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.