PRAISE the Lord the start of the football season is upon us.

No more boring Saturdays as the best excuse for dodging DIY, visiting the in-laws and avoiding trapesing around Merry Hill is back.

And of course the footie is the perfect way to get a booze on with old friends.

And what a season this promises to be. This is the first season for years when we are right in with a shout to win The Race For Seventh.

Yep, we can leave that whole top six milarky to Manchester Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham whilst we can concentrate on beating similar budgeted clubs to that magical seventh spot.

Now, I know Villa fans often can be a morose lot but I believe we can win the Race For Seventh.

Granted we will need a bit of luck, our goal machine Darren Bent will have to stay fit througout and score those magical 20 league goals that has been out of every Villa striker since the great Peter Withe.

Our marqee signing The Zog will also have to stay injury free for us to be on course for a tilt at seventh heaven. And hopefully not go on strike when spoilsports Man City try and buy him in January.

Another great aspect of the Race for Seventh is that it looks to be a 3pm Saturday affair. As we are not in Yerp or have a media darling as a manager and a host of attacking flair Sky are avoiding us like a looter dodging a book shop.

And Saturday afternoons are what football is all about, not Sunday mornings, Monday nights or Saturday lunchtimes.

We’ve also got the West Midlands mini-league to win as well so beating Wolves and West Bromwich Albion is a must for our new manager.

Say what you like about Blues, and who can forget the day they went down but our season is certainly the worse for not having two titanic battles to look forward to.

The great thing about fighting for seventh is that we will have every chance of winning one of the cups, I mean actually winning something, amazing. There will be no ‘saving our players for the league’ this season, well there better not be anyway.

The teams we are battling for seventh are a funny bunch, there’s Everton, a proud old club who have like us have been blown out the top echelons of football by oligarchs, oilmen and hedge funds. The fixture between us two is the most played in the top flight of football in the country and a crunch match away in September will be a tell tale sign of who can clinch that mythical seventh spot.

Sunderland are probably one of the favourites in the Race for Seventh. They have spent big, believe they are a bigger club than us but can’t stand the fact we nicked their goal machine from under their noses. This is the grudge needle battle in the Race for Seventh, make no doubt about it.

Stoke are the dark horses in this high octane race, they play ugly but the whole club is delighted to be in the race at all.

And that might be our achillees heel because I’m sure a lot of the fans might think we are too good for the Race for Seventh but as soon as we all realise that’s where we are in this stage of our proud football club the better it will be for everybody.

And of course, never forget the drama of the Race for Seventh will always be a hundred times more exicting than going round Merry Hill.

Readers who submit articles must agree to our terms of use. The content is the sole responsibility of the contributor and is unmoderated. But we will react if anything that breaks the rules comes to our attention. If you wish to complain about this article, contact us here