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Fight Club

For more info see: Nightclub Brawls.... How Very Embarrassing and Forum thread: Click Here

Fight Club!

It is the eve of the Olympic sprint final. Ussain Bolt is on course for Gold and the history books but instead of reflecting, resting and preparing himself mentally he is in a nightclub, the result of which being a fracas and a press photo opportunity to see the athletics star grappling with the a bouncer in a rage. I imagine this for the purpose of alliteration for it is unlikely to happen any time soon. Perhaps it is an extreme example. We are not vying for Olympic Gold after all. We are simply vying to ensure our status in the Premier League; the £60 Million windfall and worldwide sporting status it brings to those good enough to play in the worlds greatest league. Not that important then, obviously.

After last nights revelation that three of the clubs players -Collins, Herd and Delph- were involved in a nightclub brawl, four days before one of the biggest games of the season, the gulf between the club and its supporters grew ever more wide. The lack of cultural and historical understanding shown by the board in selecting McLeish, first prized the gap open; their belligerent refusal to rectify that mistake and address the fans concerns, drove a wedge deep in to that gap and at times the apathetic performance of the players has done nothing but exacerbate how wide it has become. We were left collectively asking: Do any of you (Stan excluded) actually care?

Perhaps after the Bolton fiasco Randy Lerner and Paul Faulkner finally realised that the club they thought the understood, they didn't actually understand at all, having woefully underestimated the passion and the intensity of their 'customer base' and the history and heritage that it is steeped in. In the early hours of Tuesday Morning outside of Gatecrasher three of the clubs players demonstrated for the cameras that they didn't quite understand it either.

The images on the video are ugly, garish and disgraceful. Undoubtedly, such scenes probably occur many times over when the booze, testosterone and atmosphere all start to kick in. Broad Street's police bill alone would perhaps testify to that on a weekly basis. In my youth I was involved in a few 'incidents' myself, though I didn't carry the responsibility of conducting myself in a way that befitted my club or my sport. I didn't play for Aston Villa. Herd, Collins and Delph do. Seeing them in this state leaves me feeling betrayed when I think of the money I am putting in, the heart and the voice I try and display in supporting them, even if that means standing in the rain watching them sink to defeat. If we can support them in such dire times can they not support us in doing the right thing? In short, four days before the Spurs game it's a bit of a kick in the teeth. Thanks Lads.

Premier League footballers in population terms are an elite bunch. 'Needles in haystacks,' springs to mind. With that comes expectation and demands on the individual, far exceeding those placed on other young men who can regularly turn to bright lights and alcohol to let off steam without the need for personal and athletic discipline. Elite footballers need to focus not only on the physical but also on the psychological and mental aspects of themselves, whilst being conscious of what their behaviour models, for the an unwelcome camera phone is never far from view when you play for a a big club on a big wage. If players fail to respect and understand the demands upon them they are in danger of not only knocking half a percent of their performance (which in a league of fine lines could be a toes length to a goal saving tackle or that well weighted killer ball in the 92nd minute) they are also in danger of bringing their club and themselves into disrepute. In short, from pre-season onwards they must show integrity, character and discipline.

I am of the mindset that elite athletes have no place in alcoholic environments or places where conflict and confrontation are likely to occur. Thus, Aston Villa footballers have no business being on the streets of Birmingham at 2.45 in the morning because they were clubbing. If you like the night life lads and all that comes with it then hand in your shirt on your way out the door. This is not the 1970's this is the pro-sports science era of 2012 were ever drop of sweat matters. Get with the programme because we don't want the honour of playing for this great club being so besmirched, disrespected or misunderstood. I feel, as many of you do, that we have a duty to protect the badge on the front of the shirt and not the name on the back of it. If that means heavy fines, reading the riot act and cancelled contracts then so be it. Standards must be set and enforced.

Meanwhile the gap between club and supporters grows ever wider. Perhaps our expectation that Randy Lerner would understand the fabric of the club is far fetched. After all, a mid western American is hardly going to be steeped in the British Footballing psyche; even if has tasted sporting rivalry in the NFL, a game between the Bears and the Browns is hardly going to match the sort of rivalry and fanaticism seen on that fateful Monday night against the Blues in 2003. Hopefully, he understands it now. I just hope ALL the players get it too.

So no more brawling; no more speeches or statements please because we are staring down the barrel here. Save your muscle and fight for the pitch and give us all you've got because we are giving all we've got both in heart and pocket.


Previous from: Villa_Grizzly:

An End To Villa Boom And Bust?
Far From The Madding Crowd
A Dirty No Good Villan
Going Through The Change
When The Fat Lady Sings
Listen Carefully, I Shall Say This Only Once....

