Date: 14th August 2007 at 6:15pm
Written by:

Anyone notice we didn’t win our first home match Saturday ?

Anyone deciding whether to slit their wrists or jump off the top of the North Stand, and having been up there its a long drop ?

Anyone read or seen or heard Villa fans seriously calling for O’Neill to be sacked ?

Anyone with thoughts of relegation, despair of a bottom of the table dog fight ?

Thought not, just checking.

As the king of negativity I’m repeatedly told and O’Neill’s biggest critic seemingly, I just wondered.

Why is it some fans have to see things in black and white, why is it not possible to support the club, the team, the claret and blue even if I don’t go, to every home and away game, have a season ticket, and worst sin of all dare to complain about O’Neill.

Seems when I’m right I’m edging my bets, when I’m wrong its a three day thread telling me so. Happily that rarely happens but its annoying when fans criticise and its obvious their previous bias is what they are commenting on, not my present position, which as the General says changes.

With Blackburn on Wednesday off, our next game is at a resurgent Newcastle where talk is of the Allardyce factor, which I was repeatedly told didn’t exist with O’Neill, has really got them moving and Owen could be back too. Could be an interesting game and one Villa need to make a mark in even if they lose.

I’m not going, doubt I’ll even sign up for Setanta, I’m very pissed O’Neill is showing no signs of signing anyone and can’t see it making much difference if he does, well not in the short term. I thought his tactics on Saturday were a return to our worst period of last season, his use of two sick players in Laursen and Carew was reminiscent of 80’s thinking, and a disgrace, playing Liverpool with 10 fit men in their right positions was bad enough with 8 ?

It shouldn’t happen in this day and age, it really shouldn’t. I accept its going to take time to build a top 5 side, but for me so far, we have gone backwards from May 2007, we have less options, one better
player and a poorly prepared side who for a side with 1 new addition looked more like a side of 11 new players who had hardly played together and certainly not the one I saw end the season with the much lauded 9 match unbeaten run.

Mind, I still support Villa, have done all my life, I don’t expect us to get a top 4 finish, in fact I’ve no idea where we will finish, but it won’t be in the bottom 3 I’m not despairing, I’m not depressed, even though I am sure O’Neill has missed another opportunity this summer, especially as the General keeps telling me ‘Money isn’t the problem’, and I see no merit in calling for O’Neill to be sacked. I’m sad we don’t have a game midweek, but can’t wait for the Newcastle game and I’m sure both will be worth the wait.

I’m not happy with the way O’Neills doing things, does that make me negative, a blue nose, a pessimist, someone to be shouted down. I don’t think so, I’m just a Villa fan and have been for longer than most, criticising O’Neill’s methods, decisions and so on doesn’t change things one iota. Fans like me have stood alone for some time, its amazing how many have edged their views our way of late, yet we remain no less Villa fans than we have ever been.

It doesn’t make us wrong either.


52 Replies to “Is It So Black And White?”

  • AVFC48 – OK, so on what basis do we Villa fans judge whether O’Neill should stay as manager? – because – the players want him? -the AV Board want him? – we finish below top8? – we finish bottom8? – or worst of all, we give 6 points to small heath?

  • Couldn’t be bothered to read it, looked at the first 2 paragraphs and then looked at the author, shock suprise yawn.

  • Ihave to say, when I look at Man City, I’m envious. Never thought I’d feel that way 4 weeks ago.

  • Hang on the guy has a point and that is that the summer has been a let down you must all agree with that and MON has made mistakes my opinion. None more so than in playing players not fit. We all thought Marlon was a squad player to replace Carew when not fit. Well guys why did Carew play sat? Marlon signing seems very strange at the moment. We could pay dearly this season for MON not acting quickly in the transfer market. I do not think MON understands the transfer market.

  • Lay off AVFC48, he is just saying that just because he questions MON doesn’t mean he isn’t a Villa fan. In the Upper Grounds on Saturday many people were questionning MON and what he has done this summer. We should question him because things could certainly be better

  • Sorry, but that was really difficult to read. I think I might even agree with you in parts but I’m not sure I fully understood the article.

