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Do We Really Want To Be Pompey Or Man City?

Do We Really Want to be Portsmouth or Man City?

As usual after a 'poor' result I expected to see the usual 'Martin O'Neill Out' posts, but I'd like to put things into perspective.

First, as pointed out by others, these 'poor' results are part of our best run for years. That we think taking only one point from Manchester United is 'poor' is evidence of progress.

We didn't play well in a footballing/attacking sense, but we are not yet in the Manchester United and Barca league and won't be for a long time yet.

It was disappointing not to keep up the football that led up to Carlos Cuellar's goal, but in the real world our play is to a large extent dictated by the quality of the opposition. We can't look at our performance in isolation; we played what is arguably one of the best teams in the world - full of class players, experience at the very top level and on a hot run.

So how many managers would turn down 4 points from ManU this season? How many times have we played out of our skins against them only to lose in extra time? Who has been frustrated that we didn't know how to 'win ugly'? I can't argue with those who suggest different substitutions would have had a different outcome, but let's face it, it's easy to criticise decisions because they have obviously gone wrong somehow - you don't criticise successes.

But in real life we can't tell whether different substitutions would have been more successful. MON could have made the changes suggested by others, only for us to ship a goal in the last minute and lose. Whether we agree or disagree, we have to judge the manager's performance on results, and our results so far this season have not been bad.

When we get to the question of squad-building and transfers, I'm excited when we're linked with top players and I'm disappointed if we don't sign them, but it irks me intensely when Villa fans pre-judge our signings before a ball has been kicked. Of course some of MON's signings have been duff - name a manager who hasn't signed duff players.

I find it hard to reconcile the flak MON took for signing Richard Dunne and James Collins with the performances they've put in. Both players were trashed before they'd even pulled on a shirt, but look at how they've played. James Milner is amazing (Gareth who?) Ash has enormous potential. Fabian Delph is a star in the making.

On the whole, I'm very happy with most of MON's signings - hands up those who would rather we'd signed Robinho? As for the pace of it all, I'm impatient too. I want the players being signed by ManC or Barca, and I want them NOW! But like the man said: be careful what you wish for ... You probably envied Portsmouth a couple of seasons ago when 'arry was signing quality players hand over fist, and how many were jealous when they won the Cup? Now ask yourself if you want RAL to bring in a high-spending manager buy rapid success.

Pompey fans do not deserve what they're going through now, so how many of us would swap MON for 'arry (or DOL), knowing what high-spenders can do to a club? Buckets of cash don't guarantee success. Was I dreaming or did that hugely expensive Man City team just lose to Hull City? And didn't Spurs, with all their elegance and 'football', just lose to Wolves? On the whole I'm more than happy with our progress and I prefer our measured pace to the sh*t-or-bust approach we see at other clubs.

So where will we end up this year? Who knows.

This may be a controversial viewpoint, but I believe it is the PLAYERS who have to step up for the remainder of the season. For all of a manager's influences - selection, tactics, substitutions, man-management, motivation - we have taken points from the best, and there is no reason the same players can't do so against lesser teams. Every game is 'difficult' in the Prem and points are hard-earned. If we have the right attitude when we're playing teams below us, we won't be far off when the season finishes.


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The Journalist

Writer: BobTheBuilder Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 12 2010

Time: 11:42AM

Your Comments

Fully agree with all you said. Of course there is frustration at some of the decisions by MON at times but I couldn't be happier with the owner, manager and players we have got in in the several seasons gone since the regime change. UTV
Rawlie
Fully agree with all you said. Of course there is frustration at some of the decisions by MON at times but I couldn't be happier with the owner, manager and players we have got in in the several seasons gone since the regime change. UTV
Rawlie
Hi Ya Bob, Pompey fan here.. You don't wanna be anybody other than Aston Villa.. You are a 'traditional' club with 'traditional' support.. Don't dream about over stretching yourselves as we did (although we were ignorantly unaware at the time) and certainly don't dream of being Man City ..another 'traditional' club but I fear for their real fans.in amonst all the money. Just be yourselves and enjoy whatever success you get (it will come) .. Don't risk your entire future just to write one line in the history books .... Better to be an Everton than a Leeds
chix
Hi Ya Bob, Pompey fan here.. You don't wanna be anybody other than Aston Villa.. You are a 'traditional' club with 'traditional' support.. Don't dream about over stretching yourselves as we did (although we were ignorantly unaware at the time) and certainly don't dream of being Man City ..another 'traditional' club but I fear for their real fans.in amonst all the money. Just be yourselves and enjoy whatever success you get (it will come) .. Don't risk your entire future just to write one line in the history books .... Better to be an Everton than a Leeds
chix
Great article and agree with every word. Would love to see us at the very top but think the way we are building is the way to go.
ZA-Villan
Great article and agree with every word. Would love to see us at the very top but think the way we are building is the way to go.
ZA-Villan
nice comments Chix, thanks for those and good luck with all the stuff going on with you guys, feel for you I really do.
The Fear
nice comments Chix, thanks for those and good luck with all the stuff going on with you guys, feel for you I really do.
The Fear
Thanks to Bob for a very sensible, level headed article, all true ~ us footy fans do tend to get carried away in the emotion side of the beautiful game a bit too much sometimes.

I'd also just like to echo Fear's sentiments to chix, thanx for the post and really hope someone comes in and saves the club. It is a bad day for English football when 1 club is spending money like water and another at the opposite end are struggling to pay for there website!!!
davidsands1982
Thanks to Bob for a very sensible, level headed article, all true ~ us footy fans do tend to get carried away in the emotion side of the beautiful game a bit too much sometimes.

