Surprise: Villa Bloggers Say Stupid Things

Clarks Call

You’re a Villan. You’re passionate. You’ve an insatiable thirst for knowledge about what’s really going on inside the club.

And then I look at what a majority of Villa blogs are posting, and I can’t help but wonder where all the misinformation, stupidity, anger and ridiculous expectations amongst supporters comes from. The negativity, the deliberate, disingenuous appeals to the lowest common denominator—the absolute stupid s**te. It’s criminal, really.

Villa: Historically big, currently irrelevant. Get used to it. No amount of “It has to be better” b*****ks from idiot blogs is going to accomplish anything. The facts are what they are. You want to let them wind you up? Go ahead. They’re never going to win you anything.

Are they writing checks? Did these guys play more games in England than you or I? I somehow doubt it. And if they did, they were on one of those stupid English teams my international, but English-coached side routinely trashed.

I can point to a few things people are continuously clicking on:

Recycled transfer rumors (from Twitter or the nationals)
Content ripped from the nationals (like post-match quotes)
Wind-up pieces where the authors don’t for a minute believe what they’re writing. And if they do, you shouldn’t be paying any attention, like “Darren Bent Must Start.”

What kind of moron came up with that last bit? Insight? Really? Have they not been following along at home? Christ. Does my f**king head in.

“I know more about football than Paul Lambert. Which is why I’m at home in me mum’s basement, and he’s gone from leading teams up the divisions to managing Villa. While I criticize him from me mum’s basement.”

Look. Football, however much we love it, isn’t terribly complicated. It basically comes down to the number of difference makers and who wants it more. Nothing else, really. Do players impose themselves and make things happen? Or do they allow things to happen to them?

No formation or tactic takes this away from players. Don’t believe anything else. If you’re out there and you want to influence proceedings, you can. End of story.

We can talk about formations. But when you see someone next to you streaking away with the ball do you say, “That’s Westwood’s responsibility” or do you just do something about it because you’re right there? Do you take ownership, or think, “Not my job” and leave it to someone else? (Paging Darren Bent. Darrent Bent, please go to the nearest white courtesy telephone…”) Or do you think, “Benteke’s up front with the ball, pulled it down nicely, could use an outlet, but I’d better stay back here…”?

Tactics and formations are nothing more than suggestions in the end. Everything that really happens is the result of individual initiative and responsibility. If I decide to chase someone down, I know I’m leaving a hole, potentially. And that I’m responsible for that hole. I can yell, or point at someone to pick up that position/player as I go about doing someone else’s job for the good of the team. But if I fail on my chase, and the opening is exploited it’s my fault. Unless it isn’t really, because I did what I should’ve done and others didn’t react, adapt and fill in accordingly.

Big Mystery
What’s happening at Villa, there’s no mystery. Lambert’s rebuilding, from the ground up. He’s taking the money he has in any given window, addressing the holes he can with that money he’s been given, and balancing those “holes” and “needs” against who he has already.

For example, if you’ve got Stephen Ireland, you’ve got a playmaker. Doesn’t mean he’ll work out. But it does mean you spend your money elsewhere that first window, and give Ireland a chance to show what he can do. Same with Gabby or Weimann. Unless you think the player is taking the p*ss.

If you’re Lambert, you’re thinking, “Yeah, I could do better than Gabs and Weimann. But Dunne, Collins, Warnock and Hutton? Streuth. Only a moron wouldn’t address that first.” You’re thinking, “I need some kids to produce, if only for half a season: Bannan, Delph, Herd, Albrighton, Baker, Lichaj, Stevens. I’ll get new ones in who are better after we stay up and I get more money.”

Were any of these Lambert’s singings? No.

Was Darren Bent a Lambert signing? No.

I’ve read some inane rubbish over the last few days about playing Darren Bent, blog after blog demonstrating complete idiocy and an utter lack of comprehension. Yes, you get mileage stoking everyone’s discontent and preaching to the choir. But it doesn’t mean you understand football, or management—never mind being an honest broker.

What is it that people don’t understand? He’s not playing. That’s it. Done. f**k him and the horse he rode in on. Lambert doesn’t like him, doesn’t like his work rate, doesn’t like his attitude, doesn’t like the idea that the lazy git will force his hand in how he builds his team. Doesn’t like how much money is being hijacked from his budget. Doesn’t like the message he’s sending to every other player.

So, Lambert’s showing balls and saying, “Goodbye, Mr. Bent. Not so nice knowing you. I gave you the armband, you still ponced around like a right f**king f**k so f**k right off.”

And people say, “What about Darren Bent? Surely he should be on the bench?”

And Lambert says, “I pick the team based on which side I think can get a result. If you work hard and play hard you’re in the frame.”

What the hell else do you need to hear? Is Lambert supposed to actually say, “Bent is a lazy, self-centered wanker, and I’m not having it because no one else here is such a monumental example of everything that’s wrong with the game”?

