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The Optimist's Perspective


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By RichardCanning

Given the increasing amount of pessimism creeping into the site following the Harewood signing and dismissal of SWP I figured I’d remind people of the optimistic perspective that still exists amidst some of the fanbase on VT. I am not naïve enough to believe I can change anyone’s way of thinking but what I would hope is that some of those spreading the pessimism should have a think before assuming everything we’re seeing has happened before. I’ve split this post into headings so as to make it more readable as I know some do not like to read big bulks of text.

Faith In O’Neill

MON in my opinion is a very good manager, his record both in terms of trophies and transfer activity backs my opinion. However to suggest he is perfect is ludicrous, I think the saga of Agbonlahor playing out on the wing tells us this. At present he is still learning about the villa squad he inherited and carefully picking the areas and players to improve from what is available given the current situation.

The Harewood Signing

Last season we worked best when either Carew or Sutton were in the side. With Sutton no longer on the books and the potential of an injury to Carew, Martin has purchased Harewood as an option so that a Carew injury would not be detrimental. I severely doubt Carew & Harewood will be the front line for games this season, it wasn’t implemented in the Toronto game nor do I expect to see it used frequently next season. I know Harewood isn’t necessarily the signing we were all looking for, having said that I don’t think Ronaldinho will be joining any time soon and if he did I’m sure some on here would call him a showpony.

Expectation Level Regards Signings

I am not saying that my expectation of level of signing has fallen as low as Marlon Harewood, what I am saying is that I would rather have Marlon Harewood in the squad for the start of the season than no cover for Carew. I struggle to name players who would be willing to come here and play a bit part who will do the Carew role. I know people at this point will argue Harewood has said he hasn’t come to sit on the bench, but in realistic terms how many players do move to another club saying that’s what they’ve come to do, I’m sure Dudek is saying to the Spanish media he intends to challenge Casillas for the Madrid goalkeeping jersey (no pun intended) but in truth we all know Dudek will never be first choice barring something crazy happening in Madrid.

Lack Of Transfer Activity

The lack of activity in the transfer market is a concern. I think every villa fan thinks this and if the transfer window closed tomorrow I’d be concerned. But the fact is the transfer window has a month left to run. A month in which O’Neill can finalise and get the players he wants. We already know he has targets in mind and these targets will have been well researched. The thread that brings me most comfort in respect of this was the name MON’s bad signings at previous clubs which drew very little response. Therefore given his track record we can be confident that the players MON bring in will be up to the task. And when judging these players let us remember that every player is someone else’s reject. Henry was a Juventus reject because he didn’t fit in there, just imagine what Juve would give to have him back now!

Failed Transfer Targets/Non Interest In Players

In this day and age with everybody wanting to be a football manager and having their own idea on tactics and players to sign (which we will never know if right or wrong as our transfer/tactical decisions are always merely hypothetical) it becomes frustrating to see the manager not following our path of thought as we believe in our own path of thought otherwise we’d have no self esteem. The only point I would thus like to make is that none of us are football managers at the level of MON, that’s not to say none of us are right but it does say we do not know how the transfer market works in the real big world and MON has earned the right to manoeuvre in it due to his years both as a player and manager. Experience we do not nor will we ever have! As such my only point on this would be tread carefully when talking regards situations we have a very low information base on as even with the board’s money it may not be as simple as we all think it is given our hours on Football Manager.

The Board

For me the bunch taking the most slack at present and very little of it seemingly their own doing. The comment from Richard Fitzgerald regards signings was very much subjective and as such those trying to read too much into it are in my opinion (and it may only be my opinion) being a bit silly. Any player who MON chooses and previously illustrated with regards his lack of transfer failings are likely to be class (by this I mean capable of playing for Aston Villa to a decent standard in the Premier League next season). The reasonable expectation with regards signing quality and use it to make fans buy tickets to make revenue for the club. Personally I see nothing wrong with this, but I also understand given some of the previous spiel we have been given by the previous regime why people are dubious and thus claiming we are being conned. I know this argument sounds like one rule for the current board and another for the previous board but we never previously had MON in charge nor have many given the current board a chance instead branding them with the same brush as the prior board.

