- Dr Tony's Villa Revolution
There's another surprise in a second, but we'll get to that in a moment...
Now, I took over, and as others have pointed out, ol' TP didn't leave much to work with at all, the Welsh tosser.
We of course, start off with Swansea away, a game we ran away with 3-0, Rondon scoring 2, and Chadli netting the other. Not bad. This'll be easy, I thought... I set off to work in the Transfer market with my first signing being Ryan Bertrand from Southampton for the sum of £4million. I also had a fee agreed for Crystal Palace's Benteke, but he wanted a massive sign-on fee, and we couldn't get that across the line due to budget constraints.
So, off I went in search of another striker, due to my liking of playing 2 men up top... The options were thin on the ground, then I came across another ex-Villan at Swansea who was transfer listed. Gabriel Agbonlahor, now you may laugh, but I was desperate and forgot that the transfer window doesn't close in January... £1.8million later and he was ours, he didn't do too badly either, all things considered, certainly better than Pulis' last buy! I also opted to recall Craig Gardner. He would be a useful squad player, something which we were lacking!
Now, the squad was still thin on the ground, and I remembered coming across a certain Brazilian who appeared to have traveled forwards in time (or had everyone else traveled back?) who I encountered in my previous escapades as Real Madrid manager... He'd be a good signing, I thought, so I set about tracking down his whereabouts for my new revolution at West Brom. He was very keen on signing, thankfully, so in he came...
Didn't do too badly, I thought. Now, seeing as he had managed to travel back (forward?) in time, I set about finding out if anyone else had done, by scouring through 721 pages of players and looking for anyone unattached. I came across a young Spaniard, who some among us may be aware of, he, in our timeline, has only recently been topped as the top scorer in the Champions League, and I believe he is still Spain's top ever scorer, I introduce you, ladies and gentlemen to Raúl.
I was also in need of some defensive cover, and I found a young Englishman this time in the form of Luke Young. Apparently a centre back, rather than the right back we all know and love...
Now, this young English time traveler was my last signing, as, quite honestly, I was out of money, the squad was still awful, and following the Swansea win, it took until the 11th April to record our next league win, away to defending champions (are they still in this timeline? I don't bloody know...) Leicester, where we got a 2-0 win courtesy of our time travelling Brazillian scoring 2 in 2 minutes.
Wonderful. We were onto 22 points, 6 from safety with 7 games to go. Not looking good, fortunately, this spelled a turn in fortunes as we entertained 17th placed Hull City Tigers, Fletcher scoring early on, and Rivaldo doubling our tally 75 minutes in. 3 from safety. 6 to go.
Next came a bore draw at Middlesbrough, for all of the time-travelling attacking talent, we were still struggling for goals, but defensively, we were solid. Hull lost again, leaving us 2 points from safety.
Next up, we travelled to Watford where we won 2-0, this time thanks to the time-travelling Spaniard getting a brace. We were out of the relegation zone by a point, and in great form. Could we do it?
Two home games, one against Burnley, the next against Arsenal. Once again, our time-travelling attackers (and Agbonlahor) were kept quiet, but we kept them out too. 0-0. Still a point clear of relegation, Hull once more lost, but Swansea were recovering, now only a point behind us.
Arsenal next, Wenger had been given a vote of confidence, and we were raring to go... 0-1. Gamerio finally breaking our defence down. Git. Fortunately, Swansea lost too, leaving us needing to at least match their result to remain up... Of course, had we lost, and they drew, barring a 8 goal swing, we were still to stay up. Hull weren't out of it either, if we lost and they managed victory whilst Swansea lost/drew, they could also survive, goal difference (is this too early for goal average? I've no idea...) was basically irrelevant here, as it basically was with Swansea.
So, off we travel to West Ham.
Would it be enough?
Thank the lord for Asamoah Gyan.
Survival on 31 points. Did we deserve it? Probably not, with the least wins in the division. Did we care? Did we fuck.
Now, we tell the story of the FA Cup. Could West Brom, the team with only 2 wins when the 3rd round kicked off pull off a miracle?
First up, Huddersfield. Easy enough 2-1 win, as would be expected versus lower-league opposition. Fletcher and Evans grabbing our goals.
In the next round, we once again drew Division One opposition in the face of Norwich City. Agbonlahor, Fletcher and Brunt this time putting lower league opposition to the sword. At least it looked like, as was likely at the time, if we went down, we would be alright.
The quarter finals came along, and with it, tough opposition in the face of the white part of North London (yes, yes, Spurs fans, we know Arsenal are technically south of the river...)
Disappointing to lose the lead, but we'd have a much better chance at The Hawthorns, surely?
Well, that was surprisingly easy...
Next up, semi-finals. Surely we couldn't do this? We couldn't get past the champions elect? The red half of Manchester? Surely!?
As we traveled to Stoke to take on Man United (Stoke??? Really!?), I was geeing up the lads. Telling them we could do this. We could win the cup. This could well push our survival. WE COULD DO THIS!
WE FUCKING DID IT!
SURELY WE COULDN'T GO ONE STEP FURTHER IN CARDIFF!? SURELY NOT!?!?!?
Once again we found ourselves facing a North London team. This time, the red part...
Rondon fired us into the lead in the 23rd minute. Surely not?
Nope. Sanchez equalised 9 minutes later. Leaving us clinging on for dear life. Half time. 1-1.
More desperate defending. 90 minutes. 1-1.
Extra time to come. We needed to hold on for Penalties. We were fucked. Arsenal were unrelenting.
Still we hung on. 105 minutes. 1-1.
120 minutes. 1-1.
The ultimate lottery.
Could it be done?
It was all down to those brave few who stepped up, who stepped up automatically, because I had no fucking idea where to find their penalty taking stats.
Cazorla steps up for Arsenal.
Rivaldo first up for us.
Up steps Arsenal's talisman. Alexis Sanchez.
Ben Foster next up. I will admit, I had a little panic here, wondering what the fuck my Keeper was doing as second penalty taker!
2-1! Well fuck me, and my worries!
Next up, Mesut Ozil. Well, he's German, he'll score.
Up steps Yacob, a brave soul, but, if the keeper can step up and score one, why not!?
WE ONLY NEEDED TO SCORE ONE MORE, OR HOPE ARSENAL MISS ANOTHER! THE DREAM WAS ALMOST A REALITY!
Mustafi steps up for Arsenal. Mustafi to keep them in it!?
MISSES! WEST BROMWICH ALBION ARE FA CUP WINNERS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1968!
IT WAS A MIRACLE! WEST BROMWICH ALBION AND THEIR TIME-TRAVELLERS HAD WON THE FA CUP!
25 points, please and thank you.