  • what a mess, all he had to do was sign some players to get us going and the MON revolution momentum would have carried on building…..we need answers if we sign nobody or more harewood quality before the window closes. Gutted, I thought this was the summer we had all been waiting for (and years we have waited).

  • Correct Sir. Remember its his job to run our club that includes signing players. We are in a bad position. We need to sign players and very very fast. Villacross we judge him on he is running our club and at the moment that is not to good.

  • Lets all have a bit of a think eh…? I just watched a reasonably altered Spurs side get trounced by a barely changed Everton team at White Heart Lane. We lost to Liverpool at home but the only problem I saw in that whole game was a lack of confidence in our boys which can be easily rectified. Perhaps, just perhaps, MON knows what he is doing…. Both West Ham and Spurs look a bit iffy and they have all spent loads. Lets just see how the remaining results and transfer window play out.

  • Simonbigron were you watching the Liverpool game with rose-tinted specs. We never looked like scoring and without the penalty I don’t think we would have. Liverpool didn’t even have to play well to beat us. Everton were a better team than us last year and will be again this year. At the moment, if we finish in the top ten we will have done well. This after we were supposedly aiming for the top six.

  • I admire your sense of fairness, ntdes, but avfc48 has set an unnecessarily aggressive tone to this ‘debate’ from the outset. I’m not alone on this board to wonder what MON has actually done to avfc to warrant these attacks. However, back to the ‘debate’. One of the mainstays of avfc’s attacks on MON is that he has not bought ‘names’, with other teams being held up as examples of what we have missed out on. How interesting that Spurs, who HAVE bought names – lots of them over a number of seasons – lost 3-1 at home to Everton tonight. I have absolutely no doubt that if MON had signed the scorers of Everton’s goals (Lescott, Osman and Stubbs) it would have resulted in howls for his resignation, probably orchestrated by avfc48. And then we have Wham, who have also been highlighted as ‘getting it right’ in the transfer market. They also lost on Saturday. Big names do not make a team, as Wham found out last year. Building a team takes time, and especially for a team starting from the basement after 23 years of neglect. We MUST pull together, get behind our team, the manager and the board, and SHOW SOME PATIENCE.

  • PS. You dont have a season ticket,You dont go to the games and you wont be paying to watch the match on TV. I know I will get hammered for this but in my opinion you are not a fan mearly a follower.

  • Since when was I logging onto this site to read about avfc48? Everyone is entitled to their measured opinion, but I get the feeling you are on here because you like the attention that comes from ruffling the feathers of the small percentage of ridiculous folks on here who would call you a ‘bluenose’ for criticizing the management. If you aren’t prepared to watch the matches, then don’t expect me, or any rational person, to take your judgement of our progress seriously. I am not one to say that you are only a true fan if you invest in a season ticket (I live in Germany, after all), but it takes looking outside to tell the weather…

  • Ok, so we didn’t get the win we were hoping for, but avfc48 makes some very astute remarks. Why not question MON’s lack of movement in the transfer market ? Its not as though we have been linked with players costing 20 million pounds. Take the Curtis Davies saga, IF MON buys him it will be for what 9 million ? This after several weeks of being linked with us buying him, so why the delay. Thats just one player, what about 3 or 4 others that we need to have a healthy squad of players. MON appears to know who he wants, just takes too long to dither around at landing him at what he believes is the right price. At MON’s pace we will have a decent squad sometime around 2010. Is that fair critisism of MON’s transfer dealings ? well only you can judge, but he seems to say one thing when the Season tickets are due to be paid and promptly does sweet FA after that.

  • No ’48, you’re not negative, a blue nose, a pessimist, someone to be shouted down. Far from it. You’re someone who loves the club, and very obviously, someone who speaks from the heart. I always enjoy reading your comments and observations, they are certainly always thought provoking, and most certainly never dull. Dont always agree with you, in fact more often than not I take a completely opposite view of events and happenings at our beloved Villa Park, but you always provide food for thought. Keep on keeping on ’48. This site would be a lot poorer without your input.

