Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday October 20 2008
What a shame that Monday press about Villa is being dominated by the act of one berk.
Martin O'Neill says that 'Arry might well have a point that the coin was aimed at him and says that the Pompey boss might be right in saying there should be more protection around the dug outs at games. Again, it would be a great shame following the action of one idiot - a fairly isolated incident at that - to lead to major changes. However people HAVE to feel safe at grounds for sure.
O’Neill said: 'I think that Harry has definitely got a point. It’s something that we as a club will start discussing now, because it’s happened so close to the dugout. An incident like this is exceptionally disappointing for us. I couldn’t condemn it more, it just shouldn’t happen, it is unacceptable.' Adding, 'Harry came and was subjected to verbal abuse last year [following the bung allegations] which no one likes. I don’t like getting abuse from away fans or home fans, none of us do. But that was nasty, really nasty. We need to do something about it. The club will and I think with any incident like that the responsibility lies with the club.'
The abuse is one thing and some do take it too far. I'm sure abuse wise, Harry must be more than used to it after moving from Portsmouth to Southampton!? He did seem to react last year and that has obviously made him a target, same as when David O'Leary used to react. If you react to these things then the twerps realise they can get to you and will surely do it even more? However the coin throwing is a different league of stupidity.
MON promised Villa will do all they can to find the 'culprit' adding, 'We have enough CCTV footage in and around the areas to do that.' And on Randy's reaction added, 'He will be extremely unhappy. He honestly has a love affair with the club and that will be a setback, absolutely. That’s not acceptable.'
'whoever does such things is a coward and a moron. That’s all you can say about people like that. Hopefully the culprit will be banned from football for life. There is no place in our marvelous game for that.'
Meanwhile 'Arry said 'I never said a word to anybody. I stood up about a 20th of the amount of time that Martin O’Neill did. Who deserves anything thrown at them by a coward or a moron? To throw a coin at someone, they’re obviously very brave people to do that. I was lucky it hit him instead of me. I was just glad it was a bad shot! That would have looked lovely if I’d have gone down but I wouldn’t have given him the satisfaction of going down. Hopefully they find out what idiot it was and ban him for life.'
He also mentions again the filthy abuse thrown his way. Surely there is a limit between banter, football and then just filth?
'I couldn’t see who it was, but I just looked round and there was a guy shouting obscenities and making filthy gestures and there were kids there so I just pointed at him. I don’t know whether it was him who threw it, but his language and what he was doing in front of young kids was a disgrace anyway. That’s got no place in football either. I don’t get any ‘aggro’ anywhere else. I’ve only had it here for some reason, probably because we beat Villa here last year and they weren’t used to losing that much at home so they probably got the needle.'
Adding, 'You come out of football grounds now and see grandparents with kids and they’re sticking fingers up at you and making filthy gestures to the coach and these people are taking their grandchildren to football and it scares me. I think it’s horrific.'
Martin Laursen says it was the work of an idiot but says you can't blame all the fans or the club for that action. 'It was not very nice. It is very bad behaviour. You don’t throw things, even if you are not happy with his decisions or whatever. It is something you don’t do – simple as that. But you can’t blame the entire club or the Aston Villa fans, not for one idiot.'
And Brad Friedel added, 'You can’t allow a thing like that to reflect on the club. It was just one individual who did an idiotic thing. You cannot throw things on to the pitch. I am sure the club will find the person responsible. Nowadays most of the seats in the ground, if not all, are covered by CCTV.'
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Date:Monday October 20 2008
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