Off The Field

It looks good I’m sure the bulk majority are agreed on this and long may it continue.

I’ve put myself out to be shot down with this post and certainly made it known why my loyalties lie. I’m not implying I’m a better fan than anyone because of my stance (hell I only get to 2-3 home games a year due to my own playing commitments) but what I would hope for is that we as villa fans can regroup and up the optimism levels for the start of the season because I think we all know that when you believe in something without the cynicism deep down then it makes it that bit easier to go completely nuts and get carried away when things are going well which is when the best times of supporting a team are.

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See again we have this labeling which infers that if you dont follow this to the letter then you are some sort of "moaner" or "pessimist". Why is that?

Unlike the Ellis years where there seemed to be a clear divide behind those that thought he was good for the club and those that didn't, I am struggling to find anyone who thinks that the new regime isn't a good one. The expectations of the fans have risen far above what they were say 14 months ago and that's due to what they have seen and more so what they have heard from the regime. Rightly then if people feel that the pace of change is not fast enough or off course then they have the right to voice that as an opinion. The web sites that are set up for Villa fans have the unique opportunity to speak to a board member, a brilliant thing for all concerned, fans and club. I wouldn't expect the general etc though for every post to be "I love MON and Randy and want their children ....", and I would expect that the club wants to hear what the fans are feeling both good and bad so they have the opportunity to address it or at least give an explanation. Its not moaning or pessimism its saying what you think.

I put up an article a few months ago about how pleased I was for me, my kids and my grandson that they now have a club to follow that is going the right way and will be a great one again. Randy and co have made that happen and for that again I thank them. That doesn't though stop me saying when I want to, what I feel is wrong.

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That doesn't though stop me saying when I want to, what I feel is wrong.

Drat nothing stops anyone voicing an opinion BUT.... surely the way that opinion has been voiced by a vocal minority over the last two weeks is out of order? Lies and deciet have been alleged... is that ok but 'I love MON' isn't?

Of course there is a middle ground which I think the above helps to direct us to.

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That doesn't though stop me saying when I want to, what I feel is wrong.

Drat nothing stops anyone voicing an opinion BUT.... surely the way that opinion has been voiced by a vocal minority over the last two weeks is out of order? Lies and deciet have been alleged... is that ok but 'I love MON' isn't?

Of course there is a middle ground which I think the above helps to direct us to.

Denis - the problem is mountain out of a molehill syndrome

The fact that those words you mention were written are now being attributed to anyone who doesn't think its all sweetness and light. Hence the labeling of pessimist and / or optimist.

If people do feel they have been lied to then so be it and let them say so openly. If people are talking about deceit then again let them say why they feel this way.

You know as well as anyone that we as fans have had a very painful past few years and those were phrases that were used often, and some could argue with justification. The new guys are running a business, one that depends on winning the hearts and minds of the fans (customers). They are going about it in mainly the right way, but the core product (the team) is still the one that the fans want to see do well. These days oif transfer windows mean that there is a relative short time to improve the team, this year we have chosen to not do a lot of business to date in that area despite assurances / statements to the contrary. Expectations of the fans is high and I am glad that they are because it shows that we are going the right way. The fans are delivering in ticket sales, no doubt kit sales etc, the club have to continue to do their bit.

It helps no one though when these labels are put on groups of people because the bottom line now compared to the Ellis days, is that we all want the same thing from the same people.

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See again we have this labeling which infers that if you dont follow this to the letter then you are some sort of "moaner" or "pessimist". Why is that?

Some people's views are more optimistic, others are more pessimistic. Fact. What's the problem in recognising that? And if someone airs a view which others think is too pessimistic (as many have done), they have the right to disagree.

