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How important is a club's history when judging results?


Panto_Villan
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This is a hypothetical question, and if possible it'd be nice to have the discussion without mentioning how good a job Lambert or Lerner are currently doing as it is a genuine question rather than a lecture from my soapbox. There's echoes of their situation in the example given below, but everyone has such entrenched views on both of them that there's no point asking this question in those threads.

 

So let's pretend for a moment that we finish this season in 16th and Lerner sells up to A. Owner, who fires Lambert and brings in A. Manager to replace him. After two years of their reign. if we finish the next seasons in 15th, then 14th, how do you feel about Owner and Manager? Assume the football is better than we've played this season, but only marginally so. 

 

As a fan, are you happy that they've improved the team, or are you just depressed that Villa's not in or around the European places? In other words, are the manager / owner being judged on their objective achievements or are they being judged against the previous history of the club? Or even just the fact that we've not got a chance of winning anything? That we're just an also-ran as far as the Premiership goes?

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history is irrelevant when judging current/future results...

but potential is important.

 

as long as do as well as our potential, i would be pretty happy.

ie: if we had the 8th highest turnover in the PL, i would like to think we would finish around 8th most years.

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Difficult to answer without coming across as some sort of deluded or 'entitled' supporter. The way I see it right now, a new owner might be another false dawn (that's how Lerner's tenure feels to me right at this snapshot moment) and raise expectations too high. We just don't know. I said in another thread, we will know a bit more about where we are headed and with what type of committment in the summer. Although it's a tricky World Cup year, it is a crucial summer for us. Miss the boat on achievable target players (whoever they may be) and it could be more of the same next season.

 

If there is a new owner, given what we were fed in 2006, would the fans believe what they were being told? I had my fingers burned, having bought into the hype. But I won't fall for it again. I will believe it, when I finally see it.

 

I just want to feel good about going to Villa Park again. To enjoy it and not feel as though I have wasted a small fortune on something that has brought disappointment, apathy and 'dread.'

 

Maybe what we need is a flag, or a scarf to make us feel good and patriotic. Then again, maybe not.

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A clubs History is only important to it's fans it has nothing to do with current results.

 

Results come from the players on the pitch and the more you can afford the better the players you have.

 

The only real importance today is a clubs ability to raise revenue so they can pay for themselves according to FFP rules, Bill Gates could buy us and inject 45m equity every three years per UEFA rules it wouldn't make a difference we are moving back to the days of prudence and financial men on the board running a club well.

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I think referring to past glories and judging current performance against it is part of the reason we are sometimes seen as being 'fickle' fans. I think there sometimes needs to be an appreciation that times have moved on - not saying expectations should be better managed but that getting behind the team when performing badly is maybe missed because our expectations are set so high?

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Briny_ear, I find your post interesting because your viewpoint is fundamentally different to mine.

 

In the hypothetical situation above I'd struggle to condemn the new owner / manager too much because they'd definitely made things better than when they arrived, just not by that much. Sure, they hadn't delivered us the world but at the same time all improvement is improvement, right?

 

You're of course right that any manager and the fans would want higher than 14th / 15th after two years, but I'm interested to understand why you feel that Villa would deserve it? Every other club is trying to do the same thing, right? Don't their supporters also feel that their club deserves to be top half?

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Put another way if the Lambert/Lerner regime was in charge of Wigan/Hull/Swansea/Cardiff etc (clubs that, with respect, have zero history/stature/size relative to our own)  - I reckon our current level of spending would be deemed to be acceptable and our resulting performances and league positions would do also. The appointment of McLeish still wouldn't make sense mind you.....

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Put another way if the Lambert/Lerner regime was in charge of Wigan/Hull/Swansea/Cardiff etc (clubs that, with respect, have zero history/stature/size relative to our own)  - I reckon our current level of spending would be deemed to be acceptable and our resulting performances and league positions would do also. The appointment of McLeish still wouldn't make sense mind you.....

 

Do you think those fans would be happy with finishing 15th and then 14th? I seem to remember Stoke fans getting sick of being mid-table under Pulis and getting rid of him because they couldn't see him taking the club any further, and have fallen back as a result of it.