There. You’ve heard it. Again. Here’s another press-conference translation: “f**k him if he does score goals. I’ve got 24 players who work harder, including Guzan, never mind the tea lady. I’ll keep faith with them.”

That’s what a leader does. He says, “Screw the poncy prima donna. I want players who will bleed for each other.” Bent can still play, but on Lambert’s terms.

And yet I see this whinging about a “proven goal scorer” who does nothing else but wait on nine other players to serve it up on a platter.

Please god almighty. Three games, three results, one goal conceded. No, it’s not Roy of the Rovers stuff. But it’s modern football, and none of the teams we’re playing, whatever your estimation of their ability, have undergone such profound changes in such a short period of time.

Yet we’re still getting results. Stop listening to the rubbish, never mind giving it credence. The truth is right in front of you.

About the Author

Avatar of John Clark

John ClarkJohn has followed Aston Villa since the 1970s. He got his start in journalism writing about professional cycling, and is currently at work on his first novel, which has nothing to do with football. He is, by most accounts, a very nice person.View all posts by John Clark →

  1. steamersteamer04-12-2012

    Hello John,
    Having one of those days are we mate ? Just sit down and watch a Tommy Cooper DVD, that’ll do the trick.
    I suppose people go on blogs out of frustration, you make the progression from schoolboy footballer, to fan, adult player and fan, retired player and fan. Every supporter believes they know more than the manager and owner, 50% true in our case. We do enjoy torturing ourselves, i’ve been a fan for over 50 years and it shows, i hate anyone who harms AVFC, Herbert did it for nearly 40 years, he’s top of my list. Patrick Collins, who is rapidly disappearing up his own arsehole suggested in the Heil on Sunday that fans should just support the club and when they voice opinions it does the club harm, typical comment from a wanker who probably hasn’t paid to watch a game for 50 years. Clubs need supporters and vice versa, without the fans, dickheads like Lerner and Herbert would carry on appointing the likes of McKnob, McNeill, Taylor etc against the fans wishes, Ginger would still be at VP if it wasn’t for the fans and Patrick Collins would still be blaming us for the clubs slide into mediocrity. Now i talk more bollox than anyone on the planet but i won’t criticise anyone who attempts to match me because one thing i have learned is that our fans care about the club, more than most of the owners/chairmen we’ve had over the past 50 years, blogs are our way of saying,’stop, your f**king the club up’ to the likes of Lerner and Faulkner who are slowly diluting our input in AVFC. Hope you get my point, been up all night with the Eartha’s.

  2. TrinityTrinity04-12-2012

    Hello all.
    Very passionate piece, John. If Villa play with anything like the passion you’ve written this article with, we should win on Saturday.
    It’s a blunt article, you’re not pulling any punches, are you? Well, I agree 100%. Football is a simple game. And PL is attempting to reconstruct on a solid basis, a squad that had been built on sand. It is, as you state, that it’s plain to see. No prima donnas and big heads.
    And as you say , he can play Bent, but on his terms. I think if the situation presents itself as being the best thing for the team, Bent will play.
    I’m proud of what PL’s trying to do. I’m proud of anyone who puts in 110% for Villa. Those ones are worth supporting. PL’s got my support.

  3. TrinityTrinity04-12-2012

    Hope you get to see the rise again of Villa, hopefully sooner than later. I think the likes of yourself can appreciate what PL’s trying to do-build a solid base. Hopefully RL supports him. We’ll see next month.

  4. southwestvillansouthwestvillan04-12-2012

    Hey John no need for the bad language or are you just having one of those days where you need a cuddle, or have you just found out Lance Armstrongs a filthy drugs cheat.

    We all have this grand idea that we can pick the team better than PL, even if Shiek Yourbooty bought AVFC tomorrow and ploughed billions into the club and bought Messi, Xavi and Ronaldo some person somewhere will call it a shambles, thats the nature of the beast, there are Man Citeh fans still moaning about their club, it just happens, footy fans are a unforgiving lot.

    Sorry to hear about your illness i can only hope your alto-ego 75 is suffering along with you, i think it may be a dodgy sausage sarnie down at that 5 star Caff you frequent.

    The player is Jozy Altidore of AZ Alkmaar i have been told that the Villa have already done a deal for him to come in Jan, he was at Hull on loan going back a while, perhaps there might be a link to Holman, anyway get well soon shitarse.


  5. Graham O'GaraGraham O'Gara04-12-2012


    (That is all that is needed) I tried to say this diplomatically but I think this gets the message through a little clearer lol…

    Does my f**king nut in to mate… Take in the whole picture of Aston Villa… really open your eyes and you’ll see Lambert has done a pretty good job.

