General Krulak Update 9 - Marine Grounded!!!
The last time we looked at General Krulak's thread was here: GK part 8: Click Here and the forum where we last looked was Click Here
GK archives: Click Here
I reminded GK of his interview: Archives: Interview With General Krulak
The Fear: Yes, I remember that article. I am more than willing to update this if you think it would be helpful.
An offer I think we'll take him up on, maybe in the close season when all the final placings and hopefully MON/players rumours have died down?!
Witton_Lane asked if MON read these sites and threads (perish the thought) GK:
I do not think that MON reads these threads. He probably gets a sense of the fans from 1) the media and 2) the fans themselves at matches.
With some fans saying they are going to give up their season tickets for next season, GK answered:
Like all fans, I was disappointed in the game yesterday. Unlike you all, I am unwilling to lay the total blame on the shoulders of our Manager. I just don't think that is fair. This is the same team that went to ManU and won on their Pitch. This is the same team that went to Wembley in the finals of the Carling Cup and is the same team that will be going to Wembley for the FA Cup semi-final. It is not as though this Team is a failure and that the Manager is somehow lacking....we had a bad game...it wasn't the first time and won't be the last time. That is the game of football. To rip the Manager...to give up your Season Tickets...is not, in my opinion, the path to follow. Let's take the season ticket for a point...giving up your season ticket because you are upset with a game (or games) or with the Manager is never going to solve anything. If everyone followed your example, we would NOT have a Club. Now if that is your 'end game', then I don't have a comment for you. Simply put, NOW is the time we need our Season Ticket holders and our loyal fans...NOW is NOT the time to give up on your Club. I am sorry that you all are so disappointed but I honestly don't think that turning on the Manager or not buy tickets is the answer to disappointment...rather, I think it is important to look at where we have been and where we are going...and give some credit to the man and men who are taking us there.
OBVIOUSLY, I have asked myself the very question you are posing!! Do you take me for an idiot or a fool? I have been around the block many times so I do NOT let the hard questions pass me by!!! My point remains...not coming to games and giving up Season Tickets is NOT going to further this Club one inch...not one inch. In fact, it will destroy it. If that is what you honestly want to have happen, well, have at it. It is not only short-sighted but very dangerous. What do you think happens to a Club when people stop coming to the Park?? Do you honestly think that the missing revenue can be made up by making managerial changes...do you honestly think that you are sending a financial message that can be absorbed by a Club like Aston Villa Football Club or any other Club for that matter? Encouraging a financial action on an open web site is not a good thing to do if you really care about the Club. That sort of action would handcuff your Club for years to come. Our prices are as low as we can make them...that has been, and continues to be, Randy's promise to the Club. Not attending and not buying season tickets is like cutting your Club's throat. Additionally, it is nice that you have the prescience to know the impact of such action...or that you seem to know more than the Manager re. players. I believe that his 'body of work' (as we say in the Colonies), is far more worthy of your regard than you are giving him. Certainly the past few years and some of the successes we have seen cannot be disregarded...they are the result of our Manager's hard work and decisions he has made. You don't like the positions and the players he puts on the Pitch...fine, I understand that and believe you have every right to let us know that you feel that way. At the same time, I think you have to also agree that you are not privy to the information and knowledge that MON has re. the Team, the Practices, the Scouting reports, etc. etc. Maybe his decisions are well-informed. At the end of the day, just throwing up your hands and not coming to games and giving up your Season Ticket is the quickest way I can think of to wreck YOUR Club.
There were some reactions to MON's talk of fans booing.
Boo'ing: Putting all of the comments into some sort of context, I think we are all probably overreacting a bit...and when I say all, I mean the Club and the Fans. I think I have mentioned before but when you are down on the Pitch or in the enclosed space where the lads and MON and coaches sit and some folks are booing, it really does sound louder and in greater numbers than if you are up in the stands. That is simply a matter of acoustics. As MON said, the fan buys the ticket...they have the right to boo if they want. That doesn't mean he likes it or the Lads like it....but it is reality.
I tried - and as usual was ignored (!) - to explain this isn't a match thread or a pro/anti manager / player thread and that we have 1000's of threads for all that talk.
My scenario was:
General: Morning Randy, GK here.
Randy: Hi GK.. all well?
General: Well not really, been reading about 10 pages on Vital Villa and apparently 7-1 isn't an acceptable score
Randy: Really? Thank goodness for those posters, I'd not have realised that in a month of Sundays
General: Yup, a few posters suggest a different formation
Randy: I'll ring Martin
Not going to happen is it?
We could end up with 20 pages of people saying they want the manager out and another 20 saying they don't.
It seems to be very obvious the sort of feedback this thread should have, post match anger isn't amongst them.
