Writer: Site Staff
Date:Monday July 9 2007
The cameras are rolling, the snappers start snapping and Martin O'Neill walks towards the microphones alongside his newest signing - a player that fans think can return our great football club to Europe's top table.
After the flashing dies down the first hack, slightly overweight and with the whiff of his liquid lunch cutting through the tense atmosphere like a headline about a sunken Argentinean cruiser on a Kelvin McKenzie front page, asks the player the standard question 'why did you leave Harchester United to join Aston Villa.'
We've seen this scene hundreds of times, and the answer is nearly always the same. But not this time, oh no. For this time, the player has decided to be honest, and to give Villa fans some confidence. After all, the Villa fans are the ones who are paying his wages, allowing him to hit the clubs and enjoy more roasts than a kitchen assistant at Beefeater.
'Well, I've joined Aston Villa because this train is running all the way to the Champions League final, and I'm not getting off along the way. Harchester were stuck in the past, pretending they had a bigger history than they had, but this is the real deal. I promise the fans I will give them my all, and will not be happy until we have won the Premier League, European Cup, and then retained them both.'
Right, now back to the real world...!
While Nigel Reo-Coker may have been very professional during his (much delayed) interview after signing his Villa deal, and although many of us have praised him both on forums and with our mates down the pub, we all really wanted him to rip West Ham a new Egg-hole.
But those days are over. A player wouldn't dare do anything that may harm his carefully cultivated image, now that what is shown in the media is becoming almost as important as what happen at the pitch.
Now this is not a dig at Reo-Coker at all - he had no option and conducted himself admirably. But it was dull, it was boring. With all of the news and speculation that surrounds us on a 24/7 basis, we really wanted some fiery comments to match the build-up. The club had all of us lined up, a decent bowl and we'd have been knocked down and more confident than ever.
So what if players promise more than they can offer? So what if it is all meaningless hype? We should, in my opinion, use these player signing interviews to send a message around Europe - the Giant has awoken, and we've got all of you in our sights.
Even if the club don't want the players to say exactly what they feel, and that would be understandable, there is nothing wrong with engineering the media so it looks like the players are saying what they really feel. For the sooner we start getting bigger in the media, the sooner we'll start getting our confidence and then getting bigger on the pitch.
Let's ride this wave we're on, the wave that the Randylution has created, to send the message out. Hopefully, when Jermain Defoe joins in the next few weeks, he'll have a dig at Spurs. Or, as is more likely, Shaun Wright-Phillips will have a pop at Chelsea when he moves to Villa Park.
Aston Villa - we'll be the club where the players entertain both on and off the pitch. And as long as the off-the-pitch fun doesn't affect our on the field play, unsettles other clubs and, who knows, helps us attract more sponsorship and other commercial revenue, surely there is no harm whatsoever!
Date:Monday July 9 2007
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