  6. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil04-12-2012

    Morning Lifers

    John an entertaining and direct leader,one with which I concur wholeheartedly.I am tired of some of the inane remarks,most of all I `m tired of defending them-it`s your right blah blah blah.Sack Lmabert,ask them “then what?” silence.
    Football is a very simple game.It`s all about decision making IMO.Shall I go near post or far?Shall I pass or shoot?Forward to CB or wide to Lowton?The best players,mangers and teams get more decisions right than the lesser teams,it really is that straightforward.
    I wrote last week that the hostilty toward PL seems to have increased in a week of 2 draws and a win-bizarre.
    I support PL and what he`s doing and the way he`s doing it.I too can be accused of writing drivel,I often do,but to suggest we get rid of the one man that can reconstruct the club from top to bottom is be utter stupidity.It would be akin to attacking the doctor who is trying to save your child`s life at the scene of a car crash.

    Steamer a well written and heartfelt piece mate,passionate too,keep it up.

  7. bibulusbibulus04-12-2012

    f**kin good article, f**kin sums it up.
    Steamer – thats f**kin over sharing ! For the record that condition is no longer known as the earthas, its now known as the Alan Huttons….

  8. FremFrem04-12-2012

    agree on DB. the quicker he fucks of the better. saying that, i think he will play a part in the next 4 games.

    you say football is a simple game ?? we aren’t making it simple are way. WH and stoke, we aren’t

    thats what annoys be the most, just how far behind stoke, WH, baggies and swansea we are and there showing you dont need world beaters to do well

  9. FremFrem04-12-2012

    WH and stoke are, we aren’t

  10. JuanmanbandJuanmanband04-12-2012

    On a brighter note due to Wigan getting rinsed last night we are now up to 15th :-)

    Honestly dont think there is a crisis at VP like people are making out, from 13th down to all teams have won twice in the last 10 games (bar wigan who have won 3) and from 13th to 18th in the table its a 5 point gap

  11. JuanmanbandJuanmanband04-12-2012

    3 Points would be really good this weekend, looking at the fixtures there are a couple of massive games down at the bottom

    QPR will be as good as down of they lose

    Arsenal V West Brom
    Aston Villa V Stoke
    Southampton V Reading
    Sunderland V Chelsea
    Swansea V Norwich
    Wigan V QPR

  12. runtingsruntings04-12-2012

    Excellent write up Clarky – best so far imo
    your points make a heck of a lot of sence to me and i am i total agreement.

    Frem we are in sqeeky bum territory but i am struggling to see why anyone would think it would be any different.
    We have lost all our established players except for Shay,dunny and bent who i am sure you will agree all need to go.
    I am still excited about the future for villa and i still believe in the club and managers approach to reviving the clubs fortunes.
    clearly we havent finished with the rebuild of the squad and things are far from perfect but i believe we are on our way are constanly but gradually inproving.
    With a few more PL buys mainly in the creatice area behind the striker our balance as a side will improve greatly and the team will be able to score a lot more goals than we can at the moment (imo) so i think any one with doults should wait until the end of jan before they start conviencing themselves that we are going down… personally i wouldnt put any of my hard earned cash on villa going down but then i am one that believes in what PL is doing and i am confident we will be more than ok

  13. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil04-12-2012

    Now now fellas,I lot of` effin and blindin`on here this morning,no bad languague until after 9pm please.

    Juan- the S`ton Reading game I want a draw or home win so that Reading get cut off.
    Wigan will beat the mighty QPR.S`land will lose they get dragged further into it.
    Interesting set of fixtures.

  14. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil04-12-2012

    Steamer get will.have you got “Ring of Fire” playing whilst you`re on the khazi?

  15. AndrewAndrew04-12-2012

    Enjoyed that piece, got me blood pumping, if Bent was to walk into my office now id tell him to f@>k off you lazy f*^>k greedy f’/dk.

    Deep down i love the way PL is re building and want him to be at villa for a very long time. I just hope i have the nerve for a relegation battle, i get scared. Would of been no good in the trenches.

  16. Ryan GriffithsRyan Griffiths04-12-2012

    Great piece, Amen….

  17. bibulusbibulus04-12-2012

    Fortunes have turned for the better during Nov, with six matches in Dec how does everyone feel we will do?
    I would take 2 wins 2 draws 2 losses as continued improvement.

