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I'm a Villa fan, it's what I do


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By Jordanderve

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The internet is a wonderful thing. However, I am slowly getting tired of the platform it gives some people to express extreme views, irrationally, without thought.We are now firmly in the era of the digital age. An era where people have been arrested for threatening to blow up airports simply because of poor customer service, riots have been organised purely as a result of boredom from a broken society and people like Joey Barton and Rio Ferdinand can air opinions on anything and everything where they have followers in the hundred of thousands.

I have been a Villa fan all of my life. I love the freedom that the digital era has provided to society and the convenience of such gadgets. However, I admit the one gripe I have with the digital age is the opportunity it gives some people to sensationalise absolutely everything. I enjoy reading the various message boards as much as everybody else. It is the reason why I am here. However, I admit that I rarely contribute to such sites as a result of the shear amount of irrational abuse certain opinions can generate. Football, like everything, is a matter of opinion. If people did not have differing opinions, we would not have learnt how to fly or be able to make a phone call. Opinions though, should be respected.

I, for one, love being a Villa fan. It is what I do. For me and I presume the majority of Villa fans, last year was a dark, dark year. The football was just so bad that it sucked every ounce of optimism out of me. I am a ‘glass half full’ type of person but it was depressing watching Villa play last year.

The reality we now face is that we have not got a strong squad. Regardless though, I am fully behind Lerner. The club that we all love has to be run like a business. Lerner is a wealthy man but he does not have enough money to do a City or a Chelsea. I am not sure if I would want that though, would you? Lerner gave the top 4 a shot. O'Neill blew it. That was our chance.

Regardless of the defeat against West Ham over the weekend, I am heartened by what Lambert has said recently about playing football the right way and the stats have shown that that is what he will try to do.

In my mind, hoof football might be enough to keep us up this season, but it does not get you any further than mid-table at best. O'Neill's counter attacking football was exciting, but again it is limited on how far you can go with that approach i.e. breaking teams down when they sit back against you. Given the limited resources we have, the only chance we have of actually doing anything in the future is by changing the culture of the football club and keeping hold of the ball. It is a must. If we can start doing that and if we can actually change the football culture of our club, we will have a chance to progress and I, for one, will be happy.

On the flipside, if we go down trying to do the right thing, so be it. I am a Villa fan and always will be. I just want to have some pride in the way that we play. Would people prefer to have Allardyce as manager and stay up or have Lambert as manager, attempting to play football but us going down? I, personally, would prefer to go down.

I am excited about our new era.

We had a false dawn under Houllier but he was always a short term appointment. In my opinion though, he was on the right track. I genuinely believe McLeish was appointed to be a scapegoat in a year where we had to sell everybody. The board just didn't realise how bad he would be!

Please, lets stop the "we are the worst team ever" after one result against a team who play with the ball in the air and likewise lets stop the sensationalised "we are the greatest team ever" if we play really well and win handsomely.

Negative opinions expressed on message boards infect a fan base who read them.

Lets support our club and enjoy the ride.

It is what we do.

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A rather bizarre article.

You could have chosen to ignore the negativity and looked at the reasons behind why some of our fans think the way they do!

After two absolutely shite seasons where the fans were frankly insulted by the club, don't you think its perhaps more than likely that people will take what the club have to say or what they do with a pinch of salt? The reasons behind both Houllier and McLeish's appointments were never really explained to the fans, other than the board felt they were the right people for the job. You are only guessing as to why they were installed. I doubt it was to cut costs as both ended up costing the club around £10million in compensation and wages!

Getting rid of McLeish and replacing him with Lambert was a good move, but if he is not given REAL funds to build a team, he's got no chance of succeeding. So far this summer Lambert has only just started on rebuilding the squad and he has a lot of work to do yet - the clock is ticking! We need at least 5 new players so all the talk of "sell to buy" is a real hammer blow to the expectations that were raised when Lambert was given the job. We thought the penny pinching days were over. By 31st August I hope to be proven wrong, but I have a worrying feeling I may be proven right....no new players in!

People have the right to express their opinion, however negative it may look, when things are not going well.

Things have not been going well for the club or the fanbase for two years. Ideas become entrenched when results are bad. See how fast things change when things turn around.

