the team that needs improving so it's not that big a deal but for a Premier League title contender, it seems on the low side...

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Dumitriu has taken van der Meer's place in the starting 11 in the last few months and we lose him to injury which is annoying at this stage of the season.

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Another huge injury and it's Kylian this time. He's gotten a few injuries over the course of the season but this is by far the worst one and it'll keep him out for the rest of the season. Let's hope we can carry on our good form without him.

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We had a great first game against Bayern and some really decent results in the league, but losing Mbappé and Dumitriu turned out to be really bad injuries as we lost 5-1 in the second leg and are out of the Champions League. I guess we'll be cheering on Bayern to go and win the whole thing now.

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We started at home in this tie which is something I've learned and have grown accustomed to not liking considering the bad results we get when we play at home first. This was no different in my opinion. We allowed them to get an away goal and a draw means that they have every chance of making it through to the next round if they play well in their own stadium...

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I imagine we'd be considered the favourites for the league at this point, but our last 3 games are against Arsenal, Burnley and United so it could really come down to the last matchday!

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There was nothing we could do tonight. Bayern were just the better side and deserve to go through. All eyes will be on the Premier League for us now, as we'll be looking to defend our title for the first time in the league since United almost 20 years ago.

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With 3 games to go, we're in 1st and 4 points clear. It is going to be a really, really tight set of matches but I can absolutely see us winning the league if we play well against Arsenal and United and don't bottle it against Burnley.

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#9 Kylian Mbappé
28 years old
Right midfielder/left winger
French


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Despite getting an injury and missing 2 games out of 6 in total this month, Kylian was more than good enough in those two games to earn the Villan of the Month. We'll be without him for the last 3 games of the season now and we're going to need all our firepower to win the league so it's a shame to have to do it without him.
 
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May 2027: the perfect end to the season

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We get a massive head start for the title by beating Arsenal, who are having a pretty terrible season to be honest and find themselves in 9th place with 2 games to go. As for us, a win against Burnley would win us the Premier League title for the second year in a row.

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We defend the Premier League successfully!!! No team has ever done that since Manchester United won it 3 times in a row starting in the 2005/06 season so this really is an incredible achievement! We had some great wins along the way and United fought hard to prevent us from winning the league but at the end of the day, they dropped points and were just not good enough to go on and win it. What a great way to end the season. Now onto the last game of the season at Villa Park against Manchester United, where we'll be allowed to lift the trophy!

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We end the season on a perfect note by beating Manchester United to finish the season with 96 points, 10 points ahead of the latter and 20 points ahead of 3rd place. We were incredibly dominant over the course of the season and lost just twice, managing 30 wins so that really is an incredible record. By conceding just 0.42 goals a game as well, we ended up with just 16 goals conceded from 38 games so we had that going for us. We also see two of the promoted teams go down, while Arsenal and Tottenham will be glad their nightmare of a season will be over.

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For the last 2 seasons, it's been van der Meer who's won Player of the Year, Players' Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year but this time around, it's Dumitriu who's winning it! He's been able to play a decent amount due to Mbappé's multiple injuries and as a result wins all of these awards. I'm really proud of him. Giles has smashed it in the league once again by scoring an incredible 34 goals in 37 games. You'll see what his tally for the season is later on but he's had another incredible year.

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Overall, the 2026/27 season was a little disappointing. We didn't get to the Champions League or FA Cup final and couldn't even win the Carabao Cup either! We did win the club's first ever FIFA Club World Cup and a second Premier League in a row, but I'm not entirely satisfied to be honest. The stadium was 100% full on average so that new stadium can't come soon enough! Giles scores 68 goals in 57 games, almost breaking his record from last season with about 5 games to spare. He really is an insane player and I can't wait for him to continue his Villa career and see the kinds of goals he can score in the future.

 
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As my 11th year in charge of Aston Villa is set to start very soon, I decided I wouldn't spend much this transfer window. We don't use many players per season and if I do want to sign anyone, it would be to replace an ageing player who might not have a replacement right now. One of those is Kieran Tierney, so a new left-back is incoming. I started off this 11th season in charge with a new contract for Adilson Tavares, who wanted to leave for Monaco but I convinced to stay by offering him the wages that the French side would've offered him.

