Date: 24th April 2009 at 2:55pm
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Why should we as Aston Villa fans be happy with mid table mediocrity?

I regularly read fans telling me that we cannot compete with the top 4 because of this excuse and that excuse.

In 1980 I doubt there were many fans, pundits, analysts who said that Aston Villa would beat the likes of Arsenal, Man Utd, Leeds or Liverpool to the title , but we did.

Now we have a far more exciting club,a club owned and run by what looks to me to be the perfect owner in Randy Lerner. No longer do we have the worry that every quality player we bring through will be transferred to pay for any new players required to take us on.

Yes the top 4 clubs have lived at the top for longer, have grossed millions from their European achievements, their increased capacity grounds and so on, but so what.

In the 3 seasons Randy has been in charge he’s encouraged an increase in attendances, we have gained some stability and are almost assured of Premiership survival if nothing else.

Ron Saunders had won a Div 2 promotion, we had some glorious times in the League cup, who can forget the 3 way Everton final but his main push was in the league.

Yes it took him time, it took him several years of carefully and extremely clever transfers, selling players like Gray, Gidman to buy players more suited to his style of team. He didn’t have in relative terms the money available today at Villa Park, but he bought players who played, players who replaced existing team mates because they were better. He improved, sometimes only slightly, but he improved each position slowly and carefully, not for him big wedges of money for bench warmers. Yes he sometimes played players out of position, Kenny Swain was never a full back, until Saunders put him there, but against the best he never looked out of place, he did a superb job, but usually each player brought in improved the teams quality.

He learnt quickly, he rarely used his mouth in the press to say much, he rarely smiled, he did his job.

Aston Villa have not always been the also rans, we have, topped the rest in the UK, we even topped the best in Europe, few UK clubs have. So why settle for mid table mediocrity fellow fans, why be happy finishing sixth, seventh, even fifth, why? Why be so complacent, we have a great owner, we have the ambition at the top, so why not. Yes the top 4 have the better base of years of European football, but they aren’t perfect, each one has its financial queries, its own restrictions, so why not Aston Villa, other clubs will take the bit and maybe get it right, Man City, Spurs, even Everton if they find an owner with cash.

No, for me we have nearly everything, a great fan base, a great owner, a squad capable of some good football. All we need is to believe we can

Oh and find a decent manager like Ron Saunders to bring it about



21 Replies to “Mid Table Mediocrity”

  • I think we have realistcly reached as high as we can in the league ie 5th,All we need is a squad capable of winning cups domesticly and in europe.Because talk about 4th all you like but you don`t get a trophy for that.

  • And after the up and down of previous years getting into europe every season and actually being able to compete properly would be brilliant,Much like the way everton have been doing.

  • Hold the front page. 48 has a pop at M’ON exclusive. Yawn! Let me just remind you that he wanted Jurgen Klinsman for the job. This from a man who was regular supporter in the era’s he talks about, but who very seldom attends nowadays. Very symptomatic of the negativity that permeates the crowd at Villa Park. As I have said on many occasions, the biggest off field challenge facing the clubs owners is making the fans contribute to the clubs success rather than fight against it.

  • Gone are the days of Saunders-esque managers – (maybe only SAF fits that mould) – the only manager that resembles Saunders in facial features and voice is Dave Jones of Cardiff (listen and look very carefully at hom) – but that don’t count as he is no where near Saunders calibre, but anything to have a pop at MON directly or indirectly seems to be the norm for some people.

  • We are not mid table you plonker we are 5th, which is very good and aspiring to be better. You AVFC 48 ARE THE BIGGEST MOANER OF THEM ALL FOCK OFF TO THE YAM YAMS OR THE STY WE DONT NEED YOUR MOANING AT OUR GREAT CLUB. UP THE VILLA.

  • 48 is right, to some extent. To be in a league is to aspire to winning it. We should not settle for anything less than FIRST! Practically speaking though, we need to build towards our ultimate goal (world domination). We need to build over a period of years, just like Saunders. And most importantly, we need MoN to be here doing that.


  • Completely agree with avfc48 on this one. It is a fact that anything below 4th constitutes mid-table mediocrity, because of the disgraceful downgrading of the UEFA Cup by UEFA themselves. Sometimes it’s best to pretend that these competitions matter, but the pretence is over for Villa. MoN ensured that. Personally, I wouldn’t be happy with finishing 4th every season either. But the fact is that the CL is where the money is, and we need money to build a team and a club that can compete for the top honours. And in my view, avfc48 is spot on about us needing to believe to do it. That belief needs to come from the top. I don’t know whether Lerner believes, but the very strong impression I get is that MoN doesn’t believe anymore – if he ever did in the first place.

