‘ardentvilla’ posted this in the comments and deserves a wider audience.
I’ve been reading stuff on this site for a year or so now, and never felt the need to post a comment until tonight. Just for the record I’ve been a Villa fan for a long time – in fact started watching them around the time Tommy Docherty was manager – and that includes being in some very small ‘crowds’ at VP down in the old 3rd Division. Anyway, Jonvilla’s post tonight, [and most of the supporting replies] is the most sensible thing I’ve read here or anywhere else regarding the club’s current plight. For what it’s worth I’d just like to add half a dozen of my own opinions into the mix:
1 Much as I disliked the guy, DOL [-aka "Dildo" as I still think of him - ] was right: we are pretty fickle. Apart from the current venom and hysteria in some quarters, just look at our attendences over the last 4 or 5 seasons. You can’t fund a ‘top 4′ team on average crowds of less than 40,000, especially with the imminent new rules regarding wages as a proportion of revenue. Citeh and Chelski will both have a problem here as well – although some creative accounting can go a long way- but while they’re doing well one can draw home crowds of >45,000 and the other > 41,000 for almost EVERY game [@at far higher ticket prices than Villa fans would ever pay, btw].
2 It sometimes seems that even if we were about to sign 3/4 first-team regulars from each of Real/Barca/Inter, some Villa fans [especially on this site] would moan that they ‘weren’t good enough’ or ‘over rated’ or ‘too old’; let’s get real: a club that has wasted their last few Euro campaigns before they’ve even started properly, which hasn’t won anything for 14+ years, and which is hardly likely to finish this time higher than mid-table at best, isn’t going to get first choice players [unless of course you expect RL to do a Citeh and throw unlimited £'s at them]. We have to grow our own and hope we can keep them together long enough to gel into a proper winning team. I think that we’re actually closer to that aim today than we were a year ago. A few temporary additions to mature the crop should be welcomed, wherever they come from.
3 Yes, Randy Lerner has made mistakes. Prime one seemingly to have allowed MON to blow so many millions on a bunch of very average players , many who never really got a game but have collected big pay cheques every week for 2-3 seasons. But overall, can any of you name a Villa chairman/shareholder who’s done more for this club? [ & William McGregor was a century ago, so he won't count!!]
4 MON betrayed all of us – club, players, fans by walking out when he did. With hindsight he should have done the decent thing and gone at the end of 2009/10, or even a season earlier. No forgiveness for that, ever, as far as I’m concerned.
5 Yes, GH has made mistakes – it seems as if he’s panicked in the last two games and fielded MON’s teams [out of position] again. And looking at Pires’ comments all over the press tonight, bringing that tosser here was a major mistake as well [should have learnt from the French World Cup fiasco!].
6 Given the almost constant criticism and vitriol he’s had to take from some fans, the press, and players/their agents, it’s hardly suprising that GH is panicking. Give the man time to do what he came to do.
I’m deeply embarassed to look at the current league table, but it’s only the start of January; panic is no use to anyone.
Anyone claiming to be a Villa fan at the moment should prove it – support your club, and that includes the manager, whether you agree with every move they make or not. The alternative is just chaos and disintegration.