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The attitude towards our players

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I think there will be a multitude of reasons for this; modern football, mercenary players, social media and the ability to spout negativity to a large audience within seconds of the final whistle without the time for calm reflection.

But one of the largest factors but the more recent downturn in attitudes is the fact Villa are still in the throws of some of their lowest ebbs as a football club, certainly in the last 30 years. Villa fans are struggling to adapt to the fact we're nobodies, we're a small fish in a big pond, Wolves and Leicester are light years ahead of us. That anger, disbelief and almost denial gets aimed at the easiest target - the players. The longer you're at the club the more you are 'responsible' for the ongoing malaise.

I can't see this changing until, if and when, we're at least a stable Premier League club.

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It's always a common theme every season when we're doing rubbish. It felt the same last season when we went through a poor spell. 

We're not doing well so therefore the squad is rubbish, the manager gets questioned, the coaching staff are rubbish, the scouting team are rubbish and so on. 

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43 minutes ago, jackbauer24 said:

I think there will be a multitude of reasons for this; modern football, mercenary players, social media and the ability to spout negativity to a large audience within seconds of the final whistle without the time for calm reflection.

But one of the largest factors but the more recent downturn in attitudes is the fact Villa are still in the throws of some of their lowest ebbs as a football club, certainly in the last 30 years. Villa fans are struggling to adapt to the fact we're nobodies, we're a small fish in a big pond, Wolves and Leicester are light years ahead of us. That anger, disbelief and almost denial gets aimed at the easiest target - the players. The longer you're at the club the more you are 'responsible' for the ongoing malaise.

I can't see this changing until, if and when, we're at least a stable Premier League club.

I highlighted what I thought was the most telling part.

In the last 10 years, smartphones and constant internet access have become the norm. This gives everybody the chance to vent immediately. Sadly, everything posted on the internet is public record and reaches a massive audience (including the players themselves).

Back in the good ol' days, you'd vent to your friends/family and then get a chance to contemplate and rethink things. Nowadays you have a willing audience who reacted just like you did, which reinforces your original perspective without the chance for reflection.

I only see 1 remedy for this: Keep off social media.

.... sadly, the next generation aren't listening to this advice.

 

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2 hours ago, ozvillafan said:

I highlighted what I thought was the most telling part.

In the last 10 years, smartphones and constant internet access have become the norm. This gives everybody the chance to vent immediately. Sadly, everything posted on the internet is public record and reaches a massive audience (including the players themselves).

Back in the good ol' days, you'd vent to your friends/family and then get a chance to contemplate and rethink things. Nowadays you have a willing audience who reacted just like you did, which reinforces your original perspective without the chance for reflection.

I only see 1 remedy for this: Keep off social media.

.... sadly, the next generation aren't listening to this advice.

 

100% agree with you.

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Also, with the availability of the intynet, it gives us the benefit of getting to know our players through club videos, podcasts, etc. Before, you would only know what a player was like if you had the off chance of meeting them.

Despite what people think of him as a footballer, Neil Taylor seems like an awesome bloke. Jack is Villa through and through, and watching him in the tunnel before the match with the mascots, he seems like a genuine nice guy too. Tyrone is another who would do anything for the fans. To be honest, I cant think of any of our players being " bad eggs".

We have had our fair share of mercenaries, and players who weren't at the club for football. An example would be Lescott, when he tweeted his new car after another loss. Instead of apologising, he claimed he accidentally tweeted it when his phone was in his pocket.

I totally agree that our players deserve our support, and I would like to include Dean Smith as well. Nobody likes losing, and I am pretty sure our players and coaches want nothing more than 3 points every game. Unfortunately, they have to compete against 11 other guys who want the very same thing, which means that one side is probably going to be unhappy.

They wear our shirt. They are trying to win not just for themselves, but also for us.

We are Villa. They are Villa. They deserve our support.

 

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On the internet everything is black or white. Players, coaches, teams, matches are either brilliant or terrible. The reality of course is usually somewhere in the middle. 