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The Journalist

Writer: Villa_Grizzly Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday May 4 2012

Time: 11:07AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Could not agree more Grizzly. Every single word and sentiment. Well said.
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 11:16:00

Calm down dear....
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 11:31:00

Well said.A few years of dedication for a life of luxury both during and after is not much to ask is it? Maybe the difference between our 'stars' and real stars who do dedicate themselves tells us all we need to know in terms of one of the reasons why we are where we are.
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 11:32:00

6 days before the next game NOT 4. And how many times?? They could play the best game of their life, but under Eck's tactics, we'd still only draw!!
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 11:35:00

IMHO an overreaction to a few lads enjoying a night out, 6 days before a match, NO training the next day, "this is the pro-sports science era of 2012 were ever drop of sweat matters" It is indeed, and I am a sports scientist, so when I tell you that psychologically it is of benefit that the lads bond as a group, and that it is highly unlikely that the small amount of alcohol consumed (if any) will have any influence over the training, even if 48 hours later, that you would obviously agree with me, when you cite such confidence in my profession : ) As regards any negative press for the club, I don't see it, we get half a story, for all we know there could be a very good reason why this incident happened, if the same happened to you or many others, maybe your reaction would have been even more excessive, athlete or not, still human, with human reactions to events, they are not robots. Mountain and molehill spring to mind, and for those who follow Christian faith, He that is without sin among you etc..................
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 11:50:00

From all the statements, it seems most likely that it was fisty cuffs or hand bags.. Nothing to worry about.. Nobody seems to have gotten hurt (on either side) and they were with their partners... Also I wonder if Delphs new found peacekeeper status will get him kicked out of the hall of Maim? Hercs? :)
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 12:11:00

After all Herd is Australian ! nuff said .
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 12:46:00

Interesting that my brother who attended said to me on Tuesday that Collins & Herd were the most arrogant pair there - In particular Collins and that Delph was brilliant - Picked up their tab for a round of drinks.
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 12:50:00

Houllier pointed Warnock, Collins and Dunne out as key problems at the club. In this case the drunkard senior Collins at it again. If Lerner has any shrewdness at all fire Mclueless, hire Houllier as Director of football to clear those dead beats out in summer and target some real class players. Houllier knows who the problem ones are that's why he would make a very good director of football than any one else. Then appoint Rodger's or Martinez its not rocket science just simple football common sense.
Shane Villains
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 14:12:00

Im with villan444and steffthevillan its no big deal really, does anyone know what caused it? The chances are its some blue nose door man trying to make a name for himself. I feel sorry for players they earn all that money and people think they should live like monks if I was their age I would definately be out spending all my money. I think its because of our situation that people are upset over this it was different when it was John Carew in a lap dancing club and that was the night before a game but we were doing ok so no one was bothered. UTV
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 14:45:00

think you are wrong on this one Steff, especially as this seems to be happening more and more regularly, had a few of my bouncer contacts etc say how disgusting some of them act plus, ffs, 28 year old being thrown out of a night club? Grow up man?! Remember Newcastle thrashing? P/issed up players night before, showed didn't it? WBA last year away? We pay to watch that crap and some players are simply not fit for their jobs because of their off field actions. By all means go get drunk whenever you want, but don't then try to pass yourselves off as professional players, especially not during this bloooody awful season.
The Fear
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 15:25:00

There are two sides to a story. We have heard and seen one. Whilst it doesn't do the club any favours there maybe a good reason for what happened. We don't know, maybe one of the girlfriends/wives got some abuse? Would you not react to that? Would you want your mates to have your back? Of course you would? Maybe some knob from Small Heath had given out a bit of stick and these players were actually sticking up for the Villa? We simply do not know the facts. I understand Steffs sentiments. These are lads who we need to stand together and be counted on Sunday. Well it seems to me that they are a pretty tight bunch and that is something that we need as a club for the last two games. Would rather the club not have these headlines, but lets refrain from the 'we are all holier than thow' comments when we do not even know the full story.
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 15:45:00

if you are a professional pl player out at 2.45am and have a relegation fight game to play the next sunday, then.......? That is beyond curfew. But yes, as per my article, we don't have both sides but they were the ones being thrown out. Anyway, all done now. Just another silly soap opera incident in a season of total *****e.
The Fear
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 18:27:00

James Collins thread: Click Here
The Fear
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 18:27:00

oh and as you know, some have previous. Newcastle away when we were thrashed? Some legless the night before? Baggies away last season where we lost and the defence fell apart? Etc. Come on, this is OUR team, we want them sober and capable don't we? Or do we not?
The Fear
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 18:28:00

Another reason not to by a ticket. Dik-eads.
Windy Villain
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 20:26:00

I agree we don't know the full facts but I've got to admit I don't have a lot of time for many of our players because of the sheer volume of stories that come out about their behaviour. The very fabric of the club seems unprofessional at the moment and that distresses me greatly. I do remember on a night out once being asked by some neanderthal whether I was "Villa or Blues" (he was Villa btw) the presumption being that if I got the answer wrong I was going to get my head kicked in.....I told him Doncaster Rovers just to confuse the knob end. I just don't get this "sticking up for the Villa" bull***** on a night out. No time for anyone be it fans or players behaving like dicks.
Matt B
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 20:30:00

Keep Herd, smack his bum and get rid of the other two because they are rubbish anyway
Report Abuse
04/05/2012 23:07:00


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