I'd also just like to echo Fear's sentiments to chix, thanx for the post and really hope someone comes in and saves the club. It is a bad day for English football when 1 club is spending money like water and another at the opposite end are struggling to pay for there website!!!
davidsands1982
Superb article and mirrors my thoughts exactly. When I hear people wanting O'Neill out it makes me mad, what do they want? what do they expect?
2fishinatank
Superb article and mirrors my thoughts exactly. When I hear people wanting O'Neill out it makes me mad, what do they want? what do they expect?
2fishinatank
Agree with a lot of what you say Bob, but *our play is to a large extent dictated by the quality of the opposition* is a very pessimistic view. It's not reality. In the real world, Villa CAN and DO dictate the play, even against the top 4 this season. I think MON has flaws (we all do - This is not a *MON OUT!* post) in his managerial methods and style. A great manager must sort these flaws out. And MON's team selection and game plans can be stubbornly, well, stubborn - not flexible and he makes some poor decisions (I know it's easy to say from the sidelines, but ...). He will only be a great manager if he sorts himself out. Not trying to be an armchair psychologist. Fergie should be a lesson to all. Whatever belligerent nonsense he often talks, his actual decisions show he is a great adaptable manager. MON often talks a big game, plays a small one and afterwards says it was excellent regardless. Still think he's the best Villa manager for many a year, though.
144wittonlane
Agree with a lot of what you say Bob, but *our play is to a large extent dictated by the quality of the opposition* is a very pessimistic view. It's not reality. In the real world, Villa CAN and DO dictate the play, even against the top 4 this season. I think MON has flaws (we all do - This is not a *MON OUT!* post) in his managerial methods and style. A great manager must sort these flaws out. And MON's team selection and game plans can be stubbornly, well, stubborn - not flexible and he makes some poor decisions (I know it's easy to say from the sidelines, but ...). He will only be a great manager if he sorts himself out. Not trying to be an armchair psychologist. Fergie should be a lesson to all. Whatever belligerent nonsense he often talks, his actual decisions show he is a great adaptable manager. MON often talks a big game, plays a small one and afterwards says it was excellent regardless. Still think he's the best Villa manager for many a year, though.
144wittonlane
totally agreed. Our spending policy is second to non in the prem. Steady progress since MON and mr Lerner came in and spend loads this summer to push for progress, which i think we are getting. Compaire our defensive record from last yr, its incredible. There are things i would change (more use of subs and such) but you can't argue with progress.
overlooked_villan
totally agreed. Our spending policy is second to non in the prem. Steady progress since MON and mr Lerner came in and spend loads this summer to push for progress, which i think we are getting. Compaire our defensive record from last yr, its incredible. There are things i would change (more use of subs and such) but you can't argue with progress.
overlooked_villan
good article Bob. I agree MON can be extremely frustrating at times, but in the same breath we are digging out results. Would like to see more attacking intent from the midfield at times (something that Delph has in abundance) but more than happy with our current position...Chix, hope they get Pompey sorted out..still think Harry firedamaged lego face has a few things to answer for in respect to your current plight!!
Kuffit
good article Bob. I agree MON can be extremely frustrating at times, but in the same breath we are digging out results. Would like to see more attacking intent from the midfield at times (something that Delph has in abundance) but more than happy with our current position...Chix, hope they get Pompey sorted out..still think Harry firedamaged lego face has a few things to answer for in respect to your current plight!!
Kuffit
Just think, if every team got four points of ManU they'd finish the season with 38 points! God Bless Pompy! God Damn Man Citeh!
ljkal
The Pompey situation was what originally drove this article - a traditional club with proper fans, who don't deserve what has happened. That started me counting our blessings, despite any frustrations we might have. For the record, I'm not a MON-is-God fan - I understand the frustrations WittonLane, and share some of them - but I do believe we would struggle to improve the situation we have at the moment without becoming Man City, which I would hate. Our owner and manager represent something more solid than the glitz and celebrity afflicting Premiership football, and long may that continue. Good luck Pompey - I hope we will be playing you for many years to come.
BobTheBuilder
Just think, if every team got four points of ManU they'd finish the season with 38 points! God Bless Pompy! God Damn Man Citeh!
ljkal
The Pompey situation was what originally drove this article - a traditional club with proper fans, who don't deserve what has happened. That started me counting our blessings, despite any frustrations we might have. For the record, I'm not a MON-is-God fan - I understand the frustrations WittonLane, and share some of them - but I do believe we would struggle to improve the situation we have at the moment without becoming Man City, which I would hate. Our owner and manager represent something more solid than the glitz and celebrity afflicting Premiership football, and long may that continue. Good luck Pompey - I hope we will be playing you for many years to come.
BobTheBuilder
Fans also have to do they bit, less moaning more supporting.
claretandbluearmy
Fans also have to do they bit, less moaning more supporting.
claretandbluearmy
I have a confession to make. I'm struggling to contain my excitement at the prospect of finishing in the top 6 in the greatest league the world has ever seen for the third time running (although given the size of that achievement, it is only to be expected that we might not manage it). I'm also thrilled that we have the chance to not only play against the great Manchester United's reserve team in the League Cup final, but possibly even win. After all, it wouldn't be a shock if one of these kids shows his inexperience and gets himself sent off, although we can't be complacent, because even with ten men, they still pose an enormous threat... I am also in awe of a football intellect that posesses the genius to spend large sums of money on defenders, then 'tightens up' our play (I won't be having this nonsense that we have adopted an ultra-defensive philosophy, even if we are scoring a little over a goal a game). Not only do we have the best defensive record in the Premiership, but we quite clearly have the best defence in the Premiership, as evidenced by our ability to soak up pressure, counter-attack with impunity, and create innumerable chances. It's so exciting to watch! The fact of the matter is that Martin O'Neill is the perfect manager for a small-to-medium-sized club such as ours, as his work at Leicester and Celtic proves. We are punching massively above our weight, and the pride I have in the knowledge that we have the most brilliant mind in football entrusted with our future is indescribable. Here's to the next ten years, and consistently finishing in the top half of the worlds greatest league (bar the odd, inevitable, hiccough), perhaps winning the odd League Cup, and who would bet against us having our very own Seville moment under this great man? We might not have a hope of winning the league, and we might not make much of an impression in serious cup competitions, and we may never compete in the Champion's League (which is overrated anyway), but I believe every single Villa fan, deep down, is creaming their pants at the prospect of massive succes under Martin O'Neill.
