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Proud history, bright thingy

I was wondering what would provoke me to actually sign up to Vital Villa - but I have to get this off my chest. I first had a season ticket back in 1978, as a juvenile for the princely sum of £10 and was privileged enough to see the building of not only a Championship winning team, but a European Cup winning team (when it was a proper cup).

As I grew up, I relinquished my season ticket due to work and family commitments, as I am sure many others have too, but still managed to get down to the ground and travel away to curse, cheer and do whatever else came naturally, whenever I could.

In the euphoria of a 'new' regime I was swept along with everyone else. A new owner with money he was prepared to splash, and a top manager - the glory days are about to return (I thought). Last season, I kept my feet firmly on the ground. MON came in a little too late for the transfer window, but I saw no reason why the team DOL nurtured to near extinction shouldn't have finished mid table in the previous season, so that is what I wanted as a minimum - and that is what I got.

This season couldn't come around fast enough. For the first time in years I thought we are now on the move, onward and upward - memories in the making. Despite the work commitments I decided now was the time for a return to the ranks of that exclusive club 'The Season Ticket Holder'. Having been one of the many in years gone by, cheering the Villa on whether they be Euro Champs, Prem League runners up, Pop Cup winners or worst of all relegated etc etc, I had suffered the indignity of being ridiculed for many seasons, as an arm chair supporter. No more. I was going to do what I had been asking HDE to do for years, I was going to stump up the money in advance, and then hopefully reap the rewards afterwards.

'Sod the missus' I thought in a Homer kind of way, 'Its my lads fault! He made me do it!' Off I went to the ticket office, 'One adult and one child' I said and promptly handed over alot of hard earned money - and I mean hard earned not money just given to me for standing on a bit of turf for an hour and a half Stiliyan. It didn't matter that due to commitments my son and I would miss matches - Saturday evening matches are inconvenient, Sunday matches are awkward, matches on week days are a definite no go - we were season ticket holders. I could hear my lad bragging in the playground already. A few signings to add to the squad we had, and we should be at least challenging for a UEFA cup place.

Meanwhile in the real world, the transfer window has now closed and we have a smaller squad (albeit better, I think) than DOL had. I admit I am not and never will be, a Premier League manager, but surely you build a team. You may let a few players leave but you add to a squad and then release the surplus. While the players that have left (with the exception of Davis) may not have been of the right calibre, were they all not competent squad players? Imagine you are the Villa manager, how does this sound, a swap deal involving Harewood for Angel or Petrov for Davis or even Hughes for erm, well no-one actually.

Having put my money where my mouth is, I already feel somewhat disappointed. Is MON out of his depth? He was a 'success' at Leicester, where they didn't really expect to win anything, and then a success at Celtic, where lets face it they only have one real team to finish above. I'm trying hard not to be negative, but I still have the feeling I have been cheated out of another season.

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The Journalist

Writer: McGrathisgod Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday September 1 2007

Time: 6:18PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
For goodness sake, let MON have his Celtic flare - I mean "Celtic" as in culture, not the previous club he was in charge of! People do things in different ways, but in the case of Samuel, Davis and Ridgewell, they seem to have wanted out anyway. Better to be rid, I say, if they're in that frame of mind. Let's see what the season brings... I reckon it looks interesting.
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01/09/2007 18:47:00

McGrathisgod good post sums up how I feel , I paid for my season ticket before last season even ended I was so convinced we were on the up big time. Now I see another wasted season , I should be really excited about a game against Chelsea tomorrow but I'm not and as it is not a sell out yet neither are the "part time" fans
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01/09/2007 19:02:00

Has it occurred tou all that you might be expecting too much all at once? Enjoy the ride, for goodness sake! Just to go down to VP and see footballers play a good game was once upon a time the thing to do, not expect the championship as though you've earned the right without playing for it!
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01/09/2007 19:34:00

