Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday April 16 2006
I've noticed some fans are questioning Villa legend Dennis Mortimer following the article that was in the Evening Mail with Sir Den saying that he hopes the Blues win.
Anyone that thinks that means he isn't a Villa man needs to read his comments again.
Firstly, he says 'we' when talking about Villa. Does our present manager do that? Does Doug do that? No, they both say 'I'.
He also says: 'The manager and the chairman are having a battle for the higher ground and the Villa fans are all the poorer for it because we are not getting the performances from the team that we want to see. Plenty of fans are losing hope. The chairman has been there for too long. Many fans won't take up their season tickets and that's not the way it should be.'
Anyone disagree? As I said recently, we have a joke of a chairman, a joke of a manager and the only people not laughing at the Villa fans.
Dennis is going to the game today with my mate David Carson, he'll be sitting in the Witton Lane and cheering on the boys. Make no mistake, Villa means a lot to our most famous captain. Don't let sensational headlines by Bill Howell of the Evening Mail suggest otherwise.
He says: 'The Villa fans are talking about beating Albion and Blues as being their season. But that's not good enough,' and I for one agree. I never cared about Small Heath, I was always concerned about competing against the big clubs like Man Utd and Arsenal. AND we used to. Small Heath are nothing to do with my enjoyment of Villa and the only time I think about them is when we play.
He adds: 'We should be talking about winning trophies and playing in Europe. The supporters are desperate for a win tomorrow as that would mean they have done the 'double' over Blues. That would be the only thing they could take out of this season - beating Blues and sending them down. That shouldn't be what it is about, but a lot of the fans will see it that way. It would make their season. A win for Villa would make them safe, while Blues would still be battling.'
No arguments there either.
The only controversial line is: 'But me, I'd like to see Birmingham win.'
But that isn't because he is a blue nose, it is because he wants the Blues to stay up to keep Villa on their feet, he argues that if the local teams are relegated, Villa can continue to be complacent with Doug's vision of being the biggest club in the Midlands once again secure. IT IS NOT ENOUGH AND NEVER WILL BE.
'I'd ideally like Albion to stay up as well because if both Albion and Blues went down it would make Villa even more complacent. In my opinion they have grown too complacent anyway. It took them eight years to look at improvements to the changing ground when everyone else was doing it years ago. I see Villa standing still with the other two clubs going forwards. That's why it would be a shame to lose one or both of them. It would be better to have competition to drive standards up. At the moment, do Villa compare to the rest of the Premier League?'
He answers: 'We (WE) have a great ground, but on the pitch we are falling further behind. And I see what Blues and Albion have invested to stay up. Villa have not done so, and we are very fortunate to have points already in the bag.'
As for me, I'd welcome a Villa win and Blues to be relegated, it won't make up for the dire season we've had, but I'd rather Small Heath took one of the relegation spots rather than us. If they stay up, another team will have to go and we aren't safe yet.
Date:Sunday April 16 2006
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