Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday January 28 2013
Well, I have to say I`m stunned at the turn of events at Villa. I'm saying this and then shutting up (as much as possible) for the rest of the season.....
As many know (and some never fail to throw back in my face!) I helped in the protests against the previous board and owner.
The change in regime was exciting, it all started so well didn`t it? Now we are back to anger, frustration and upset amongst Villa fans.
The Villa and the Villa fans, to be frank, are all I care about.
So, we`ve had a wretched season this season and people, I guess, are right, Doug Ellis would not have stood for it. I can`t argue, he`d have pulled the trigger. I don`t look back with much fondness and 300 years in charge (or something like that) and just two league cup wins. OR relegation just five seasons after winning THE European Cup. You talk to the heroes of 82 and they will tell you they were wrongly dismantled and we lost our chance of doing in the 80`s what Liverpool ended up doing. Dominating.
So no, I don`t look back with rose tinted spectacles.
However, my energy and support of the current owner is now also very stretched. I`ll hold my hands up, I`m not doing protests again. I did it all once, it is a soul destroying thing to do as all those who took part, organised or even just turned up and supported will know, never again. I get asked, I say no. You only do one campaign and that is it, done and dusted, no thanks, not well enough even if I wanted to and I am putting myself first in life these days, brain aches aren`t great and last year, it was a close run thing just staying around.
I think the finger of blame for our lack of success goes to many, not to just one, but Randy is at the helm and the buck stops with the top. Always has. You take the glory, you take the flack. I am not saying Randy out, I`m not necessarily saying Randy in. The old protests taught me one thing, it is all well and good saying Ellis Out, Randy Out... anyone out. But you need an idea of who in. We never had that part of the answer. Back in the day, we just wanted a clear signal that Doug would listen to offers. Is it so easy now? Well, it wasn`t easy then, so it hasn`t improved and with the mad money now involved and the money Randy has put in (also bearing in mind, some of the money is from Villa income, ie tv money etc)
We`ve had some terrible decisions recently. Gerrard Houllier was too old, too ill. I say this from the standpoint of someone who understands what ill health does to the body, so no offense meant. It wasn`t a cheap project with him in charge but then, he was never fit enough to see it through anyway. It ended as suspected and sadly. He also did the Club and owner no favours with some of the things he said. Then there was last years decision. We`ve done that, lets not go back, to be fair, at least he never blanked hard working press guys doing their job (and that is all they are doing) and he always, despite some really vile abuse, always tried to acknowledge the fans AND made the players do so.
Then this one. The majority on forum polls wanted him, albeit, we were hardly linked with top notch managers were we really? Maybe the fact so many were pleased is why the worst start in 48 years hurts more? He did have money, not a kings ransom, but I believe we were fifth top spenders in the summer and he did state himself there was more money if he had wanted it. £22m isn`t massive in football these days but it isn`t tiny either. I said during and at the end of the transfer window that he`s tried to do it all too quickly, worst premiership squad I`ve ever seen etc. Sorry to be a wise arse, but I did. It was obvious. Men v Boys. That is his fault. He must have known the £ he had, he must have known the £ for wages etc. You do not send boys to play v men (do I need to rephrase that?!) and this project has been embarrassing thus far.
So... We now have the vote of confidence from the Chairman. Now usually I`d say the dreaded vote of confidence, but no, from Randy this is a communication because he has been implored to communicate and he will stick to what he has said. He won`t be sacking the manager judging by what he has said. So, we now know. For good or bad, Lambert is staying. One poster in the forum has told us other users who all said good appointment, to man up and support. I think during a game I do nothing but support (most do) but surely on the evidence of the thrashings, on the worst start etc etc we can revise our thoughts?
His statement: Randy Lerner Speaks And Backs Manager
I am pleased he has at least communicated, I know a lot of people have tried and implored him to do so.
But the one bit that confuses me is:
"It has been rewarding at times this season although certainly frustrating as well, particularly recently."