Albarnista
I have a confession to make. I'm struggling to contain my excitement at the prospect of finishing in the top 6 in the greatest league the world has ever seen for the third time running (although given the size of that achievement, it is only to be expected that we might not manage it). I'm also thrilled that we have the chance to not only play against the great Manchester United's reserve team in the League Cup final, but possibly even win. After all, it wouldn't be a shock if one of these kids shows his inexperience and gets himself sent off, although we can't be complacent, because even with ten men, they still pose an enormous threat... I am also in awe of a football intellect that posesses the genius to spend large sums of money on defenders, then 'tightens up' our play (I won't be having this nonsense that we have adopted an ultra-defensive philosophy, even if we are scoring a little over a goal a game). Not only do we have the best defensive record in the Premiership, but we quite clearly have the best defence in the Premiership, as evidenced by our ability to soak up pressure, counter-attack with impunity, and create innumerable chances. It's so exciting to watch! The fact of the matter is that Martin O'Neill is the perfect manager for a small-to-medium-sized club such as ours, as his work at Leicester and Celtic proves. We are punching massively above our weight, and the pride I have in the knowledge that we have the most brilliant mind in football entrusted with our future is indescribable. Here's to the next ten years, and consistently finishing in the top half of the worlds greatest league (bar the odd, inevitable, hiccough), perhaps winning the odd League Cup, and who would bet against us having our very own Seville moment under this great man? We might not have a hope of winning the league, and we might not make much of an impression in serious cup competitions, and we may never compete in the Champion's League (which is overrated anyway), but I believe every single Villa fan, deep down, is creaming their pants at the prospect of massive succes under Martin O'Neill.
Albarnista
I like the article, and enjoy the sentiment, and fully agree that what's going an at Portsmouth is a tragedy. However I just don't get how people compare ManCity with Portsmouth - it's like comparing Hilda Ogden with Megan Fox. ManCity owners have basically got a bottomless pit of cash - the millions they have invested to date won't even register a blip. You can't compare them to Pompei. I also struggle to believe (hand on heart) that if a similar owner popped up and bought out RAL and started spending silly money on fantastic players for Villa - would we really be sitting there saying 'oh this is terrible' - I much prefer how it was before we had all this cash? Rubbish - we'd be loving the ride, just as the ManCity fans are now. You can't deny them that, it's just a real shame that it's allowed to even happen in the first place - that's the real issue. It really must be absolutely soul destroying for the likes of MON and Moyes who have been working their nuts off the last 4 years to make inroads into this ridiculous cartel at the top of the league. Just when it looks like we're beginning to mix it up, the whole thing gets turned on it's head again.
YatesyVillain
I like the article, and enjoy the sentiment, and fully agree that what's going an at Portsmouth is a tragedy. However I just don't get how people compare ManCity with Portsmouth - it's like comparing Hilda Ogden with Megan Fox. ManCity owners have basically got a bottomless pit of cash - the millions they have invested to date won't even register a blip. You can't compare them to Pompei. I also struggle to believe (hand on heart) that if a similar owner popped up and bought out RAL and started spending silly money on fantastic players for Villa - would we really be sitting there saying 'oh this is terrible' - I much prefer how it was before we had all this cash? Rubbish - we'd be loving the ride, just as the ManCity fans are now. You can't deny them that, it's just a real shame that it's allowed to even happen in the first place - that's the real issue. It really must be absolutely soul destroying for the likes of MON and Moyes who have been working their nuts off the last 4 years to make inroads into this ridiculous cartel at the top of the league. Just when it looks like we're beginning to mix it up, the whole thing gets turned on it's head again.
YatesyVillain
Albarnista I remember the great Ron Saunders quoting from confucius after we had been beaten by Spurs in our championship winning season. We had got hammered by the press and he wrote in the programme for the following home game "When you hark to the voice of the knocker and listen to his hammer fall remember the fact that the knockers act requires no brains at all" That quote particularly applies to you sirdennis
sirdennis
Albarnista I remember the great Ron Saunders quoting from confucius after we had been beaten by Spurs in our championship winning season. We had got hammered by the press and he wrote in the programme for the following home game "When you hark to the voice of the knocker and listen to his hammer fall remember the fact that the knockers act requires no brains at all" That quote particularly applies to you sirdennis
sirdennis
If I wasn't so lazy I would have written this article. Agree with every word and must thank Bob for saving me from all that work!!!! Some fans need to see the World for what it is, not the fantasy they seem to think it is.
HeathfieldRoad1874
If I wasn't so lazy I would have written this article. Agree with every word and must thank Bob for saving me from all that work!!!! Some fans need to see the World for what it is, not the fantasy they seem to think it is.
HeathfieldRoad1874
great article and fully agree, you as i have bought into what the club is trying to do and its great long may it continue!
clarkamus
great article and fully agree, you as i have bought into what the club is trying to do and its great long may it continue!
clarkamus
Agree with your second post Bob. And agree with much of what Albarnista has to say as well, though not his tone sometimes. The point for me is that I'd rather be doing things a better way than either Citeh or Pompey. Randy and MON do have principles, by the looks of things. Albarnista, although it would be frustrating and painful, I'd rather be Villa in 2010 with MON than Citeh, Pompey, West Ham, Liverpool, ManU and all the rest. Of course, because I was born in Witton Lane, but also if I had to choose, because Villa are doing things the *right* way. I would honestly rather go down than have the debt of ManU and Liverpool, or the managers of some other clubs.
144wittonlane
Agree with your second post Bob. And agree with much of what Albarnista has to say as well, though not his tone sometimes. The point for me is that I'd rather be doing things a better way than either Citeh or Pompey. Randy and MON do have principles, by the looks of things. Albarnista, although it would be frustrating and painful, I'd rather be Villa in 2010 with MON than Citeh, Pompey, West Ham, Liverpool, ManU and all the rest. Of course, because I was born in Witton Lane, but also if I had to choose, because Villa are doing things the *right* way. I would honestly rather go down than have the debt of ManU and Liverpool, or the managers of some other clubs.
