Aston Villa - Villa Fan: The 12th Man Has A Serious Job To Do
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Villa Fan: The 12th Man Has A Serious Job To Do

We`re staring down the barrel of our first possible relegation from the Premier League.

We`ve won less than 10 games all season.
We have a manager who has been running the gauntlet of hate since it was gently whispered that he would be crossing the divide to join us.

Bearing all of this in mind, there is still a throng of supporters who believe that the waves of hate they are sending will somehow be beneficial to Aston Villa and our Premier League status. My honest question

Since before Alex McLeish was officially announced as our manager, fans took it upon themselves to vandalise our fantastic training facilities and stage a protest at the ground, provoking scenes on Sky Sports News which wouldn`t have looked out of place at the riots.

These fans will claim that it was a peaceful protest, but this was only the beginning of what has been a season-long struggle to appease the appetites of supporters who miss the "good old days" under Martin O`Neill.

There is no doubt we`ve performed poorly this season and senior players have gone missing at crucial moments, but what does continually hurling abuse at the manager achieve? What has it achieved so far other than negative reinforcement?

We`ve made slight improvements as the season`s gone on but never with consistency, but it could be argued that we haven`t given the team or the manager consistent support either. How can the 12th man be effective when he`s nearly 10,000 lighter than last season?

Stats from previous home games have suggested that we`ve had sufficient shots at goal, set-pieces and possession play to have gained better results than we have done. We`re only a couple of players different from last season`s team, and with a better goalkeeper in my opinion, so what`s different? I believe the answer is confidence. It must be difficult to stay positive when you can hear your own supporters booing you and abusing you when you`re trying to do your best for the team, so who could blame them if their heads dropped? I know I`d struggle to do my job well if I had a bunch of people swearing at me and reinforcing negative opinions about me. We have a team full of young players coming through at an increasing rate, and they must be wondering what the hell they`re in for if they stay with us for the long run....abuse and condemnation from their own fans if they have a couple of dodgy games.

No-one wants relegation but if it happens, it seems like it will be the end of Aston Villa in terms of glory and silverware. But how would that be any different from now? We have a brilliant history, yes, but since the Premier League started what have we achieved? 2nd place in its first season, the Coca-Cola Cup, several shots in Europe that we`ve barely taken and the Intertoto Cup, as well as semi-finals and finals in the domestic cups. Blackburn won the league in 1995, now they`re in the same quandary as us.....or we`re in the same quandary as them, however you see it. Steve Kean recently went on record and said that Blackburn`s performances and results have improved due to renewed faith and backing from the supporters (or less public hatred for Kean himself). I found that extremely interesting as he honestly believes that the fans have a say in the team`s results. Come on, Steve! Everyone knows that the fans don`t affect what happens on the pitch, that`s only the players! Are you seriously saying that since the Blackburn supporters stopped abusing you and focused on backing the team that the players feel happier playing for your and are more confident of winning? They do?! Hmmm...

If we don`t influence games, why do we support the team? Why go to games? Why pay the money? Why buy the shirts? If we genuinely believe that we don`t make a difference, what`s the point? It could be argued that for the wages that players and managers are on then the fans don`t make a difference on the pitch, but if that was the case then surely we`d be pushing for a Champions League place and Heskey would be Premier League top scorer. No, that wasn`t a joke.
The reality is this: Alex McLeish is our manager, and will be for the foreseeable. We will be rebuilding in the summer. The current squad is capable of avoiding relegation. Fans DO influence team performances.

The anti-McLeish supporters will argue that they DO support the team but not the manager, even though the manager is part of the team. They will say that for the money McLeish is on the abuse shouldn`t affect him, even though he`s still a human being (a genuinely nice one at that, we`re continually told). They will also say that anyone pro-McLeish is deluded and a sheep, even though they want the best for Aston Villa the same as the anti`s do. There`s nothing wrong with trying to be positive, and the fact that friends of mine who moderate fan sites and pages are starting to feel the hate that so many of us are producing is a sign that negative thinking can influence and enslave anyone if it`s powerful enough.
Even football players and managers.

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The Journalist

Writer: Villan85 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday April 6 2012

Time: 1:59PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Brave words Villan85, you know how some will receive this! I must admit, during a game, I can't understand the point of a fan being there at all if they are going to abuse or boo the players throughout. Be nice to give them the noise they need support wise during a match, do whatever after and let the manager know what you think etc

The flipside is how many of the players have done their part in the equation this year? They haven't given us the spark either maybe? But yes, now we are relegation threatened, it is the fans and only the fans who are capable of standing up and beign counted, we were here before the manager/players, we'll be here after.
The Fear
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06/04/2012 14:07:00

