Date: 28th August 2009 at 7:23pm
Written by:

Ok, so we left off on the General Krulak feedback update last time here: The General Krulak Feedback Update Pt 2 and the forum thread was up to date from page 44: Click Here

Here is the next round! I don’t think some people get this thread and what a great honour it is to have direct access for fans to a director of Villa. It is certainly a testing thread at times, one that is difficult to control because it’s hard to know where to draw the line censorship wise and what is / isn’t appropriate. The trouble is you can’t really expect to leave strong feedback to a director about players and tactics, GK isn’t the manager and can hardly go knocking on MON’s door about our suggested tactics and players. I delete some when they start to get too repetitive but in communication with GK, try to leave the thread as non sanitised as possible!

First off and most importantly, GK updated us on his health… It is hard to believe that I have been fighting this infection since April. I went off the last regime of antibiotics this Monday and the doctor says it will be another 2 weeks before we know if we have killed the stuff. I am hoping and praying for no relapse…which is what happened to me about 45 days ago. If I get a clean bill of health, I will be on my way and back into the fight.

GK spoke on the low attendance for the Rapid Vienna and Wigan games:

As for low attendance, as I have said multiple times before, we are about at the attendance levels we projected. We might not be where you projected, but we are about where we figured we’d be. The economy is a huge factor and every club is facing the same problem. What do we do to rectify this? Well, the Club has no influence over the economy. We try to offer packages that encourage folks to come to Villa Park. WINNING ALWAYS HELPS!!!

He also spoke of the hurt at Villa for our European exit assuring fans there is not a person at Villa Park, Bodymoor Heath or the US that is not disappointed that we did not go through. Simple as that!!! This is a blow and we feel it. Gutted is exactly the word! I did not see the game…just received updates but when RV scored I almost broke my hand punching the wall. Soooo, let’s not have anyone think that we aren’t disappointed.

The press and Randy Lerner issue comes up every now and then. Some want to hear from the Villa owner more, the press included… but GK has again said that isn’t Randy’s style:

Randy and the Press: I am unclear as to what Randy speaking to the Press is going to do for the Fans. I really am. Do you expect him to talk about the amount of money available for transfers? Can you imagine an owner giving out that sort of information…or even hinting about it? POOR business sense. Do you expect him to talk about the Manager? That would be crazy….and not helpful to anyone. Do you expect him to talk about tactics on the Pitch? That would be crazy and an insult to the Manager. Do you expect him to talk about our scouting system? Again, what possible good would come from that other than to tell other Clubs what we are doing. You want him to come on the news and tell folks ‘the money isn’t there’??? What possible good would come from that??? If he came on and said ‘the money is there’ it would be equally stupid. PLEASE…the last thing we need now is the owner coming out with quotes that will make things harder all around. We all (Randy, MON, the Board, the Coaches, the Players, and the folks at Villa Park) ALL know people are frustrated. Does anyone think we are happy with the state right now? We are working on fixing it. Simple as that. This is NOT PR BEEFY, this is me answering a question. You can agree with the answer or not but at least you have someone trying to give answers!!!

A few questions on players:

1. Laursen is back home. He has not been to a game. He is doing fine and enjoying life. I doubt that he will ever forget his time at Villa…and, obviously, we won’t forget him. His play in the center was superb. I don’t know a great deal about the game…certainly not as most fans do…but I sure as heck felt comfortable when he was back there. We WILL find a replacement for him but he will always be remembered as one helluva player.

2. Stig. I asked about Bouma today. He was working out on Friday…and looked good. We will bring him along slowly…get a few good practices and maybe a couple of reserve games under his belt before we ask him to join the 1st team. He has been a superb ‘patient’ and has been working very hard to get well.

There were a fair few points on the manager and the booing… in fact maybe a bit too much feedback but towards the end of the latest lot, I have tried to put my foot down (no one listens but it makes me feel powerful for two seconds!) to say enough feedback has been given now! Some feel they are being tarred with the same brush by the manager over his comments on booing and the press have certainly lapped it up recently.

GK said: The Fear and others: I absolutely understand your point and agree that it can be very frustrating to be put in a category with others. I will mention it to MON. At the same time, I think we all need to have a bit of empathy for the Manager and the Players. They have absolutely no way of knowing who is being boo’d…the Manager, the tactics, the play on the Pitch, or all of the above. It is very, very, hard to know how many fans are booing…a large percentage, a small percentage, etc. I would imagine that Martin’s concern over booing goes back a long way…that there is history involved. What I do know is that when the Gabby incident occurred, I was there and I felt the booing was directed at the Player. I obviously was wrong if you all say so but if I thought it, perhaps Martin did too. NO leader wants his troops boo’d…it is simple as that. Yes, it comes with the territory but that doesn’t mean that the Leader just accepts it. BUT, I DO understand the concern of painting everyone with the same brush and I will do what I can to mitigate it. Let’s face it, the media are going to play this for all it is worth. It’s got to be like water off a duck’s back. Finally, I agree with the Fear…let’s get on to something other than the booing issue.

Adding, I absolutely hear what you are saying but I am not sure I can agree with you. There comes a time when the leader needs to stand up and support his men…and do it visibly. In the case of the booing…MON probably felt that he needed to say something about the treatment of his squad…and he did. I thought it was very professional of him to begin his comment with something to the effect that ‘the Fans bought the tickets and have the right to boo if they want to’…in other words, he acknowledged the right of the fans based upon buying a ticket to see the game. At the same time, he made it clear that he didn’t think it was right. Believe me, there is no way MON can estimate the percentage of fans booing…on the Pitch it sounds like a roar!! As the Commandant of the Marine Corps, I heard some pretty harsh comments during my tenure…and many was the time I let them pass. BUT, there were times when I came out in the Press hard…because I wanted my Marines to know that I had their backs. Sometimes you just do that because you need to do it.

What is critically important is for the Fans to understand that MON honestly believes our Fans are great and he appreciates them!! He does not want to be at odds with our own Fans…he recognizes how important they are to the Squad. I certainly wouldn’t be on this site if I didn’t think the fans were critical….and I am only mirroring how Randy feels. Soooo, we need to put all of this behind us and get on with the next game…and the next…and the next.

I think it was made clear how some were feeling and GK will pass on that some positive comments about fans sometimes goes down very well!!

GK has passed on james06’s suggestion that Ian Bell (Ashes winning cricketer and Villa fanatic) be able to do a walk on pre-match or at half time.

On the Liverpool game: Solid performance by our lads…they played their hearts out. I thought NRC was immense. One game at a time, one game at a time. The window is still open so let’s give MON a chance.

GK also mentioned, again, about the PA System (which seemed much louder and better v Rapid Vienna last night in the Trinity anyway) we worked on PA system over the summer but did NOT replace it.