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Everything posted by VillaAndLoyal

  1. Hi folks, I'm not sure if you're aware but the Government has tabled plans to cap Local Housing Allowance (LHA) which would mean a cut in the housing benefit for people living in specialist housing. Sadly this threatens to affect thousands of the most vulnerable people in our society. Some of the groups impacted would be:- the elderly, disabled, domestic violence victims, young adults leaving care and young families. I work for a Midlands-based housing association and our analysis of these changes is that certain tenants would be forced to find an extra £584 each month which I'm sure you'll agree is an awful lot of money for anyone to try and find. The National Housing Federation, which acts as the voice for all housing associations in our sector, has warned that the changes could make many of these specialist support schemes simply unviable in the medium to long-term. They've estimated that 156,000 specialist homes could be put out of business due to spiralling costs - 41% of all sheltered and supported housing across the country. This would inevitably lead to a rise in homelessness with the expectation that our already stretched frontline services such as the NHS will pick up the pieces. We are asking people to take a minute of their time to sign our petition as we lobby the Government to exempt supported housing customers from the LHA cap and identify a different, long-term funding model for our sector. So far almost 4,000 people have signed our petition and I'd be eternally grateful if you would lend us your support. > Sign the petition < You can also read further information here. Thanks very much and feel free to ask any questions. V&L BOF : Thread title edited to conform with site guidelines.
  2. You and I clearly have different definitions of the word 'class' then if you think handing in a transfer request is the way to leave a club. Thank heavens your viewpoint isn't the majority one going by the reaction of the Villa fans yesterday. Got a link to all the occasions Milner "denied everything" have you?
  3. I cringed when I heard it. We're like some lovestruck pup who once had a date with the pretty girl in school who probably doesn't remember our name. It was the context of it that I liked, he got more claps from villa fans as has came over to take a corner than he did from the Liverpool fans in the side stand (despite being their captain who had just put them one nil up) But the wider context is that this is a player who jumped ship at the earliest possible opportunity after what, three seasons with the club, one of which was on loan? We DO love Milner more than they do, the reasons why are baffling and make us look a little bit desperate. Absolute rubbish. One of the most brilliant things about Villa fans, particularly the away support, is our gallows humour and our class. Milner was an extremely popular player at the Villa for reasons I don't need to go into now but which are blindingly obvious - what I will say is the way he left the club when a much better opportunity presented itself oozed class and he has always talked very affectionately about the club and its fans. It was a proud moment when the whole away end stood to sing Milner's name yesterday when he came to take a corner in front of our support. It takes a class above set of fans to put aside any in-game differences (especially when he's already scored against you) to show respect to a popular former player and the Liverpool fans duly acknowledged this by applauding our fans. Did it give Milner 'an advantage'? No. Did it stop fans who paid £45 for a ticket backing Villa for the other 89.5 minutes? No. But does it give certain uninformed Villa fans the opportunity to label our loyal away support 'desperate'? Unfortunately, yes, but then that's the internet for you. Kudos to the Villa support today - the only thing keeping our sorry club going at the moment. You take away our gallows humour and you take away our class and what are you left with? Oh yeah, people sitting on an internet messageboard criticising our own fans... how utterly depressing...
  4. A half empty Villa Park. Blues in the home end. A Villa team that seemingly won't fight for the manager (see yesterday). An opposition who will be massively up for the game (see all previous derbies). Should end well.
  5. Amavi was dreadful At least he tried to make something happen, running at their players. I admit he wasn't amazing but he at least had a go and took some responsibility on the ball. Make what happen? Cost us goals by getting robbed of the ball just outside our own penalty area? Again? I'm far from impressed by him and surprised that not many are coming down hard on him as they do with Sanchez for example, given the number of times he gives away the ball leading directly to goals. Completely agree. I think Amavi is getting an easy ride by fans because going forward he's one of the most exciting full-backs we've had for years. Unfortunately however his defending this season (the bread and butter stuff) has been extremely worrying. Villa fans talk about a lack of fight - well look at that "tackle" Amavi puts in for the Albion goal... pathetic is being kind to him.
  6. This is a ridiculous situation which makes no sense, penalises Villa fans unfairly and one which has put the Witton Arms in a completely impossible position. Pubs struggle to stay in existence these days and those that lie close to football stadia rely almost solely on the trade they receive on match days. West Midlands Police have given a Villa pub two options: 1. Open for Albion and Blues fans or 2. Stay shut. They've also threatened that their licence will be revoked if home fans are found on the premises. What on earth do you do in that situation? Stay closed for both and you lose critical trade which could threaten the viability of the business and put jobs at risk. Open, like they are reluctantly doing, and they face the very real prospect of away fans smashing the joint up no doubt leaving them with a bill for hundreds if not thousands. That is also money they do not have. And now the pub has been forced into this decision, you've got regulars threatening not to come back. Well done WMP - what a fine mess you've made once again!
  7. Really good post, I think I agree with everything you have said. As I stated earlier on in this thread the tactical ineptness really worries me. TS has to learn and fast, surely that is what Wilkins is supposed to bring to the party but I see no evidence of any effect. We do seem to have cornered the market in managers who just don't know how to change games or react in games. It started with MON and everyone since, except Houllier, has been the same. OT for this thread so I will shut up now. Thanks and yes, Wilkins has vast experience in the game and you'd like to think he would be able to guide Sherwood better during a game than he currently is at present. I might be completely wrong but does anyone think part of Sherwood's problem is he gets so emotionally involved during the game that it almost blurs his thinking? He almost acts as a fan would in the stand = on instinct - rather than with a cool, calm calculated reading of the game. After all, the team he started with yesterday was pretty much spot on and found themselves 2-0 up. It was the "in game" tactics which he got so horribly wrong. Does his persona on the touchline actually hinder him in this respect?
  8. Well what an awful day. I was on row 4 and even the Leicester stewards were practically celebrating in our faces when the goals went in. I turned to my brother as the clock hit 80 minutes and said: "well, this is when we always concede". Less than 10 minutes later we've conceded another two goals and famously **** up another match from an almost certain winnable position. In my mind we lost for two main reasons: 1. Sherwood was out-thought tactically for the second away game in a row. In many ways, this match mirrored the Palace defeat as we were pretty dominant and comfortable in the first-half. Ranieri and Pardew saw things weren't working and changed things to great affect whilst Sherwood couldn't match them in the tactics department. I've never been a big fan of 'Fat Sam' but I was quite pleased to see him highlight Sherwood's tactical failings on MOTD as that will now surely get back to Tim and Wilkins and give them both food for thought. They need to learn from these mistakes and quick. I still think Sherwood has bought well this summer and I still think he can become a good manager but he HAS to take these mistakes onboard as they are pretty clear for all to see. For what it's worth, I'd have taken Gil off and put Clark in a defensive midfield position to track Mahrez who by the midway point of the second-half was running rampant through our whole team. I think that'd shored up things and got us the result. 2. We have almost a whole new team and yet this 'losing mentality' seems to still hang over the Club. Sherwood even acknowledged that this was a problem after the FA Cup Final in May and yet it seems like nothing has changed even after having completed a massive overhaul of the squad this summer. We're so, so fragile even when 2-0 up and even with leaders like Richards and Lescott on the pitch we still lost our heads and completely lost our shape, concentration and fell apart. From the stands it was just so painfully inevitable but I'm really not sure what can be done to halt this cloud hanging over the club. It has gone on for years, even before Lerner came here. You have to look at the positives and for 65 minutes I thought we were the better team. Our fans were superb and completely out sung Leicester who could only muster a chant with the help of an annoying drum. Lescott was very assured in the first-half and I think he'll be a good signing. We scored two excellent goals and Gil and Grealish look like they play well together which is a big positive. Sherwood prides himself on being able to make big decisions so here what I think he needs to do: - Drop Guzan and give Bunn a run in the side. Guzan was calamitous for that third goal and his distribution is beyond woeful - I think we need to see what Bunn can do. - Drop Gabby and stick Sinclair up front alongside a target man (I'd prefer Kozak over Gestede) - Explain to the players just how much he and the players have let the fans down today and make sure we come out fighting for the two derby matches. Two wins has to be the objective now and anything other than that will be very disappointing given today. I've been really positive about our season up until now but today has really knocked the stuffing out of me. We should be discussing an important win, not a loss.
  9. The start of a massive month for the Villa and the first of three important derbies. Given our injuries I'd possibly go for a slightly different system: ------------------------------------------- Guzan -------------------------------------------------- ---------------- Richards (c) ------- Lescott ------- Clark ----------------------- Bacuna --------------------------------------------------------------- Amavi ------------------------- Westwood --------- Sanchez ------------------------------ ---------------------------------------- Grealish -------------------------------------- -------------------------- Gestede ------------- Sinclair ------------------------- Traore is one for later in the game if his ankle knock hasn't cleared up and there's no way I'd risk playing Gana. Hopefully we start right from the off as Leicester will have noted we sometimes lack concentration and will want to put us on the back foot straight away. Fingers crossed for a win.
  10. Arsenal are a brilliant footballing side and it was always going to be a huge ask to win. But to not even have a single shot on target, a single chance or a single corner in an FA Cup Final - no matter who the opponent is - is pretty unforgivable whichever way you look at it. I think Sherwood got it wrong with the team selection against Burnley and again in the final - his subs too were like-for-like replacements and therefore pretty pointless. And as for the players, yes they did look utterly tired and were of course up against far superior opposition, but where was the passion and commitment? This was a one-off game and yet Arsenal not only showed us how to play football but they also won the vast majority of 50/50 challenges and the like. In a few weeks we'll look back at the season overall and say we did all right - staying up was always the priority. But we were desperate to win another piece of silverware and the manner of the defeat is pretty hard to take. Arsenal, I think, had another 2 gears if they needed it. We were just woeful.
  11. Arsenal have always been a club I'd never really had any feelings for either way. In fact, with their attractive brand of football, I always tended to like to see them do well against your United's and Chelsea's of this world. That all changed yesterday. I cannot stand them. I've never encountered such a bunch of cocky, obnoxious, ***** in all my years following the football. They really do think they're Real Madrid like in stature. 1. On the tube from Baker Street to Kilburn before the game there were a group of 10 of them goading Villa fans, singing "SOTV", "We hate Villa, and we hate Villa..." etc. You could be forgiven for thinking they were noses. A few choice words were exchanged. 2. On the tube after the game, a tube packed with Villa, a lone Arsenal fan started goading Villa fans again by chanting. When he got told he was absolutely embarrassing considering his team hadn't yet lifted the cup (and here he was on a tube full of Villa), his response was "I saw us lift it last year mate!". Talk about living up perfectly to the modern day football fan stereotype... 3. Minding our own business walking along a quiet street well away from Wembley after the game, three Arsenal fans came walking past the opposite way and kissed their badges and screamed in our faces. Choice words exchanged again. 4. And this last one was the icing on the cake. Walking along a street alongside a Joey Essex lookalike Arsenal fan and his (I presume) girlfriend. Again minding my own business. I glance left in his direction and spot him filming me presumably to be uploaded to snapchat/twitter or the like. "Ha ha ha look at that depressed Villa fan" I'm guessing the caption would have been. Put it this way, he won't be doing it again in a hurry. The contrast between these cretins and the largely classy, magnanimous Liverpool fans was stark. They really are a horrible, horrible club and I hope they never have the pleasure of winning the Champions League. I have no problems losing to a better team but losing to these arrogant, gloating arseholes really hurt.
  12. Just put a fiver on a Villa win and a Jack Grealish goal anytime at 22/1... it's written in the stars!!
  13. My 85-year-old grandma, before every game, says to us: "I hope the Villa win 66-0" I don't even know where that number comes from, she's just always said it. I think I'll be giving her a ring on Saturday lunchtime.
  14. Some absolutely fantastic stories and comments on this thread - I never get bored of reading stuff like this. People who don't understand football or don't understand Aston Villa, will never realise just how much it means to some. It takes over your life and does become a form of religion. I've had a mixed time at Wembley. From the highs of the '94 and '96 League Cup triumphs as a young lad, and the semi-final wins against Bolton and most recently Liverpool, to the heartbreak of Chelsea 2000 and Man Utd 2010. I think we're due another win. The FA Cup is the most prestigious domestic cup competition in the world and a global audience of billions will be watching our troops on Saturday. To win it, well, I just can't put into words what that would mean to me. Those couple of League Cups aside, I've not seen the true glories this football club has achieved. My dad slept in a Union Jack flag outside Rotterdam Central station before the European Cup victory and, although I can never experience such highs as that, winning the FA Cup would come pretty close and say to the world that Aston Villa Football Club is back in town. Believe.
  15. Sound. Might do that. On Bakerloo too isn't it. Yes, tube straight to Wembley which takes 15/20 minutes from memory. I know of dozens of Villa fans planning to do the same so should be another great atmosphere. Brumerican... the Flying Scotsman is for afters
  16. Hi Gilberto, Yes, The Globe at Baker Street and the Weatherspoons opposite are where we're going before getting the tube to Wembley. Both pubs were rammed for the semi-final and it was a cracking atmosphere with a few opposition fans in both. Makes for a bit of friendly banter and a great laugh. Highly recommend it.
  17. I'll probably get slagged off for saying this... but some of our fans really are an absolute disgrace and an utter embarrassment. People booed at half-time and full-time, we had fans going mental at the players during the game, it was a full house and the atmosphere was largely silent - ONE week before an FA Cup Final. And then, just to top it off, I log on to Twitter and see a "poll" being undertaken by a very well known Villa account asking whether people still support Sherwood. WHAT THE FU*KING F*CK!? Are these people even on this planet? I could scream I'm so angry. Tim Sherwood has saved this football club from certain relegation. Even Mat Kendrick cannot believe what he has seen. You really do look at days like today and see why every other Midlands' club hates us. It's not JUST because of our past successes - it's because we're like the Arsenal of the Midlands to a lot of our fans. Expect the world, never ever happy. Moaning, whiny supporters who think we're owed 3 points in every single game. If this makes me a bad fan for slagging off my own then so be it, it has to be said. Literally unbelievable some of our fans are. *disclaimer - we also have a lot of very good fans.
  18. Yeah I mean the way they actively promote pitch invasions as a way of recapturing the spirit of the FA Cup before castigating a whole fan base because of one they didn't like the look of is just magical
  19. 135 and in row 8. Hope my new flag makes it onto the telebox.
  20. I think we have to play the way Sunderland played the other night. Which won't necessarily make for the best game of football but who gives a flying monkeys if it means we win the cup! Massively disciplined and committed at the back, sit deep and say to them "come on Arsenal, break us down". As someone else said, Arsenal tend to get very frustrated when teams do this and if we can get to the hour-mark on even terms, it really could play into our hands. With the pace, trickery and power of Delph, Benteke, Grealish and Gabby, we are gonig to get at least one good chance in the game and we just HAVE to take it. Another thing Arsenal don't like is the physical game. We need all 11 to be 110% committed for the whole 90 minutes - first to every ball and every tackle. It shouldn't be hard to motivate the players as this is their chance to make it into the history books, after all. An early Arsenal goal would be potentially disastrous to this game plan. An early Villa goal could really play into our hands if we do indeed set out to counter-attack. One last thing, IF we are to lose, please make it within the 90 minutes. I don't think I could handle taking them to extra-time and losing. Penalties and losing? Just don't even go there! Just win Villa, just win. Please.
  21. Tomorrow is going to be a much-needed distraction for me as the next week is going to be hell, I can tell. Watched the Southend highlights earlier and then it suddenly dawned on me how massive next week is and the nerves are already starting to kick in. Arghhh!!!
  22. Some may not agree with me but for me it's all about perception. Of course many probably were going for a beer or for other reasons, but clearly there were others who also left the stadium altogether having only just arrived. In my view, when your team is on the rocks and falling apart in front of your very eyes, the LAST thing you need to see is streams of fans walking down to the concourse (for whatever reason). It's at times like that that you need your supporters more than ever and dozens/hundreds of people leaving or apparently leaving just hands even more ammunition to the opposing fans. As I've already said, those who stayed were fantastic second-half and were a credit to the club.
  23. The whole thing was massively overblown by the media. 99.9% of the Villa fans on the pitch before and after the game were in no way a "danger" to player safety - it was pure joy and relief, nothing more and nothing less. Yes, the main pitch invasion before the end was unfortunate, but it also happened after 93 minutes and 30 seconds and was clearly because fans lined up alongside the edge of the pitch ready to run on at the end, had mistakenly thought the whistle had gone. The only evidence of violence I have seen inside the ground was Albion players deliberately barging into and tripping up Villa fans as they came onto the pitch as well as the seat-throwing which has been well documented. I expect nothing else from the FA though - ironically if fans were to run on the pitch at Wembley having won the FA Cup they'd have to fine themselves.
  24. So you drank "miles away" pre-game and then left after 16 minutes... that may go some way to explain why the day didn't have the same "buzz" as you were expecting... The second-half was fantastic in the stands, great fun. Shame you missed it.
  25. Nothing fills me with greater satisfaction than to see the liberal left crying, swearing, abusing and acting like complete children (so no different to pre-election then) after the conclusion to this latest general election. On VillaTalk, on Facebook, on Twitter, and in colleges, universities and workplaces across the UK. "WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE! THE NHS WILL BE DESTROYED! THE POOR PEOPLE WILL BE BEHEADED! WE ALL NEED TO MOVE ABROAD! WHY DIDN'T RUSSELL BRAND SAVE US?" (repeat ad nauseum) Until the liberal left add more than a dash of realism to their arguments, the silent majority will continue doing what it does best. Ignoring the name-calling, ignoring the hate-filled, ideological abuse dished out to anyone who 'admits' to voting Conservative, sorry the nasty Tories, and voting in the best interests of this country. For what it's worth, I have a plethora of working-class mates and not a single one votes for Labour or the Liberal Democrats. The one friend I know who is a staunch Labour voter went to Handsworth Grammar School. But carry on, it's highly amusing...
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