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Return of the Heroes


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by TrentVilla

So many positive things have happened over the course of the last 18 months its impossible to even recall them all but there is one that stands out above all others for me and that is the return of the hero.

Growing up as I did in the late 80's and early 90's I was fortunate to have a number of players that were for a different reasons elevated above the normal players to a hero status. Players who even when they were playing I knew that I would love forever way past the end of their playing days.

Players like Spink, Platt, Sid, Daley and Yorke and then later the likes of Saunders,Merson and Taylor. Then there is the great one himself the Lord amongst Princes the one and only Paul McGrath, I love/loved that man so much its almost worrying.

But as we reached the late 90's my idols began to fall short, Yorke asked to move which I could accept but then his actions that followed left me heart broken. The likes of Southgate and Ugo soon followed as did Bozzie as players that for me would have become heroes and club legends.

Then we had abject failure of the Collymore signing, the Ginola's and the Kachloul's and a time where it was often hard to like some of the players let alone consider them hero's. I started to ask my self if the hero worship I had for some players in years gone by was perhaps OTT and more a side effect of age rather than the players ability or committment.

As the years went by and the Taylor II and D'OL era's stuttered along I began to accept that those days of were perhaps a thing of the past and that never again would I view Villa players in the same way as I had in years gone bye.

Yes we had some decent players, some better than decent. But for a number of years I had a feeling that the players and the club were going through the motions and cared little about the fans or the club. I became synical I guess and realised that the players weren't special they weren't heroes they were just blokes earning a living playing the game at our expense half of whom had no concept of how lucky they were or of how they were letting a chance slip through their fingers most would give their left nut to have.

But while watching the boys destroy Blues on Saturday I realised I was wrong, it had nothing to do with age but hope and passion two things which have in recent years been absent at Villa Park.

Watching the likes of Laursen, Bouma, Mellberg, Barry, Young, Gabby and Carew made me realise that regardless of where we finish this season these were players who transend the mediocrity of years gone bye. Players who care and who play with a passion and a desire, with committment and ability and are willing to fight for the cause. These are players who care about playing for 'our' club and celebrated each goal like you or I would. They care.

These are players who will be in time hero worshipped by the younger generation of fans just as I idolised the likes of Gordon Cowans. But beyond that they made me realise I could still idolise these players, players could still elevate themselves above the rest in the way Platt and Yorke did.

Sunday afternoon was special in so many ways, but for me I think the most special thing about the day was that as I stood there watching Villa Park errupt with passion and emotion I felt like a kid again and its a magical feeling.

The heroes are returning at Villa Park and my God is the future burning bright right now...

UTV

TrentVilla

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Brilliant :clap: Very good and delighted you're getting your childhood awe back :D I completely get what you mean and I don't think we can go without mentioning the part Martin O'Neill has played in that as it is he who gets them to care, he who gets them to perform and he who organises them in such a way that makes them do what they are doing. And Randy for making it all possible.

Bravo.

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Good article. I remember getting excited by every thing villa no matter how small. During the DOL years especially near the end I was almost going through the motions of being a fan. Now the passion is back and the future is bright. Seeing players like young and gabby giving everything for the villa and a captain like barry who could be one of the all time greats for villa (Where is he on our appearance's list now, closing in on 400?) excites me.

Proud History, Bright Future, Good Manager, Great Chairman.

EDIT: Barry is up to 375 apps I think, one behind the great Harry Hampton.

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Great post TV and sums up how I am feeling right now and how, like you, I was feeling a little over two years ago.

I felt it against Chelsea at home that something was beginning to happen at Villa and again on Sunday I felt it again only bigger. There is a belief about the place that we are entering into a golden era.

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by TrentVilla

Sunday afternoon was special in so many ways, but for me I think the most special thing about the day was that as I stood there watching Villa Park errupt with passion and emotion I felt like a kid again and its a magical feeling.

The heroes are returning at Villa Park and my God is the future burning bright right now...

UTV

TrentVilla

Thats it. I've been thinking of a way to sum up my feelings since Sunday. And that is exactly how I feel. Great post TV

UTV

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What a great article. I can go back to the late 50's early 60's to the days of Derek Dougan, Gerry hitchens and Peter Macparland. Through to Bruce Rioch and Andy Gray. What you say is true we haven't had heroes for a while but the reaction of the players after each goal made me see that they care as much as we do, I don't think that has happened for a few years.

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It's a cracking piece Trent and you're right, there's a sort of "star" factor at Villa Park again these days, with players that seem to be a touch above what we're used to, Ashley Young in particular is a player that has a touch of star quality about him, Carew too and even the slightly more staid Gareth Barry seems to have stepped up this season into a more iconic light.

Good times.

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Fanstastic article. I didn't realize it but that is exactly how I feel. The wonder years of the late 70's and early 80's were followed by a nothingness but now we appear to be back. I love Young and Barry, Lauran and Carew. The passion is back and hopefully so are Villa.

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Well said. It sounds like we are roughly the same age (I'm maybe a bit older) and I feel the same way. And the man we have to thank for getting good (and maybe great)players to play with enough desire and passion to turn them into heroes? Step forward Martin O'Neill.

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We have had some fans heroes over the years, Bruce Rioch, Andy Gray, Denis Mortimer, Gordon Cowans, David Platt and Dwight Yorke to name a few.

Gareth Barry if he stays with us next season can be right up their with all the great Villa legends of the past. Not only is he a superb footballer but also a decent man.Just the kind of captain we want at Aston Villa.

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EDIT: Barry is up to 375 apps I think, one behind the great Harry Hampton.

389 and about to pass a little group of three players.

Soccerbase has him at 390 already. 324 league, 20 FA Cup, 28 League Cup & 18 'Other' ???

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That's gonna annoy me :) They're quite good on performances, but I aint goin' trawlin. Do you have a breakdown of the 389 so we might spot where their extra one is popping up ?

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