  • I actually don’t see a lot wrong with this article whatsoever. I do think a lot of us that were hoping and hoping for things to turn for the better are now beginning to wonder if there will still be the multiple quality signings we were promised, or nothing at all. I’m still hoping, but as the deadline looms large my faith diminishes by the day. I guess where I differ from some people’s comments is that at the moment we are in no position to comment on why the lack of transfers has occurred, as we have had no real insight or explanation into the issue due to the clubs policy of not commenting. If we sign no-one else, and it is revealed to be due to MON fannying about, then i’ll be highly disappointed, and my opinion of the man will no doubt decrease. If the club finally tells us the real story of what’s been going on, and the reasons make sense, then maybe I’ll agree & buy in to the ‘bide our time’ theory. I think the important thing for progress this year is to kick on to those UEFA spots to make AVFC an attractive proposition again for the next transfer targets. The really big worry for me at present (and this is not based on losing just one game to Liverpool) is that we just don’t look like having a squad capable of doing so.

  • Spot on avfc48. If some people had bothered to actually read what you had said rather that just slag you off when they saw it was you, they would have found a well written article that perfectly sums up the way things stand for many at the moment.

  • As the king of negativity I’m repeatedly told and O’Neill’s biggest critic seemingly, I just wondered.

    Why is it some fans have to see things in black and white, why is it not possible to support the club, the team, the claret and blue even if I don’t go, to every home and away game, have a season ticket, and worst sin of all dare to complain about O’Neill.

    Seems when I’m right I’m edging my bets, when I’m wrong its a three day thread telling me so. Happily that rarely happens but its annoying when fans criticise and its obvious their previous bias is what they are commenting on, not my present position, which as the General says changes. Couldn’t be bothered to read any more after that. The rest of the article may well be brilliant, but I haven’t got the time for someone who is so ME ME ME!

  • I am one of those fans thatr has waited 25 years to see the back of that Ellis man. Like so many others I was full of optimism and expectation when first MON walked through the hallowed portals followed shoetly afterwards by Randy.
    I believed all the hype, I needed to, after so many years of lies and broken promises and I looked forward to this transfer window with hope. At long last we were going to get some players who could help make Villa the force they ought to be, but where are they? As avfc48 points out, when it came to selling season tickets there were so many promises being made, but it seems they have crumbled to dust. Just like they did when Ellis was in charge.
    We Villa supporters have had more than our fair share of broken promises and when Randy and the General arrived on the scene I thought that era was over. It seems I was wrong and we are getting the same treatment with a different owner.
    Things have to change and promises must be fulfilled or this season will be disasterous.

  • So our resident psychologist has been banging the drums of doom all summer and now he is after some sympathy for being proved right. You can?t blame him for that because his prophecy was proved correct and MON and the board have made a serious error of judgement over transfers this summer and we are poorly prepared for a season that has started. The majority of us were optimistic about the summer dealings and for me I was prepared to defend MON against the doom merchants. I don?t believe the team required the 8 or 9 additions some were calling for, but to even the managerially challenged amongst us a RB and CB was the minimum requirement to have given us half a chance this season of not repeating last years roller coaster. We can still hope that additions to the squad will be made, but alas I believe a huge slice of the good been done at the Club over the past year has been bitten off and swallowed by this shambles played out over the summer on MON?s dealing in the transfer market.

  • For the record, I read the article before making my negative comments. There is a huge gulf between making astute comments and stating the obvious, and obviously if nothing changes before the transfer window closes then the board’s transfer dealings must be brought into question. Any rational person will wait to see how the story pans out before making their final judgment. An egoist will harp on about some invisible melodrama between Villa fans and claim to be in the eye of the storm of controversy. Yawn.

  • thanks to Bob the builder and Hoss for proving my point exactly ;0

    The point remains, every fan who I spoke to at the Liverpool match had the same argument before kick off, about the lack of transfers in in comparison to most every other club looking to improve and the huge number of players out.
    As I left the arguments were just the same, the justification had just been given.
    None of those fans were blue noses, none were deriding each other as unbelievers, none had Bob or the others detractors views.
    Are they all thinking negatively, are their views, most were season ticket holders madarab, not worth consideration.
    Having views on O’Neill contra to the believers mantra doesn’t make you any less a fan,
    I’d suggest those of us who do, are quite possibly both more astute fans and have Villa’s future more at heart than those that glibly believe regardless of the evidence.