  18. JuanmanbandJuanmanband04-12-2012

    Looking at Decembers fixtures we should be looking at getting at least 7 points

    Gotta be looking at winning against Stoke and Wigan, then 1 or 3 from Spurs (Home games) then anything from the 2 away games is a bonus

    Aston Villa V Stoke Sat 8 Dec 15:00
    Liverpool V Aston Villa Sat 15 Dec 15:00
    Chelsea V Aston Villa Sun 23 Dec 16:00
    Aston Villa V Tottenham Wed 26 Dec 17:30
    Aston Villa V Wigan Sat 29 Dec 15:00

  19. JuanmanbandJuanmanband04-12-2012

    Never said “looking” so many times in my life :-(

  20. B62 VillaB62 Villa04-12-2012

    I take it you didn’t get a bit last night or have just found out Frem is your long lost son ;) Steamer, f**k me mate some are now gonna point out you spout s**t from both ends !!
    John its an emotional piece, but the point of blogs is for fans to offer their varying opinion, whether some of it makes sense or is just insane drivel. Fans will never sing off the same hymn sheet, there will always be dissenters, and we pay our money and have the right to have our say, whether it’s moaning on a blog, booing at the end of a game or banners. I’m not suggesting any of these are rquired at the Villa as I believe Lambert will turn this round, but not with these players.
    Villa fans are royaly p*ssed off at the percieved lack of progress and lack of wins. It’s an emotional sport that gets the blood pumping on this little island more than any sport, it’s splits family’s causes violence, anguish, ecstasy and even divorce. We love our football and it’s bred into us from an early age , we watch that much of it from accross the globe, that we will always have an opinion, and blogs are a great forum to put those opinions out there.
    Now iv said I think PL will turn it round, and you have said football is a simple game, and in essence your right, but this football team still isn’t mastering the very basics ie set pieces etc etc. The reason the Bent scenario is all over the media is because we are struggling to score goals and win games, if we were winning and having them in, no one would worry our record signing and one of the most prolific goalscorers is sat in the stand whilst a league 2 carthorse takes his spot on the bench.

  21. FremFrem04-12-2012

    well it really wont be easy against stoke. there height and our dismal record against them.

    but if we can get 3 points and QPR and sunderland lose it would be great

  22. B62 VillaB62 Villa04-12-2012

    Mate i think 7 points from the rest of Decembers fixtures is optimistic, I’d gladly take it if offered now, but I have a feeling it will be nearer to a 3 or 4 points total.
    Stoke will be tough, we never beat them and I hate to say it but they are a better side than on a good run us and a draw is more likely result than a win. Nothing from either Liverpool or Chelsea, even if their not at their best they have too much for us especially at their grounds. Spurs are on fire so again I predict a loss and possibly a bit of a hammering, I think we should target Wigan as another 6 pointer and anything less than a win will be a failure against them, they are overated as is Martinez and we owe him and his chairman a good hiding. Hopefully in jan we can transform this team and keep evolving

  23. Korean VillaKorean Villa04-12-2012

    So if a passionate villan isn’t happy about the current situation and wants to spout on about it online, we should stay away fron avl, it seems. Mr. Clarke seems to enjoy insulting said villa fans frequently, this being at least his second similar posting, knowing that the majority on here will back him up. Terribly preachy in my opinion. Accept the different views, and passions, but don’t insult us just because we don’t accept everything as rosy. At least the villa blog, with all it’s many faults, has a better mix of uppers and downers. I can’t help but feel if a post was put up insulting the optimists on here, u would keep it more in check, Mat!

  24. JuanmanbandJuanmanband04-12-2012

    The Stoke game could easily go either way, the most important thing against them is to try not to give away silly free kicks pretty much anywhere in our own half – but there is no reason why we shouldnt be looking at winning that one – Hoping Ronnie is back for that one

    Agreed, wont be expecting much from the Liverpool/Chelsea/Spurs games, maybe a point if were lucky, but it is Christmas ;-)

    Yeah then have to beat Wigan

  25. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil04-12-2012

    Morning Korean

    I can`t speak for JC ,he`s more than capable of doing that for himself.I would`nt say he was insulting but that`s just my opinion.Everything is not rosy and the blogs would be a bore if everyone agreed,but in defence of AVL I would say if you disagree or are against PLor RL at least it is pretty constructive and reasoned on here.
    B62 often or daily criticizes the personnel and the newer purchases but at least it`s reasoned,and half the time I wanna agree with him.Steamer too has no time for RL and PF but he always argues why and preasents evidence to suppoer his displeasure.Its not just a case of PL is s**t,RL is cr*p.
    I take your point in general though,we must never bow to the tyranny of the majority,and I can only speak for myself,in that I have never agreed for the sake of it if I agree with authors on here it`s because it`s how I feel and not because I want to be liked or please anyone.Anyway why don`t you do a leader on this theme and give us positive fans some stick?

  26. Korean VillaKorean Villa04-12-2012

    Cheers for that Brasil. Nice reply. I do recognize that not everyone on here toes the line or wears the rose-tinteds, as per your good self and the mighty steamer, but it does feel like those who feel downhearted, like myself, are in the extreme minority on here. Hence why I rarely contribute a reply to posts. I feel like I need to frequent elsewhere at times just to sate my pessimism. I feel strongly that mr. Clarke is overly dismissive and derogatory towards those not sharing his viewpoint, and wish I wasn’t the only one to point it out. Perhaps being a regular contributor, he’s above reproach?