In theory you are right, but in reality the place is hardly going to be buzzing is it. It`s not negatvity anymore, we gave him a chance, the away fans have been as good as ever and the home numbers have still been decent. He hasn`t came out with one rallying cry to get the fans going, just pre relegation excuses. And lets not forget his boasting about fickle fans after the fulham win. He has blown it mate.
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06/04/2012 14:09:00

Didn't see the fickle fans thing lerneravfc, what did he say? Didn't call us sugarbags did he? LOL
The Fear
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06/04/2012 14:12:00

Thought I'd get on before the trolls start. Just for the benefit of the troll I particularly despise, I place on record that I agree with the article 100%. I also hereby certify that I have not had biblical relations with Villan85. Is our site any different from the other Vital sites for trolls that attack the commentators rather than offer opinions on the articles.
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06/04/2012 14:44:00

Oh dear oh dear oh dear. You say we have a better goalkeeper, but we have conceeded 20 goals from set pieces (13 from corners). Many of these goals are from within the 6 yard box. The reason? Because Given is a keeper who despite making some great saves, does not command his box. In turn the defence drops deeper because he doesnt come and claim balls that many keepers would just simply come and catch because the defence isn't defending so deep. You also blame confidence. Before any protests were started, McMuppet managed us to the worst run of home form since the 1920's. So how was the anti McMuppet feeling to blame for that. There were no protests during this abysmal run. So if we have the worst run in 90 years without any protests, how exactly are protests going to make this worse? Only at away games have fans been vocal against McMuppet, but we have achieved more points away from Villa Park than at home. I would say that this proves we need to more vocal in our support of the Villa (as away fans are) and also more vocal in our desire to get rid of McMuppet. Supporting the team whilst letting McMuppet know he he is not wanted is the way to be the 12th man.
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06/04/2012 14:44:00

19th minute, every game, home and away. For Stan. Until he beats his illness.
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06/04/2012 14:48:00

I'd rather have a season in the Championship sans McLeish than another season in the EPL with him.
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06/04/2012 15:03:00

Agree with voth with regards to his post about Petrov.
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06/04/2012 15:06:00

I feel the need to say that IMO the use of terms such as "McMuppet" and "McIdiot" make the posters look like children. What ever you think of our manager, childish names are exactly that. Grow up people.
Adam Deuce
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06/04/2012 15:32:00

Is Mc*****e ok then.He is a waste of space and has to go at all costs.
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06/04/2012 15:51:00

Sometimes the 12th man can't do anything when before the team is even on the pitch we have named Heskey on one wing, Gabby on the another or sometimes Hutton with Carlos in front of him to counter Bale (master stroke) all the while having Ireland and Nzgobia on the bench, which was the case for most of the season. So for me he hasn't exactly giving us reason to cheers has he? And I haven't even mentioned his footballing methods, lack of motivational skills, 7 wins, low amount of goals, no goals scored from corners... Sad thing is I can go on. Eck out.
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06/04/2012 16:01:00

I like the positive article and agree in principal but I also agree with Adz, McLeish has a football style that knocks enthusiasm out of us supporters, it depresses me and makes me glum, which doesn't getting me chanting and clapping. The team (McLeish included) just need to attack and get the fans going.
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06/04/2012 17:36:00

What a load of rubbish. Lost me when you said, "We`ve made slight improvements as the season`s gone on". What is this based on. Some simple Facts: Eck is useless. jbd656 is a cock. We are too good to be in this position. All the positivity in the world will not make Eck a good manager. The manager takes (or should take) all responsibility for everything that happens on the pitch.
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06/04/2012 17:41:00

P.S. jbd656, nwhy don't we meet up for a drink and then you can explain everything to me. As I've said before, I'm very keen to meet you ;-D
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06/04/2012 17:43:00

and by using despise etc. is that not an unprovoked attack ?? And who's the commentator feckwit?? Posters post, commentators commentate. Please meet me, I'm sure we'd get on like a house on fire. (maybe your house?!?!)
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06/04/2012 18:03:00

I love to support my team, there aren't many better feelings in the world than being stood in the holte creating a buzzing atmosphere with the rest of the fans. But we villa fans are flat. We have been defeated by randy and eck. The football is not good enough to get excited about and cheer. We are in awful form and fearing relegation. At times sections of the crowd have tried to get it going but there's nothing because we have no reason to cheer. If we survive is that meant to be classed a success? Is that the level we have been dragged down to? Trying to scrape enough for survival and even perhaps relying on other teams? If we do survive, eck will probably stay and I have no reason to believe next year will be any better. Some say maybe we should go down and start again but will relegation result in ecks sacking? I honestly don't know anymore. I don't want us to go down, I'm proud of my club and I can't imagine the shame of Aston Villa being relegated. Can you imagine the stick we would get from the noses, with the tesco value team claiming to be top dog in the midlands? We stuck between a rock and a hard place. I can't see any hope or promise and certainly nothing to look forward to. That is why we villa fans are flat, randy has destroyed our spirit by his belief in mcleish.
Lion Heart
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06/04/2012 18:06:00

