Oi You, Mr Aston Villa Fan!
Oi You, Mr Aston Villa Fan!
Oi, you, Mr. Aston Villa fan, aka a quivering wreck! There! I see you, cowering behind your sofa. You’re crying and crossing of the days until red-letter weekend, the start of the next Premier League season in the middle of August. Just four weeks... four weeks left until Wigan waltz into town and no new signings have been announced!
Not a bean! Still. It’s a seven-week itch, at least... you’re almost divorced from all reality – disorientated. You’d even go as far as to describe it as disillusion... and, in embarrassingly new developments, if someone happens to mention the word transfer, you start salivating and can't snap out of it...
No moves. None likely, probably. Possibly. Not yet, anyway. Oh-my-god; isn’t stability boring?
I, a Colchester fan, say stability – and not anything else – given that you’re in for two of England’s finest young prospects, Kyle Naughton and Fabian Delph. Just because they’re not yet unveiled in Villa Pak’s sunshine, out of the long shadow left by Gareth Barry’s departure, isn’t indicative of zero ambition.
Every daily-surfer on Vital Villa knows the line that it’s a competitive marketplace; you’re trying to tempt the same players as on-a-par clubs, like Everton or Spurs. It stays all quiet on the (official) transfer front while your Vital front man, JF, stridently walks where agents fear to tread by shouting the day’s transfer links from the rooftops. (Or should that be desktop?) He lives in hope. You all do.
So, why am I here? (Except to remind you that you’ve just simply got to play Colchester United at their new stadium in a couple of weeks, and all probably because our manager, Paul Lambert, is friends with Martin O’Neil from their Celtic connection. Lucky people!)
I’m here to remind you that standing still on the transfer treadmill doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going backwards. No action doesn't mean slipping away from relative success for next season.
Sure, the predominantly young squad might need reinforcements - and then some - to replace Barry and the now-retired Martin Laursen. But Burnley won promotion to the Premier League last term with only eighteen first-teamers, which proves that, at least sometimes, less might actually really be more.
Scant consolation? You’re still hysterical? That anecdotal article about MON waiting in the fictional Kebab house somewhere on B6, asking others what he should take for a summer fill, seems truer now than ever?
Well, stop. I’ve come armed with other inconvenient evidence to help administer any inconsolables on this site with a shot of perspective.
Almost three years ago exactly, the achieves from Villa’s Vital Towers show Mr. Fear offering his own services to replace former manager David O’Leary as boss of a football club that has finished a few points off relegation. It’s July 2006; disarray is everyday.
The only oft-recurring speculation on Vital Villa that Mark Delaney is being forced out of the club. Nowhere near as glamorous as yesterday's probably made-up media story about Ashley Young’s never-going-to-happen move to Manchester United. (SAF says he's done dealing, and I believe him).
Days before, that same month, Fear was minding his own business on a Sunday shopping-spree at Sainsbury, when the Birmingham Post rang. (And no, it wasn’t to ask if he’d hang up his mouse mat and stop putting the journalists out of a job!) They told your intrepid leader that the Villa squad had issued a revolting statement. Except it wasn’t bad; Fear actually quite liked it.
The team demanded watered pitches, (“Deadly” Doug Ellis refused to pay the £300 required maintenance) a refund on some coffee for the physio, plus a bit of purpose with the recruitment drive.
Then, in short, Martin the Magnificent jumped back over Hadrian’s Wall, accompanied by a very quick and Randy Lerner, and here you are today; with a tenacious team, fulfilling top-six Premiership potential.
So, sometimes, even when standing still feels like a backward step, it surely isn’t.
Not when, as I see it, you’ve risen from disharmony’s depths to real respectability in the time it took neighbours Birmingham to yo-yo up (twice) and down (once) from the Championship abyss you yourselves only narrowly avoided.
Will you come out from behind that sofa now? Perhaps stability's not so boring after all.
By Matt_Us of Vital Colchester