144wittonlane
Nice to need an article that doesn't get completely shredded to pieces! Interesting to read that people still think we will be playing Man Utd's reserves...the last 2 League Cups they have won have been pretty much full strength teams, and I can't imagine is going to risk another trophy being potentially added to his CV by playing back ups
Francobaresi13
Nice to need an article that doesn't get completely shredded to pieces! Interesting to read that people still think we will be playing Man Utd's reserves...the last 2 League Cups they have won have been pretty much full strength teams, and I can't imagine is going to risk another trophy being potentially added to his CV by playing back ups
Francobaresi13
Albarnista you are obviously an intelligent person so you cant be a Bluenose but from previous posts and obvious sarcasm you dont seem to like Villa or Villa Fans at all so who do you support .
Doug4ever
Albarnista you are obviously an intelligent person so you cant be a Bluenose but from previous posts and obvious sarcasm you dont seem to like Villa or Villa Fans at all so who do you support .
Doug4ever
I only said to my boss (a Wolves supporter) yesterday that I was very happy to be a Villa supporter. We are progressing at a steady rate with no debts and a manager and owner with an understanding of the traditions of the club. Now lets go get some silverware.
Adam Deuce
I only said to my boss (a Wolves supporter) yesterday that I was very happy to be a Villa supporter. We are progressing at a steady rate with no debts and a manager and owner with an understanding of the traditions of the club. Now lets go get some silverware.
Adam Deuce
Good point well made.
General Disarray
Albie! So nice to hear from you after all this time! As Doug says, you appear to be an intelligent person, so instead of ripping what I've written to pieces under an extremely thin veil of toxic sarcasm, why not write something that supports your views about our club, our manager, and our owner? I somehow doubt you will, though. To write something original means you have to create, rather than destroying, and my guess is you don't have the capacity to do that.
BobTheBuilder
Good point well made.
General Disarray
Albie! So nice to hear from you after all this time! As Doug says, you appear to be an intelligent person, so instead of ripping what I've written to pieces under an extremely thin veil of toxic sarcasm, why not write something that supports your views about our club, our manager, and our owner? I somehow doubt you will, though. To write something original means you have to create, rather than destroying, and my guess is you don't have the capacity to do that.
BobTheBuilder
Albarnista is probably a Spuds fan.
claretandbluearmy
Albarnista is probably a Spuds fan.
claretandbluearmy
Hate to be a pedant ljkal but, if every team took 4 points off Man U they would end the season with 19 points not 38
ant1ant1
Hate to be a pedant ljkal but, if every team took 4 points off Man U they would end the season with 19 points not 38
ant1ant1
My attitude is that nothing good will come of O'Neill's tenure. I am also aware that Randy Lerner is not going to get rid of him. And, despite some fans misgivings, I don't anticipate there being an appetite for change amongst the Villa support as a whole. Given that I have no power to effect a change, there really is no point in putting forward a manifesto for change. The only thing to do is to wait the man out. Maybe he will be made an offer he can't refuse by another club, or country, though I think this unlikely, because though he has a solid reputation, I really don't think that any of the clubs who might be able to improve his professional situation would go for him. Lerner is unlikely to become disenchanted with him, because for all the excellent work he's done since buying the club, he isn't a football expert. Not a bad thing in and of itself, but unfortunately he's backed the wrong horse, and the truth is that, in an important sense, an owner is only as good as his manager. My view is that we're stuck with a manager who is incapable of taking advantage of the size of Villa, and the calibre of our owner. Until O'Neill goes, there's no hope.
Albarnista
My attitude is that nothing good will come of O'Neill's tenure. I am also aware that Randy Lerner is not going to get rid of him. And, despite some fans misgivings, I don't anticipate there being an appetite for change amongst the Villa support as a whole. Given that I have no power to effect a change, there really is no point in putting forward a manifesto for change. The only thing to do is to wait the man out. Maybe he will be made an offer he can't refuse by another club, or country, though I think this unlikely, because though he has a solid reputation, I really don't think that any of the clubs who might be able to improve his professional situation would go for him. Lerner is unlikely to become disenchanted with him, because for all the excellent work he's done since buying the club, he isn't a football expert. Not a bad thing in and of itself, but unfortunately he's backed the wrong horse, and the truth is that, in an important sense, an owner is only as good as his manager. My view is that we're stuck with a manager who is incapable of taking advantage of the size of Villa, and the calibre of our owner. Until O'Neill goes, there's no hope.
Albarnista
Doug4ever, it would be fair to say that, in the long-term interests of Aston Villa FC, I want to see O'Neill fail to such an extent that he is forced to resign or is sacked. He has already failed to make the progress this club should have done given the financial backing Villa enjoy, and given the mess that so-called bigger clubs are in. Liverpool are in a complete mess, Arsenal are no stronger than they were last season, but have simply avoided a repeat of last-season's crippling injury crisis. Certainly, this Arsenal team isn't a patch on what they were 5 years ago. And neither Chelsea or Man Ure are anywhere near as strong as they have been. The gap between the big four and us only appears to be significant because O'Neill is incompetent. His incompetence was proved last season, even if many fail to see it. And this season, it's the same story. I sincerely hope that Martin O'Neill is defeated by Man Ure's reserves, because the 'benefits' of winning the league cup (and in fact there aren't any), are far outweighed by cost, which is likely to be a strengthening of O'Neill's position, and a lengthening of his tenure, which can only be bad for Aston Villa. I make no apologies for this attitude, because all I want is what is best for Villa, and the best thing that can happen to Villa is that we are rid of O'Neill.
Albarnista
Doug4ever, it would be fair to say that, in the long-term interests of Aston Villa FC, I want to see O'Neill fail to such an extent that he is forced to resign or is sacked. He has already failed to make the progress this club should have done given the financial backing Villa enjoy, and given the mess that so-called bigger clubs are in. Liverpool are in a complete mess, Arsenal are no stronger than they were last season, but have simply avoided a repeat of last-season's crippling injury crisis. Certainly, this Arsenal team isn't a patch on what they were 5 years ago. And neither Chelsea or Man Ure are anywhere near as strong as they have been. The gap between the big four and us only appears to be significant because O'Neill is incompetent. His incompetence was proved last season, even if many fail to see it. And this season, it's the same story. I sincerely hope that Martin O'Neill is defeated by Man Ure's reserves, because the 'benefits' of winning the league cup (and in fact there aren't any), are far outweighed by cost, which is likely to be a strengthening of O'Neill's position, and a lengthening of his tenure, which can only be bad for Aston Villa. I make no apologies for this attitude, because all I want is what is best for Villa, and the best thing that can happen to Villa is that we are rid of O'Neill.