The other problem is that people become entrenched on one side of an argument and can’t or won’t see the other side. The language becomes more strident and exaggerated and so people are reluctant to give an inch to the other side. It’s all very unnecessary, unhealthy and not at all helpful. 

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We also, as fans, have to acknowledge there is only a small sliver of the spectrum we are seeing and basing our opinions and judgements on.

We, the armchair experts, will question why players do certain things, or why the manager makes certain decisions. The truth is, they are the ones who have been doing the drills, who know their team mates better than anyone else, and who know the opposition better than we do. If anyone posed questions to the players or manager about the decisions they made, I am quite sure the answer they give will be based on experience and footballing knowledge, which would be something the armchair critic, the gutless facebook  haunter, and the twitter twit would lack.

We need to understand, these guys didn't get to where they are by chance, or by winning a contest from the back of a cereal box, they got there by hard work, and from somebody noticing that this kid has some potential to be special. Tens of thousands of kids in countries around the world dream of being where these guys are, and about 99.99% of them don't even get close.

I have seen posts claiming that they would be better players than some of our own, and that they themselves would be a better manager than Dean Smith FFS, which is not just ridiculous, but bloody embarrassing. Sure, everyone has the right to opinions and judgements, especially if we love football and the Villa, but lets keep it in perspective.

Until someone else wants them, or they don't want to be here anymore, these players are ours. Long after they are gone, we will still be here, but for now, they are Villa too.

 

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Somehow it feels like writing here should have a meaning, like how would I make us better ... instead of "just" settling for things as they are and cheering. If so, it's natural most posts are negative in nature, even if they are meant to be positive. This creates a negative feeling to the board. This goes whether we're winning or losing, it doesn't matter.

The language used to express this is terrible, I wish people would tone down, myself included.

I think Match thread is different from player threads. In Match thread emotion takes over, and that's ok in my opinion. Player threads should definitely be more balanced, it would be nice to read some supportive posts there. Even if they don't feel necessary.

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The whole of society is now geared towards instant gratification. You can watch box sets in a night where in the past you would have to do it over a period of 2 months. You get instant access to information on your phone when previously you would have had to go to a library. In short, people have forgotten how to be patient. Add to that the fact that you can instantly share your views whilst still in an emotional state! It’s a recipe for disaster.

People have also lost the ability to see the bigger picture. Player A having a bad game = Player A is shit! I watched the match last night and Traore looks like an absolute world beater. I remember people on here calling him all sorts of things. I feel the same about lots of our summer signings. It is too early to write any of them off but in VT world most are not fit to play for Sutton Town.

I remember as a kid waiting patiently for my Commodore 64 to load a game for me to play only for it to crash at the last minute. I didn’t lose my shit I just started again and read a bit more of Roy of the Rovers! Technology is a wonderful thing to which we all benefit significantly but it also has it’s downsides.

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I think the issue is that a lot of our fans have a sense of entitlement , because of our history , because of the large fanbase , some believe we have a right to be in the top league. The truth is our history and large fanbase are a weight around the neck of the staff and this is very difficult club to manage , we still have a very good chance of staying in this league but we will all need to support the team to achieve it.

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30 minutes ago, M_Afro said:

The whole of society is now geared towards instant gratification. You can watch box sets in a night where in the past you would have to do it over a period of 2 months. You get instant access to information on your phone when previously you would have had to go to a library. In short, people have forgotten how to be patient. Add to that the fact that you can instantly share your views whilst still in an emotional state! It’s a recipe for disaster.

People have also lost the ability to see the bigger picture. Player A having a bad game = Player A is shit! I watched the match last night and Traore looks like an absolute world beater. I remember people on here calling him all sorts of things. I feel the same about lots of our summer signings. It is too early to write any of them off but in VT world most are not fit to play for Sutton Town.