I would never wish relegation on the club I love in a million years, that line makes you sound ridiculous. I don't care how we play, whether its tippy-tappy or direct, as long as its effective and we win. Win at all costs.

Many people saw the display on Saturday and saw that it wasnt effective; that we have a poor team and another long, punishing season is on the cards.

I'll support the boys on the pitch whenever they play. But my loyalty doesnt extend to those at the club who have run this great institution so badly over the past few years, and neither should yours.

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R.I.C.O, I appreciate reading your opinion on my post and I thank you for taking the time out to let me know what you thought of it.

At no point did I ever try and put my point of view across as a matter of fact. The intention of the article was purely to make people think before posting extreme responses on the back of just a few results.

A couple of points I would like to make on your comments though; Firstly, I did not state that Houllier was appointed to cut costs. I speculated that after clearly making a switch to appoint a manager who would try to play football on the deck in Houllier, the club, after having to reluctantly dispense of Houllier for health reasons, approached and attempted to appoint Martinez, presumably to continue the work that Houllier had begun. The shift in direction from approaching and offering Martinez the job to appointing McLeish, in my opinion, can only be for the purpose of cost cutting and getting rid of dead wood. His CV didn't appeal from the point of view of being able to bring in quality recruits, his record shows that he plays dour, unattractive football which would be unpopular with the fanbase and, as the protests showed, he would be a hugely unattractive appointment. I believe that the board appointed a scapegoat. It didn’t cost that much to get rid of McLeish considering how much the wage bill had come down.

Secondly, you have stated that the club have insulted the fans. I personally do not feel insulted by the club. You have only mentioned the past couple of seasons but have chosen to ignore the 3 season prior to that. I have not looked at the stats but how many clubs, across the whole of Europe, have spent more money on transfer fees over the same period that Lerner has been in control. I would suggest that it will not be many. Lerner gave it a shot, and then was honest to the fans in that he could no longer bankroll the club and stated that the club would have to balance the books going forward. I applaud that, personally.

Thirdly, you too are speculating that Lambert was promised a pot of gold and suggested that the club is then tying his hands. Lambert, from what I have seen, is a man of principle. If Lerner did appoint Lambert under false pretences, I would expect Lambert to walk away. The fact that Lambert hasn't moaned publicly would suggest that he knew exactly what the financial position is. We still have time left in this window.

Fourthly, I never said that people cannot express negative views. I was simply stating that I, personally, am growing tired of negative views when you consider that Lambert has been in control for such a short period of time. The language that is used between posters of opposing views is sometimes unnecessary. Even in your response, the terms "bizarre" and "ridiculous" can be viewed as inflammatory, when really there is no need, even if you disagree with my viewpoint.

Relegation did not do any harm to the likes of Newcastle who treated the exercise as clearing the slate and starting again. Newcastle no longer has a large wage bill. The clubs that struggle when they go down are the clubs who continue to spend beyond their means and cannot sustain the liabilities they have accrued without the financial stability that the Premier League provides. I am glad that we are attempting to bring down our Wages/Turnover ratio which clearly was unsustainable.

If, when considering the choices I outlined in my original post and Allardyce was in charge and we stayed up, say by 1 point. You suggested that you would prefer this scenario compared to going down trying to play football on the deck with Lambert. I would suggest that if this scenario played out and Allardyce was in charge, he would be hounded out of his position by the fanbase and the club would be in the same situation whereby compensation would be due and the club would be looking for a new manager who would meet the approval of the fans whilst allowing them to bring their own ideas in again. The club needs stability and I would prefer that stability to come from a manager who plays the game like Lambert as opposed to a manger who plays the game like Allardyce.

All I would like is for the fanbase to unite for a season and enjoy supporting the club.

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Source: http://www.transferleague.co.uk/league-tables/transfer-league-table-last-five-seasons.html

Last 5 seasons Premier League transfer spends by club.