  • Madarab, I agree to a certain degree with your wait and see policy but my main concern about all this, apart from what I have written, is the season has started and we are still searching for this illusive player MON wants. No problem with that but with MON being the man who is responsible for all the transfer dealings at the Club who is now overseeing coaching, assessing players, driving home tactics and instilling wining ways into the players whilst he is trying to capture the players he wants? His job is to manage the team and prepare them for each game, so whilst he is now fannying about trying to find us the bargain of the century he isn?t doing what he is ultimately paid for which is to prepare a team to win at Newcastle on Saturday. This should have all been sorted out before the season started and not during the business end of proceedings when we need his expertise managing a team.

  • Let’s not start one of those “i’m a better fan” arguments – those are ridiculous and pointless. Yes, people are disappointed. As many have noted there is still time to go, but action is unquestionably required. Roll on 2 weeks and let’s reconvene and either pat each other on the back or slash our wrists at that stage depending how you are generally inclined. My glass is currently still half full. UTV.

  • nothedougellisstand: Everton never beat us last year so we weren’t that far off. Furthermore, all your comments are true, I agree we looked poor against the pool, BUT what I saw was a nervous team not playing like we know they can do (see inter milan). Saying that, I wish Petrov was Arteta.

  • avfc48, you’re starting to sound like my old lady. Every year round about now, she starts telling us it’s going snow and when it finally does, in February, she says “told you it was going snow”. So I wondered, does that make her astute?

  • I can’t help but feel I am being misunderstood. Avfc48, here is what I wrote, ‘I am not one to say that you are only a true fan if you invest in a season ticket (I live in Germany, after all), but it takes looking outside to tell the weather…’.

    I am not about to get into a ‘i’m a better fan than you are’ debate as that is exactly the kind of pointless melodrama I was trying to condemn with my previous comments. I’m just saying that if someone isn’t watching a game then I would be less inclined to take their opinion on the game seriously.

    Hoss, I sympathise with your stance and must admit that I too get more and more concerned the longer the summer drags on without adequate personnel. I do think that there might be more to MON’s difficulty to bring in players than money. He has openly said he wants value for money, but has been unequivocal in his justification of spending almost 20 million on two young English players in the last year. This indicates to me that his idea of ‘value for money’ isn’t as prudent as many people are making it out to be.

    Marlon Harewood has basically thrown us. I said it before and will repeat myself, but Marlon’s appointment was too familiar to all of us still traumatized by the Ellis regime. If he is our last signing of the summer, then I will be very disappointed. Everyone has a responsibility to not blindly follow the diatribe, but I thought this article was a little self indulgent and needless.

  • Those who think some of us are just ‘slagging off’ avfc48 without reading his posts are missing the point. There are two main problems with avfc48’s posts. The first is that he has been writing with the same ultra-negative slant for months now, always with the same message wrapped in a slightly different package. It is very clear he hates MON for some reason, and takes every opportunity to damn the current setup with criticism that is usually disguised as faint praise. The second problem is that there is rarely a hint of a more positive solution. Anybody can pick holes in a manager’s team selection, tactics, choice of signings, amount paid (either too high or too low; remember the criticism MON got for paying ‘over the odds’ for Young?!) But there are few suggestsions from avfc48 as to who we should actually be signing – let’s face it, it ain’t actually that easy unless you are ManU or Chelski. Oh sure, it’s easy enough to buy extra bodies, but QUALITY players who would be prepared to come here NOW are not easy to find. And now avfc48 asks questions such as “Anyone read or seen or heard Villa fans seriously calling for O’Neill to be sacked?”. Well yes, actually I have seen comments about whether/when MON should be sacked. And is there “Anyone with thoughts of relegation, despair of a bottom of the table dog fight?” Again, yes, there are. If you haven’t seen such posts, avfc48, I suggest you read these boards more carefully and see what your negativity is doing to the morale of Villa fans. Why not try bringing something positive to the table. If you don’t like what MON is doing, don’t just say “I don’t like MON and I think he’s crap”. Try saying what about buying “xxxx” player instead, and see what we all think of your ideas? Have the courage to stick your head above the parapet instead of hiding behind weasel words. You say you see “see no merit in calling for O’Neill to be sacked” but that is exactly what your posts appear to be designed for. Stop with the weasel words and tell us what you really want.

