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wilko154

Villa Park Atmosphere

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I thought it was about time we had a discussion on the Villa Park atmosphere.

Personally I am pretty dissapointed in the current atmosphere, it seems to be toxic right from kick off every single week. We wonder why our form has dipped at home, and why the team look to be a bag of nerves at times but in my opinion we need to take a look at ourselves and realise that we aren't helping the problem.

This isn't a rant at everyone at Villa Park as I know most on this forum have pretty grounded views on where we are now, that being a Championship football club in a transitional period under Dean Smith. I also appreciate that we have had to watch some pretty poor performances this season (and the 10 years prior) and atmosphere in most cases is generated from the performances on the pitch.

But so far this season from the Holte End I have witnessed, people booing or taking the piss out of goalkeepers (new goalkeepers who are finding their feet at the club), booing substitions, booing players for passing sideways or back to the defence, abusing players consistently throughout the 90 minutes even if they have had a fairly decent game (see Whelan, Elmo, Hourihane, Kodjia, Adomah, Elphick, Chester, Taylor, Nyland)... and a cabbage thrown at the manager.

We seem to be a fan base that love a scapegoat. Currently it seems to be Hourihane who gets the brunt of it, with fans divided in opinion on whether he's just a set piece merchant or a good midfielder. I personally think he's a good player playing in a weak midfield with a weak defence behind him. Again I understand that everyone has different opinions at a football match, but we are supposed to be turning up each week to support and get behind the football team, no matter who is wearing the shirt.

I go to a lot of away games, and the difference in atmosphere is like night and day. People turn up week in week out and get behind the team from the first minute until the last. This is what we need at Villa Park, we saw it last season where we sold out and got behind the team for 90 minutes and helped drive the team over the line. See the Wolves and Bristol City games where we were magnificent for the entire game both on the pitch and in the stands.

We are lucky enough to have a stadium like Villa Park, with 30-40k people turning up week in week out. Let's start using it to our advantage.

 

It would be interesting to hear other peoples opinions on the current atmosphere and also what it's like around the ground from the other stands.

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It's no different, or not much different, to most other large grounds in the country.

When things go well it's electric. When things go badly it's toxic.

I bet the Stoke fans or Leeds fans or Sunderland fans or newcastle fans are all having similar discussions.

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8 minutes ago, Stevo985 said:

It's no different, or not much different, to most other large grounds in the country.

When things go well it's electric. When things go badly it's toxic.

I bet the Stoke fans or Leeds fans or Sunderland fans or newcastle fans are all having similar discussions.

True but have things gone bad enough for it to turn toxic? Since Smith took over we’ve lost one game at home. Yes we draw way to many but we are still stronger at home than away. 

When Ipswich scored it almost seemed like the nerves from the fans were passed on to the players. 

We have some massive games coming up at home against teams above us. We really need the crowd to be a 12th man. 

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1 minute ago, Vive_La_Villa said:

True but have things gone bad enough for it to turn toxic? Since Smith took over we’ve lost one game at home. Yes we draw way to many but we are still stronger at home than away. 

When Ipswich scored it almost seemed like the nerves from the fans were passed on to the players. 

We have some massive games coming up at home against teams above us. We really need the crowd to be a 12th man. 

Our performances in 2019 have been absolute garbage to be fair.

I understand the extenuating circumstances. It's not a dig at smith, he's doing ok with what he has to work with. But the football and a lot of the results have been awful, so I also understand why the crowd is frustrated, and also why they're nervous in situations like it getting back to 2-1 on the weekend. It's all got a feel of "here we go again".

 

It's give and take. if the players give the crowd something, the crowd will respond.

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1 minute ago, Stevo985 said:

It's give and take. if the players give the crowd something, the crowd will respond.

True but I don’t think it’s due to lack of effort. That would be unforgivable. Most of them are just crap and low on confidence. That’s when fans getting on their backs won’t really help.

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15 minutes ago, wilko154 said:

I thought it was about time we had a discussion on the Villa Park atmosphere.

Personally I am pretty dissapointed in the current atmosphere, it seems to be toxic right from kick off every single week. We wonder why our form has dipped at home, and why the team look to be a bag of nerves at times but in my opinion we need to take a look at ourselves and realise that we aren't helping the problem.