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A man slowly turning into a club legend in Will Hughes is another player who decides to extend his contract. He took a massive pay cut to stay here but has said he wants to retire at Aston Villa, so that's really nice to see. At 32, he definitely won't play as often as he used with the likes of Lewis Cook and Tavares in the starting 11 and Sebastian Ross, a youngster from the academy who's gone out on loan multiple times, on the rise.

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Despite being injured for a big part of last season, Kylian wins the Best Player in Europe award ahead of Hauck from Bayern and our former superstar, Isak.

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At 30 years old, Nicolò was getting less and less game time. He was a huge part of the revolution that happened at this club a few years ago now but I just couldn't let a player of his ability just rot on the bench. We get a nice £40 million fee for him which is great considering we only paid £10 million for him back when he was 21 years old. It's hard to say goodbye but it's what's best for him and for the club.

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Another young Dutchman joins the squad. After van der Meer a couple seasons back, it's now van der Veen who joins the team as our backup left back and eventually, the starting left-back in the side once Tierney starts to "deteriorate". He's looking like a really promising player who's done really well in the Eredivisie so I'm excited to see how he does in the Premier League.

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We break a 77-year old club record by bringing in an average 49,906 fans a game at Villa Park. This club is really going places and has broken so many records already but this is by far the oldest one so it's pretty incredible to think about.

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With this wave of new contract demands coming in, Giles was bound to be one of the players asking for a new one. After scoring 137 goals in 119 games in the last 2 years, you can see why I've increased his wage by over £100,000 a week. Laurent Giles is the kind of player that you sign to your club and never want to let go. The scary thing is though, is that my scouts reckon he can become even better. At 25, he's in his prime right now so I don't even want to imagine what other teams in the world will be thinking when they see how incredible he becomes.

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If I only had one wonderkid at the club, this would be an easy way to figure out who it was! Wonderboy Manousakis joins the club for just £600,000 from South Africa, as he's one of the centre-backs I'm absolutely relying on to lead Villa's defence in the future. For now, I'll be sending him out on loan to see what he can do though.

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After putting us down as title favourites last season, the media have decided to do the same this season by expecting us to win the league yet again. This would be our 3rd Premier League in a row, something never done in the history of this club before so that's exciting! I mean imagine pulling that off.

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Just like every season, we kept ourselves busy over the summer with plenty of games and trips around Europe to get used to the long season ahead. We also had a Community Shield game against Liverpool which we won quite easily, making it our 4th Community Shield in a row. Considering that's never been done before in the history of the Community Shield, that's pretty impressive!

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Mbappé, Cook, Vidal and Giles all get off to a great start as we smash Liverpool to win yet another Community Shield.

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#14 Laurent Giles
25 years old
Striker
Welsh

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With 10 goals scored in 5 pre-season games and a goal on our first official game of the season, it looks like Giles is ready for another crazy goalscoring season. He was outstanding this pre-season and I can't wait to see if he'll break his record for most goals in a season and how many he'll add to the 164 goals he's scored for us in 210 appearances in all competitions. To give you some perspective, Isak, who's our striker in the Aston Villa Best Eleven, has 147 goals in 222 games... Impressed yet?


ChallengeWhat is it?Completed?
Brexit (kind of) means BrexitCan only sign a maximum of 2 players not from the UK per season (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) -UNLESS A NON-UK PLAYER IN THE TEAM IS SOLD, THEN AN ADDITIONAL SPOT FOR A NON-UK PLAYER FREES UPYes
2017/18
2018/19
2019/2020
2020/2021
2021/2022
2022/2023
2023/2024
2024/2025
2025/2026
2026/27
Ah millennials...At least 5 players from the academy or U-21 must play at least 10 games each every seasonYes
2017/18
2018/19
2019/2020
2020/2021
2021/2022
2022/2023
2023/2024
2024/2025
2025/2026
2026/27
The good old daysWin every trophy that Aston Villa has won in their history (lower league trophies like the Championship or League 1 can be disregarded once we make it to the Premier League)No
Carabao Cup (2020, 2021, 2023, 2026, 1 more to go)

FA Cup (2020, 2022, 2024, 2025, 3 more to go)

Premier League (2022, 2024, 2026, 2027, 3 more to go)

Champions League (2026, completed!)

Europa League (2020*, 2023*)

Sky Bet Championship (2018*)

UEFA Super Cup (2020, 2023*, completed!)

Community Shield (2020, 2024*, 2025*, 2026*, 2027*, completed!)

* = not needed
 
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