  • madarab, don’t take this guy so seriously. He says he’s a supporter but i’ve just checked the definition of SUPPORT in the dictionary and it says “to say that you agree with an idea, group, or person, and usually to help them because you want them to succeed”. So despite his protestations it is actually black & white, you can’t be a supporter and a critic.

  • Well said Bob, AVFC48 never posts anything positive full stop. What is the point of constant moaning with a slight difference as to the direction of the whining. Everyone would like more signings etc but if any players thinking of joining us are not going to look very highly on us after reading constant negativity which is increasing on this site mainly down to the author of the above. THINK POSITIVE

  • Good post BTB but like most critics, focusing on the real or perceived failings of others, deflects attention away from the critics own lack of ability or imagination. Empty barrells…………….

  • Bobthebuilder, well said that man, im not sure but has AVFC48, ever said who he thinks we should have or could have signed? I agree all his topics do have a snipe at MON, all mouth and ballet tights i’d say.

  • fair point Stevew, I agree with you about ‘carpet bomb’ criticism with no constructive suggestions. I will say though that I think we should all reserve the right to be constructively critical of the football club, as I think the romantic concept of ‘supporting a club through thick and thin’ is less a matter of identity nowadays than it is an insurance policy for wealthy premier league football clubs. I see football fans more as investors than followers, as with the astronomical amount of money being banded around I think we should all be able to have a say when there are blokes in their twenties earning ludicrous money for kicking a football around at our expense. All I ask is that the criticism is constructive, and measured.

  • I’m interested BTB says I hate O’Neill, exactly my point.
    I criticise O’Neill, any fan criticises O’Neill so we are blue noses or hate him.
    As to suggestions who he should sign, why should I speculate, I am a Villa fan, not the manager and I don’t play PS2 games either.
    If I’m depressing Villa fans with my views they must be desperate especially when O’Neill’s doing his best.
    Read the posted Guardian article BTB, its full of big words and its long, but it confirms most of what I’ve been saying for the last 12 months, somebody else all mouth and ballet tights seemingly.
    As to posting nothing positive Villan 444, proves my point again.

  • O’Neill deserves to be criticised. He has screwed up big time this summer. Why is the bloke immune from criticism from most Villa fans? He has done nothing to warrant his “Messiah” tag in my eyes.

  • just read your last post AVFC48 have you just got back from the pub cuz it makes no sense at all?

  • There is no problem with MON being criticised, wislor, but I object strongly to him being attacked, as he has been by some for some months now, for ‘failing’ THIS season. To be frank I find that utterly ludicrous. As for him ‘screwing up big time this summer’, only the coming season (of which we have so far had but a single game) will tell. Did you really expect him to be the “Messiah” in this short a time? Who called him any sort of Messiah anyway? I doubt he did. Maybe a few rag journos, or possibly one or two deluded fans who then turn on him when their own predictions don’t immediately come true. Like I said above, what our club needs now is patience and a good period of rebuilding from the bottom (which is where we were, make no mistake) up. Give the negativity a rest for a while.

  • And as for avfc’s most recent post, it’s pretty much what I would have expected. To paraphrase: “I can be as negative as I like and pretend to be able to do a better job than the current manager, but I don’t have to tell anybody how my policies would differ, or what I would do better”. Sounds pretty much like a political party in opposition: big on slagging off the current government while telling the voters that they can’t come up with better policies until we give them the job! Lol.

  • Best point he ever wrote is in here we have not moved forward from may 07 and unfortunately everyone bar us has.

