As the international break draws to its conclusion, players will be hurrying back to train and prepare for the weekend of matches that lie ahead. Aston Villa on Monday face a big task as they take on high flying Spurs at White Hart Lane.

I can remember in the not-so-distant past when Aston Villa were the ‘Tottenham of their day’. With the game at White Hart Lane commencing on Monday McLeish’s Villa have the benefit of the weekend to prepare for the arduous task that lies ahead against Spurs. It wasn't so long ago long ago under Martin O’Neill Aston Villa were considered on par with Tottenham and the closest challengers to what was a permanent Top Four.

Whether the quality of Aston Villa has declined is debatable however, one thing that we know is that they sold too many star names without any star replacements. The Aston Villa betting index shows that where once the team were an outside 20-1 to win the league title in 2007-8, they now stand at a massive 250-1. The lack of organization and realism, and the multiple changes in managers may have cost them their place at the top of the English first Division and ultimately is why they no longer are on par with the likes of Tottenham.

However one thing is for sure unless Villa move on from what were once their ‘glory days’ they will never be able to escalate to the heights that they did once achieve. The hopes of the Villa fans lie in an unusual managerial appointment and the dreams of so many lie in his hands. On Monday Villa must re-stamp down their authority on the top flight of English Football and once more climb to where they so rightly belong. Aston Villa are 4-1 to win against Spurs on Monday according to the football betting markets. Sadly, even odds like that aren't enough to tempt us to stick a few quid on.