I remember as a kid waiting patiently for my Commodore 64 to load a game for me to play only for it to crash at the last minute. I didn’t lose my shit I just started again and read a bit more of Roy of the Rovers! Technology is a wonderful thing to which we all benefit significantly but it also has it’s downsides.

I couldn’t agree more. I think this “want it all now” attitude is a societal problem in general, but it manifests itself more so on social media. People watch TV programs about celebrities, many of whom are celebrities purely because of writing about themselves online and gaining some sort of bizarre following. The programs show them living a lavish lifestyle and they mistake that for reality and instantly become dissatisfied with their own lives. We all spend too much time on these little screens that give us some insight to the wider world, the trouble is, it isn’t on the whole a particularly accurate insight. 

Anyway I can feel myself going into a long, drawn out and rambling rant so I’ll do you all a favour and shut up!

Edited by DaveAV1
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Fans on sites like this have always been critical of players and always will be especially at times when things aren't going so well, you can look on any other football forum and it will be exactly the same. It's nothing new.

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That second set of examples you give are the kind of things that football fans of all clubs have been saying long before the internet even began.  And you say no need to measure ourselves against other message boards after doing that very thing yourself, the posters on those sites that you mention will think that they're on the superior site as will the posters on most other fan forums. If anything I sometimes think our fans aren't critical enough and are sometimes too accepting of failure.

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Passion is what drives football, sometime misguided and expressed in blunt or aggressive fashions.

Now we have forums and social media and it can get toxic. Still better than 30 years ago when fans where fighting in the streets and in the stands.

Loads of players live their life through social media earning more in a week than a working man does in a year (or 5). 

Fans see the club as theirs and when they see a player bought in for big money earning huge salaries not giving what they feel is 100% they will let you know. Especially when things are not going well.

Players in England have it easy compared to many other leagues. Not only do they earn more than anywhere else, they also don't have to fear having scores of fans showing up at the training facility to strip them of their jerseys or having their cars smashed up. This actually happens in Sweden, Italy, France, Greece, Portugal, Turkey, South America and so on.

Players get "hate" in the stands and on forums at every club in every language

Fully agree that saying "he's crap" is not constructive in any way, but it's frustration. It happens. I bet as soon as Plop finally loses a game there will be scores of scousers slating this player or other. (Yeah, yeah they are bell ends and all that) But still.

Villa fans are likely no better, nor worse than fans from most other clubs. But we can still pat ourselves on the back for actually playing a big part in forcing Lerner to sell up and Bruce to get the sack.

We would not be where we are today without the frustration from us fans.

Edited by sne

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36 minutes ago, KentVillan said:

Yes but in my mind criticism is stuff like:

  • He plays too high up and doesn't track back
  • He doesn't look fully fit
  • He doesn't win enough in the air
  • He makes the wrong runs
  • He gets caught out of position

Whereas what we get a lot of on here is:

  • He's shit
  • He's **** shit
  • He's a **** donkey
  • My grandma would score more than him
  • How the **** have we spent £Xm on this lad

Sometimes the latter can be quite funny (and don't get me wrong I've laughed at some of the savage reviews of Wesley)... but when it's repeated ad nauseam with no hint of humour or irony, it doesn't add a great deal. Also, VillaTalk has for a long time been a cut above most football message boards. It's well moderated, generally quite friendly, and has lots of knowledgeable fans contributing. No need for us to measure ourselves against Red Cafe or Arsenal Fan TV.

I think you are spot on. The insults that we throw at our team are so counter productive. We sit there wondering why Wesley looks low on confidence a second before calling him a three legged Donkey! It is ridiculous.

It actually takes a bit of discipline to support your team properly. Whilst the 90 minutes is in action the best supporters get behind the team and lift them. VP has been toxic at times over the past few years and it is never helpful to the team. Towards the end of last season and at the start of this, everything clicked and the support was amazing. It really was spine tingling at times. The boys need us to stay at those levels of support and help the club stay up. It’s a massive few months ahead and our part in what unfolds is far from insignificant.

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