Purchased Gross/ Sold/ Net/ Per Season

Man City £498,450,000/ £102,800,000/ £395,650,000/ £79,130,000/

Chelsea £293,300,000/ £77,600,000/ £215,700,000/ £43,140,000/

Stoke City £71,225,000/ £8,650,000/ £62,575,000/ £12,515,000/

Man United £180,950,000/ £120,800,000/ £60,150,000/ £12,030,000/

Aston Villa £144,100,000/ £89,350,000/ £54,750,000/ £10,950,000/

Liverpool £239,150,000/ £192,050,000/ £47,100,000/ £9,420,000/

QPR £36,500,000/ £850,000/ £35,650,000/ £7,130,000/

Fulham £46,800,000/ £24,700,000/ £22,100,000/ £4,420,000/

West Ham £70,400,000/ £53,300,000/ £17,100,000/ £3,420,000/

W B Albion £38,725,000/ £24,810,000/ £13,915,000/ £2,783,000/

Tottenham £163,700,000/ £152,250,000/ £11,450,000/ £2,290,000/

Nrw City £12,050,000/ £1,100,000/ £10,950,000/ £2,190,000/

Sunderland £101,900,000/ £91,550,000/ £10,350,000/ £2,070,000/

Wigan £54,600,000/ £50,250,000/ £4,350,000/ £870,000/

Sthamton £16,450,000/ £14,600,000/ £1,850,000/ £370,000/

Swansea £16,430,000/ £21,860,000/ -£5,430,000/ -£1,086,000/

Reading £9,200,000/ £25,850,000/ -£16,650,000/ -£3,330,000/

Everton £57,000,500/ £75,816,000/ -£18,815,500/ -£3,763,100/

Newcastle £72,850,000/ £109,550,000/ -£36,700,000/ -£7,340,000/

Arsenal £137,400,000/ £181,400,000/ -£44,000,000/ -£8,800,000/

Total gross spend under Randy Lerner £177,500,000. I do not feel insulted by Mr Lerner looking at these figures above.

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My current worry about internet forums etc. is the apparent outbreak of finger-wagging posts telling us we can't be "negative", must be patient, etc.

I've been supporting this club since 1961. With a few brief false dawns, it has mostly been mediocre to shite but here I am still supporting the club. I am very patient - I wouldn't be a Villa supporter if I wasn't - and I am very positive about the club despite all the crap I have been served over the years. None of that precludes me from expressing honest opinions about the club, and I think that is what forums like this are for. The display against West Ham was pretty disappointing and I can't see any reason not to say that. Even Paul Lambert has said it, so why do you want to stop fans from saying it on internet forums?

Your post repeats a number of half baked cliches about the past few years (e. g. Lerner gave us the resources to get to top 4 but MON "blew it". There is simply no way in a million years that the resources Lerner brought to the club could have got us to top 4 and kept us there). Let me just try to spike one that seems to be taking hold on Villatalk - that Alex McLeish was a short term appointment brought in to "sell everybody". In fact, not many players were sold under McLeish. Downing, Friedel and Luke Young were the key players who left and arguably we should have tried to hang on to the last two. Apart from that a few youth players went and Pires left I think before McLeish arrived. Lambert inherited a whole host of "problem" players such as Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Hutton, Makoun, N'Zogbia, Ireland, and it will be for him to take on the main job of pruning the squad and getting a better balanced group of players.

I am 100% behind Lambert. I think he was exactly the right person for the job (despite the wave of sentiment for Solskjaer - a lucky escape, I think!) but I am not going to renounce my right to say how I think things are and to acknowledge poor performances - such as Saturday's.

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Now Brunt_ear, I do not disagree with the points which you have made and would actually say that I agree with you for the most part.

We were not great against West Ham, however I found the performance encouraging. If other fans viewed the performance as disappointing but didn't feel encouraged, fine. I am not suggesting that everybody looks at each performance through rose tinted glasses. I just don't get the negative posts that are made about all manner of Villa related topics on every forum when we are so early into a new season, the transfer window is open and we have a new manager who has generally been well accepted.

In relation to the cliches you say I have used i.e. where I believe Lerner invested enough money to get us there, it is my opinion that he did. I am not suggesting that we would have stayed there, but we could have and I believe that with the money we spent we should have got there in one of those early Lerner seasons. That is not a cliche, that is my view.

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Completely agree with the OP.

Though I do understand people's frustrations after a difficult few seasons on the pitch. I think improving the squad is the missing piece all the behind the scenes stuff - manager, facilities, youth setup, scouts, work in the community is prospering. Let's hope this missing piece is looked at in the next 12 months.

It is after al, for most fans, by far the most important piece.

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