Date: 4th October 2007 at 9:28am
Written by:

How Do You Judge Success?

Much debate has been centred on whether a team will ever be able to break into the top 4 and reap the rewards showered upon those who can finish in one of those prized positions. For me it is a strange scenario that the success of your season can be judged on finishing 4th and winning no trophies. It seems the greater prize of winning a Champions League place and the kudos that generates is far more important than winning a domestic trophy or league.

I, as many other Villa fans would have been happy with a trip to Wembley and a Carling Cup under our belts this season. For me that would be success, yet it seems that it is not enough. Our success as a Club, like many others, seems to be judged on whether we can break into the top 4, not by trophies under our belts. Yet what will our honours list show if we manage to reach that goal in the next 5 years? I would figure it would show nothing.

So is that acceptable and is that what Villa fans really want? Mediocre cup runs, tight league games that we can’t afford to lose and more importantly 5 years of challenging for nothing but a position in the top 4? Maybe we as fans have now been brainwashed into thinking that this would be success and nothing else matters. The media have waged a very good PR campaign to lead us into believing that domestic cups are worthless trophies unless of course they are played out in the final by 2 teams from the top 4. Yet for me as a fan who turns up home and away in the cold and dark months of the British winter to support my team, I beg to differ.

The Villa fans, like so many others, seem happy at challenging the 15 teams below the top 4. We seem prepared to wait and build a team before we even entertain thoughts of top 4 or trophies. Yet before the advent of the magical word “top 4” all clubs fought tooth and nail to win trophies and leagues, ending in days of dejection at seeing your Club losing or weeks of bragging rights when you won.

For me all that this has generated is nothing but erratic results with no team wanting to lose, thus creating a bigger gulf between the haves and have not’s. Nothing else now matters amongst fans as long as we can reach the Promised Land which is guarded so strongly by those who currently wallow in its rewards. So the question remains are all trophies worthless and how is success judged nowadays?

For some it seems that success is being able to watch your team on your own TV in your own house on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening when they are playing European football. Yes I am envious that it isn’t my team competing in the Champions League but are we really getting the true meaning of football through to new fans with this message. We have to ask ourselves who really cares about going to Wembley and exciting cup games on the way? Who cares about savouring the atmosphere of a live league game? I do and I hope that most fans do too, more so than sitting in front of their portable watching Manure on their lonesome while the missus watches Corrie with the kids.

Top 4 is achievable; whatever those who currently sit proud in those positions lead us to believe. Undoubtedly they have the talent to keep them there but do we have the desire to make it, in fact does anyone? I hope so for the sake of football otherwise success on the pitch will become like success in all other parts of our lives, where we are judged, not by winning but by participating in a successful creation.