Date:Sunday May 2 2010
Randy.stand on his pride for Aston Villa:
Just got back from Man City and today really does put an end to our season. Many people disappointed with how it all turned out in the end but there is so much to be positive and proud about at this great football club of ours. I don't want this to turn into an argument about MON, but just to show why I and most Aston Villa fans are so proud of supporting this fine club.
I'll take you back a few years ago. Saturday 29th April 2006. We went to Anfield to end the 2005-2006 season. We lost 3-1 that day. The manager was David O'Leary. The chairman was Doug Ellis and our team that day was: Sorensen, Hughes, Mellberg, Cahill, Bouma, Davis (Gardner 86), McCann, Barry (Phillips 82), Milner, Baros (Angel 45), Agbonlahor.
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Ridgewell
We had just about finished possibly one of the worst seasons i have ever witnessed at Villa Park. It seemed like a chore attending games. Like we just turned up and expected defeat, even against the small teams. We had protests against the chairman. An ageing squad with only a couple of decent players in it. A manager who did nothing but slag off the supporters. We had 15k season ticket holders and were averaging about 33k at home every game. Life was disillusioned at Villa Park. Times were bad and i couldn't see it getting better.
That summer things changed, Randy arrived and MON arrived too. There was an instant buzz around the place. We had a decent season, an improvement on the horrendous O'Leary season and we came 11th. It was steady progress for a team that only added Stan Petrov to the side that summer. The 1982 25th anniversary celebrations were special. It really felt like Aston Villa were back that day.
The following season we had a marvelous season. Our football was breathtaking, we finished 6th qualifying for the Intertoto cup. We beat the Blues twice and had some memorable victories on the road.
Randy kept investing in the side. Released quite a bit of money to MON and he strengthened the side. Last season we held that 4th spot for a while, really challenged Arsenal but found our squad was really lacking in that depth to continue it. We had a great night in the Uefa Cup vs Ajax and i had one of the most memorable trips ever when i went to Hamburg in December 2008 following the Villa. We petered out much to everyone's disappointment but we, little Aston Villa, or as the media would like us to be, really frightened a few people. The bad form coincided with Martin Laursen's injury, which was a huge worry.
How do we replace Martin Laursen was the question? We signed a couple of gems in Richard Dunne and James Collins for a combined 10m which was a sound piece of business. This season, we have contested a Carling Cup Final, a FA Cup Semi Final and been right in the race for the top four until the penultimate game.
The last two seasons we have produced two Players Young Player of the year award in Ashley Young and James Milner. The media are running around scared of us. Mark Lawrenson's poor quote the other day was embarrassing. '' Aston Villa fans think they have a divine right to win trophies''. Absolute rubbish. We Villa fans don't want to settle for second best, like the media want us to. We don't demand trophies, we just want to be the best like any other club.
There feels a real sense of unity at Villa Park for me. Most people are onside. Not like those dark days before. Today summed it up for me. We go to Manchester City, a top team, and come away feeling very unlucky to have lost 3-1. Every single Villa fan who was there felt proud and applauded the manager and the players at the end of the game.
There may be constant bickering on here at times but I just take myself back and think where we have got to over the years. Here's my points in a nutshell:
1. Randy bought the club. Invested heavily in playing staff, ground, incentives for supporters and the magnificent training ground.
2. MON- No matter what you say he has purchased some gems and we have improved, points wise, year on year.
3. Ashley Young & James Milner- Transformed players
4. Big crowds most weeks.
5. Media are finally having to sit up and take notice of us.
Look, we may not have reached the ultimate goal this year. Man City in my opinion have underachieved, what with the money they have spent and Tottenham have also spent a lot of money over the last few years, more than we have.
You may not agree with all my points, but were all Aston Villa fans and I'm sure we are all proud of this club. If you cut me open, I would bleed claret & blue and this club is such a major part of my life. When there is disappointments, I'm in a terrible mood and when we have high's I'm on a high for a long time. We all want this club back where it belongs and slowly but surely we are getting there.
Keep the Faith & Up the Villa.
Date:Sunday May 2 2010
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