Date: 1st September 2007 at 6:20pm
Written by:

I was wondering what would provoke me to actually sign up to Vital Villa – but I have to get this off my chest. I first had a season ticket back in 1978, as a juvenile for the princely sum of £10 and was privileged enough to see the building of not only a Championship winning team, but a European Cup winning team (when it was a proper cup).

As I grew up, I relinquished my season ticket due to work and family commitments, as I am sure many others have too, but still managed to get down to the ground and travel away to curse, cheer and do whatever else came naturally, whenever I could.

In the euphoria of a ‘new’ regime I was swept along with everyone else. A new owner with money he was prepared to splash, and a top manager – the glory days are about to return (I thought). Last season, I kept my feet firmly on the ground. MON came in a little too late for the transfer window, but I saw no reason why the team DOL nurtured to near extinction shouldn’t have finished mid table in the previous season, so that is what I wanted as a minimum – and that is what I got.

This season couldn’t come around fast enough. For the first time in years I thought we are now on the move, onward and upward – memories in the making. Despite the work commitments I decided now was the time for a return to the ranks of that exclusive club ‘The Season Ticket Holder’. Having been one of the many in years gone by, cheering the Villa on whether they be Euro Champs, Prem League runners up, Pop Cup winners or worst of all relegated etc etc, I had suffered the indignity of being ridiculed for many seasons, as an arm chair supporter. No more. I was going to do what I had been asking HDE to do for years, I was going to stump up the money in advance, and then hopefully reap the rewards afterwards.

‘Sod the missus’ I thought in a Homer kind of way, ‘Its my lads fault! He made me do it!’ Off I went to the ticket office, ‘One adult and one child’ I said and promptly handed over alot of hard earned money – and I mean hard earned not money just given to me for standing on a bit of turf for an hour and a half Stiliyan. It didn’t matter that due to commitments my son and I would miss matches – Saturday evening matches are inconvenient, Sunday matches are awkward, matches on week days are a definite no go – we were season ticket holders. I could hear my lad bragging in the playground already. A few signings to add to the squad we had, and we should be at least challenging for a UEFA cup place.

Meanwhile in the real world, the transfer window has now closed and we have a smaller squad (albeit better, I think) than DOL had. I admit I am not and never will be, a Premier League manager, but surely you build a team. You may let a few players leave but you add to a squad and then release the surplus. While the players that have left (with the exception of Davis) may not have been of the right calibre, were they all not competent squad players? Imagine you are the Villa manager, how does this sound, a swap deal involving Harewood for Angel or Petrov for Davis or even Hughes for erm, well no-one actually.

Having put my money where my mouth is, I already feel somewhat disappointed. Is MON out of his depth? He was a ‘success’ at Leicester, where they didn’t really expect to win anything, and then a success at Celtic, where lets face it they only have one real team to finish above. I’m trying hard not to be negative, but I still have the feeling I have been cheated out of another season.


26 Replies to “Proud history, bright thingy”

  • McGrathisgod good post sums up how I feel , I paid for my season ticket before last season even ended I was so convinced we were on the up big time.
    Now I see another wasted season , I should be really excited about a game against Chelsea tomorrow but I’m not and as it is not a sell out yet neither are the “part time” fans

  • Has it occurred tou all that you might be expecting too much all at once? Enjoy the ride, for goodness sake! Just to go down to VP and see footballers play a good game was once upon a time the thing to do, not expect the championship as though you’ve earned the right without playing for it!

  • Like you said we have a better squad, I can’t say I’m heart broken about any players that MON has let go. What do you want him to do if we are not in a possition to attract the best players, buy some more average ones to make the numbers up?

  • What a great post – I had one of those tickets in 1978 – then when I started work in 1980 – I had a season ticket every year until 1993.

    I got my hopes up when lerner took over – but this window has a been a bit of a let down. I think MON will make this team top 6 – but only by making average players into a good team – like graham taylor and to a lesser extent Ron Saunders.
    I was hoping for players to come in – who wouldn’t have been able to buy in previous years – that hasn’t happened, and I point the finger at RL rather than MON – If MON could have I am sure he would have tried for Defoe, Yakubu ect – Does a manager with “significant funds” really buy Harewood – and sign 2 players on loan.

    My hope flickers, in that if we qualify for the UEFA cup – the manager will receive the backing to bring in the quality that we need to compete with the best.

    Don’t get me wrong, I back MON to build a top team on a relative shoestring (in comparsion to some)- I just hope he doesn’t have to

  • Definately surprised you have not spent more in the transfer market. Looking forward to a good game tomorrow best of luck.

  • We’ve played 4 games. We’ve won 2 (one a 5-0 banana skin brusher-asider), drawn 1 (in which we played brilliantly) and narrowly lost 1 (to the league’s form team). 4 GAMES!

    Tomorrow we play a Chelsea team who haven’t won at our place for 9 seasons and who are missing their talisman. I’m excited.

  • What’s the point in this? Far too early to be submitting negative posts like this. THREE games into the season!

  • What is with people? I dont care when you first went to the Villa. I dont care about your life story. Why do people think that they can question O’Neill, the board et cetera when they have zero experience and zero management ability? Do you really think that we should take what you say with any credibility? Grow up and get another hobby.

  • Maybe we should change our motto to “Proud history, bright future with a smattering of fans that will never be happy”

  • shouldn’t watching your beloved Villa be worth the season ticket money alone……no one told you to part with your money before the transfer season window finished…….you kind of give of the impression youre a bit of a glory hunter…..sad really!!