Agree that the 12th man can have a plastics impact. Personally was willing to give Mcleish a chance, he had a better squad and knew what brand of football was expected. The football style he wants to play is not what we want, expect or deserve. He has sucked the love and life out of my villa and I am jus loosing interest. 10 of us have season tickets in the holte and none renewing some have been going for 30 years. What he has done is disgraceful, he picks the team, the tactics and shoulders the responsibility.....he had the opportunity of managing a footballing institution and screwed it up....shut the door on your way out. UTV
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06/04/2012 20:14:00

positive impact..doh
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06/04/2012 20:15:00

Lets say something that Villan444 will not be surprised by: I agree with most of what Villa85 says. His points are valid: the board has appointed a manager who is not going anywhere. Get used to it and support the players who are getting stuck in the middle of this. Two management pay offs totalling 8m or so in wasted cash are one of the reasons Randy and Co will not change their view. Another is that if they give into those who think, but don't know, they know better, then where does it end? Sell this player, give away the pasties? who knows. Before the usual people attack me: 1. I don't care, 2. we can all have opinions that may differ from yours and 3. I am not related to any at the club and am not employed by the club. Finally, interesting to see that 444 has seen no improvement, he said a few days ago that he no longer goes. How will improvements be seen?
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06/04/2012 22:32:00

Only a few changes from last season?! No Young and Downing, our 2 main attacking threats and suppliers. No Reo-Coker, our only defensive midfielder and no Kyle Walker, who is so much better than Hutton there is no comparison. Plus the youth have shown promise but not really delivered anything yet. In reality only a few of them will end up making a real mark on the side, prob Clark and Gardner. The rest will end up in the Championship no doubt (maybe with us!). However we definitely have enough players who are good enough for us to be in teh top half of the table, but with our current manager we have no chance. The negativity around the club does nobody any good, which is why he should never have been appointed in the first place. Alas it will never go away. 12th man is a nice sentiment and hopefully during the games it will happen, although unfortunately I doubt it as the negativity is ingrained not only in the fans, but in the Managers tactics and obviously the players. Sad times indeed.
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06/04/2012 23:35:00

Agree with that Villan85, good post : ) Fans DO indeed make a huge difference, Keane is right! And that is a scientific fact. Now onto those that have had their love for the Villa 'drained' from them by Eck, Randy, Faulkner, I have to ask, how deep is your love? (I'm sure there's a song in there somewhere) Have been up and down with the Villa, took my vows at an early age, I Steff the Villan, take you Aston Villa, to be my team, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part, also known as VTID. There is no divorce looming on the horizon, we have our ups and downs (like everyone else) but I still love AV, they say that those you love always cause you the most pain, and yes, I've suffered recently, does that mean that I should give up on my beloved? Does that mean that I should react by shunning AV and showing a lack of fight? If you just walk away and give up on the relationship, obviously it wasn't the one for you, so move on, find a new love, but as for me, not a hope in hell, I will fight to make it work, I'm made of sterner stuff, the stuff that will still drive the 150 miles to VP from my home in N Wales every match day, with a smile on my face and a Villa song in my heart, I will be cheering, chanting and singing my devotion to my beloved and trying to get others to join in, they have a word for us, we are called 'supporters' look it up : ) And I'm awfully sorry if my positive attitude offends anyone, but just in case, Witton end lower, Block R6, Row G, Seat 130, feel free to pop by and say hello : )
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06/04/2012 23:40:00

Get behind McLeish for now - get season is the time we should be talking about new managers, not now Do we really want to do a Wolves?
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06/04/2012 23:53:00

Haha it's just gets more inspirational from our fearless leader, words like this come from years of experience in the game, I only wish I was so smart. Eck just said "I know Liverpool have 11 players with two legs like everybody else" BRILLIANT!! The boys will take that info into the game and show Liverpool that we too have two legs, should give us the edge. Steff its great you have that attitude, commitment and passion but let me ask you this, did you sing on the trip home after 8 games without a win after watching the complete and utter tripe of performances being served up?
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07/04/2012 01:04:00

I agree with the article...but just don't it making any difference to our plight. It's down to the players to roll up their sleeves and not loose games they should win...etc
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07/04/2012 01:15:00

Gordon, I do watch games even though I refuse to go at the moment. Good balanced post from yourself. Eck was given a chance by the vast majority but he's blown it big time in the vast majority's opinion!!! Change is needed whether that's nor or end of season, it can't come soon enough for many. We all want to get back to VP and keep cheering our team on but it's gone too far!!!
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07/04/2012 09:43:00

Steff the Villan: The N Wales air must be good for positive thinking.I'm in the same place, physically and mentally. Villan444 there is nothing stopping you supporting the team now....
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07/04/2012 10:30:00


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