  27. proxoperaproxopera04-12-2012

    Bent may suit certain teams but he does’nt suit the current villa team . He has undoubted finishing talent but it has to be served up to him and he has no other value to the team. Its like having a top of the range diamond tipped cutting edge , but with no f**king tool to drive it. There was always a Bent when you played as a kid and even then you knew him for what he was , a gutless ‘hatching’ b*****d but you obviously tolerated him if he was on your team. If he was’nt on your team you comitted every attrocity on him that your evil little mind could dream up until he left the park in tears with his brand new liverpool kit not looking quite so pristine.

    I gave you the armband, you still ponced around like a right f**king f**k so f**k right off.”

    Take your place John Clarke among the ranks of Dryden , Lord Byron and Francis Bacon!

  28. runtingsruntings04-12-2012

    Korean Villa
    Dont take it personally its just people with a compleatly different view from you and there are a few that agree with you.
    villa blog is the place to be though if you want the manager out the board out or if you want a billionare to make villa there new play thing

  29. Graham O'GaraGraham O'Gara04-12-2012

    Sorry matt I mean not to publicise other Villa Forums… but this is a bit laughable…

    The case seems to centre around… “it’d would be terrible business to lose money on Bent” and “Who else could he buy for £12 who has a proven goal record”…

    Seemingly wafting away the very notion that Bent might not actually fit the way Villa are playing…

    Now just so we don’t start getting carried away with rumour… Bent has not stolen Herds girl friend… They met to do an inteview, the picture you see are publicity shots. Benteke has not fallen out with Darren Bent… in fact quite the opposite. And the Bent “trigger” payment has already been passed as it was appearances not “league appearances”…

    I think is it just a simple case of Lambert taking on the most powerful player in the club and the player reacting in the worst way… when Lambert wins this one the players will know they tow the line or very quickly they will be cast aside and replaced.

    For the last two seasons powerful players (or as I like to call them Egotistical Morons) have ruined the team spirit…

    When i look at Darren Bent I see a goal scorer who needs players to play for him, he’ll work hard if it is to his benefit. This is not the way we are and will play in the future. Then when I consider his muted wages of £80-100k a week and the value of that I would go along with Lambert in thinking that s money that could be spent far wiser…

  30. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey04-12-2012

    Ok hands up who thinks John was on the sauce last night…

    Interesting way of putting across an opinion. I agree on some of the main points (Bent being lazy, things taking time) but I also believe people are entitled to free speech too.

    As Korean says, there are people out there who feel pessimistic about the situation and, as B6 implies, we tend to have a measured response to people who disagree.

    The article is certainly passionate in the sense that it expresses your opinion strongly Mr Clark, but I would say that if a so called “negative” fan expressed a similar sentiment so vociferously it would be ripped apart.

    Me personally, I am a positive person but I obviously understand the sentiment of those who aren’t of the same mindset. I don’t believe I am a better fan for being how I am, or that others are better than me either, but I’m unsure as to whether an angry piece is constructive besides it feel like the so called “negative” fans are getting lambasted for feeling how they do.

    Is Lambert doing things right? Yes, in my opinion. Do I think sacking him would be insane? Yes. Should Bent play? No, in my opinion, but I can understand why others might want him to.

    I’m all for freedom of expression but, if I had been sent a piece like this and it was me editing it, it wouldn’t have got published.

    Why? If we want to get so vociferous with anger then we are in danger of slipping into the exact situation your article touches on – angry environments where it is “us” and “them”, rather than what I try to do which is take on board all comments so long as they are constructive.

    If articles that were in the style of this piece became the de facto standard of what wad published here, I personally would stop reading the site if I was a reader.

    Just my opinion of course, but I think there are many ways to express an opinion without turning it into an expletive filled piece – everyone is entitled to their opinion but rants divide community rather than build it. In fact, the very nature of the amount of expletives in the article would contravene our usual submission policy so it opens up the whole site to criticism for seeming to use double standards – not a good thing for the site at all.

    A tad ironic to slate Damian for effectively antagonising his readers with angry statements only to write a piece that swears at people repetitively.

    Just my thoughts, but I personally think respect works two ways and being dignified helps build that whilst rants only make things degenerate.

  31. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey04-12-2012


    John edits his own articles – my last comments explains succinctly my view.

  32. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil04-12-2012


    We all deal with our frustrations in different ways.I avoid contributing if I feel too negative or disappointed for a day or too to chew over a performance and my opinions.Others feel the need to post right away,I sometimes do JC above reproach? The answer is no,but I`d say take that up with him.
    Most on here disagreed strongly about Ginger last season and JC laid out well constructed and cohesive arguments in his defence,resulting in myself naming him Goebbels.Derogatory?,Yes today perhaps a bit of “I`m at the end of my tether “leader perhaps.
    As for other blogs I read Vital,but never read TVB anymore.I stopped when a contributor was labelled a child molester because he disagreed with someone,that was last season and I haven`t revisited since.I`m not trying to be superior but there is no need for that.

