In some ways, this season's first meeting between
and Spurs was the day
lost the fanbase. Starting
at right midfield was a popular decision with approximately zero percent of Villa fans, and the team got pretty much exactly what they deserved as Spurs went on to win by a 2-0 scoreline that didn't do justice to their actual dominance. There was a palpable turn against McLeish after that game; many people that had been willing to give the new manager a chance perhaps began to believe that said chance had been squandered. Things have not exactly gotten better since then, and Villa come into this game still in very real (if lessened) danger of being relegated for the first time since 1987. And in all honesty, there's zero reason to believe Villa will do anything to improve that standing in this game.
It wasn't all that long ago that Villa and Spurs were duking it out to become the club that would break up the Big-4 hegemony. Tottenham ended up winning that particular race, and Villa have fallen of the proverbial cliff. Spurs sign players like
; Villa sign ...