Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday November 27 2006
'Come and see the new Villa' they say. The new Villa is mightily impressive and quite possible the best in the land, which is a bold statement to make but having looked at the make up behind the scenes of other clubs I really do believe that, and over time we have the foundations in place to scale whatever heights we want.
Unfortunately, the new Villa has not yet been extended to the pitch and after all, fans don't go to a match to cheer on a Chairman or a director do they? A good many of us (28,000 per game) will go no matter what, whether we're top or bottom, it's wet or warm, it's Saturday or Sunday - if there's a game on then we are there because we are addicted and we'd be mortified if that one game we did miss turned out to be the 6-0 victory we crave for. (For all the years in the Midlands this was my rule of thumb, now I've moved away it's a dozen or so games per season, but it's not me that should be targeted - there are enough people in the Mids who should fall into my previously religious type way of life of attending each week without fail.) Much has been discussed about how to get the fans back through the turnstyles and I think the price, the kick off times and the local redundancies have all played a major part in the missing thousands, but really none of that matters when your addicted - I just think people aren't enjoying going to the Villa and so not getting 'bitten by the bug'.
People harp on about the Big Ron era more than any other in the past 20+ years yet we weren't particularly successful then but the Sold Out signs went up most weeks. This is because we were entertained, we attacked and we had that bit of gusto and bravado about us that bought the fans to their feet. Since then nothing. Like now, we've had a solid defence but no link between midfield and attack and no one up front to score us the 20 goals needed to haul us up to the dizzy heights. This has now been ingrained into peoples psyche as is further enforced EVERY time we appear on TV and those floating fans witness yet another lacklustre and dull performance.
I'm waffling a bit here, but in short the only way we will get the Sold Out signs back on a regular basis is to change the style of the club and play with a swagger on the pitch, after all that's why we sell out against Man Ure, Chelski, Arse and Liverpooh - because you will get value for money. This isn't a dig at MON because it is totally out of his hands what with the transfer window being in place, but we need to lose 'difficult to beat' tag and sign more attack minded players. Two attack minded full backs, a marauding winger and two new strikers would totally transform the club and as word spread so people would come back to see the real 'new Villa'. We can afford to be alot more gung-ho because the central defence and central midfield is good enough to cope with it. An entire generation has lost interest but the bottom line is they all still cheer on the team via the radio, Tv or teletext and will always be tempted back no matter what if they think their going to be entertained. The more exciting the game, the better the atmosphere in the ground and that is also what gets people making the pilgrimage.
Date:Monday November 27 2006
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