Date: 15th January 2007 at 2:47pm
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Martin O’Neill has spoken candidly about Villa and the fact the fans are still not returning in the numbers they would like to support the team. Seems he realises Villa fans have seen one to many false dawns and are looking for positive signs. Just wish, no matter what they have to charge, the offers were put out to get the place sold out. The offer for season ticket holders to bring their friends for £5 to the Watford game was a great one but it was limited to 2000 fans only, WHY? Just sell them, get the place rocking, remind fans what they are missing, then when the ‘product’ is right on the pitch, they’ll pay what is required and have the bug once again.

O’Neill admitted: ‘You can see that we still have a lot of work to do in terms of impressing those people yet who are thinking that they have seen it all before, and that this is a false dawn. We still have to convince an extra 10,000 or 12,000 people still to come to some of these games.’

‘People find reasons for not coming to the games anyway. It might be because it is expensive, it might be because the product might not be good enough, or whatever. It is up to us to try and I think that is really part of the excitement of getting them to come to the games. I am not going to go into the minds of people, they will have their reasons. If the product isn’t good enough, they will stay away.’

Adding: ‘It is up to us to improve the football to such an extent that we are winning and winning with a bit of panache. That’s what we aim for, but it doesn’t happen every single week. When you have great players playing, you can play with a bit of panache to win games – and that’s what it’s up to us to try to do.’

I must admit I totally disagree with him here though, with no real star names left O’Neill has cast doubt on whether it takes ‘big players’ to bring the fans back. Who was our last ‘great’ player? Paul Merson maybe? He left how long ago? Now who do we put up as true star class? Difficult isn’t it? I know my nephew asks who our stars are and it is a struggle. I think Gareth Barry is a top midfielder and with the right players around him think that Baros would be a star, but….. ?

On big name players being required, O’Neill says: ‘That shouldn’t always be the case. Manchester United eventually built a side on young kids coming through and that still didn’t stop them from getting crowds.’ adding ‘But United are United. Here, we have a hard core of fans and a group of fans, whichever way you say it, who are still to be convinced. ‘That is part of the whole thing, eventually you are hoping, in time, that you do convince them.’

On top of the kids who came through, lets make no mistake, they had stars in the team and those kids also WERE stars as we all found out over the following ten years. Fans need heroes and at the moment heroes are very much in short supply. The thing is, Villa are not a Leicester City, we are so much bigger and we are used to stars in the team, we are also used to good honest hard working professionals, but we DO need star names and that is the only way we will every truly re-claim our place in the top four or five teams in the Premiership. We’ve had years of an almost baron wasteland, we want and deserve spoiling, we want to be excited and entertained… or am I wrong?

As my mate just said, ‘we want the glamour, limelight and a bit of razzamataz down at Villa Park, we need that to get the buzz back and to get it we need a few stars to put us onto the edge of our seats and set the place alight’ adding in a panic of worry ‘have they really forgotten how much we like a star down at Villa Park?’

Meanwhile Gabby Agbonlahor has called on the Villa fans to turn up and play their part for the Watford game.

‘We need the fans out in force for the Watford game. The fans mean a lot and they helped us in the second-half on Saturday. Hopefully we’ll have a big crowd behind us on Saturday. I wouldn’t say Watford was a must-win, but we’ve got to go into it looking for three points. We’ve just got to get some results.’

Kids for a quid anyone?


16 Replies to “Villa Do Need Star Players”

  • I’m with you JF, they should do whatever it takes in terms of ticketing prices to fill the ground. Unfortunately though that’s only half the battle, once the fans are in there its up to the players to give them something to sing about. If, for example, we get a good crowd on Saturday, Villa score early doors and get the fans singing, which in turn inspires the team to play some good stuuf, then a lot of those fans will come back for more against WHU on 3rd feb.

  • To answer the question, the only way we are going to get fans back is to sign a couple of stars. Unfortunately we won’t get much change out of 25m

  • One thing we have now is the financial clout for transfer fees and wages.Could you ever see Doug paying 45-50k a week to a player….no chance.Best shape we have been in for years, once you get the first one or two through the door it sends out the right message and others will fancy it.We have the infrastructure now and the’s getting the right players into positions and it will all come together,starting with SWP playing right midfield.

  • I will give it a go in his absence, we need to look at ourselves, these so called supporters need to slap themselves in the face with a wet kipper and get a season ticket or two, stop playing golf and sort your life out, maybe if we fill the stadium week in and week out we might loan alan thompson for a month but you dont get that unless we show commitment! Damn it!

  • might have to ban VOTH, sounds like he is getting far too popular, can’t have that on my site! :-p

  • think it is a mix tylervilla, there are us hardcore season ticket holders but also floating fans and those that have moved on and have found other things to do. It isn’t a cheap sport anymore and although our passion might be unswerving, I can understand some waiting for changes. Still not many places I’d rather be than at Villa Park though, just gets in the old blood really doesn’t it? Worst time for me was years back when I was incapable of getting down after the old brain chop, having to listen on the radio only was just not the same!!!

  • Agreed and I respect those who will go regardless of the investment or running of the club. For me Randy has to earn my investment in a season ticket by investing in the team (Im hoping he will this is not an attack) and I will repay that with my hard earned cash. I got fooled by Ellis and Im not getting fooled again. And before we have all the same arguments again it doesnt mean i dont love villa, if you reward the owners (by buying a season ticket) when they are not investing what will be their motivation to spend!? I think they are well intended so I will keep buying individual tickets, thats just my approach for now, sorry I know that will have offended season ticket holders.

  • Part of the problem is Villa have stafnated for soo many years,it could be the “hardcore” have been lost forever. No amount of tinkering with the ticket prices will bring tham back, unless of course the club show the committment to both team and supporters.

  • Doesn’t offend me tylervilla, at least you’re a regular. Its the stay-aways that get up my nose. Neighbour next door, two home games all season, yet he’s an expert. I arrive home from an away-day, he’s knocking at the door within ten minutes, telling me Bouma’s crap, Baros is crap, need to get rid of Ridgewell etc etc. As I said to him last Saturday evening after getting home from O.T., ‘How can you comment? You never go!’ Like it or not, due to years of stagnation, we are no longer a high profile club. Big name, star players, are not going to come to Villa Park. Why should they? I read comments on here recently after the move for James Milner was called off, ‘Well we dont want him anyhow. He’s not good enough for us’. What a load of crock. We’re fourteenth in the table! We’ve got to build, this current lot is not good enough, but the big names up for grabs aint gonna move to B6 in a hurry. As for the stay-aways coming back. They’ll come I guess only when we’re back top six week in, week out, challenging for Europe, scoring goals, and winning games. They are the fickle ones, not the hardened supporters who travelled to Wycombe last season, witnessed a shocking first forty-five minutes, let their feelings be known, and were branded such by O’Leary.

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