Albarnista
Albarnista how anyone purporting to be a Villa fan can say they want us to lose at Wembley is beneath contempt.I am assuming you have never played any team sport at any level or you would never say such things.I suppose you wanted Ipswich to win the league in 1981 and Bayern to beat us in Rotterdam too.
sirdennis
Albarnista how anyone purporting to be a Villa fan can say they want us to lose at Wembley is beneath contempt.I am assuming you have never played any team sport at any level or you would never say such things.I suppose you wanted Ipswich to win the league in 1981 and Bayern to beat us in Rotterdam too.
sirdennis
I suppose, by the same twisted logic, Albie, you would be absolutely distraught if Villa were to win anything 'decent'. Nevertheless, I'm much happier now your agenda isn't hidden behind irony and sarcasm, and accept that you have the right to your opinion even if I don't agree with it. However, given your views, it strikes me you must be having a worse time than if we had been relegated last season, and the better our results, the worse your week must be. What a strange sort of football fan you are! Why do you bother?
BobTheBuilder
I suppose, by the same twisted logic, Albie, you would be absolutely distraught if Villa were to win anything 'decent'. Nevertheless, I'm much happier now your agenda isn't hidden behind irony and sarcasm, and accept that you have the right to your opinion even if I don't agree with it. However, given your views, it strikes me you must be having a worse time than if we had been relegated last season, and the better our results, the worse your week must be. What a strange sort of football fan you are! Why do you bother?
BobTheBuilder
May I suggest we ignore Albies ramblings, there is no way he is a Villa fan, so dont bother answering him.
claretandbluearmy
May I suggest we ignore Albies ramblings, there is no way he is a Villa fan, so dont bother answering him.
claretandbluearmy
The propensity of some who follow our great club to wallow in the misery of their own negativity beggars belief. So a League Cup win is of no importance! That effectively wipes out a whole host of the fondest memories any true supporters have. 1971 (yes we lost) 1975 1977 1994 and 1996 all pointless in the eyes of Albarnista. Why bother with any of it? What is it that you love about Aston Villa? I know and so do all true fans. Perhaps what inhibits our success is the crippling, myopic negativity espoused by those for whom nothing except perfection is good enough. PS A thoughtful article Bob. Evolution not revolution will do for me.
northamptonvillan
The propensity of some who follow our great club to wallow in the misery of their own negativity beggars belief. So a League Cup win is of no importance! That effectively wipes out a whole host of the fondest memories any true supporters have. 1971 (yes we lost) 1975 1977 1994 and 1996 all pointless in the eyes of Albarnista. Why bother with any of it? What is it that you love about Aston Villa? I know and so do all true fans. Perhaps what inhibits our success is the crippling, myopic negativity espoused by those for whom nothing except perfection is good enough. PS A thoughtful article Bob. Evolution not revolution will do for me.
northamptonvillan
I agree that perfection is not the only goal that is good enough, many many things about our great club and supporting our great club are worth the time and effort and expense, and if we never experienced silverware again, i will still go to my grave a Villian, but I do think this great club should expect to achieve more, the catchment area stretches from Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, South Staffs, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire. With a little bit of success the ground would be full even if extended to 50,000 every game. It was always my belief that the Ellis administration did a miraculous job in holding this great back, the relationship with the press and lack of club promotion, terrible sponsorship deals and general lack of spark, means we have become unfashionable with the press and happy to believe that top 6 is an actual achievement, we really are capable with better promotion and gradual building from the youth team, training facilities and financial stability to expect more than the odd League Cup success once a decade, this is not unreasonable, we are a MASSIVE club, the history, tradition and fan base are already in place, the ground is great, we are just awaiting the final push in terms of signing the strike force to go with our midfield and defence, don't be afraid of wanting it, it really can happen, but even if it doesn't, the love of this club will never go away
ant1ant1
I agree that perfection is not the only goal that is good enough, many many things about our great club and supporting our great club are worth the time and effort and expense, and if we never experienced silverware again, i will still go to my grave a Villian, but I do think this great club should expect to achieve more, the catchment area stretches from Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, South Staffs, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire. With a little bit of success the ground would be full even if extended to 50,000 every game. It was always my belief that the Ellis administration did a miraculous job in holding this great back, the relationship with the press and lack of club promotion, terrible sponsorship deals and general lack of spark, means we have become unfashionable with the press and happy to believe that top 6 is an actual achievement, we really are capable with better promotion and gradual building from the youth team, training facilities and financial stability to expect more than the odd League Cup success once a decade, this is not unreasonable, we are a MASSIVE club, the history, tradition and fan base are already in place, the ground is great, we are just awaiting the final push in terms of signing the strike force to go with our midfield and defence, don't be afraid of wanting it, it really can happen, but even if it doesn't, the love of this club will never go away
ant1ant1
I will have to respond to this ridiculous accusation that I would be distraught if we won anything 'decent'. Despite my contempt for Martin O'Neill's management, I would be delighted were we to win the FA Cup this season. This is a competition that still matters, and even though we'd need to get lucky to win it, that consideration would be irrelevant to history. I would of course despair that O'Neill would be Villa manager that much longer, because a fluke FA Cup win would not indicate that we were on the right track. We will never be on the right track with O'Neill, because he doesn't know what he's doing. Nevertheless, winning things (that are worth a damn) is what football is ultimately about, and so I would, as a Villa fan, take great satisfaction in winning our 8th FA Cup. However, were we to win a league cup, it would be meaningless. When we won the thing back in 1996, it was still very much worth winning, because every club took it seriously. These days, when most clubs, and especially the strongest clubs, don't take it seriously, what is the point? Heck, even O'Neill himself treated the competition with contempt tehse past three seasons! What has suddenly changed?
