Date:Friday July 13 2007
What a difference a year makes
Warning: This article contains NO transfer speculation.
This time last year, I, and I suspect many of you reading this, were in the depths of depression. The new season was just around the corner and the Doug Ellis / David O'Leary reign was still in full flow. I could see nothing but a relegation battle ahead for us, more, I was convinced that we were going to go down probably never to rise again.
Ellis had said it himself many times that they would have to carry him out of Villa Park in a box and, at that time, I genuinely believed that, that was going to be the only way we would see the back of him. Then, in the space of a relatively short period of time last summer all that changed.
So much has happened in that year. Our performances on the pitch haven't always been scintillating, but we all knew that MON and the team had a mountain to climb to put 20 years of neglect right and that it wasn't going to happen overnight. Last season on the pitch was always going to be about consolidation, it was what was happening off the pitch that was going to make all the difference.
I genuinely believe that we have the best board and CEO (Richard Fitzgerald) in the country, not the richest but the best. I think I can safely say that we have all been impressed with the way that Randy, the General et al have taken our club to their hearts, I particularly like the way they respect our past and the heritage of our great club, as shown in their renovation of the Holte hotel amongst other things.
Many on here have had dealings with the General to a greater or lesser degree and I am sure that they, like me have been impressed by his responses to ideas and suggestions put to him.
As the years passed under Ellis I became more and more disillusioned with what was happening at the club, my visits to Villa Park becoming fewer and fewer each season. Randy and Martin O'Neill have rekindled all my passion and enthusiasm for the club. Last season I bought a half-season ticket, this year I have bought my first ever season ticket.
I don't know where the next few seasons will take us, I do know that if the club doesn't succeed it won't be for the lack of trying. Under MON, our board and CEO I think we villa fans are in for exciting and successful times ahead and I hope I will be there to see it all happen.
Date:Friday July 13 2007
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