x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

The five stages of Aston Villa's mourning

Will Batchelor offers his condolences to the English Premier League club's fans after two lop-sided losses.

Aston Villa were beaten 8-0 by Chelsea and then 4-0 by Tottenham within a week. Tom Hevezi / AP Photo
Aston Villa were beaten 8-0 by Chelsea and then 4-0 by Tottenham within a week. Tom Hevezi / AP Photo

Christmas is a time for giving. However, Aston Villa took this maxim too far after gifting their opponents 12 goals over the festive period.

Sunday's 8-0 drubbing by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge was followed by a 4-0 pasting at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

Yet, I offer my condolences to Villa fans. Over the coming weeks they will find themselves on the classic "five-stage" journey coined by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying.

Stage 1 - "denial" - was already in evidence on Sunday, as the Villa fans continued to sing loudly well after the final whistle.

Stage 2 - "anger" - is described by Kubler-Ross as a period of venting fury and seeking somebody to blame, a description one could apply to the post-match radio phone-in.

Stage 3 - "bargaining" - is typified by fans desperately seeking a silver lining by claiming if it helps the board realise they need to invest in the transfer window then it will be worth it.

Stage 4 - "depression" - involves a period of listless silence. You will see this at Villa Park tomorrow although, to be fair, that happens to most clubs when they host Wigan Athletic.

Stage 5 - "acceptance" - is probably some way off yet, with many fans likely to need a year to exorcise the demons before returning to the Bridge with a clean slate next season. Assuming, of course, they are still in the Premier League.

Oh well, chin up Villans! Remember, time is a great healer. Unless you mean extra time, which is a great chance for your opponents to grab a couple more.

sports@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE