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AVFC: In Obscurity


MikeMcKenna
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That it is Gentleman but it's hard to not agree, I was slated because I wrote that we are becoming a nothing club.

 

I didn't mean that I believe Villa are nothing I was trying to say that we are now how I used to view the Wigan's, Norwich etc basically also rans that aren't capable of winning any trophies nor even qualifying for European football.

 

This is Aston Villa today under Lerner and Co.

 

Depressing is an understatement!

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We are in obscurity now, but for me that is because of the obscene amount of football that a successful club requires now. The state of football saddens me more than the state of Aston Villa. 

 

I know people will point to Everton as not having loads of money, but they're an exception and we can't all emulate their success. The truth is Randy could throw all the cash he can afford at Villa and we'd still only be looking at an outside chance of challenging the top 6, and top 6 still wouldn't be good enough. Europa League is meaningless and we'd still be a million miles away from the Champions League. 

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im 100% convinced under RL.. AVFC is just making up the numbers,i think he wants to recoup some of the money "invested", this money comes from the tv funding

 

lamberts home record & displays does not deserve a new contract? how can any chairman be happy with the displays? AGAIN fans were leaving in their droves on 80mins !!

 

on the subject of ST..i know of 6 of us not renewing next year,various reasons but no matter how you mask it,we have had enough is the bottom line.

 

its a shame where we are these days

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This weekend for me again didn't revolve around football and AVFC and I too am very sympathetic to those who feel the same way. Previously I would try to find a stream in seasons past or be glued to the Soccer Saturday show but I just don't care anymore like I used to.

 

I live outside England but i would at least try to visit Villa Park once a season but i'm not going to bother this season although I will be in Birmingham the weekend of the Stoke match.

 

2014 will be the thirtieth year I have supported Villa and I am completely indifferent about us after seeing us become as you say "obscure" and I think non-entity is also quite fitting!

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These things come in cycles... Everton were way down below us before Moyes came in and Spurs have had some pretty dodgy seasons over the last decade as well. Things aren't great at the moment but I refuse to believe that that's how it is for eternity, that's just not how football works. Let's just hope things pick up soon though - if we keep trying to tread water we'll eventually be relegated and it could be a long way back from there.

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I realise that challenging for top 6 would take a monumental investment given where we are are this moment in time, but how much would it take for us to cement a mid table/ top half place? Then we could enjoy the luxury of moaning about not challenging for Europe instead of the shit we're putting up with now.

 

This really is how low we've sank, it's very depressing.

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Yes this is a terrible period for our club and it's pretty depressing to go down to Villa Park.

 

However, to call us a nothing club and 'fading into obscurity' when we've never out of the Premier League, what does that make many other clubs in the 92? Just seems a bit disrespectful to them if I'm honest and a number of clubs would kill to be in our situation.

 

I know an Arsenal fan who screams and shouts and hates Wenger because they haven't won anything, but by the same token as I've mentioned here, he gets consistent top 4 finishes and the opportunity to see top players. Obviously this is on a different level, but it holds the same relevance.

 

I think football fans of any support and team are a bit spoilt sometimes so when hard times actually happen, we think it's the end of the world. But when you step back and take a look at football on the whole, the situation isn't quite as bad. We still have a football club. We don't have a mental owner. We haven't been relegated in years. Maybe it's because I'm a younger fan. I haven't seen us win things. I don't think it's to do with expectation though before that line gets trotted out.

 

I'm hoping that whatever we're doing at the moment pays off, I really do. We need to do something to get out this slump. Whether that's a new owner, new manager, new players; a combination of all 3? I don't know.

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Of the seven teams who have been ever present in the PL; Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, AVFC, Tottenham, Everton, we are the only ones that have really been cut adrift with little or no hope of challenging again for top 6. In the final months of ellis's ownership of the club, I posted something about being on the "The Road to Obscurity" and that the club would eventually end up as a non entity in the grand scheme of things if he didn't sell. Under his leadership we were destined never to achieve, win any honours or even challenge.

Even when we were in the old third division no one would have said we were in obscurity; insignificant, unimportant, deficient of light. Villa fans and others always knew we would come back.

However at the time, I envisaged "obscurity" as us being relegated and fighting it out in the lower leagues for years. I never thought just 7/8 years later that "obscurity" would become a reality in the bottom half of the PL. But IMHO that is exactly where we are now. Now it would take a brave man to forecast that we will one day rise from the proverbial ashes and as a minimum challenge for top 6.

With this in mind as each season passes I am finding it harder and harder to sustain the 300 mile round trip every fortnight. Especially as I also know that whether I attend or not will not matter to the powers that be. Despite all the crap coming out the club, we no longer count.

As a club we have lost our way, have no vision for the future and the current strategy is not going to achieve anything other that a constant battle for survival. The constant round and round arguments & bitching on VT illustrates that we must be among the most disunited fans around and the negativity/positivity makes not a jot of difference to what is happening to our once great club.

We are now in obscurity.

 

Spot on Mike.

 

Depressing, isn't it?

 

Is this the fault of MON?

McLeish?

Houllier?

Lambert?

