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Villa Are Still The Outsiders

Villa are still the outsiders

I am really beginning to wonder exactly what this very good Aston Villa side will have to do before they are acknowledged by the football writers, critics and pundits as being a serous team with a realistic chance of finishing in the top four this season.

Have you noticed how, over the past few weeks, while Villa have continued to win their matches, the writers and commentators from all branches of the media have taken every opportunity they can to knock the team, their style of play and their inexorable rise up the league. Every little bleat from a defeated manager or disgruntled player, who was 'stuffed' by his Villa opposite number, is repeated time and time again throughout every so called 'news' outlets on the planet, but positive comments about Aston Villa are in very short supply.

Take, for example, a couple of recent incidents. Villa beat the Baggies, fact. While the Albion played some pretty across the park football they forgot that the object of the game is to score goals. So Mowbray bleats about Villa's style and all the media pick it up and Villa's deserved win is reduced to being a fluke, a lucky set of circumstances or whatever.

It has happened time and again this season; anything but the deserved acclamation that their success deserves. To make it worse this sniping goes on and on for days and days, the so called 'facts' being
regurgitated ad nauseam. The number of column inches criticising Villa rises proportionately with their rise up the league table.

It happened again last Saturday. The whole of the media have jumped on the 'fact' that Milner may have scored his goal with a combination of his head, shoulder and hand. Their goalkeeper shouts 'Foul, the goal should have been disallowed' and all the hacks join in. They all forget that Milner started his run from near the Villa goal line, running as fast as he could. By his own admission he hoped to get his foot to the ball, but he was tripped.

Chimbonda did a beautiful ankle tap and Milner sprawled forward instead of sliding into the ball, so the wrong end of his body hit the ball. To my knowledge only one pundit picked this up, Alan Shearer on
MotD, who pointed out that if the referee had not awarded the goal he would have had to send off the defender and award a penalty; so you could argue that Sunderland got away with the lesser of two evils.

Again look at the penalty the Gabby won, no one has mentioned the fact that the defenders leg came up under Gabby's right arm so that his foot was in front of Gabby's face. A penalty? Well, it was right on the edge of the area, so the commentators jump on that option and have a field day about it. But what about the dangerous play? That is ignored; again, it could have been a sending off offence. Well, we will forget that and concentrate on Villa's' undeserved' win instead.

I suppose, really, we faithful Villa fans should be grateful. While the hacks are knocking us our competitors may not be taking us a seriously as they should. I hope that is the case anyway. But, I would like to see some recognition for the fact that Aston Villa are a very good and effective footballing side with very real talent.

However, I would like to bet that the next time Villa lose it will be trumpeted in headlines across the media, you know, 'Villa in free fall' or some such rubbish.

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The Journalist

Writer: Obediah Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 21 2009

Time: 12:03PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Nice article. No doubt f we won the title or managed to break the top four that we'd only hear that it was only on the basis of the top clubs dropping points this season....
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21/01/2009 12:14:00

let the hacks say what they will, the 'outsider' tag may not be such a bad one at this stage. there is nothing like being underestimated and i reckon MON loves this. we are 4th with good points, that is the truth, and that is really all that matters.
Report Abuse
21/01/2009 12:19:00

You would appear to be a "glass half empty" person. From where I sit I have read, listened to and watched many positive comments about the Villa and am definitely a "glass half full" person. If you sit and watch feeds such as Newsnow you will see the same item (such as Mowbray's recent comments) repeated by every 12 year-old with a website which gives a false impression. From one for the faithful who views the media as being mostly positive to the Villa, very positive to MON and extremely positive to Mr Lerner.
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21/01/2009 12:23:00

This has, to a certain extent, always been apparent. I think it's just far more noticable now we're kicking it with the big guns. Whenever Villa play and win, on MOTD the analysis is on the other team playing badly (if we win). That said, I have to agree with Randy's comment that we are starting to get more praise from areas we haven't been doing, which is nice. Not too much to pile pressure on, just that bit of recognition.
Report Abuse
21/01/2009 12:37:00

I disagree, I think a lot of Sports writers and Newspapers have been praising Villa for their efforts, especially with the number of English players in the team.
Report Abuse
21/01/2009 12:46:00

Have to agree with randy there, Im hearing, reading and seeing plenty of positive comment on the Villa. Debatable decisions always get over analysed these days, it doesn't only happen to us I don't think. I think there is quite a lot of media support for our surge towards finishing in the top 4
Mossa Villa
Report Abuse
21/01/2009 12:48:00

Nice article. Well as far as the media in general is concerned you are right. But the MotD critic's have been gradually more complementory ever since the arrival of MON. I also appreciated Alan Shearers comments on Saturday about Sunderland getting away with not losing Chimbonda and being a goal down. But he also picked up on the foul that lead to the penalty and also said he thought the decision was correct because the foul continued on into the box. He didnt just fall into the box, but was still being fouled way inside the box. But you are right about the high boot. Here in Germany he would have marched before the whistle blew. Only in the PL is such disgusting play allowed. Personally I thought that was at least as bad as Ashleys foul. Ashleys foul you could argue was not deliberate, but the foul on Barry was! So in that regard was even more deserving of a red card. With another ref, Sunderland would have found themselves down to 9 men, and facing 2 players missing for 3 matches! So they actually were dead lucky not just to lose the points!
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21/01/2009 12:49:00

Sorry randy but no, I am not a pessimist at all. I am delighted with what Randy, MON and the team have achieved. I just get very annoyed that the media do not give us the credit we deserve and take evey chance they can to minimise our achievements.
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21/01/2009 12:50:00

Mine Gott, you sound like a scouser ! Chillax dude & lose the paranoia
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21/01/2009 12:54:00

One thing that annoys me about the fans of the Big Four clubs is how much they whinge about how biased the media is against their club. Let's not do the same please. I think the media and fans in general have greeted our arrival in the elite very warmly
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21/01/2009 13:12:00

As much as i and many of you would like to believe we are not outsiders at all, its not true yet. Despite holding our 4th spot and even threatening to catch the 3 above us we are still outsiders. Arsenal are also winning their games and are staying within 3 points. The majority of the press i have seen is possitive, we are starting to sound like we are a club that is up ourselve like some others (tottenham maybe, no offence). i think we will break the "big 4" but we are not there yet so maybe not so high and mighty lads
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21/01/2009 13:22:00

I think you have to look at the last few games and say we have been fortunate to get the wins, but as rightly pointed out..Goals win games.We aren't the first team to get a few own goals and border line decisions,in fact it evens itself out over a period...who remembers the start to anseason,couple of years ago,when we had conceded about 10 penalties by Xmas (about 60% of which were well dodgy and Ridgewell had conceded most of them).Didn't see the press pleading our hard luck story then!!!. At the end of the day, the table doesn't lie, so let the press say what they want and we'll just carry on doing our thing...UTV
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21/01/2009 13:55:00

Did anyone see Tony Gale on SSN today. He was saying loads of complimentary things about The Villa including that he hopes we do manage to break the top four or better. I think everyone outside of the usual top four hopes that someone breaks up the monopoly. I even think that supporters of the usual top four want it too - as long as it's at the expense of one of the other three and not their own club.
Adam Deuce
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21/01/2009 17:32:00

I think you are probably reading too much into this.
Report Abuse
22/01/2009 03:16:00


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