Why interpret it as an attempt to impose one view at the expense of any other?

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See again we have this labeling which infers that if you dont follow this to the letter then you are some sort of "moaner" or "pessimist". Why is that?

Some people's views are more optimistic, others are more pessimistic. Fact. What's the problem in recognising that? And if someone airs a view which others think is too pessimistic (as many have done), they have the right to disagree.

Why interpret it as an attempt to impose one view at the expense of any other?

Eh?

Isn't that point I am making here?

Why should levels of positivity be measured and labeled in this way as some sort of "better fan than you" type exercise.

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Can we not go down the better fan route Ian, all I'm asking for in the article is that those who are currently not feeling so good about things that have happened in recent weeks don't view them as merely black and white and see how they pan out before the end of the transfer window. I have attempted to put my opinion and reasoning as to why they have happened so as to reduce those shooting from the hip which often causes controversy and frustration and sometimes cards for users

I entitled the article an optimists view so that those who feel things aren't going the way they wish would read it so as to see and hopefully consider a contrasting viewpoint to their own.

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Richard I agree, and for the record I like the article. Most people can only really comment on what is happening at that time and VT is a perfect example of how people change - fickle a previous manager called it.

But for me anyway there is a distinct level of better than you in a lot of the comments that mention "moaners" "whingers" "pessimists" etc as some sort of justification for their view point.

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See again we have this labeling which infers that if you dont follow this to the letter then you are some sort of "moaner" or "pessimist". Why is that?

Some people's views are more optimistic, others are more pessimistic. Fact. What's the problem in recognising that? And if someone airs a view which others think is too pessimistic (as many have done), they have the right to disagree.

Why interpret it as an attempt to impose one view at the expense of any other?

Eh? Isn't that point I am making here?

If you are, then perhaps you haven't quite put it across that clearly, Ian.

You seemed, from what you wrote, to be objecting to Richard's use of "optimistic" and "pessimistic" because you seem to think ". it is labeling which infers that if you dont follow [the argument in his his post] to the letter then you are some sort of "moaner"... (i.e. an attempt to impose a view).

Whereas PMS has said "Some people's views are more optimistic, others are more pessimistic. Fact. What's the problem in recognising that?"

i.e. you seemed to have the hump with the mention of optimism and pesimism, whereas pms has no problem with recognising that people do have varying degrees of outlook.

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I have no problem in recognizing that some people are happier (is that a better word?) than others about where we find ourselves. What I do have an issue with is the continued use of terms such as "whinger" "moaner" "pessimist" as a label for those that are not in the same happy land of bunnies and blue skies.

The title of this thread is "optimists" perspective and then goes on to say "some of those spreading the pessimism" and "those trying to read too much into it are in my opinion (and it may only be my opinion) being a bit silly." which for me detracts from an otherwise excellent article.

There is no need for this two camp scenario that some are trying to build.

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I have no problem in recognizing that some people are happier (is that a better word?) than others about where we find ourselves. What I do have an issue with is the continued use of terms such as "whinger" "moaner" "pessimist" as a label for those that are not in the same happy land of bunnies and blue skies.

The title of this thread is "optimists" perspective and then goes on to say "some of those spreading the pessimism" and "those trying to read too much into it are in my opinion (and it may only be my opinion) being a bit silly." which for me detracts from an otherwise excellent article.

There is no need for this two camp scenario that some are trying to build.

Optimist/pessimist are fairly objective descriptions. Whinger and moaner are not.

If you read a challenge to pessimism as an attempt to enforce one view, then you read far too much into it.

There are many different views. "Two camps" doesn't really describe the variety of views that I see on here. At the same time, if you want to broadly categorise things by saying that some people appear fairly optimistic, others pessimistic, then most people would know what you're saying. But moving from this, to asserting that stating an opinion and challenging others is an attempt to dictate a line and say that no-one may disagree with it, it really a massive leap which in my view is just wrong.