What have I missed? Liverpool was a great game, but they should have battered us, they missed a hatful before we took our chances (and we duly celebrated like we`d won the league because we`ve had scant 'reward` in recent years)
But come on. Where are the rewards? 4 wins this season. That is a disgrace for a club this size, or am I missing something?
West Ham 1 - 0 Aston Villa.... awful, dour game, we were shapeless and clueless.
Aston Villa 1 - 3 Everton.... they battered us, the score doesn`t reflect that.
Newcastle 1 - 1 Aston Villa... decent away point.
Aston Villa 2 - 0 Swansea.... things starting to take shape we thought?
Southampton 4 - 1 Aston Villa... nope, humiliation. That was a thrashing v many pundits relegation tips.
Aston Villa 1 - 1 WBA .. fair point
Spurs 2 - 0 Aston Villa... so easy for them.
Fulham 1 - 0 Aston Villa... so easy for them.
Aston Villa 1 - 1 Norwich... home and again no win
Sunderland 0 - 1 Aston Villa... rewarding to beat MON I guess!
Aston Villa 2 - 3 Man Utd... exciting game, but 2 up and we threw it away
Man City 5 - 0 Aston Villa... humiliation
Aston Villa 0 - 0 Arsenal... soaking wet but an unexpected point.
Aston Villa 1 - 0 Reading... is that rewarding? It was important, but a home win v a club like Reading would have been expected back in the day?
Q.P.R. 1 - 1 Aston Villa ... meh
Aston Villa 0 - 0 Stoke... more home games, no win. (was just 3 or was it 4 home wins throughout 2012)
Liverpool 1 - 3 Aston Villa... yes, great, and we celebrated it. The positive folks said we`d turned the corner.
Chelsea 8 - 0 Aston Villa... car crash, Lambert if he had any decency might have questioned his beliefs and tenure at that stage, we`d already had the worst start in decades and then this.
Aston Villa 0 - 4 Spurs... and so it continued
Aston Villa 0 - 3 Wigan... and so it continued...
Swansea 2 - 2 Aston Villa... surprise draw and much needed points.
Aston Villa 0 - 1 Southampton... the double done by relegation favourites.
WBA 2 - 2 Aston Villa... 2 up and we still couldn`t win.
Cup rewards? Good v Norwich and Man City, but come on, we lost over two legs v a '4th division` side and then in the FA Cup to a '2nd division` team.
I seriously don`t see the rewards. This has been my least favourite season ever as a fan. I started it feeling no hope, no optimism and having no excitement at all. My positivity (which always knew no bounds) totally sapped and from the first game onward, nothing changed my sinking feeling.
I did an article in January saying this season hasn`t been acceptable: A Fear Moan! Season So Far Totally Unacceptable
I`ve not revised or changed my mind since.
We at least now know he is staying and from what Randy is saying, I`d say even if he takes us down, they think him the right manager. Not sure why that would be the case. If McLeish got the push for 16th then.............
So there you have it. I wanted to clear my mind, do an article, as I`m sometimes accused of being up the backside of the new regime, I am not. I didn`t 'turn` on the old lot for over a decade or more either. However I am fed up of upset,angry and hurting fans. We are the lifeblood but it does seem the blood is draining to me. I`ll not be doing a weekly rant or rave, all that is left is to hope, pray, support (especially this fragile team of ours, they need our help, they are all trying, some just aren`t quite the grade and some aren`t ready yet)
Who knows, Randy backing Lambert might re-energise him and he might be able to re-energise the team. That is all we can do now, support and hope. Personally, I think they have sent us down. I would LOVE them to ram those words back down my big, claret and blue, gob.
Maybe in a year or so, we`ll see the vision that they do, we`ll be through this 'transition` (another one) and be playing the great football and winning games. The hear and now? A lot of money for very little reward as far as I can see and the amount of people telling me they aren`t going again is alarming, even long standing season ticket holders who have just grown tired of it.
In three teams being worse than us we trust.
Hopefully Randy will come to the remaining games, share the rewards and at least show us that he is with us, the manager and the team.
Over to the 12th man as usual, the only brilliant and constant part of this club I guess. UTV
Date:Monday January 28 2013
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