On the 7-1 loss:
I am a member of the Board of AVFC. Equally if not more important, I am a Fan. Like any Fan, yesterday was very difficult to even try to absorb. I was unable to see the game...I followed it on ESPN Soccer Net. I can't even begin to relate how it is to get a game report in that manner....so watching it must have been agony. There is absolutely NOTHING I can say that will make any difference at this point. Like any pain, only time will heal it. I have read each post to date and have digested everything that has been written. It would be foolish and not helpful for me to comment on what has been written...because it would be read as a comment from a Board Member and not a Fan...that is just a life when I post on an open site. I know that there are some who would love me to comment on each individual rant but that really wouldn't be helpful to anyone and just cause more angst.
sirdennis asked about the fitness/coaches etc. GK:
We absolutely have a fitness, conditioning, and nutritional expert at Bodymoor Heath. In fact, we have a state of the art capability to measure fitness and conditioning. I seriously doubt that any other Club in the Premiership has a better capability in these areas. When we built the new training facility we incorporated all the newest technology and tools to attack these issues. We not only attack the fitness issue of those lads who are injury free but we also help get faster recovery for those who have an injury.
On the rumours of MON leaving GK said some need to 'chill' and on the 'lack of funds' Lack of funds?? Have you seen that at any time since Randy became owner?
More on the MON rumours: Believe me, Randy and MON do not wait for a date specific to talk...they talk often. They talk about all the things that you would expect a Owner and Manager to discuss. To think that all the 'heavy talk' takes place once a year is a misconception. The key about waiting until after the season is that both Randy and MON will have the time to digest the whole picture and the time to sit down and take the time to go over, in detail, what transpired over the season. This is nothing new to Randy or MON nor, I expect, to any owner and manager of a Club.
Adding in a later post Funds available, etc: It just would not be good business sense to come onto an open web site (that already had media 'visiting') and start talking about the availability of funds, 'sell to buy' or any other such talk. The last thing we want is for our financial plans to become common knowledge to our competition. My point remains...you have 4 years of experience with Randy.
On membership cards: Membership Card/Scheme: We are looking at something akin to what has been described.
Few other bits:
When we finish our work at Villa Park, you will see a vastly improved shop plus museum and other nice things. It is all part of our plan and we are slowly but surely making progress on the planning and permission cycle.
The media is really warming up again. A good example is today's story about the departure of Mike Keenan from the Cleveland Browns. This happened at the end of last year...when the new President of the Browns came on board. It was a nothing...it happens all the time when the new man brings in his 'team.' Mike and Randy are on good terms and this was nothing that might not be expected. Mike is a superb guy and has already got a nice new job. Yet the media makes a big deal of it. Likewise, the rumors re. MON and Randy...nonsense. These two men are consummate professionals and meet their obligations to the Club, to the Fans and to themselves in just that manner. This sort of media talk happened last spring and will happen this spring and, I am sure, the spring afterwards.
First off, the Fans were magnificent at Wembley!! Although I was not at the game, everyone from Randy on down had nothing but great things to say about those who attended. They wanted to make sure that everyone knows that MON, the players, the coaches, Randy, etc. deeply and sincerely appreciated the support. The game was marred, to a degree, by questionable calls but my military background is such that I discount that sort of thing. We just need to win despite everything else...that is the simple fact. Our lads played their hearts out but it just didn't happen. We have been to Wembley twice this year and no wins...this hurts the fans, it hurts the lads, it hurts the club...and it hurts me. At the same time, we are committed to returning and winning....that, you can take to the bank!! We need to just keep pushing and keep working.
On the business plan: Obviously every Club goes about the business differently...with varying degrees of success. We have a plan and we are following it. We are making steady progress but recognize we still have a way to go. That is not a bad thing...it is just reality. We need to just continue to make the needed changes that we have been making all along and we will get to where we all want to be.
And: 5 year plan: Overall, we are ahead of our plan. Obviously the season is not over so any clear claim of 'ahead of plan' is somewhat premature.
There is no question that there is no better sight in the world than to round the corner and see the Holte and Holte End standing tall!!! It is great.
There was a rumour we'd be swapping Nike for Umbro, GK Our folks were on the phone with Nike yesterday and nothing about UMBRO came up...it is a rumor that has no legs as far as we know.
I spent 3 hours with Randy on Wednesday and time with MON last night. Both are fully focused on the next 5 games. There is NO sense that the season is going to end in an ugly manner...and we still have a chance to get where we want to go. We certainly could have done with a win vs. Everton but it didn't happen. We can't just say 'it's over'...because it isn't. Both Randy and MON are very positive...lots of nice comments about the Fans...way too much made of 'rumors' about the two of them. Again, they see 5 games to go...not the 'end' of the season.
And on the shop stocks and fitness: Went shopping at the Fort this am before going to Bodymoor Heath...pretty well stocked up now. Had a chance to look at the conditioning program at Bodymoor Heath and was impressed. It is both technically and physically superb. I know a good deal about physical fitness training and our lads get a fine program that is measurable in every way. I looked hard at this because of some of the comments on the thread.
And the good news: The doctor has given me permission to travel after this weekend. So, I will be walking the grounds at the Everton match.
The bad news is GK is now 'stuck' in the UK due to the airlines being grounded.
I went down to Heathrow to catch my plane back to the US only to learn that all flights were cancelled due to a volcano in Iceland! The topper to the draw the night before! I am now down to my last set of underwear and will be doing my wash in the hotel tub! NOT a good thing for a Marine General!!
General Krulak here:
....and I do mean here! Still no flights...had to go out a buy a pair of trousers and two shirts...things are getting tough.
Benham has since invited him to stop at mine!
General if you're struggling for a place to stay there are bedrooms available at Fear Towers for £120 plus VAT