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....I thought it was an excellent post Richard and considering you only go to 2-3 home games ....very well informed

The pessimist v Optimist arguement is unfortunate as we all love AVFC and to be honest I enjoy the differences of opinion, I do subscribe to the fact that one group has no more claim on super fan than the other..... we just all see things different.

I am intrinsically dissappointed in the transfer activity, but that is negated by the total belief I have in this Manager( there must be good reason)..... Sorry for seemingly having rose tints on, but I just do.

Leading up the David O'Leary going many Villa Fans I speak to all shared the same view .....Who would you want as manager and the wish list was Unanimous......Martin O'Neill to the point that some fans said why do you keep mentioning his name we will never get him...... We did and I have no reason to change my original view.

..... There are some exceedingly articulate people that write on this site and without doubt have a lot of knowledge about avfc..... but I'm happy to say that Martin O'Neill is in charge and there is no threat to his day job.

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Unlike the Ellis years where there seemed to be a clear divide behind those that thought he was good for the club and those that didn't, I am struggling to find anyone who thinks that the new regime isn't a good one.

Drat: if you are struggling as you say above, or feel that "the problem is mountain out of a molehill syndrome", I suggest you read the all-too-frequent and lengthy posts on Vital Villa by one very persistent 'fan' who constantly criticises and questions everything RAL and MON related, and is so negative as to make you wonder which team he supports. It is him and one or two others like him who have caused this (perhaps over?) reaction. Criticism of HDE, after years of proven neglect, is one thing. Utter rudeness and constant criticism of the people who have saved Villa from HDE and who have, so far, delivered on every promise made, is completely premature and needs to be vigorously opposed.

This particular 'fan' has asked almost from the second the transfer window opened why MON has not signed a dozen top quality players, regardless of who is available and for what price, and has done so in the most negative way possible. He has in the same breath criticised and questioned the quality of the players MON has bought, and constantly questions Villa's current backroom team, and their ability to bring success to Villa Park. He seems to be of the opinion that, if only he had been appointed manager, Villa would be challenging for Champions League football this coming season.

However, what I find deeply offensive is to have the members of the board accused of lying. I hope to God they don't think we all feel that. If I were RAL I'd be considering closing the club down and saying sod off to the ungrateful sods who support it! After 23 years of inaction, HDE could well expect such accusations to be thrown at him. We know how he operated. Has that poisoned us so much that we now trust nobody - even if they have done nothing but good so far?

As for me, bring on more of the Optimist's Perspective please, to counter the Quislings. Premiership football is hard enough without having Gollum in the camp!

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Very good comments and should make people realise that this club is going forward again.

When you look at the attacking potential from midfield and up front, it is better than for many a year. We need to get a right back, Villa fan in Lisbon on another site who I know well and remembers the old third division days with me says we have bid £3m for Boswinga but they are asking £5m. Says a deal will by struck by the middle of the week, he is in the last year of his contract apparently.

Think we will also get a keeper and think we could be in for the best seaosn in many a year :D

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Drat: if you are struggling as you say above, or feel that "the problem is mountain out of a molehill syndrome", I suggest you read the all-too-frequent and lengthy posts on Vital Villa by one very persistent 'fan' who constantly criticises and questions everything RAL and MON related, and is so negative as to make you wonder which team he supports. It is him and one or two others like him who have caused this (perhaps over?) reaction.....As for me, bring on more of the Optimist's Perspective please, to counter the Quislings. Premiership football is hard enough without having Gollum in the camp!

.....Bob everyone is entitled to their opinion, but like you've said, some comments are just plain rude and offensive..... I'm pretty sure these guys know that the offensive comments are from a very small minority.

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I am intrinsically dissappointed in the transfer activity, but that is negated by the total belief I have in this Manager( there must be good reason).

Yep - exactly where I am at too TRO.

It has IMO been up to this point a very poor summer transfer window. That can (and IMO should) change over the next couple of weeks.

But i still have the utmost faith in this manager to get us good results next season.

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