Like you said we have a better squad, I can't say I'm heart broken about any players that MON has let go. What do you want him to do if we are not in a possition to attract the best players, buy some more average ones to make the numbers up?
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01/09/2007 19:34:00

What a great post - I had one of those tickets in 1978 - then when I started work in 1980 - I had a season ticket every year until 1993. I got my hopes up when lerner took over - but this window has a been a bit of a let down. I think MON will make this team top 6 - but only by making average players into a good team - like graham taylor and to a lesser extent Ron Saunders. I was hoping for players to come in - who wouldn't have been able to buy in previous years - that hasn't happened, and I point the finger at RL rather than MON - If MON could have I am sure he would have tried for Defoe, Yakubu ect - Does a manager with "significant funds" really buy Harewood - and sign 2 players on loan. My hope flickers, in that if we qualify for the UEFA cup - the manager will receive the backing to bring in the quality that we need to compete with the best. Don't get me wrong, I back MON to build a top team on a relative shoestring (in comparsion to some)- I just hope he doesn't have to
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01/09/2007 20:11:00

Definately surprised you have not spent more in the transfer market. Looking forward to a good game tomorrow best of luck.
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01/09/2007 20:17:00

We've played 4 games. We've won 2 (one a 5-0 banana skin brusher-asider), drawn 1 (in which we played brilliantly) and narrowly lost 1 (to the league's form team). 4 GAMES! Tomorrow we play a Chelsea team who haven't won at our place for 9 seasons and who are missing their talisman. I'm excited.
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01/09/2007 20:28:00

What's the point in this? Far too early to be submitting negative posts like this. THREE games into the season!
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01/09/2007 20:38:00

What is with people? I dont care when you first went to the Villa. I dont care about your life story. Why do people think that they can question O'Neill, the board et cetera when they have zero experience and zero management ability? Do you really think that we should take what you say with any credibility? Grow up and get another hobby.
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01/09/2007 20:40:00

Maybe we should change our motto to "Proud history, bright future with a smattering of fans that will never be happy"
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01/09/2007 20:47:00

shouldn't watching your beloved Villa be worth the season ticket money one told you to part with your money before the transfer season window kind of give of the impression youre a bit of a glory hunter.....sad really!!
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01/09/2007 21:49:00

moan moan moan thats all most of you seem to do. £40mil in a year what more do you lot want? are ye all sunshine supporters cause thats what ye sound like. just get behind the team and lets see where we finish.
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01/09/2007 23:22:00

I am with the majority on this one. You do not buy a season ticket because you think this might be a good season or because you think some American bloke is gonna spend a lot of his families hard earned fortune. Who gives a toss if you bought a season ticket in the year dot. Where were you when the club really needed its fans? You complain about players wages. You had the same opportunity as them to be a player, why the petty jealousy just because somebody earns more than you? You chose to be a salesmen, or a council worker or an engineer or whatever YOU chose. Get over it, you made that choice. You buy it because you love the Villa. That means some good times and some bad times. Also a lot of very indifferrent times. I am a little disappointed that we haven't got a right back, but I am happy that we have a nucleus of great English talent, many of it home grown. I would like to have seen SWP join as our right winger but I am happier that we have Ashley Young on the left. He is going to be one of our biggest stars of recent years. We paid £8m and this could go to £9.65 if all the clauses are met. Howver this will be seen as a bargain as soon as he makes the England left hand side role his own. And he will. Some fans wanted Spuds fourth choice striker. I am happy giving a centre forward who has played at the highest level (Champions League final) and two home grown lads + Harewood the opportunity to prove if they have what it takes. If they do, Luke and Gabi are potentially worth over £10m each. If they don't then it is M'ONs job to make improvements. It will take time to repair the wreck of a club that M'ON and Randy took on. But it is happening. Not to everybodys liking, But it is happening. I personally agree with the general view that we should have bought before selling, But M'ON has earned the right to do it his way. Like everybody in every job, he will make mistakes, but for some reason some Villa 'fans' think that the best way to support something is to critisise it. Very strange. I thought the idea of a 'supporter' was to support. If he fails, then like every other manager he faces tough questions. But we have played three games, with some tough ones coming up. It will be next season before the it should really start to develop. But to moan before that is uncalled for. I always thought people are judged on results. How about enjoying how the season goes and then passing judgement? It seems to me that to many fickle supporters look for an excuse to moan. The famous banner in the previous managers (can't remember his name) last season was wrong. Many of our fans are fickle. We are Aston Villa. Not the Aston Villa of 25 and 30 years ago. The Aston Villa whose standing in the game has been eroded by years of mismanagement. Unfortunately we are now only Aston Villa in the same way as West Ham are only West Ham and Everton are only Everton and Spuds are only Spuds. Clubs who have been giants in the game but who are now having to play catch up again. Unless you have Abramovich money (and we don't) it is impossible to turn years of neglect around in a couple of seasons. But it is starting to turn. Unfortunately media pressure and impatience means the less well educated believe we should have it now. Sorry to burst your bubble. Go back to watching Big Brother and leave the football supporting to those who are actually supporters, wether we have got a right back or not.
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02/09/2007 01:00:00