  33. runtingsruntings04-12-2012

    i swore i would never go back on villa blog again after i heard frem was again banned which i think is rediculous to put it mildly .
    there is a bad atmosphere on there for me and if you dont hate the board or manager people constantly slap you down for not agreeing.
    the one thing i love about villa life is mostly people can disagree without throwing insults and getting personal and i hope people like Korean Villa will be more like Frem and keep coming up with your thoughts for this club as i for one read everyones opinion as well as voice mine and value other peoples point of view — only time will tell who is right or wrong but loving your club is very deep routed.
    I love Clarky’s passion my self in his artical , we are all different and we should just respect that fact weather we are in agreement or not.

  34. proxoperaproxopera04-12-2012

    Brazilian b6,
    I had a look at TVB last week for the first time in a longwhile and I was surprised to see that the ringmaster was being openly abused by some of the inmates. Like proper abuse , and yet he benched Frem for …well….. being Frem! Also dont forget that site using a picture of a distraught 8-10 year old blues fan after a villa win as a way of mocking their local rivals. Its like watching an episode of Jeremy Kyle and maybe that what JC was aiming for . I did’nt find anything particularly annoying about JC’s article but I’m not as critical of the villa admin. so maybe thats why.

  35. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey04-12-2012


    I agree but I also feel that this piece now makes everything look like double standards as it implies the inverse of TVB – that if you aren’t positive, you are shouted down.

    This contravenes logic to my mind as the reason why AVL is successful is the reasoned discussion, not that we are just doing a variation on a theme when it comes to being angry.

    I am all for passion, but I draw the line at swearing repeatedly in articles, and I am not sure that such a piece helps the site project a professional image.

    Passion needs to be channeled – if it isn’t, it turns into anger and isn’t controllable. If a footballer doesn’t control his passion, he would be in risk of making a mistake and paying the consequences.

    Rants are not welcome as per our policy – this article, I feel, undermines that leading to criticism.

    However, I support the right for everyone to hold their view, I am just not a fan of having the daily article rammed full of profanity.

  36. runtingsruntings04-12-2012

    fair play i will go back and sit in the corner with my considerably long tail between my legs :)

  37. southwestvillansouthwestvillan04-12-2012


    The good thing about AVL is we have a diverse cross section of posters and of all ages, from the youngest QPR fan Frem (only kidding mucker) to the very old Steamer who is strapped to the old Armitage Shanks as we speak, by the way i have managed to source one of those discreet commodes off ebay which looks like a Wicker chair but is really a portable s**tter, its on its way Steamer via DHL as we speak.
    We do have differing opinions but as yet i have yet to see any cyber wars break out, but who knows there are tough times ahead and it could get tasty.

    Not sure wether you noticed but Clarky mentioned he had been reading other blogs, be very careful JC does not start prostetuting his talents over to the Swedish chef, you know if he is offered a couple of farthings more he will be offski before you can say “Bent is a lazy self centred wanker”.


  38. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey04-12-2012

    PS Who wants to help put together to get our Steamer some Anusol for his ring issue?

    Hope you feel better soon chap.

  39. proxoperaproxopera04-12-2012

    Matt ,
    Perhaps you should set up a virtual swearbox on the site with the proceeds going to charity.

    “We are the world , we are the children…….etc.”

  40. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey04-12-2012


    No need – you are entitled to your view as is everyone else.

    I have no issue with anything you have posted – my problem is that we have a main article read by people of all ages laden with expletives when there is no need.

  41. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey04-12-2012


    Ha ha ha ha ha. Brilliant on all counts.

  42. runtingsruntings04-12-2012

    Coolio Matt it was a light hearted reply no worries i was more focusing on the considerably long tail bit :)

  43. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey04-12-2012


    Ha. In comments I don’t mind as they are censored and tend to be far from the standard.

    Do we all hold hands now and sing Kum By Yah? I will go get my bandana and guitar ;)

  44. runtingsruntings04-12-2012

    SWV fuuny :) nice one

  45. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey04-12-2012

    I know Runtingz – it made me laugh out loud :)

  46. Graham O'GaraGraham O'Gara04-12-2012

    SW… Not JC lol… Loyal to AVL…

    Vital has been trying to get me to write for them 8)… god knows why… lol

  47. Korean VillaKorean Villa04-12-2012

    ill hold fire until mr. clarke replies to our views on his article. perhaps he really is nursing a hangover from hell after posting this on the sauce last night. but the majority of replies to my concerns today have been heartening. good to see im not alone

  48. John ClarkJohn Clark04-12-2012

    Ah, Lifers…(thanks for that, B6)

    Yes, an expletive-filled rant from Mr. Clark this week. As you might guess, I (virtually) lost it surveying the headlines yesterday in that “what’s fresh today?” on the opinion front.