Albarnista
I will have to respond to this ridiculous accusation that I would be distraught if we won anything 'decent'. Despite my contempt for Martin O'Neill's management, I would be delighted were we to win the FA Cup this season. This is a competition that still matters, and even though we'd need to get lucky to win it, that consideration would be irrelevant to history. I would of course despair that O'Neill would be Villa manager that much longer, because a fluke FA Cup win would not indicate that we were on the right track. We will never be on the right track with O'Neill, because he doesn't know what he's doing. Nevertheless, winning things (that are worth a damn) is what football is ultimately about, and so I would, as a Villa fan, take great satisfaction in winning our 8th FA Cup. However, were we to win a league cup, it would be meaningless. When we won the thing back in 1996, it was still very much worth winning, because every club took it seriously. These days, when most clubs, and especially the strongest clubs, don't take it seriously, what is the point? Heck, even O'Neill himself treated the competition with contempt tehse past three seasons! What has suddenly changed?
Albarnista
As to why I bother, the answer is that I can't help it. I'm a Villa fan, and I can't help it. Despite the fact that football is now bankrupt in every conceivable way, it is still the game it was when I was a kid. I'm just relieved that there are more important things in my life than football. Maybe that is sacriligious to some, and that's fair enough. I understand that for many, their football team is more important than anything else, and again, that's fair enough. But I'm not like that, and maybe that's why I can so readily apply logic to this situation. And anyway, when all is said and done, this is just my opinion, and even though I'm right in thinking that O'Neill is an idiot, what is really relevant is that he's the boss. I would counsel my critics to seek comfort in this fact when they read one of my posts. Don't worry guys! What I say isn't going to change anything!
Albarnista
As to why I bother, the answer is that I can't help it. I'm a Villa fan, and I can't help it. Despite the fact that football is now bankrupt in every conceivable way, it is still the game it was when I was a kid. I'm just relieved that there are more important things in my life than football. Maybe that is sacriligious to some, and that's fair enough. I understand that for many, their football team is more important than anything else, and again, that's fair enough. But I'm not like that, and maybe that's why I can so readily apply logic to this situation. And anyway, when all is said and done, this is just my opinion, and even though I'm right in thinking that O'Neill is an idiot, what is really relevant is that he's the boss. I would counsel my critics to seek comfort in this fact when they read one of my posts. Don't worry guys! What I say isn't going to change anything!
Albarnista
Agree with most of what you say in your last two posts Abarnista (have said so all along where I do agree, esp football being bankrupt). But I don't think MON is an idiot. Everryone can learn and he strikes me as someone who can make the grade as a great manager. What IS true is that given the investment in the club, it will be him who will be largely to blame if Villa are still out of the top 4 and no silverware in two years time. On a wider note, just calling Albarnista names is peurile. Argue agianst his points, yes, but if everyone who had a critical thought about the Villa was branded a bluenose me and most Villa fans I know would be too. It's a part of being a fan - hardly ever satisfied, moaning one minute, ecstatic the next, but defending the Villa at work and in the pub regardless.
144wittonlane
Agree with most of what you say in your last two posts Abarnista (have said so all along where I do agree, esp football being bankrupt). But I don't think MON is an idiot. Everryone can learn and he strikes me as someone who can make the grade as a great manager. What IS true is that given the investment in the club, it will be him who will be largely to blame if Villa are still out of the top 4 and no silverware in two years time. On a wider note, just calling Albarnista names is peurile. Argue agianst his points, yes, but if everyone who had a critical thought about the Villa was branded a bluenose me and most Villa fans I know would be too. It's a part of being a fan - hardly ever satisfied, moaning one minute, ecstatic the next, but defending the Villa at work and in the pub regardless.
144wittonlane
Albie, You have a disliking of MON which is ok because we are all entitled to our opinion, But you contradict yourself, you say he's a bad manager with no idea, we have been knocking on the door of Champs league for 2 seasons now, still in the FA cup and in a cup final (bearing in mind that 88 teams can only realistically win 2 cups) and as there is only 2 cups to win for most teams Winning one of them is far from 'meaningless'! We have improved not just on the pitch, but the whole Structure of Aston Villa since MON and Mr Lerner arrived, we are the talk of pundits as the new english hope, we are the neutrals favourite and although MON has spent funds on players it is a fraction of what the other 'contenders' spend, in the last transfer window the fans were begging MON to spend 20 million or more on 'a big name striker', but he reframed as he doesn't want to bankrupt Villa, he is one of the few managers who wont spend it if he hasn't got it, (see Twitchy Arry Redface's record for reference!) I don't think you are a Villa fan, just a stirrer from a jealous rival. Go through the recent articles and read; VILLA 'Everything That Is Still Right In Football' (Thursday January 28 2010)
johnmurphy3112
Albie, You have a disliking of MON which is ok because we are all entitled to our opinion, But you contradict yourself, you say he's a bad manager with no idea, we have been knocking on the door of Champs league for 2 seasons now, still in the FA cup and in a cup final (bearing in mind that 88 teams can only realistically win 2 cups) and as there is only 2 cups to win for most teams Winning one of them is far from 'meaningless'! We have improved not just on the pitch, but the whole Structure of Aston Villa since MON and Mr Lerner arrived, we are the talk of pundits as the new english hope, we are the neutrals favourite and although MON has spent funds on players it is a fraction of what the other 'contenders' spend, in the last transfer window the fans were begging MON to spend 20 million or more on 'a big name striker', but he reframed as he doesn't want to bankrupt Villa, he is one of the few managers who wont spend it if he hasn't got it, (see Twitchy Arry Redface's record for reference!) I don't think you are a Villa fan, just a stirrer from a jealous rival. Go through the recent articles and read; VILLA 'Everything That Is Still Right In Football' (Thursday January 28 2010)
johnmurphy3112
Bit harsh on Albarnista this calling him a fan from another team. He might not have the popular opinion, but that doesn't mean he isn't a fan I don't think? I don't really follow the total dislike of MON, I want MON to be THE one, I am not sure he is BUT want him to prove he is. I think some want him out at any cost (very few I would say?) but hey, come on, that doesn't make the person thinking differently to you a non fan.