 

I wonder if there's just an element of everyone wanting to be in the interesting league positions, not in the bottom half of the table....irrespective of when their club last won a title. I doubt Swansea fans say "we're not doing so well this season, but it's OK because we're a small club". Likewise, being a historically big club hasn't helped Leeds much and I wonder how big a club their supporters see themselves as?

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Everything is relative isn't it. For a current Prem club like Hull, Swansea, Cardiff, Fulham, Norwich, Southampton, West Ham, Stoke, West Brom etc who are all in comparison to us smaller clubs with a less rich history then a lower half Premier League finish would be considered relative success.

History are the foundations a club is built on. Foundations that weren't built overnight. I am immensely proud of this great clubs history but don't see if has something that should just be looked back on. It should be embraced everyday, used to inspire current players and we should all aspire to get back to those heights again. Our achievements however long ago are what separates us from most clubs and makes us special.

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I think the problem is all teams that are not winning trophies want to be doing better than they are.

You could guarantee that if we finished 5th in the table with our current squad, there would still be fans complaining that we'd missed out on CL and calling them "bottlers". I don't think this is so much to do with our history increasing expectations, but more to do with modern football fans and how we're influenced by things like Sky Sports News and Internet forums (irony much!!!).

Myself as a fan, I'd take Top 8 with a decent cup run every other year and decent football at VP - I'd be more than happy with that as I feel that with Villa being a non-London club, and with FFP in full swing, that is the best we could realistically hope for.

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Results are all that matter really but I'm a sucker for thinking we should be challenging the big clubs. For crying out loud we are one of the oldest, most succesful and biggest names in english football, we have history that can compete with any club. So yes I think we should be up their challenging, massive under achievers with absolutely huge potential. We all want to see attractive football but all that matters in results

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Put another way if the Lambert/Lerner regime was in charge of Wigan/Hull/Swansea/Cardiff etc (clubs that, with respect, have zero history/stature/size relative to our own)  - I reckon our current level of spending would be deemed to be acceptable and our resulting performances and league positions would do also. The appointment of McLeish still wouldn't make sense mind you.....

 

Do you think those fans would be happy with finishing 15th and then 14th? I seem to remember Stoke fans getting sick of being mid-table under Pulis and getting rid of him because they couldn't see him taking the club any further, and have fallen back as a result of it.

 

I wonder if there's just an element of everyone wanting to be in the interesting league positions, not in the bottom half of the table....irrespective of when their club last won a title. I doubt Swansea fans say "we're not doing so well this season, but it's OK because we're a small club". Likewise, being a historically big club hasn't helped Leeds much and I wonder how big a club their supporters see themselves as?

 

 

Everyone wants and to some extent expects their own team to be up in those interesting positions - top half and European places. I reckon the difference with us is that with us there's an expectation from non fans. Carragher said as much at the weekend, that he sees us on a par with Spurs and Everton and expects us to be challenging for the Europa League places, which for someone of his era (and mine) has been our traditional level more often than not.

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When looking at progress I look at player improvement first, then team performance, then results and then league table.

Benteke's individual performance on Sunday has encouraged me to keep using the same process.

Ps I look for trophies when all the cylinders are firing correctly, until that is so, i forget it.

Edited by TRO
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I think the problem is all teams that are not winning trophies want to be doing better than they are.

You could guarantee that if we finished 5th in the table with our current squad, there would still be fans complaining that we'd missed out on CL and calling them "bottlers". I don't think this is so much to do with our history increasing expectations, but more to do with modern football fans and how we're influenced by things like Sky Sports News and Internet forums (irony much!!!).

Myself as a fan, I'd take Top 8 with a decent cup run every other year and decent football at VP - I'd be more than happy with that as I feel that with Villa being a non-London club, and with FFP in full swing, that is the best we could realistically hope for.

.....but expectation runs in parallel with consistent league improvement.

Top half would be fine now.....but when we achieve that regularly, we will want to go higher.....it's only natural.

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