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    Five Things We Learned This Weekend: Villa's woes continue, there's fight left in the North East and Leicester show their human side


    Being relegated is only the latest problem for Aston Villa
    Football fans are surprisingly tolerant of the failings of their teams and will accept relegation, however disappointing. If you were to speak to Burnley fans at the end of last season, they would have reflected that their team had given it their all, recognised the limitations of their club but most importantly were optimistic for the club’s future. None of this can be applied to Villa fans. Joleon Lescott may be the scapegoat this weekend but his ill-advised comment that being relegated was ‘a weight off their shoulders’ is merely the latest damning indictment of the apathy that surrounds the club from top to bottom. Players such as Lescott, Alan Hutton, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Micah Richards are established top-level players and there should have been enough quality to keep them up but it was crucial that this was accompanied by determination and dedication.


    Top of the summer priorities will undoubtedly be a wholesale clear-out of overpaid, under-performing playing staff and appointing an experienced Championship-level manager but owner Randy Lerner must also take a serious look at himself and his executive strategy. He may want to sell and Villa should be an attractive proposition for new buyers but he will continue to struggle to offload his responsibilities until he invests time and money into restoring Villa to at least a club with pride and direction. Without this, you have to fear for the future of this great club.




    The relegation battle is going right down to the wire
    Newcastle and Sunderland simply had to win this weekend but win they both did, and win well. Norwich went into this weekend as the form club and with the opportunity to put daylight between themselves and their north-eastern chasing pack. They will now be looking at their next two fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester United with trepidation and Newcastle and Sunderland will be buoyed by their performances. Newcastle have possibly the easier run-in but this three-horse race for survival has last day drama written all over it. Make no mistake however - the momentum has shifted.




    Leicester are human after all
    Barely a weekend goes by without superlatives being thrown at Leicester City. In football terms, it has been the story of the season, perhaps even of the millennium. Many think that the title is already theirs, that seven points represents an impregnable barrier - and it still may prove to be so. However, the result against West Ham today showed how this story isn’t settled yet and that Tottenham can rightly still have hope. The Foxes performed admirably in fighting back to a 2-2 draw with ten men, demonstrating the solidity and spirit that has got them this far. Despite this, this result could have a substantial psychological impact should Spurs reduce the gap to five points tomorrow night. They will desperately miss Vardy and conceding two late goals at home shows that however small, there are chinks in the armour. Over to you, Mauricio….





    City are still a class act
    The ease, efficiency and quality with which Manchester City dispatched Chelsea confirms what we knew but have so seldom seen this season. City have a squad full of high-class talent and were it not for their inexcusable drop of form a couple of months ago, they would be running away with the title this season. The league may be out of their reach, but Guardiola can look on from Munich, be excited about the team he is about to take charge of, and remark to himself that with a couple of world-class additions, he is about to inherit a team with a strong base from which to challenge for success on all fronts.




    The future looks rosy at Anfield
    After a slow start, the vision Jurgen Klopp has for Liverpool is starting to take effect. With the Europa League representing the Reds only real chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season, it would have been so easy to go through the motions away at Bournemouth yesterday. However, a 2-1 win with a much-changed team showed us that he has installed real passion, belief and desire not only in the first-team regulars but throughout the whole squad. Klopp may have arrived too late to have a substantive impact this season, but recent results and that comeback against Dortmund point to a bright future for Liverpool.
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    Item Reviewed: Five Things We Learned This Weekend: Villa's woes continue, there's fight left in the North East and Leicester show their human side Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jamie Morris
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