Find it baffling that you want to see him fail to the extent he gets sacked though, surely it would be better to want to see him succeed above your expectations as that means Villa are winning, that is all we all want surely? You don't have to like a manager to like what they bring, not everyone at the time was a massive fan of Ron Saunders as he was a very 'strong' character, just ask his players from that time!
The Fear
Bit harsh on Albarnista this calling him a fan from another team. He might not have the popular opinion, but that doesn't mean he isn't a fan I don't think? I don't really follow the total dislike of MON, I want MON to be THE one, I am not sure he is BUT want him to prove he is. I think some want him out at any cost (very few I would say?) but hey, come on, that doesn't make the person thinking differently to you a non fan.

Find it baffling that you want to see him fail to the extent he gets sacked though, surely it would be better to want to see him succeed above your expectations as that means Villa are winning, that is all we all want surely? You don't have to like a manager to like what they bring, not everyone at the time was a massive fan of Ron Saunders as he was a very 'strong' character, just ask his players from that time!
The Fear
it was interesting to see on sky sports news the other day that villa play the 18th least balls over 30yards (ie long balls) in the league. only pompey and arsenal play fewer. meanwhile spurs with their 'football' were top. hmmm...
NorthcliffeBandit
it was interesting to see on sky sports news the other day that villa play the 18th least balls over 30yards (ie long balls) in the league. only pompey and arsenal play fewer. meanwhile spurs with their 'football' were top. hmmm...
NorthcliffeBandit
Anyone who wants us to lose at Wembley in order that MoN is sacked cannot be sane but the well formed prose and grammatical structure would indicate otherwise. Hey ho it makes for good reading though! It is better to over achieve as a manager and win a cup/place in Europa Cup/more Sky league placement money. Also, winning a cup or coming close is all good publicity and steps forward which only attracts players. I agree that team seletion is puzzling sometimes but we have no clue as to what goes on in training/personal lives and are pretty much voicing opinions without having a handle on the full facts. Agree with need for Striker and Midfielder to help/rotate Petrov. I vote for Kenywyne Jones and am all out of ideas on midfielders........Best midfield pairing I ever saw for two seasons was Petit and Viera. Would love Van Der Vaart though.
koolbill
Anyone who wants us to lose at Wembley in order that MoN is sacked cannot be sane but the well formed prose and grammatical structure would indicate otherwise. Hey ho it makes for good reading though! It is better to over achieve as a manager and win a cup/place in Europa Cup/more Sky league placement money. Also, winning a cup or coming close is all good publicity and steps forward which only attracts players. I agree that team seletion is puzzling sometimes but we have no clue as to what goes on in training/personal lives and are pretty much voicing opinions without having a handle on the full facts. Agree with need for Striker and Midfielder to help/rotate Petrov. I vote for Kenywyne Jones and am all out of ideas on midfielders........Best midfield pairing I ever saw for two seasons was Petit and Viera. Would love Van Der Vaart though.
koolbill
I have no problem with your dislike of MON, Albie - we all have the right to choose. What I object to, strongly, is that you call a man who is highly regarded, is clearly passionate about football and about the work he is doing for our club (whether he is going about it the right way or not), an 'idiot'. I find that arrogant and destructive. It is childishly simple to be a critic, and even easier when you can conveniently excuse yourself from coming up with any constructive alternatives with the excuse of a 'lack of influence'. Even politicians have to come up with alternative policies - you appear to have nothing to offer except sarcasm, snide remarks and invective. Why not write something constructive, and let the world see that you have the intelligence to construct rather than destroy.
BobTheBuilder
I have no problem with your dislike of MON, Albie - we all have the right to choose. What I object to, strongly, is that you call a man who is highly regarded, is clearly passionate about football and about the work he is doing for our club (whether he is going about it the right way or not), an 'idiot'. I find that arrogant and destructive. It is childishly simple to be a critic, and even easier when you can conveniently excuse yourself from coming up with any constructive alternatives with the excuse of a 'lack of influence'. Even politicians have to come up with alternative policies - you appear to have nothing to offer except sarcasm, snide remarks and invective. Why not write something constructive, and let the world see that you have the intelligence to construct rather than destroy.
BobTheBuilder
Of course it would be wonderful if O'Neill was the man who could turn us into serious challengers for the highest honours in the game. I will be delighted when that happens, but I am convinced it won't be O'Neill who does it. Therefore, the longer he is manager, the longer it is before we are serious challengers. The sooner he leaves, whether that be via the sack or resignation, the sooner Villa can get on with the business of challenging for the Premiership and the Champion's League. This is my opinion, and, given the assumptions and judgements I make, it is perfectly logical.
Albarnista
Of course it would be wonderful if O'Neill was the man who could turn us into serious challengers for the highest honours in the game. I will be delighted when that happens, but I am convinced it won't be O'Neill who does it. Therefore, the longer he is manager, the longer it is before we are serious challengers. The sooner he leaves, whether that be via the sack or resignation, the sooner Villa can get on with the business of challenging for the Premiership and the Champion's League. This is my opinion, and, given the assumptions and judgements I make, it is perfectly logical.
Albarnista
Bobthebuilder, as for a positive policy, mine is simple. Sack O'Neill, and get someone in who can do the job. That's just as positive as sticking with O'Neill in the hope that he will do the job. Either way, the goal is to get the job done. Tying me down to details is a little unfair, and only amounts to getting specific names out of me. Those who believe in O'Neill will mockingly suggest Mourinho. They might even have suggested Frank Rijkaard a year ago, given his success with Barcelona. He is now managing Galatasaray. Surely, if he'd had a choice between them and us in the summer, he may well have chosen Villa? The point is that Villa are one of the top clubs in the top league in the world. We have an owner who is a manager's dream, given the financial backing he affords, along with minimal interference. I would suggest that we are a more attractive proposition for prospective managers than, for example, Liverpool, whom Mourinho is regularly linked with. Even Man Ure, Arsenal and Chelsea may be less attractive jobs. The point I'm making is that there's no reason to believe that we couldn't go out and get virtually any manager in the world. Perhaps Capello would be interested after the World Cup? I don't know exactly who would make the best appointment, but I know that it wouldn't be difficult to find an improvement.