"everybody knows they are there but nobody cares"-The Times August 2007 we need to rid ourslves of this tag before we can attract the big names and i think O'neill can get us noticed. he might or might not be the one who gets us into/wins us the champions league but lets give him a chance. is it that hard to see that our team is so much better a team of young exciting english talent. i don''t know about you guys but right back or not im really excited about things to come and well done Voice of the Holte brilliantly put
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02/09/2007 01:21:00

I could not care less what the majority say on this site, they are all clueless individuals. Matin O'Neill is the best manager going, end of. If we force him out we deserve to be relegated. These things take time. We had the chance to develop when Little was in charge and Gregory had the chance also but since then we have declined season by season it's gonna take time to get back up. Martin has far more intelligence than all of us put together. If he ever walked away we would be a poorer club for it. I used to think this site was for fans but all it's for is people who wan't to slag the regime off. People who want instant success should go and support Chelsea. I would rather watch Martin's ENGLISH men achieve!!!! Come on Martin!!!! GENIUS!!!! All these people who say we should be signing him or we should be signing him are are in dream world, it AINT A COMPUTER GAME!!! GET IN THE REAL WORLD!!!!!!! Including you FEAR. I used to think you knew what you were talking about but you are the instigator to these dilusional idiots. Instant success aint coming.
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02/09/2007 01:30:00

I aint happy!!!!!!!!!! That's what i hate about us, we never know when we've got it good. Too much 1980, 1982. Move on boys. We aint what we were. But we we could be in TIME!!! Sorry for that. Abuse me if you like, all points will be taken, RANT OVER!!!!! THanks if you took the time to read WELLER77
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02/09/2007 01:36:00

Great Artical sure to stir the MON debate a little more, this is his season to prove the doubters wrong and produce a team that win and plays attractive football.
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02/09/2007 02:01:00

Voiceoftheholte - Brilliant mate. I'm with you all the way. Let's see. What ever happened to blind faith?
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02/09/2007 02:16:00

col8, I disagree totally. It will be next season at the very earliest before things will really take shape. This negativity and self induced pressure does not do anybody any good at all. The sheep follow what is being said and that negativity can very easily develop into something more sinister. Have faith. Be patient. And stop trying to make the rest of us believe that it is this season or bust for M'ON. And as for the M'ON debate? What debate is that? You really do like to make mountains out of molehills don't you? The only debate is amongst the less well educated of Villa supporters (or non supporters as is often the case). Those who do understand, know that M'ON must be given time (probably 5 years minimum). But also know that if he obviously fails to make the strides expected then he must be called toaccount, same as any manager. Look at Moyes at Bluscouse. Champions League one year, relegation battle the year after. But that stood firm and he is now widely acknowledged as an excellent manager. Keep the faith fella.
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02/09/2007 02:25:00