This isn't a rant at everyone at Villa Park as I know most on this forum have pretty grounded views on where we are now, that being a Championship football club in a transitional period under Dean Smith. I also appreciate that we have had to watch some pretty poor performances this season (and the 10 years prior) and atmosphere in most cases is generated from the performances on the pitch.

But so far this season from the Holte End I have witnessed, people booing or taking the piss out of goalkeepers (new goalkeepers who are finding their feet at the club), booing substitions, booing players for passing sideways or back to the defence, abusing players consistently throughout the 90 minutes even if they have had a fairly decent game (see Whelan, Elmo, Hourihane, Kodjia, Adomah, Elphick, Chester, Taylor, Nyland)... and a cabbage thrown at the manager.

We seem to be a fan base that love a scapegoat. Currently it seems to be Hourihane who gets the brunt of it, with fans divided in opinion on whether he's just a set piece merchant or a good midfielder. I personally think he's a good player playing in a weak midfield with a weak defence behind him. Again I understand that everyone has different opinions at a football match, but we are supposed to be turning up each week to support and get behind the football team, no matter who is wearing the shirt.

I go to a lot of away games, and the difference in atmosphere is like night and day. People turn up week in week out and get behind the team from the first minute until the last. This is what we need at Villa Park, we saw it last season where we sold out and got behind the team for 90 minutes and helped drive the team over the line. See the Wolves and Bristol City games where we were magnificent for the entire game both on the pitch and in the stands.

We are lucky enough to have a stadium like Villa Park, with 30-40k people turning up week in week out. Let's start using it to our advantage.

 

It would be interesting to hear other peoples opinions on the current atmosphere and also what it's like around the ground from the other stands.

I think the core of it is pure frustration.

I would also say that fans witnessing the same things happening week in week out in our current situation don't help.

I.e players playing sidewards instead of forwards, players looking laclustre when pulling on the shirt, substitutions that are made. I'd say it's a combination of many things imo that snowball into one massive one.

As for scapegoats, currently Hourihane which makes a change from it being Nyland or Hutton. The minute Tammy hits a dry patch he will be next possibly.

In the world of small mindedness driven by social media etc. Then it's obviously spilling over and into Villa park.

For many people it is a shock what they are currently witnessing and maybe not used to it or can't handle the transition period we are in.

I do agree though that some of the shite brandished is ott at times. Wether that's on forums, social media or in Villa Park. Players pick up in this, but that is also not solely the reason of course. Expectation has always been one of our downfalls.

That's my take on as to possibly why.

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What ever happened to the Brigada?  Did the miserable gits drive them out?

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Things have been like that since MON - nothing will change that. Maybe other clubs are the same, maybe they're more positive...but overall i doubt it.  all i know is even when we were pushing for the CL people were still moaning and groaning.

i actually thought the atmosphere was fairly decent saturday

totally agree on your point about always having a scapegoat though...i remember when petrov was! not sure who the current one is...probably taylor with whelan as vice-scapegoat

Edited by tomav84

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Agree about the poor atmosphere - although I think this had been a problem for a good few years now and the longer we are without success, the worse it will become.

I just wonder how much players are really affected by crowd atmosphere? They usually tend to say not a lot.

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the hope has gone for the moment hence the poor atmosphere I think it will get better when Jack is back.

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I always used to say that you can't blame the fans for a bad atmosphere.

The players have to set the tone with an upbeat performance, and to a certain extent I still believe that. However some people don't even seem to be watching the games when the start moaning about a certain player or tsituation

When the atmosphere is generated by a general feeling that....we should be playing 442 or that Whelan is playing crap (when neither point is actually valid)

Then what can the players do to affect the situation?

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10 minutes ago, Stevo985 said:

People screaming for us to GET IT FORWARD rather than pass it around.

I think this is sometimes frustration & also people watch the game differently I suppose,  people shout "Cross it" when there is noone in the box,  but they just want the ball in the box as there is a chance something might happen.  

It's all said with best intentions I guess and VP is all about momentum,  once it gets going it goes so to speak but there has to be evidense of continual improvement + All giving 110 % + (My opinion only...My favourite player ever was T.Morley.  The whole crowd changed when he got the ball,  you could hear / feel it,  get one like him, that does that sort of thing ) 😀.  Some of the greatest moments of my life were at VP.  How many fans (Younger ) can say that now ? 

