The last time a Premiership club replaced the “big four” in the league was Everton in 2005 when they finished fourth over Liverpool. Since then, no other side has challenged for a place in the top four, although Tottenham did come close to replacing Arsenal one year. However, now Aston Villa have a fantastic chance of shocking the fans all over the country this year. With their good current domestic form displayed in the league, not many would bet against them finishing at least forth.

One of the most important factors in Villa’s recent success is because of their new American owner, Randy Lerner, who took full control of the club in 2006. This then, money has appeared to be more freely available than in the previous era for the manager to spend. O’Neil, the current coach of Aston Villa has also played a major part to why Aston Villa are currently third in the league, over Chelsea and Arsenal. His man management skills have been evident throughout his reign and he seems to have an eye for good players showing potential in the transfer market. Key examples of this include Ashley Young’s transfer from Watford for a price of £8 Million. At the time, many raised their eyebrows with regards to the price, however, over time Ashley Young has repaid the initial faith O’Neil put in him with consistently excellent performances over the past two seasons.

Aston Villa finished in the strong position of sixth in the 2007-08 campaign, and are looking to better that by at least two positions this term. They have the best away record in the league so far this season, and if they could match that kind of form at home, it could help them further their position in the table.

Villa have proven that they have strength in depth all over the field thus far and their key performers have not let them down. They are firm in all positions, and if the players keep their form up, they could surprise everyone and finish in a top four position.

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