evoflash, not sure if you are taking the**** or not. If you read my piece though it is not about blind faith. I actually say M'ON should be judged on results and if they are not good enough he should be asked tough questions. Some are moaning already, but if he is being judged on this seasons results (which would be very naive), we have gained 4 points from 3 games. The exact same 3 games last season yielded 2 points. So we have improved. What is the problem?
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02/09/2007 02:32:00

i dont know about you guys but if we finish in the top half of the table (considering this is nearly a brand new team who need to gel) but get to one of the cup finals ill be ecstatic. we found it rough against Liverpool possibly one of the best teams in the world at the moment really what were ppl expecting?? we were beter than newcastle and were allover fulham who just drew 3-3 with tottenham please be patient please lets all pull in the same direction for the sake of the team a new team a new manager a new board a new dawn i'm not going to say have faith just have patience transfers mean nothing results mean everything
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02/09/2007 03:22:00

Lets face it, the clown who wrote this article would not be happy if he fell into a barrel full of tits.
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02/09/2007 08:10:00

In the last 18 Months we have: Got rid of Ellis and O' Leary and we replaced them with one of the most respected managers in the game and a billionaire owner. Have put together a professional board to rival most. Built a state of the art training/academy. Replaced hummel with Nike. Have a great new badge. Frozen and in some cases reduced ticjket prices. Improved the squad. Improved the quality of football. Improved our league postion. Have been provided with free travel. Have actually been listed to and interacted with by the board and most of all we have been given genuine optimism for the future. If you are not happy with this. Fine. I for one do not understand why, I am certianly not interested in your we should have done this statements that you seem intent on ramming down our throats. My advice? Give your heads a wobble, take a deep breath, sit back and enjoy the ride.
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02/09/2007 08:26:00

What did you expect. Just cause we have a billionaire in charge, we can't buy a place in the champs league over night and with a squad full of international regulars. MON knows what he is doing, he has a dirst team of good quality and some replacements. There is no point having 20 extra talentless reserve players who can't cut it at this level. There is also no point in having a reserve team full of players on 30k + per week. Do you even understand the offside rule????
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02/09/2007 10:09:00

JP please stop the likes of these and AVFC48 posting constant depressing negativity, it is contagious and drags the supporters as a whole and the club down with it. THINK POSITIVE. VILLA 2-0 Chelsea
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02/09/2007 10:15:00

I have supported Villa all my life and feel more optomistic about the club now than at any time since 1980/1. We have threatened a revival a number of times since then, under Big Ron, Little and to a lesser extent Gregory but I feel the current regime are the real deal and MON is the best manager we could possibly wish for. I totally agree with Voice's first post above, it sums up perfectly where we are and what we are building towards. MON had a right back in mind, presumably Boswinga, and couldn't get him so held fire until January when he will try again, but in the meantime he has covered the centre back positions to allow Olly to move to right back where he plays for Sweden. I don't see too much wrong with this as a short term measure. we are building, we have a pro-active board who put their money where their mouth is, a top manager. in my opinion a substantially improved (in quality terms) squad, marked improvements to the infrastructure of the club and facilities. All this has been achieved in the first year of ownership. If anybody expected any more, you need to get real. No club is guaranteed success but we are giving ourselves far more chance to be successful than at any time in our recent history. See you at Villa Park this afternoon?
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02/09/2007 10:25:00

Back in the 1960's when we got rid of the Smith regime and as Herbert made his first appearance, we spent Sunday mornings cleaning the terraces and washing hoardings in preparation for the new season. The excitement was that we had just signed Chico Hamilton and Pat McMahon. Those were the days before the internet and endless chatter that has ensued. Football was relegated to Saturdays to Wednesdays and not thought about too much in between. There is too much endless chatter these days without enough games to generate constant news to support it. Enjoy the moment - who else remembers the third division and Vic Crowe? Complaining now? - get real. These are the good times and they are getting better. Randy & Co. are doing a great job - enjoy the ride. Without them we could be heading for more years of oblivion. Now we have hope - and an improving team. 3 players in an England squad? Who can ever remember that before? Plus a load of under 21s. Who can remember that before?
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02/09/2007 11:27:00