 

Yeah sure, the managers have made mistakes - but MON had money thrown at him, then the rug pulled quicker than he can say I quit, Houllier was given 30m even though we were apparently skint and making cut-backs under MON, McLeish was an insane choice and we are suffocating under the shit he bought - and he had to sell 40m worth of talent to get those signings - but again, Given on a 5 year deal?

 

And now Lambert is being forced to shop at Aldi.

 

Stupid choices, naïve decisions.

 

There is one thing consistent with our fall, one person, one man, he will get his money back (most of it at least) but I am not sure we will get our club back, this has set us back 10 years.

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I think it's sad that challenging for top six is seen as the holy grail, I'd like us to be able to achieve more than what Everton and Spurs have achived recently, I'd like for us to be better than more than 14 teams out of 20, I guess that's stating the obvious though.

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I think it's sad that challenging for top six is seen as the holy grail, I'd like us to be able to achieve more than what Everton and Spurs have achived recently, I'd like for us to be better than more than 14 teams out of 20, I guess that's stating the obvious though.

 

Right now I would like to have five or six more positive results at home. My expectations have fallen which is fantastic news for Lerner. He has done a blinding job in grinding us down.

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Tottenham and Everton will probably have their 'obscurity' moments in the not too distant future, opening the door for others to replace them.

 

Alas, I don't think that it will be the Villa who are one of the others.

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The problem is not just Aston Villa, it is unfortunately football as a whole. The hype of the Premier League is farcial outside the top 6 or 7 clubs. It really is a league of nothing teams.

 

Cannot argue with that, very true.

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The problem is not just Aston Villa, it is unfortunately football as a whole. The hype of the Premier League is farcial outside the top 6 or 7 clubs. It really is a league of nothing teams.

 

Spot on. Football in general is essentially about the money. Every once in a while a team springs up that defeats the odds but then eventually gets pillaged by the teams with richer owners. This has happened recently to teams like Dortmund and Real Sociedad who broke the trend and at least in other leagues it seemed possible for a while.

 

Unfortunately it doesn't even seem possible in the Premier League.

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In 21 Premier League seasons, we have only finished outside the top 10 on six occasions. However, the past two seasons have seen us finish on some of the lowest points tallies since the 2005/2006 season under David O'Leary.

 

Three top 6 finishes with Martin O'Neill demonstrate the glass ceiling he hit as manager as his outrageous spending, poor late season form (normally around March), and an inability to sign an out-and-out goalscorer (opting for Heskey) would be the downfall. The club had gambled with a great deal of money (both on wages and transfer fees). However, there were many memorable highs and lows. You have to remember that a lot of this success came before Man City were the financial powerhouse they are now.

 

Poor appointments and perhaps justified unwillingness to match the spending power has seen the club cut off in a league where the big clubs can spend outlandish amounts on players rather frequently.

 

Even after O'Neill's departure, it was wrong to appoint McLeish and Houllier (had we known about his health problems). The latter was brought in to use more continental approach to training after the noted fitness problems of a poorly rotated squad under O'Neill. Darren Bent was a desperate purchase when the club faced relegation and it proved to the benefit of the side in the short-term. We managed to finish 9th in a very tight league.

 

McLeish made bizarre and expensive signings (Given on a 5-year-contract and nearly £10m on Charles N'Zogbia) and his football merely alienated fans. He was rightfully sacked after an abysmal campaign.

 

I'd like to think that the appointment of Houiller was part of a longer-term plan that brought more of a continental approach to training, transfers and tactics but that was cut short due to ill-health.

 

I think trying to remove players on high contracts with no resale is sensible and I like the current transfer policy. However, many clubs, even the midtable sides like Stoke have big financial backers.

 

Compare us to a club like Swansea, and there style of football has been developed for many years under various managers and they have a good system of paying low contracts with high rewards. However, it's not paying off for them greatly this season as the sacking of Laudrup demonstrates.

 

Under previous regimes, almost all of the club's turnover was spent on wages and it was simply unaffordable. Something had to change. Now Lambert is slowly beginning to tackle this problem but it will take time.

 

His style of football is equal parts frustrating and enjoyable. He is prepared to drop players, rotate and change tactics but this season has been compounded by injury and a transfer window that failed to deliver a much needed attacking and creative player. Key players must also take responsibility for the clubs current state - Benteke, Weimann, Lowton, Westwood.

 

Yet, some players have really stood up this year - Delph, Clark, Vlaar and Guzan. The gulf is being driven by the clubs with the deepest pockets and Villa risk being left aside as they try and rebuild in a more economically sensible plan.

 

The club needs stability, a new approach and rid of the high earning and disruptive players. We are getting there and at least another positive from last month was finally getting Stephen Ireland off the books. All that really remain are N'Zogbia, Given and Bent.

 

I am happy? Not always but I appreciate what the club is trying to build and achieve without haemorrhaging money for short-term gain. As the financial problems of Bolton demonstrate, the drop to the Championship is unthinkable, but I don't think we'll be in a real relegation fight since the bottom half remains extremely tight.

 

With a highly acclaimed youth academy, training facilities, and tradition. I don't think the club is falling into obscurity and it was the 6th club to record 300 Premier League wins.

 

Our tradition is a top 10 Premier League side and we've maintained it for the most part. Outside of some very poor seasons, there's no reason why we can't re-establish such a claim. 

Edited by The_Steve
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