Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday June 6 2007
We want ice-cream!
Villa fans’ memories are either longer and more meticulous than a 7-foot proof-reader, or shorter than David Unsworth’s Villa career, and I can’t decide which.
Long and meticulous, in that we still expect ineptitude in our transfer dealings due to the previous administration; short, in that we have forgotten the professionalism shown in January.
January was like the entire fatherhood experience condensed into a month. First came relief that the window had finally opened. Then, impatience at a distinct lack of activity. We were then gratified at our first success, although there was still a nagging feeling that things were a little bit slack around the edges. Finally, there was a sense of triumph that we were once again able to lodge a firm bid and make a satisfying deposit.
Obviously the Ellis Hangover still stifles our optimism, and no wonder. If, as a child, you were promised ice-cream on a scorchingly hot day, only to watch your mum fail to secure the services of a Funny Foot for what she deemed to be a perfectly competitive offer of 4½p, while a passing trillionaire bought the entire ice cream van and its contents and sat inside cackling and rolling around in lovely cold Cornettos, and your mum consoled you with the fact that she tried as hard as she could to buy you an ice cream but wasn’t willing to jeopardise the long-term future of the family for an extra 10p, and then demolished your lovely old Victorian house and replaced it with a big shed, you’d probably be sceptical about any future ice-cream purchases. So it is with us and Villa’s transfer activities.
When news emerged that Sidwell – young and promising; the sort of player we’d never have signed under Doug – was off to Chelsea to polish benches with his buttocks (or to polish his buttocks with benches; it works either way I think), I started to feel the trembling, lethargic hand of Octogenarian Transfer Dealings on my shoulder. Fair enough to Sidwell I suppose; if I was offered a famine-abolishing salary just to sit on my corpulent arse as part of a ‘reserve’ company, rather than the ‘first 11’ company, where I could sleepwalk through my job because my results would be of no real consequence, I really wouldn’t grumble. But then that’s probably why I’m not a top sporting personality (well, that and the fact that I can’t play sport and have no personality).
We’d all like to see the likes of Sidwell at Villa. But tarnishing the current deities – sorry, people – in charge of Villa with the same brush as the previous owner strikes me as being a little petulant. Just because the transfer window has recently been nudged open, should we expect Ronaldinho to climb enthusiastically through it, especially while we’re trying to cram Djemba-Djemba’s fat useless arse out the other way? Expecting us to compete with Champions League clubs in the transfer market is like putting money on Ronnie Corbett in a 1-on-1 with Michael Jordan.
We should rejoice that we can now compete for players like Young, Carew and, hopefully, Reo-Coker; 12 months ago we resolutely couldn’t, or wouldn’t. But that still doesn’t mean we’ll get everyone we target, due to the damned inconvenience of the existence of several hundred other football teams across the globe.
At least now there is a chance of us getting some proper footballers with two legs and a head (each), and that is progress as far as I’m concerned. Even whilst writing this article, it emerges that we have bid for Nigel Reo-Coker, or ‘Reo-Cocker’ as some people prefer. Encouraging. But the best bit was on Midlands News last night:
“Aston Villa are rumoured to have bid £7m for Nigel Reo-Coker. Villa have refused to comment.”
Breathe easy friends; the right people are in charge. We’ll get there eventually.
Date:Wednesday June 6 2007
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