Villan444 the site gives those that want, the ability to express how they feel. AVFC48's last article was very positive. I think a lot are thinking positive, a good few are also wondering what is going on and then there are loads who are sitting on the fence to see how things turn out. For me, I have no doubt the club is in great hands at the top, I'm fascinated to see how the very likeable MON copes and what he can build at Villa. I've said it before, I think he is the sort who would walk before being pushed if he didn't think he was able to do the job. But I can't stop people expressing their opinions, what I've tried to do is encourage people to balance it by submitting positive articles as well, apart from the one I did last week I've only had one take me up on the plea though! lol A few wins and things will settle, especially now the transfer window has ended.
The Fear
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02/09/2007 11:50:00

Agree with Jon.H by the way,we were on the cusp of something special a few times, with a push now, we could once again start to really push and this time, not in fits and starts. Might just front page the gordonsleftboot post into an article, like it!
The Fear
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02/09/2007 11:53:00

We need to qualify at least for the UEFA Cup for things to change, as far as signing key world-star players...Players of the calibre of Sneijder or Arouna Koné might have been on MON's shopping list for the summer, but they were on Real Madrid's and Sevilla's too. Do you really expect us to be more attractive (from a players point of viex) than Real Madrid or Sevilla??? MON is the man who'll bring European footy back to Villa Park. We've got a good team, with a great set of youngsters, surrounded by more experienced players. It could well bring success to VP in years to come. Rome wasn't built in a day, was it??
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02/09/2007 12:03:00

Its nice to hear a more positive outlook, we should all stop and reflect on the comedy store across the city and reflect on what we have got here, i can only see good times ahead, so lets all keep the faith and get behind Martin and the lads. UTV...
silkie villain
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02/09/2007 12:09:00

Voiceoftheholte back with a bang, and a superb posting in response to McGrathisgod's whinings. And that is what I see them as, whinings, pure and simple. While I sincerely applaud the very fact that you have got off your backside and splashed the cash to purchase a season ticket each for you and your son, I'm sorry but I personally fail to understand, and have very little time, for the supporter(s) who after years of decline and underachievement under the Ellis/Stride and co. years, now suddenly decide that success in the RL/MON era has to suddenly appear without the slightest delay. O.K., we haven't splurged millions in the summer transfer window, and yes I too fell for a while into believing the outrageous and ridiculous notion that Europes finest were going to fall over themselves into the rush to get to Villa Park and sign on the dotted. Of course they weren't. Villa Park didn't figure on their radar, half of them probably not even knowing the name of Aston Villa Football Club. We are no more than a middle of the table premiership outfit, a football club that for years has shown a complete and utter lack of ambition, and quite frankly, was heading for a spell in the Championship before the arrival of Mr Lerner and MON. Have we though strengthened the squad since May? Yes, of course we have. MON has cleared out the deadwood (and sorry but I personally very definitely include Davis in that category), and brought in players that will help continue the development and progress of the club up to another level. Will we clinch a top six placing and with it a place in European football next season? I dont know. I hope so, but I'll settle for just kicking back and enjoying the season ahead, knowing full well that my club is on the way back. It may take three to four seasons before we become an established top six team, but as I supporter I'm going to enjoy the good times with the inevitable set-backs, and that is what I would suggest most supporters attempt to do. It promises to be a fun and exciting ride.
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04/09/2007 16:31:00

silkie villain, if only more supporters would focus on the positive. sadly they wont though. Its a Villa trait. Negatives always have to be brought into play.
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24/09/2007 20:53:00


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