Albarnista
Bobthebuilder, as for a positive policy, mine is simple. Sack O'Neill, and get someone in who can do the job. That's just as positive as sticking with O'Neill in the hope that he will do the job. Either way, the goal is to get the job done. Tying me down to details is a little unfair, and only amounts to getting specific names out of me. Those who believe in O'Neill will mockingly suggest Mourinho. They might even have suggested Frank Rijkaard a year ago, given his success with Barcelona. He is now managing Galatasaray. Surely, if he'd had a choice between them and us in the summer, he may well have chosen Villa? The point is that Villa are one of the top clubs in the top league in the world. We have an owner who is a manager's dream, given the financial backing he affords, along with minimal interference. I would suggest that we are a more attractive proposition for prospective managers than, for example, Liverpool, whom Mourinho is regularly linked with. Even Man Ure, Arsenal and Chelsea may be less attractive jobs. The point I'm making is that there's no reason to believe that we couldn't go out and get virtually any manager in the world. Perhaps Capello would be interested after the World Cup? I don't know exactly who would make the best appointment, but I know that it wouldn't be difficult to find an improvement.
Albarnista
If you didn't like Winston Churchill you would probably have wanted Germany to invade Britain just to get rid of him . Just kidding <(-_-)> . Anyway Albie i hope Martin brings us lots of success over the years and changes your mind . cos were all Villa Fans and winning lots of Trophies is what we all want to see . I hope it happens soon because i reckon i might have about ten years left in me and we have a bit of catching up to do .
Doug4ever
<(-_-)>
Doug4ever
If you didn't like Winston Churchill you would probably have wanted Germany to invade Britain just to get rid of him . Just kidding <(-_-)> . Anyway Albie i hope Martin brings us lots of success over the years and changes your mind . cos were all Villa Fans and winning lots of Trophies is what we all want to see . I hope it happens soon because i reckon i might have about ten years left in me and we have a bit of catching up to do .
Doug4ever
<(-_-)>
Doug4ever
I hope your hope is rewarded.
Albarnista
I hope your hope is rewarded.
Albarnista
4 years ago Martin O'neill was redhot favourite to become England manager, He's won most trophies as a player and has a successful record as a manager, he is definately the right man to take us to the top. I could understand all this negativity if we were fighting relegation and going no-where, but things are going great, the chance ofchamps league and silverware are on the horizon, we wouldn't of dreamt of that 4 years ago. ***************While the going is good support him, you never know where it may take us!**********************
claretandbluearmy
4 years ago Martin O'neill was redhot favourite to become England manager, He's won most trophies as a player and has a successful record as a manager, he is definately the right man to take us to the top. I could understand all this negativity if we were fighting relegation and going no-where, but things are going great, the chance ofchamps league and silverware are on the horizon, we wouldn't of dreamt of that 4 years ago. ***************While the going is good support him, you never know where it may take us!**********************
claretandbluearmy
Albie'- it can't be logical to want your team to lose a final because you've lost your faith in the manager. The manager is not as big as the club and therefore wishing a Final loss on us is to the clubs detriment and therefore not logical. BUT it is a incendiary statement so well done for spicing things up. You remind me in a little outspoken way of AVFC48 who I recall was unwell - hope he's ok Fear.
koolbill
Albie'- it can't be logical to want your team to lose a final because you've lost your faith in the manager. The manager is not as big as the club and therefore wishing a Final loss on us is to the clubs detriment and therefore not logical. BUT it is a incendiary statement so well done for spicing things up. You remind me in a little outspoken way of AVFC48 who I recall was unwell - hope he's ok Fear.
koolbill
avfc48 is fine and dandy and has become a granddad and is besotted with his little lady Kookbill! He is around in the forum!
The Fear
kookbill? I meant koolbill obviously! lol
The Fear
avfc48 is fine and dandy and has become a granddad and is besotted with his little lady Kookbill! He is around in the forum!
The Fear
kookbill? I meant koolbill obviously! lol
The Fear
Cheers Ear! Lol.
koolbill
Cheers Ear! Lol.
koolbill
On a final note, for as long as I can remember, the League Cup has been much maligned (especially by those who haven't experienced much success in it). To deride its importance is not a recent trait in football. For me however, it has provided some of the greatest memories of Aston Villa FC being winners. Yes I wan't to see us compete with the best in ALL competitions. No I don't agree with everything that MON does and am as frustrated by our shortcomings as much as anyone else. However, if we can repeat our achievement of 1994 and beat the most successful club in England, for me MON joins the elite modern era list of Saunders, Atkinson and Little. In my opinion, he should be saluted for bringing a trophy, European football and providing great memories for those who follow our great club. PS Europa League a waste of time? I disagree. Add our defeat of Ajax to your list of great memories. Along with pride, passion, tradition and loyalty, it's what football's about for me. Milner, Young, Dunne, Collins, Friedel, Carew, Delph, Petrov. All players who have provided me with fond memories to cement the bond between club and fan. Yes I want more, yes they been crap too. So here's to the success of MON, Randy Lerner and Aston Villa. Would 4th place, FA Cup and League Cup be enough? Yes it would and it's all still possible!
northamptonvillan
On a final note, for as long as I can remember, the League Cup has been much maligned (especially by those who haven't experienced much success in it). To deride its importance is not a recent trait in football. For me however, it has provided some of the greatest memories of Aston Villa FC being winners. Yes I wan't to see us compete with the best in ALL competitions. No I don't agree with everything that MON does and am as frustrated by our shortcomings as much as anyone else. However, if we can repeat our achievement of 1994 and beat the most successful club in England, for me MON joins the elite modern era list of Saunders, Atkinson and Little. In my opinion, he should be saluted for bringing a trophy, European football and providing great memories for those who follow our great club. PS Europa League a waste of time? I disagree. Add our defeat of Ajax to your list of great memories. Along with pride, passion, tradition and loyalty, it's what football's about for me. Milner, Young, Dunne, Collins, Friedel, Carew, Delph, Petrov. All players who have provided me with fond memories to cement the bond between club and fan. Yes I want more, yes they been crap too. So here's to the success of MON, Randy Lerner and Aston Villa. Would 4th place, FA Cup and League Cup be enough? Yes it would and it's all still possible!
northamptonvillan
 

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