  • moan moan moan thats all most of you seem to do. £40mil in a year what more do you lot want? are ye all sunshine supporters cause thats what ye sound like. just get behind the team and lets see where we finish.

  • I am with the majority on this one. You do not buy a season ticket because you think this might be a good season or because you think some American bloke is gonna spend a lot of his families hard earned fortune. Who gives a toss if you bought a season ticket in the year dot. Where were you when the club really needed its fans? You complain about players wages. You had the same opportunity as them to be a player, why the petty jealousy just because somebody earns more than you? You chose to be a salesmen, or a council worker or an engineer or whatever YOU chose. Get over it, you made that choice. You buy it because you love the Villa. That means some good times and some bad times. Also a lot of very indifferrent times. I am a little disappointed that we haven’t got a right back, but I am happy that we have a nucleus of great English talent, many of it home grown. I would like to have seen SWP join as our right winger but I am happier that we have Ashley Young on the left. He is going to be one of our biggest stars of recent years. We paid £8m and this could go to £9.65 if all the clauses are met. Howver this will be seen as a bargain as soon as he makes the England left hand side role his own. And he will. Some fans wanted Spuds fourth choice striker. I am happy giving a centre forward who has played at the highest level (Champions League final) and two home grown lads + Harewood the opportunity to prove if they have what it takes. If they do, Luke and Gabi are potentially worth over £10m each. If they don’t then it is M’ONs job to make improvements. It will take time to repair the wreck of a club that M’ON and Randy took on. But it is happening. Not to everybodys liking, But it is happening. I personally agree with the general view that we should have bought before selling, But M’ON has earned the right to do it his way. Like everybody in every job, he will make mistakes, but for some reason some Villa ‘fans’ think that the best way to support something is to critisise it. Very strange. I thought the idea of a ‘supporter’ was to support. If he fails, then like every other manager he faces tough questions. But we have played three games, with some tough ones coming up. It will be next season before the it should really start to develop. But to moan before that is uncalled for. I always thought people are judged on results. How about enjoying how the season goes and then passing judgement? It seems to me that to many fickle supporters look for an excuse to moan. The famous banner in the previous managers (can’t remember his name) last season was wrong. Many of our fans are fickle. We are Aston Villa. Not the Aston Villa of 25 and 30 years ago. The Aston Villa whose standing in the game has been eroded by years of mismanagement. Unfortunately we are now only Aston Villa in the same way as West Ham are only West Ham and Everton are only Everton and Spuds are only Spuds. Clubs who have been giants in the game but who are now having to play catch up again. Unless you have Abramovich money (and we don’t) it is impossible to turn years of neglect around in a couple of seasons. But it is starting to turn. Unfortunately media pressure and impatience means the less well educated believe we should have it now. Sorry to burst your bubble. Go back to watching Big Brother and leave the football supporting to those who are actually supporters, wether we have got a right back or not.

  • “everybody knows they are there but nobody cares”-The Times August 2007 we need to rid ourslves of this tag before we can attract the big names and i think O’neill can get us noticed. he might or might not be the one who gets us into/wins us the champions league but lets give him a chance. is it that hard to see that our team is so much better a team of young exciting english talent. i don”t know about you guys but right back or not im really excited about things to come and well done Voice of the Holte brilliantly put

  • I aint happy!!!!!!!!!! That’s what i hate about us, we never know when we’ve got it good. Too much 1980, 1982. Move on boys. We aint what we were. But we we could be in TIME!!! Sorry for that. Abuse me if you like, all points will be taken, RANT OVER!!!!!
    THanks if you took the time to read


  • Great Artical sure to stir the MON debate a little more, this is his season to prove the doubters wrong and produce a team that win and plays attractive football.

  • Voiceoftheholte – Brilliant mate. I’m with you all the way. Let’s see. What ever happened to blind faith?

  • col8, I disagree totally. It will be next season at the very earliest before things will really take shape. This negativity and self induced pressure does not do anybody any good at all. The sheep follow what is being said and that negativity can very easily develop into something more sinister. Have faith. Be patient. And stop trying to make the rest of us believe that it is this season or bust for M’ON. And as for the M’ON debate? What debate is that? You really do like to make mountains out of molehills don’t you? The only debate is amongst the less well educated of Villa supporters (or non supporters as is often the case). Those who do understand, know that M’ON must be given time (probably 5 years minimum). But also know that if he obviously fails to make the strides expected then he must be called toaccount, same as any manager. Look at Moyes at Bluscouse. Champions League one year, relegation battle the year after. But that stood firm and he is now widely acknowledged as an excellent manager. Keep the faith fella.

  • evoflash, not sure if you are taking the**** or not. If you read my piece though it is not about blind faith. I actually say M’ON should be judged on results and if they are not good enough he should be asked tough questions. Some are moaning already, but if he is being judged on this seasons results (which would be very naive), we have gained 4 points from 3 games. The exact same 3 games last season yielded 2 points. So we have improved. What is the problem?

  • i dont know about you guys but if we finish in the top half of the table (considering this is nearly a brand new team who need to gel) but get to one of the cup finals ill be ecstatic. we found it rough against Liverpool possibly one of the best teams in the world at the moment really what were ppl expecting?? we were beter than newcastle and were allover fulham who just drew 3-3 with tottenham please be patient please lets all pull in the same direction for the sake of the team a new team a new manager a new board a new dawn i’m not going to say have faith just have patience transfers mean nothing results mean everything

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