  • I know I’ll get slated for this, but I haven’t even bothered to read this – I already know what it says because of who wrote it. I’d like to bet you my good lady’s housekeeping money that the bottom line of this article is that we need a different manager. Would somebody mind telling me if I’m right or wrong? P.S. Is Albarnista really avfc in disguise lol?

  • It took Ron Saunders SIX SEASONS to win the championship in an entirely different era (only Liverpool were a truly dominant force). Before that he won two league cups and a second division promotion. MON was won far more in his career with his previous clubs – in a much shorter span. Ron Saunders was a great manager, but he had to be given TIME and PATIENCE. I swear that some people on this board are agents for Doug Ellis who keeps reminding them that Aston Villa must change manager every three years….

  • I couldn’t finish the article for a variety of reasons, one being the layout. Sort it out. Proper sentences, proper paragraphs. Jeez.

  • In 5 years time when we have just won a hard fought league to finish one point above Manure, I can tell you now what avfc48’s post will look like:
    RUBBISH – OK, we’ve won the league but you can’t tell me we’ve played good football. FOUR defeats including ONE at home! If we had a decent manager that would never have happened. As for finishing just one point above Manure, that’s pathetic. We can’t be satisfied with barely squeaking first place we should be aiming higher than that. The CL victory, 5 – 0 over Barcelona is all very well, and the FA and League cups too BUT we should have won the World Cup as well. Didn’t even enter. What sort of ambition does that show. Get rid on O’Neill now while we still have some hope.

  • I think you’re all being a bit hard on 48 here (I never thought I’d write those words). In essence what he has written is completely correct, we have an owner and board that are more forward thinking than in my memory, proven to be willing to open the proverbial wallet, a talented squad (all be it too small) and a position of strength from which to build. the only element in question is the manager. He might be the man to re-establish us at the very top but then again he might not. This is his chance to prove himself just as much as Aston Villa’s chance to regain the heights of former glories. One thing that 48 is completely right on is that we should not be aiming for 6th, 5th or even 4th, we should be aiming to win EVERY competition we enter (even a devalued UEFA cup). My real gripe with O’Neill is his disregard for ecertain competitions, especially after making such a fuss about getting into the UEFA cup in the first place.

  • Aren’t we on a 5 year plan? So after 6th and maybe 5th this year, isn’t 48 just reiterating the plan?

  • We’re not being hard on 48, VotN, every one of his posts is, or ends up being, an attack on the manager. That obsession taints everything else he posts. I still haven’t read this and don’t intend to, but can you tell me it doesn’t end up with suggesting it’s the manager that is holding us back? If all he is saying is that we should aim at top spot, I totally agree, but I object strongly to the man’s ceaseless negativity. We are having a tremendous season, spoiled somewhat by a bad run such as everyone else has, including the top clubs. If we had not started so well everyone would be happy as larks, but we worked ourselves up into thinking we would end up top four (with MON always telling us it was too early to say that) and now we’re acting like spoiled kids. It takes a long time to build a team/squad – or spending money like Man City are, which I for one don’t want, ever.

  • I`d say we`ll end up 6th which on balance is fair as i think Everton are better overall,massive summer for MON as he really needs to find top quality.

  • Sorry I haven’t been on for a while but I have to reply to this constant negativity. We have done very well this year and slowly built on what we have done over previous O’Neill years and surely sticking to his 5 year plan. We did start brilliantly and yes we have faded away a little but we are in the top five still after a poor run! That says to me that we have made progress and we all should keep the faith for what seems to be MON’s next step in his plan. Of course we do need big signings this summer and let’s hope he has a list and bloody sticks to it this time. Pay the money and get the right players in please.

  • Thanks VOTN, its nice to see some with the brains to look past the prersonalities.

    I’m assuming that those that disagree with me are then happy that spend of over 50 mill is justified with a rise maybe, of one place in the Pl, when the manager, himself, by waving the white flag in Moscow, aimed to gain at least 4th.

    Or did he do so for another reason?

    Criticise me all you like but if you are happy to settle for mid table which not gaining 4th is,these days, then you aren’t the supporter that built Aston Villa’s reputation.

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