Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Something For The Weekend (145)

Something For The Weekend (145)
Its actually quite difficult being a good football supporter these days, so much mitigates against it, in a world of instant-gratification and where old-fashioned values of honour and loyalty are scorned, and losing for a select few is an actual rarity.

To survive the modern world with its facade of niceness, manufactured at huge expense for our consumption, requires a certain amount of cynicism. A world where the paternalism which comforted previous generations has been withdrawn, and job-security and pensions have been swapped for corporate concern for the polar bear, is a world of ambiguity and pragmatic lies: only a fool would take it at face value. Its a world where the greed-is-good brutalism of the Eighties has been sugar-coated, to disarm any sort of political backlash. A world of benign dictatorship where all imperfections are all said to be extraterritorial. We've never had it so good: even if the propaganda runs counter to our own personal experience.

Being a cynic, just proves that you are awake to the reality and are taking notice. Although, I myself, am not a cynic, just a defeated romantic, but they are hard to tell apart, even on close inspection.

It takes an agile and supple mind to prevent that cynicism from contaminating your personal humanity. And it is a brute who does not seek respite from the Machiavellian dictates of economic-necessity. Indeed the state we find ourselves in, is the requirement to be the fully-functioning 21st century schizoid man. Keeping a balance is both a daunting and endlessly challenging struggle. How do we avoid having our higher wishes used against us? How do we fully function as human beings?

F. Scott Fitzgerald said that the test of first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. But as he drank himself to death, I don't
suppose he thought it was an easy thing to do, either. Judging by the Americans' love of schmaltz, the need for sentiment and romance, actually increases proportionally to how cynical the business
environment becomes - Capra found his audience in the depression-hit Thirties. The worse it gets, the more we need to escape.

It therefore follows that in these days of the f**k-you employer mentality, we need a place where our sentiments can flourish even more than ever. And, there's no better place than a football stadium for letting your feelings off the leash and suspending the workaday cynicism. There has never been a better or more needful time to be a football supporter. Where else can a person safely suspend his own self-interest and show solidarity with his fellows? Where else will the state allow it? Where else can sentiment cost you so little? Where else can you allow yourself to hope and not be disarmed and disadvantaged by it?

Unfortunately some of us are far too long in the tooth to forget a lifetime of training and it only needs someone to utter the words Bennie McCarthy (a player Villa fans were told the club would sign for what seemed like a decade) to banish the most carefully nurtured green-shoots of optimism. So despite me giving a fairly decent impression of someone wafting along on cloud-nine these days, deep down I really can't bring myself to actually believe Villa are going to be buying big this summer. There is comfort in knowing that I am not alone but seeing is believing.

To be a successful football supporter requires a special talent. Winston Churchill defined success, as the ability to go from one failure to another without losing enthusiasm and although it is unlikely that he had the beautiful game in mind, there are no better words which come close to capturing the absolute essence of a proper supporter.

But on that arduous path many fall, never to rise again. Other braver souls carry on and although they may sometimes falter, they keep going despite the doubts and disappointments, inspired by the many Villa faithful who trod before them - undaunted and unflagging, through rather bigger letdowns and deeper crisis. Bigger betrayals, even.

The last few years were a bit crap to say the least and to anyone with only one eye open, it was obvious that the mediocrity was built-in and for me personally, knowing that, was sometimes unbearable. For me and many more, it will take a long time to recover a faith lost too long ago to remember and I am sure that the only thing that will do it, will be full houses and team performances, that leave us wishing our long-dead Villan's were here to witness it.

What I really crave is that occasion, when Villa are so good - so astoundingly good - so obviously excellent and so obviously of a status, not seen for twenty-five years, that the wish is forced upon my lips, that my dad could be here to see it, taste it, feel it and celebrate it. Only that will banish my cynicism and set me aright. And I am sure that many feel the same.

I have been disgruntled for a very long time - so please can I have my gruntles back?

Of course the club being absolutely and totally professional about these things and fully understanding how damaged and traumatized we are by of our recent Villa experiences, have gone out and recruited some absolutely top local talent, to try and remedy this. A girl who knows how we feel and how us cynics need to be given a lesson in sweet dreams. Its a voice that addresses the child within us and which yearns to believe and hope once again. So all the way from Sutton Coldfield and to Villa cynics all over the world.

