Villa had splashed the cash last summer with a frenzy of signings, spending well in excess of 100 million pounds ($127.89 million) bringing in the likes of defenders Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa and forwards Wesley Moraes and Trezeguet.
It was not enough, however, to prevent them from joining Watford and Norwich City in the Championship next season.
As recently as 12 July, they were seven points adrift of 17th place, but their first four-game unbeaten run of the season saw them to safety, with the point at West Ham one of eight they earned in that time.
Dean Smith's side went 1-0 ahead in the 84th minute of the match though they could not hold on to the lead, with the hosts equalising just a minute later, with the match ending in a 1-1 draw, helping the Villans secure survival.
"On the pitch, it wasn't too bad but then with 15 minutes to go I got taken off and it was a nightmare because you can't affect the game". "A lot of people had us relegated but we have worked so hard".
"I thought we used the pandemic really well. He will be looking down on us, that is for sure".
"A lot's been made of what we spent, but we had to".
"Before lockdown I think we only had one defeat and actually in that game I think you would have said we were unlucky not to get a draw from it".
It wasn't so much what Keane said but what he didn't say: the withering silent disdain as the Villa players lapped up their achievement. "Previous year we had 10 players out of contract and had to rebuild the squad".
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith says that "it's going to cost an very bad lot of money" to sign club captain Jack Grealish this summer.
However, moments later Grealish deflected in Andriy Yarmolenko's shot to leave the visitors hanging on by a thread again, knowing another West Ham goal would send them down with rivals Bournemouth beating Everton.
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