Perry Barr has written the following;
It doesn’t matter whether you support Manchester United, Scunthorpe or Kidderminster Harriers, you always claim that you are the greatest supporters in the world (as well as your team being ‘the best…. the world has ever seen’) but with alarm bells ringing more loudly with each passing game at Villa Park, maybe its time to look at ourselves and the way we support the club – but more importantly, decide whether we want to help the team get out of this mess.. or simply add to the pressure building up on all concerned. At the same time, lets also decide whether we are, in fact, the best fans in the country… because i believe we have a strong case to claim just that!!
Lets go back a terrifyingly few years – Villa were certainly a top 8 Premiership team and possibly top 6 (3 consecutive sixth place finishes would suggest so). We were playing great football, scoring goals and taking the countries top teams on, often taking points from them and easily putting the middle and lower PL sides to the sword…. so all looked very rosy indeed. I think I remember during one England game, noticing that 7 players on the field (yes – 7!!!) were either current or ex Villa players… we rocked, we produced quality footballers and it was easy to support ‘the greatest team – the world has ever seen’!!
Then – following one tantrum and resignation too many… the board accepted Mr O’Neill’s latest ‘I quit” and BOOM! – the club went into massive decline.
Villa supporters are in one of two camps where our up-his-own-ass ex-manager is concerned (no prizes for guessing which one I’m in!!) and both arguments have their merits – but I cannot find it in me to forgive the man for walking hours before the start of a season – lets face it, from that moment we have not recovered.
I digress a little; but I also need to make the point that I do not subscribe to this ‘Villa are settling for being a selling club’ mentality. I don’t believe managers or directors/owners have ever sat down and decided ‘sod-this, lets sell our best players and bring in some cash – that is football suicide, they know it and we know it. But when a player (or his agent) knocks on the door and says Manchester’s United or City want us and they will treble our salary, there is (painful as it may be for us to swallow) very little that Aston Villa can do to keep them – in fact nothing at all because they will sulk, make trouble and be a general pain in the ass until they get their way, so I think Villa bashing because players have left is a little unfair – ask yourselves where these players went to and then tell me, in reality, what could have been done?
But still; despite the shock of losing our manager on the eve of the season and replacing him with possibly the very last man the supporters wanted or would ever accept, we kept on turning up, we kept singing our heads off; we just kept supporting them.
No – we are not a Small Heath, who’s fans seem to disappear faster than Ashley Young in a battle, when things aren’t going well (voiced our displeasure on occasions yes, but that is our right), but we still attended games in huge numbers – that is support!
So we got our wish – Paul Lambert in and a new era beckoned…..
But again – despite this horrendous situation we find ourselves in, we still turn up, we still support the team/club, we still keep believing. We see the things going on at our club and understand its not a great period in our proud history; we know the trouble we’re in but most of us like Lambert and desperately want him to succeed. We all vividly remember being one of the countries top 6 teams; yet we can’t help but support our club… over 30,000 yesterday when we slipped into the bottom 3… lets face it – the whole country has been laughing at us lately and not just over the Bradford result. Oh, how they laughed at us when Chelsea scored 8 and Wigan murdered us at Villa Park – but we’re not demonstrating at the gates every morning, we’re not calling for the managers execution – NO; we’re Villa supporters and we know our football. We know just how difficult a job there is to be done, we understand this, we don’t like it of course, but we know where we are and we will keep supporting the club until the end.
This is why I believe we are the best fans in the country – be proud of yourselves – lets face it, there’s not a lot else to be proud of just now!!