Here is her message to you:

And, I mean that most sincerely - I really do!

By the genius that is Steve Wade

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Thursday June 21 2007
Time: 7:36PM


vomit inducing or sweet young thing. You decide!!!
The Fear
21/06/2007 20:29:00
plz god - lets just sign someone - you know its bad when............
21/06/2007 20:36:00
I really hope i'll be laughing in a few weeks time, rather than this little minute worry that has crawled into the back of my mind.
21/06/2007 22:11:00
21/06/2007 22:57:00
One has to be impressed when references to Fitzgerald and Churchill are juxtaposed to crass pop culture manifestations like singing six year olds. I wept like a baby.
22/06/2007 09:19:00
Well theres one thing Mr Cowell dont thing she can sell records or the airwaves would be full of them as I type.
22/06/2007 10:57:00
I think the links between classic literature and the beautiful game have been ignored for too long. Perhaps our Villa Park themed novel for the season could be 'Great Expectations'?
23/06/2007 10:57:00
err, football site Villan444? err, quote: What I really crave is that occasion, when Villa are so good - so astoundingly good - so obviously excellent and so obviously of a status, not seen for twenty-five years, that the wish is forced upon my lips, that my dad could be here to see it, taste it, feel it and celebrate it. Only that will banish my cynicism and set me aright. And I am sure that many feel the same. Quality writing in my opinion.
The Fear
23/06/2007 11:40:00
Think you've got it spot on..cynicism is rife these days...sadly!
23/06/2007 12:34:00
A light hearted, yet close to the truth read. It certainly mirrors the views and feelings of many supporters, expressed in a way that we only wish we could. Great article, always enjoyable. Keep 'em coming.
23/06/2007 16:34:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Gollini Gets A Bit Blue

Goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini has insisted the players are under no illusions when it comes to what this weekend's match against Birmingham City means to the fans.

Match Day Officials v Birmingham (30/10/16)

The Football League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game against Birmingham City this Sunday.

Neilson Not A Willing Souttar

Heart of Midlothian boss Robbie Neilson has issued a hands off warning to Aston Villa following speculation that we are preparing an offer for defender John Souttar.

Fans Held Back This Sunday

West Midlands Police have released a statement ahead of this Sunday's derby clash against Birmingham City and confirmed that travelling Villans will be held in...

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Mike Field
Editor email
Steve Wade
no email
no email
Turkish Penguin
no email
no email
Chris Heath
no email
M Calucar
no email
JuanPablo Angel
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Will Villa get promoted?
Suggested By: J P Fear
Yes, automatically25%
Yes, through play offs40%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 14 10 1 3 31 19
2 Brighton 14 8 4 2 28 9
3 Huddersfield 14 9 1 4 28 4
4 Norwich 14 8 3 3 27 7
5 Sheff Wed 14 7 3 4 24 1
6 Bristol City 14 7 2 5 23 6
7 Birmingham 14 6 5 3 23 3
8 Reading 14 6 4 4 22 -3
9 Preston 14 6 2 6 20 1
10 Leeds Utd 14 6 2 6 20 -1
11 Brentford 14 5 4 5 19 5
12 Barnsley 14 6 1 7 19 3
13 Q.P.R. 14 5 4 5 19 -3
14 Fulham 14 4 6 4 18 -2
15 Burton 14 4 5 5 17 0
16 Aston Villa 14 3 8 3 17 0
17 Ipswich 14 4 5 5 17 -2
18 Wolves 14 4 4 6 16 -1
19 Forest 14 4 3 7 15 -3
20 Cardiff 14 4 3 7 15 -9
21 Derby County 14 3 5 6 14 -4
22 Blackburn 14 3 3 8 12 -8
23 Wigan 14 2 5 7 11 -3
24 Rotherham 14 1 3 10 6 -19
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
F1 Prediction Competition open for round 19
Latest Vital Boxing News
Eggington Stops Gavin in Eight Rounds
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Oct 30 2016 12:00PM : Birmingham City (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 5 2016 3:00PM : Blackburn Rovers (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 18 2016 7:45PM : Brighton & Hove Albion (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 26 2016 3:00PM : Cardiff City (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 3 2016 5:30PM : Leeds United (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Wigan Athletic (H)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

1.The Fear587
9.Stephen Jay Hawkings152
Vital Football Comment