After sleeping on the (non-)events of the last few weeks surrounding Villa Park, my mind drifted back to the previous main downfalls in the club's history.
These were (as if we need reminding) the mid-1930s, the late 1960s, and the early 2000s' situation.
And I have to ask myself why was it that there was big change instigated in popular fashion then. And yet, when the club is approaching another dire situation, the current board manages to retain the affection of a segment of the fanbase and may well retain sufficient loyalty even if the club gets relegated.
I wasn't alive in the 1930s, but my feeling about the next two sad periods of history is that those downfalls occurred primarily because the board failed and because they had become too familiar to the fans. They had been in power for too long and, with the slippage, they lost the respect of the fans. In both cases it took some time for a revolution to occur.
What is the difference now? Simply that the current owner established an affectionate link with the fans merely by spending money for 3 years in a way never seen before by the current generations. So, despite his about-turn stance (for reasons we have largely tried to accommodate in our reasonable selves), we carry on thinking that a form of Eldorado will be found; that Aston Villa will succeed once more.
Indeed, until January I felt that if commonsense signings had been made then the board would be seen to be what we thought it was during its first 3 or 4 years. That nothing really had changed: that Premiership survival would probably be obtained and Mr. Lambert would have the time to re-shape the team into a basis for success in (maybe) 2 or 3 years time.
But those signings did not materialise in January, and I am afraid that Monsieur Sylla looks to me what he has been - a French second division player. He might well turn out to be a good purchase next season, but in the current state of things now is not the time to blood such a player.
Though we gained a valuable point yesterday, all the other teams around us did the same, or better.
And our home record is as bad as it could ever be. It's been like this at VP for two seasons now - never before has the Villa fan had to endure such a situation. The team has to make a significant improvement in its performances to succeed in the forthcoming home fixtures.
The Villan in me always wants to think positively, but I have to ask ... is the current board doing anything that is any better than we experienced in the late 1960s or under Doug in the early 2000s? Is it at least equally capable? I'd say not to both questions.
But what to do? I suppose we are to sleepwalk into the logical outcome - a relegation with no guarantee of an early return..