When the old Hotle end was full and when we were good,  you could not hear yourself think let alone shout tactical advice.  We need to get it back to loud,  you wont hear them then 😀

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People are stupid but I can't accept it's just a Villa problem. 

Our case might be amplified by the fact they we had the worst record out of all 92 clubs over a 5 year period until recently.

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Listen its not just villa Park it's most grounds. As I live in London a lot my mates are united Chelsea spurs arsenal etc. I've gone to them all with my mates sat with the home fans with my mate. 

It's same when things don't go that way. I found Chelsea fans to be the worst. They would be winning and their fans would ati be screaming abuse at their players 

You ain't going to stop that at big clubs. 30k fans you think they will all be angel's? 

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I do admire the German and general European way of going to make as much noise and bounce no matter what.

The day out seems about creating an atmosphere and the result is just a nice bonus if it goes your way.

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5 hours ago, Stevo985 said:

It's no different, or not much different, to most other large grounds in the country.

When things go well it's electric. When things go badly it's toxic.

I bet the Stoke fans or Leeds fans or Sunderland fans or newcastle fans are all having similar discussions.

The thing is, you would consider being 2-0 up as 'things going well', and yet the atmosphere was still fairly poor. There was a little bit of chanting after we went 2 up, but nothing like we've seen before while winning.

I know a few people can't be used as any kind of gauge, but some of the people sat by me on Saturday were still moaning at sideways and backwards passes while we were winning 2-0. 

I'd say our atmosphere is slightly worse than other clubs with large grounds in the country, at this moment in time.

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11 minutes ago, Rob182 said:

The thing is, you would consider being 2-0 up as 'things going well', and yet the atmosphere was still fairly poor. There was a little bit of chanting after we went 2 up, but nothing like we've seen before while winning.

I know a few people can't be used as any kind of gauge, but some of the people sat by me on Saturday were still moaning at sideways and backwards passes while we were winning 2-0. 

I'd say our atmosphere is slightly worse than other clubs with large grounds in the country, at this moment in time.

Its all due to expectation. When we exceed expectations (even if that's not a win) the place is bouncing, if we're falling short (even when winning) it's flat. 

At the end of the day we were 2-0 from a  goal after 5 mins and a fortunate penalty against the worst team in the league, the atmosphere was never going to be the same as if we were beating Man City, for example, but it was "OK". A few songs, a little noise etc. It all went tits up when they scored because firstly we had completely let them (the worst team in the league) back into the match and it all had a feeling of "here we go again", that's where the frustration comes from, because for our faults we should be fairly comfortable against the worst team in the league if we have any playoff aspirations (which we do, as a general fan base).

And if this was a one off and we'd been in decent, playoff contention form you wouldn't see it, but we've been playing v poorly and not winning games for ages now, and we need wins to have any chance. Against the worst team in the league we shouldn't be struggling and that's where the fans frustrations start spilling over 

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38 minutes ago, weedman said:

Its all due to expectation. When we exceed expectations (even if that's not a win) the place is bouncing, if we're falling short (even when winning) it's flat. 

At the end of the day we were 2-0 from a  goal after 5 mins and a fortunate penalty against the worst team in the league, the atmosphere was never going to be the same as if we were beating Man City, for example, but it was "OK". A few songs, a little noise etc. It all went tits up when they scored because firstly we had completely let them (the worst team in the league) back into the match and it all had a feeling of "here we go again", that's where the frustration comes from, because for our faults we should be fairly comfortable against the worst team in the league if we have any playoff aspirations (which we do, as a general fan base).

And if this was a one off and we'd been in decent, playoff contention form you wouldn't see it, but we've been playing v poorly and not winning games for ages now, and we need wins to have any chance. Against the worst team in the league we shouldn't be struggling and that's where the fans frustrations start spilling over 

Understand that completely.

But would you agree that if after the second goal went in on Saturday, the atmosphere had become ramped up to the max from then until the final whistle... Would the game have finished 2-1 or would it have finished 2-0/3-0?

In my opinion we crumble as a team when the crowd get on the players backs. Things like passing the ball back to the defence, you hear rumblings in the crowd, if it's Whelan or Hourihane who make the pass back they get some abuse from a few people. The defence start looking shaky on the ball, we start getting sloppy with the passes. But if you watch Man City for example, they regularly knock the ball back to the defence and rebuild the attack - granted they are a lot quicker at doing it than us, but it's all about keeping possesion and control of the game.

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