  • “Everyone bar us has moved forward”. Have they really, iomvilla? I grant you that some have, and other teams SHOULD have, if you equate the amount spent and the number of players signed with ‘moving forward’. But how much further forward are Spurs, or Wham? Both have spent money like water but neither have had a better start than we have. This SEEMS to show that you CAN’T necessarily equate money spent with results. Maybe Spurs or Wham will finish above us. Who knows? And that’s the whole point. It really is far too soon to tell, isn’t it?

  • The media called O’Neill the Messiah when so many turned up at VP when he signed and treated him as the second coming. Some still do.
    I agree about the rebuilding when do you think O’Neill will start to continue, he’s lost 13 and gained 1 permanent first teamer.
    As to your politician diatribe, I consistently say where I think he goes wrong and could improve, the latest being why change a superb formation that took Internationale to pieces then changed it to the old system using an ill Carew and long balls. You miss that as well?
    You keep telling everyone not to judge O’Neill on 1 match yet you judge others when it suits.
    You fully expect 17 man Villa to do better than all the other clubs who have strengthened then
    I bet you do.
    I’m giving him time others are starting to catch on even you might one day.
    I hope he makes it, I hope he signs the 10 or so players he surely needs, he won’t but I hope he does.
    I don’t hate O’Neill far from it I just hate the way his incompetence is holding us back and the threat his lack of success might have on the superb owners we have now.
    If he gets up to speed I still don’t think he’s good enough, based on his past record he remains Mid table Martin for me

  • avfc48 where do you get 13 out and 1 first teamer in? I don’t recall 13 first teamers leaving and only 1 first teamer arriving… sounds like lies, damn lies and statistics to me.

  • Again avfc48 stirs the MON is he a prat debate, I have to say so far MON is not doing enough in the transfer market to make a difference from the team he Inherited, maybe he is scared to bring too many players because people will start judging them as his team and not the team he took over.

  • Hoss try this


    # Reo Coker, central midfield. £7.5 million
    # Marlon Harewood, striker, £3.7 million.
    # Scott Carson loan deal that cost Villa


    # Steven Davies- – 4 million
    # Gavin McCann to Bolton – Initial £1m potentially rising to £2m
    # Aaron Hughes – 1 million to Fulham
    # Bardsley loan finished
    # Juan Pablo Angel to New York Red Bulls – Free
    # J Lloyd Samuel to Bolton – out of contract
    # Lee Hendrie – out of contract
    # Chris Sutton – retired
    # Djemba, Djemba at last
    # Liam Ridgewell to Blues would you believe
    # Mark Delaney retired due to injury

    3 in 11 out.

    I said 13 out and I permanent first teamer, and I haven’t included the 2 keepers sold.
    I don’t count Carson as a long term permanent addition, and Harewood can’t get in the side when Carew is ill so he’s not a permanent first teamer.
    It may be more a case of pfe rather than lies don’t you think ?

  • pfe – a strange irony for you to say to someone else! So you are saying only 1 first team player has arrived and 13 squad players have gone? Seems like you want to compare apples with pears to make a point. We all know you don’t like what is happening at the moment, no more than I do, but what you have just quoted is a nice distortion to make a point. You say Reo Coker is the only first team player who has arrived and the other 2 aren’t permanent so don’t count in your figures anywhere. Yet you include players like Hendrie, JJ and Delany, who all played no games last year in your figures for those who have left. You don?t count Carson as a player coming in because he is on loan but you count Bardsley as going out when he was on loan. You count Sutton as another one out, so in essence you are saying a player MON brought in and now is retired in the same year is a player out? Still lies, damn lies and statistics to me, don?t you think? I agree the squad is now depleted and letting a couple of the players go was wrong before replacements were bought. We are desperately in need of additions but misleading figures like that are unnecessary.

  • Well said HossTV, and this is what is (mainly) at the root of my discomfort with most of avfc48’s posts. While making some good points – and he does – he mixes them thoroughly with a slant and a twist and an exaggeration so that, like newspaper articles, they appear at first glance to be authoritative – until you actually think a bit harder, when they don’t stand up to close scrutiny. To pretend that we have “13 out and 1 in” is at very best disingenuous, but in my view borders on the ‘damn lies’ end of the spectrum.

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