    I usually take the much more measured approach, but we all have our limits.

    However, I will say I thought the article would censor, too, like comments and I’d get a bunch of asterisks instead of proper cursing.

  49. proxoperaproxopera04-12-2012

    I dunno matt, I think your’re getting all Mary Whitehouse on JC’s ass! Do you know John Clarke ?? Maybe he’s from the ghetto ,! Maybe he has to communicate like that on a daily basis just to survive or maybe he has Tourettes and now you’ve just outed him and he’ll be too embarassed to ever come back on here again.!! Or maybe I should get back to work and do something constructive other than trying to wind up total strangers.

  50. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey04-12-2012

    I do know John very well Prox – he isn’t Jonny From The Block.

  51. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey04-12-2012

    PS I can’t see John being too embarrassed to come back on here, can you? :)

  52. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey04-12-2012


    I will get to automatically profanity censoring the authors too then you naughty boy.

  53. Steve WSteve W04-12-2012

    I enjoyed John’s article. I didn’t agree with all of it, but the way in which he entered keyboard meltdown certainly made me smile. I’m not offended in the slightest about the swearing, but I appreciate that others will not share that view.

    As far as the substance is concerned, I suppose I’m on the fence between feeling positive and negative doom & gloom, but what I will say is that I find it strange that the most vitriolic criticism has come now, when we’re starting to pick up some points. Having said that I understand that performances aren’t all we want them to be. Christ, I sound like a Lib Dem.

    To sum up:

    Lambert Out? No.
    Bent in the starting 11? No.
    Accept an offer for Bent? Yes.
    Bent on the bench for now? Yes.
    Has JC developed Tourettes? Maybe.

  54. John ClarkJohn Clark04-12-2012


    You’re entitled to whatever view you like, and we do tolerate all views. My ire is not directed at the fans, but the actual bloggers, the “blogosphere” shall we say.

    Of course, you’ll also note that the title is “Surprise: Villa Bloggers Say Stupid Things”…Of which I’m one. So, while I am absolutely fed up with some of what’s being written, the “meta irony” is not lost on me. ;-)

  55. proxoperaproxopera04-12-2012

    Ok ok , the defence rests m’lud.
    Sorry John , looks like you’re going ‘dahn’ for this one , even Phil Mitchels brief cant save you now.

  56. bibulusbibulus04-12-2012

    …oh lord kum by yah….

    good job we moved on from sandwich fillings as that cad JC would surely be banned from AVL if his tendencies on that subject came up again (that’s not a dig to steamers current predicament).

    Keep the posts coming Korean – for myself i got so fed up with my own state of mind under the ginger pretenders reign that i am determined not to fall so low again, even though there are clearly some reasoned arguments made on here as to the lack of roses in our garden right now – i was weighing in heavily on anyone who tried to add reason to last years events from the day of totteringham away.

    Its clear our season can still go either way right now, i am just hoping for PL to be the man who can begin to lift us up the table again.

    To my mind Mary, our site owner has the right to request we maintain a certain level of language on here and i back Proxeperas idea of a virtual feckin swearbox for charity.


  57. southwestvillansouthwestvillan04-12-2012


    You know Clarky better than most but the man has no shame, the language and vitriol of his article has shocked us all perhaps you might think about editing his profile to read ” by most accounts a very nice person, with a teak exterior and a heart encased in kevlar”.


  58. John ClarkJohn Clark04-12-2012


    Johnny’s a rather thick-skinned lad, he’s quite alright.

  59. John ClarkJohn Clark04-12-2012


    Would that it were the case…I bleed like the rest of you.

  60. John ClarkJohn Clark04-12-2012


    Tommy Cooper…I always thought he was funny, and he really made my dad laugh.

  61. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey04-12-2012

    PS John is referring to “bloggers” as the people who write the articles as opposed to people who comment (who aren’t technically bloggers) so I don’t think there is much ire being thrown about at our readers.

    He does love a good swear. Give him a ten pints and a chat about Stephen Ireland a few years back and he’d have made a profanity censor beep more than an ECG.

    He’s a good lad though our John, and a good mate of mine. Even if he has Tourettes (not really)

  62. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey04-12-2012

    Was a shame when Tommy Cooper died – I remember watching it live on TV.

    For those of you not from these parts, it wasn’t a TV showing of an execution, he just died mid performance on a weekend show.

    I would say “Just like that” but it might come across the wrong way.

  63. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey04-12-2012


    Think of Clarky as one of those battle hardened New York cops you see in late night dramas.

    Well except from his isn’t from New York. Nor is he a cop. But you get the idea.

