So it’s that time of year again, Christmas and the New Year beckons. No Santa jokes from me this time, it’s a tough period for everyone, as let’s face it you fine folks and folkesses of Vital Villa, I think it is fair to say it has been a strange couple of years – both in life, and then on the football pitch.
Boris Johnson, Covid, Ukraine, Energy and general cost of living issues, Liz ‘The Lettuce’ Truss, the FIFA and Gianni Infantile’s (I feel pretty, I feel like chicken tonight, I feel like a legal brown paper bag can change my human moral outlook) Qatari sponsored sports washing exercise that many former players promised was about ‘raising issues’ as they jumped for the cash, when the truth is, they barely grasped the existence of self raising flour let alone raising issues and then almost endless strikes, because apparently the NHS should be happy with a badge and getting the clap regularly for a few months.
Oh how we laughed at the USA and Donald Trump, it seems so long ago now doesn’t it – and then Aston Villa appointed Steven Gerrard.
I won’t mention Gerrard again, I don’t want to relive that nightmare and I’d probably get myself sued (don’t say sued in his accent, it sounds funny and like something you’d welcome and giggle at). Sadly, we were left psychotically giggling at the performances we then saw as he proved he was more than prone to the occasional (tactical) slip.
With the various problems we’ve all had to face over the last few years, it has also been quite a lively time on the forum as we went back and forth on issues, and there were certainly plenty of mass debates and some of them weren’t pretty or easy on the eye as good folks dug in and the mist descended. During a vigorous mass debate with multiple members, it’s always going to happen, and it wasn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time it happens. What matters is the common ground when tempers are tested and Unai Emery provided a lot of common ground for everyone.
Whilst some in the wider world of football can’t get past the Falklands, Emi Martinez continued his **** housing against France and there is also good common ground on his achievement and how important he is to us, despite the best efforts of some in the press, who have also totally misrepresented Emery’s comments on our lively goalkeeper.
Not a surprise with the media today is it – it would be nice if some of them stopped trying to live up to Trump’s feigned expectations back then in the search for profit today.
But here we are again, it’s almost Christmas Day. We shouldn’t need one day to remember what’s important, or act on it but it seems some do when you look outside of Vital Villa, and I know well enough from the forum that I continue to be amongst people who more than get that by their own deeds, actions and kindness.
Times have definitely changed in my years of running this site in our various guises, the world has. 23 years is a long time to effectively talk nonsense, especially when you’ve put up with The Fear for 22 of them (given he’s a bald git, his obsession with growing things confuses me given he misses the obvious one) but whilst everything else changes, there has always been one constant – you lot.
From 1999 where I predictably ranted at the original editor, but he had the brains to say ‘don’t rant at me, write an article and I’ll publish it’, the site rocketed from (memory dependent) 10,000 views and crashed through 500,000 with the help of The Fear and then we stopped counting (we had the ever lovable Mr Carson for that – who was also bald, I seem to be attracted to them) – but it’s always been you lot and not us.
You keep coming back, you keep reading, you keep posting and you’ve kept us off the streets for over two decades.
Newbies join, oldies move on, and sadly after this amount of time, we have naturally lost some well respected and loved friends to the passage of the time, but they are remembered, and they will always be part of this incredibly weird and strange family that we’ve all created.
I’m just left to simply thank you, and I know that’s not enough because I know I’ll be arguing with some of you on Boxing Day. It’s what we do.
But thank you (again), each and everyone one of you (and that comes from JF as well as the Alert Team who often continue to get a lot of unfair stick), this bizarre place is nothing without each and everyone of you piping up, arguing, agreeing, taking the pee and understanding that even in our most heated moments (even when a line is crossed) we share that commonality that binds us and we can forgive afterwards.
To each of you, have a great Christmas, here’s to three points, and let us not choke on a cock as we enter 2023.
My Christmas Wish, a competent Government. My hope for the New Year, that change happens – JF is still hankering for an FA Cup win as well.
Oh and Emery not losing a game would be a great bloody distraction for all of us.