Few would argue that it has been another season of immense frustration at Villa Park.
But, if they can keep their heads at St Andrew's on Sunday and hit top form over the final two months, it has been a campaign that could still somehow end in a passage to Europe for Aston Villa.
And midfielder Lee Hendrie, the only survivor of Villa's last great European football night, insists that should be a massive incentive to keep going right to the line.
It was seven years ago tonight that Villa Park bounced as John Gregory's side beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 - on an unforgettable night of raw nerves and breathtaking excitement on Trinity Road.
It was a night that was to end in disappointment as Villa went out at the quarter final stage on away goals. But it was the brave manner of their exit that so thrilled the locals.
Having trailed 1-0 from the first leg in Madrid thanks to Christian Vieri's penalty, the evening looked set to prove a real flop when Caminero's goal just before the half hour appeared to kill the tie.
But Gregory still had a chap called Stan Collymore up his sleeve. And, just two minutes after Ian Taylor had equalised on the night, Stan the Man delivered something special.
Collymore's stunning goal threatened to lift the roof off, giving Villa just under 20 minutes to complete the rescue. And, although the third goal they needed to make the semi-finals eluded them, it still created a fantastic atmosphere.
Hendrie, as a 20-year-old stripling making only his second start in Europe, has certainly never forgotten the experience.
"It's one of the best games I've played in," he said. "It will always stick with me.
"Tayls' goal, then followed so quickly by that fantastic strike from Stan made the whole the ground lift.
"The fans were unbelievable that night. They made so much noise it made the hair stand on the back of your neck. I know we didn't get through, but it was still a great game and a great night for heroes.
"They're the nights you want. Special nights when you feel proud and privileged just to be part of it."
Thanks to their late season run under the newly-appointed-Gregory, Villa were back in Europe the following season, only to go out at the second round stage to Celta Vigo. And, after successive summer flurries in the InterToto Cup, they last had a European adventure three years ago when they could not get past Balkan battlers Varteks in the first round.
This year, though, the finishing line is in sight. And, unlikely though it has seemed throughout much of the season, a European place is a definite possibility, given that Villa stand just five points behind fifth-placed Liverpool, who they play on the final day of the season at Anfield. And that would make up for the annoyance of finishing sixth in David O'Leary's first term in charge last season - yet still not qualifying.
"It was so sad we missed out after the run we had," said Hendrie. "This club needs to be pushing on for Europe
"We're long overdue to get back there and that would be great for some of the young lads.
"They just don't know how special it can be at Villa Park on a European night because they haven't ever seen it. But, trust me, it means just as much to the players as it does the fans."
Hendrie was still eight days away from his fifth birthday when Peter Withe's goal beat Bayern Munich to win Villa the European Cup that famous night in Rotterdam in May 1982.
And, apart from the odd isolated occasion like the night they beat Inter Milan or that one against Atletico seven years ago, the rest of Villa's European experience has not been much to write home about.
But Villa's European pedigree was the thing that most turned Hendrie's head when he was a young lad growing up, despite being the son of a former Birmingham City player.
"I get a lot of stick about the Blues," he said, "which I think is mainly down to the fact that my old man played for them, but let's just put it this way, I knew where I wanted to sign as a kid.
"I watched a lot of European nights down at Villa Park when I was a kid. There were some great nights and I'd love to help them return."