Date:Tuesday February 21 2012
Strange how the same thing seems to happen every week isn`t it?
Talking of repetitive scenarios last week saw the creation of yet another 'fans movement`. Sharing the previous week`s 'McLeish Out` theme, it offered very little other than a Twitter account and the desire not to have Alex McLeish as manager of Aston Villa anymore.
To begin with it did offer a little bit of hope. The name 'Villa Fans United` suggested that it could be a group which could attempt to bring supporters together, for the good of the club, for the good of the fans. Therefore it was a shame that when the aims of the 'group` (it turns out that it`s actually just one person) were made clear, it was to get McLeish removed from the club. And that`s it. It goes on further to suggests it`s methods will include contacting sponsors of the club and attempt to reduce revenue into the club. There`s not much unity there is there?
However, whether it turns out to just be another angry Twitter account or not it`s certainly symbolic of the way the atmosphere around the football club is at the moment. Fans are disappointed and angry. They feel let down that the club didn`t listen in the summer when it was made extremely clear that McLeish wasn`t wanted, and they are angry that the things being predicted when he was appointed are coming true.
This atmosphere is not one in which a club can grow, can progress, or even remain healthy.
For once, we can ignore team performance and quality for a moment. We all know that the team is struggling in the league, that the football is poor and the attacking nature of our performances are, in the main, very disappointing.
The thing that is compounding the performances and losses is the quite ridiculous spin that comes from the club. Yes, we know the club has to at least give the impression of an upbeat, positive one but the official line from the club is getting more and more ridiculous.
Best case to point was the rather silly idea of sending a letter out in the name of Alex McLeish to season ticket holders. Who thought that was a good idea? We don`t want comments - we want results - and while we are putting in sleepy, losing performances in games it really doesn`t matter what 'the manager` (or whoever actually wrote it) has to say.
The letter finally recognized that the vast majority of fans disappointed in McLeish`s appointment has other issues to worry about that what team he`d come from previously. Such as previous achievements and the type of football that is played. And yet, despite the results, despite the performances - we have 'McLeish` telling us that the idea that he plays boring, defensive football is in fact a myth.
Alex, my old mucker. We`re not stupid. We saw the tactics, gameplay and team put out against Tottenham. We witnessed the Swansea away game. We saw the Manchester United, Liverpool and Stoke games. They were dull, boring and defensive. And yet we have you telling us that it`s a myth. We even have pundits such as John Barnes saying you can`t play this kind of football at Aston Villa, and Kevin Keegan calling it the worst home performance in the Premier League that he`s ever seen. It`s happening. It`s real. But the official line from the club is that it isn`t, that it`s a myth.
Which is the kind of thing that made 'Comical Ali` a figure of fun all over the world and asks the question was it actually written by Officer Barbrady from South Park - the bumbling policeman who prefers to deny any going on with the phrase 'Nothing to see here`.
We`re adults - we can see these things happening with our own eyes. To pretend that it isn`t happening merely - is as insulting and frustrating as any bad performance (and we`ve had many to choose from!).
The superlatives reached a new level last week, when Paul Falkner told us all on the official website that Alex was off to America this week. This trip, we`re told, proves that Alex is working hard on getting the best out of the squad. Who really thought that making this top headline news and trying to make out that this was a great idea that no other manager would have done?
Whether it turns out to be beneficial to Aston Villa (and I suspect that it`ll be the latter seeing as the trip was to watch how a team in a different sport and currently one of the worst American Football teams around approach the game) or not - the fans of this football club are frustrated. We find it hard to like the people in charge of the team. The players are playing poor football and they are not winning games. What we don`t need to be told is that the manager, rather than working with the players in an effort to improve their form, fitness and skill, is off to America for a few days.
The club had extra time between games because the club is no longer involved in the FA Cup after a loss despite being 2-0 up at half time. I`d have much more respect for the manager if instead of him flying off to America and giving the team days off that those days were used to practise both defending and attacking corners. Seeing as we`ve conceded more goals than anyone else from corners, and haven`t scored a single goal when attacking one - I, and I`d be willing to wager most fans would have been much happier to read that they are working on this. That, I think, would be a much better way to utilize time and have a much more positive effect on the team.
Let us make our own minds up on what to think about things. Drop the awful alliteration from every piece - because at the moment it comes across that not only is the football rubbish and results poor - but the club is trying to pull the wool over our eyes too.
And that`s just as frustrating. And potentially more damaging. It`s pretty hard to get a large group of people`s trust back after losing it. And if you do lose it then it makes any kind of success even harder to achieve.
Just ask the previous owner about that.
Date:Tuesday February 21 2012
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