The concept of the big four often annoys me. The ideal that these four teams can claim the top four spots year after year becomes repetitive, and in need of some serious competition.
There is normally a glimmer of hope from teams that seem as though they could just beat one of the usual to their 'rightful place', and it gives the fans which wish to see the demise of the Man United's, Arsenal's, Chelsea's and Liverpool's of this world a good feeling inside.
However when these teams start to challenge, the big four feel they can just steal the players which have made them a challenging outfit, resulting in another easy top four finish for the regulars.
I say this because it looks like Aston Villa are going to be the latest victims of this sad story.
After Aston Villa's encouraging start to the season along with hopefuls like Everton and Man City, it looked as though the top four may have a tougher time than planned. Still in a successful season Aston Villa look as though they will be playing European football next season.
The question is though, will they be able to keep their players that have been linked with the bigger clubs?
Gareth Barry seems he is destined to wear the Liverpool colours, but will Martin O'Neill be able to keep hold of his other young talent which have made the Villains such a tough side to beat this year.
The likes of Ashley Young and Gabriel Agbonlahor could find themselves under serious offers from other big sides and Champions League football could be too hard to pass up.
I just hope next season when my team has to travel to Birmingham I'm seriously worried about an 'upset' and that Aston Villa are still deemed as a tough outfit!
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