Hi, I'm Steff, I'm 49 and I'm a Villaholic
For the last couple of seasons I've travelled down to Villa Park from N Wales with my son (to my shame I introduced him to the demon Villa and he was soon as addicted as his father) and It's been rough, no matter how much Villa I had, it just wasn't enough, it just wasn't having the same effect, I wasn't getting the same rush I had become accustomed to over my many many years of use, something was missing.
It was around this time that (barring clashes with my Villa addiction) I started attending games to watch my other son who plays for Llanberis FC. I must admit, I had found myself a new mistress, I had found what was missing, I had found something to fill the emptiness I was experiencing at my usual venue.
Now the goods on offer may not be of the same quality as my usual poison, but Damn it had a kick! There was energy, desire, pride, workrate, they got stuck in, they kicked lumps out of each other to win the ball back after losing it, were these local lads playing for their local teams going to ease up, allow the neighbours to bully them? Were they eck (Aaaaaahhhhhhhhgggggg! Sorry, flashback) as like.
And now? Well it's the start of a new season, and not a moment too soon, the shakes were getting unbearable : ( There was no decision to make, the lure of Villa Park is just too much for me to bear, I feel intoxicated just thinking about the place, and as I drive up and see it, a stupid grin creeps across my face and I just feel I'm home, I truly believe that those who have never had Villa just can't understand the level of addiction it causes, it has a profound effect on your life.
This season my hopes have been raised, my desire renewed, a fire re kindled, I just feel that the shadow of the last couple of seasons has lifted, the dullness removed, the rusty topped mechanism of tediousness has been shown the door and a sharp, attack minded, European trained, kick arse Scot has been installed as a replacement.
A new broom as swept through the team, the writing is on the wall for many, it is a season of put up or shut up and bugger off, these lazy lions are too used to just ambling around for their easy pickings, asleep half of the time (or appearing to be) eating, drinking and having sex the rest of it, they now have to look over their shoulders, there are new members of the pride, young, talented, fit, strong and hungry, they're looking to depose the older lions, that is natures way, and that is why my hopes are raised, what was missing before, what I found watching my lads team, these young and new lions will have the energy, the desire, the pride and the fire in their bellies, they will be fighting for superiority, they will be fighting to be at the banquet, the easy pickings of the guaranteed meal are gone, there is competition at the table.
This I find intoxicating, I want to see fight and desire, I want to see players who are genuinely proud to play for us, I want the players to share in our passion, I want them to ignite the fans and get the old girl rocking again, I want it to mean as much to them as it does to us (or somewhere near it) and now I feel it will.
So for me, there is no hope, I will keep turning up for my fix, I'm no quitter.
To finish I must say a very big thank you and Bravo Mr Lambert! Some think you a foolish man, many think you a brave man, I just see a man with a vision and the confidence to pull it off.
As always, time will tell.