A week off from the pressure of a relegation battle could be just what Aston Villa fans need, writes blogger Matthew Turvey.
But a pause in Premier League action likely to turn attentions towards the club’s longer term issues of retaining players.
After all, as any regular follower of the club from B6 will tell you, this season hasn’t been easy. However, Villa’s issues at the wrong end of the table are far from a new development.
Several years of decline have been blamed on everyone from the chairman, to the multiple managers, or the players they have purchased.
If there’s been one constant during the bad times, it has been a desire to point the finger.
With less than a quarter of the season left, and with the club’s first back-to-back wins in tens of months, signs point towards a change of fortune.
For Villa fans, it could be the necessary tonic to provide a push away from the basement of the Premier League. However, as with any club, panic rarely stays away for long.
Even if the club do survive the current situation, many are pointing towards the sale of key players in the summer, with some thinking players such as Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann are already half out of the door.
The solution according to some of the fans I have spoken to is, and I quote, to “give these players whatever it takes to keep hold of them.”
However, with financial turmoil still clear in the minds of Villa fans, can the club afford to be so lax with spending?
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the general idea of trying to keep hold of players who has performed well this season.
Benteke, in particular, has been something of a revelation in the Premier League with his breakthrough and will, no doubt, have his suitors.
However, given he will be just one year into a multiple year contract, the cards sit firmly in Villa’s hand.
Should a top four club offer £20-25million for the player, I imagine the club would consider a sale simply for profit reasons. The other player fans are concerned about keeping is Weimann.
Whilst the Austrian’s contract is closer to finishing compared to team mate Benteke, it shouldn’t mean losing all sense of value and just throwing as much money at Weimann as possible.
Beyond the fact that finances are going to shape expenditure just as they do in any sensible business, is offering a massive pay rise the wisest thing for the long term?
Consider this - if we offer Weimann a doubling of his wages, what happens if he plays well next season? Do we have to look at another pay rise?
Or do we say “OK Andi, that’s your contract for the next four years so come back in three to re-negotiate?" If it's the former, the club could soon be in a position where players are bad value again.
Sure, the players signed by Paul Lambert, coupled with the young academy prospects, are good value for the club but, if their wages accelerate rapidly, they won’t be any more.
So if we do say to Weimann that he needs to be quiet for a few years if he does sign a new contract, then what is the fan rationality on Benteke?
Villa’s Belgian striker is nowhere near his contract expiry and, as such, shouldn’t be on the market unless it is at the club’s behest.
As mentioned before, big money offers will prompt sales, just as they have for Villa over the course of their history.
The reality is that every player has their price, just as Ashley Young, Stewart Downing and James Milner did. But, again, these concerns are getting too far into the future.
Perhaps some of Villa’s team will be sold in the summer, but there are bigger concerns that will rear their head over the next few weeks.
If Villa can get through relegation they can, as my mother used to say to me as a child, “cross that bridge when they come to it” regarding contract negotiations.
So, as we have a week off from our beloved Villa, try and breathe deeply and relax.
The team needs to have exactly the same mentality in the short term if we are to stand any chance of surviving the club’s latest challenging season.
You can follow Matt Turvey’s regular opinions at his own site, Aston Villa Life at www.astonvillalife.com, via the site’s Twitter account @astonvillalife, or via his own Twitter account @MatthewSTurvey.