  64. John ClarkJohn Clark04-12-2012

    Steve W:

    Indeed…The criticism has been coming, we’re suffering a bit of an injury crisis, and starting to pick up points.

    As I, and others, have said more than once, Villans have largely gotten what they wanted in Lambert’s appointment and approach. He’s the antithesis of O’Neill, Houllier and McLeish.

    And while I expect supporters’ emotions to fluctuate with results, I do expect more from the “analysis” of our situation.

  65. Korean VillaKorean Villa04-12-2012

    personally, i dont care about bad language or swearing with posts or comments, thats not what im complaining about. its the downplaying & belittling of the opposite views that me off. just to clarify.

  66. churchillchurchill04-12-2012


    Magnificent. End of.


    Some people feel the lede is insulting to the neggos. They seem to forget that they insult us on a daily basis. I, and others, have tried to point out why, to take an example, Bent was not brought on in the last game. Patiently, and couteously, I, and others, have tried to illustrate how Aston Villa are rebuilding from scratch and that this will take time and we need to hold our nerve. I, and others, have described the difficulties that this process will present to the senior management at the club. And we’ve done this with good humour.

    But we might as well be talking to a roof tile. They ignore the attempt at reasoning and just come back the old familiar mantra. That is insulting.

    For the record, when I say “they”, I’m referring to a small number of posters – perhaps no more than two. So, if you think John has been discourteous, and feel strongly enough about it to publicly disassociate yourself from it, perhaps you could address the neggos in like fashion.

    Matt, running a football blog is tricky stuff and you do it well – even Pru thinks it’s great – and I wouldn’t spend my time at any other site. Again, there are vast differences to doing what you’re doing and how I run my business. If I happen to employ s**t-stirrers, and I’ve had a few, I simply hand them an envelope containing their P45. You can;t do that. So I sympathise.

    Finally, a word on writing with anger in your heart. Indulge it. Anger and outrage is the best filter I know for weeding out all the content in a piece that will send a reader to sleep – hackneyed metaphor, over-ellaboration, long-windedness etc. Anger and outrage will make you tell the truth. Bluntly- which is often the only way to do it.

    Clarky, fill your boots, son. A disgruntled row on a blog is good fun. Anyone can have a pop at me.

  67. proxoperaproxopera04-12-2012

    Again , I dunno , I detect a tone of sad resignation in JC’s recent comments . I fear this public denouncement has damaged him irrevocably. He’s like Linneker losing that yard of pace after the hepatitis or Brittney after the upskirt photo’s. He may come back , but it will take time. I only hope that in time you’ll forgive yourself for your betrayal of your friend ‘clarky’.

  68. John ClarkJohn Clark04-12-2012


    Sometimes my opinion is a strong one, and I’ll not apologize for that. You’ve got strong opinions, too, and have always been welcome to say whatever you like, and you do, when you comment.

    Doesn’t mean I agree with you or that you agree with me. We don’t have to. And normally I don’t do the “meltdown rant” style of piece.

    Certain people hold Lerner and Faulkner in contempt, and they freely express their opinions regularly and quite colorfully. McLeish was castigated by the vast majority of readers on here every hour of every day of his tenure.

    It’s no secret that there’s a certain air of negativity around Villa. Me, I think certain folks in the blogosphere (a word I really dislike, by the way) like to play to that negativity. Which only begets more negativity, which only depresses people more, and it’s a cycle that serves no real purpose other than to get people upset.

    Like me :-)

  69. John ClarkJohn Clark04-12-2012

    And cheers, Churchill, B6toB, runtingz, Trinity, Graham, et al….

  70. southwestvillansouthwestvillan04-12-2012


    I know exactly where you are coming from, i bought my missus a mountain bike last xmas and she hasn”t been on it once, that too is a cycle that serves no purpose other than to get me upset.

    Nice to see you have calmed down now you little tease.

    RIP Mittens and Meggy.


  71. John ClarkJohn Clark04-12-2012


    Ha…I rather like that: “…that too is a cycle that serves no purpose other than to get me upset.”

    RIP Mittens and Meggy, indeed.

  72. Alan DidionAlan Didion04-12-2012


    If nothing else, that was an entertaining leader. I enjoyed reading it. I appreciate the fire in your belly that spurred the writing, as I do all of the bloggers and commenters here. It sounds like it may have been cathartic for you, I hope so.

    But of course, much like religion and politics, in football it is rare that one can convince someone of the opposite viewpoint to share in yours. We hold on fast to our views like grim death, regardless of what we see as the obvious truth.

    Korean, I would like to second the view of others in requesting a leader from you in sharing your views on how things are proceeding at Villa, especially if they are different from those in the majority here. If nothing else, comment more. As one always learns more from defeat than victory, I think an open mind learns more from hearing those in opposition than everyone standing around patting each other on the back for our brilliance.


    I think Altidore would be a nice target in January, as a replacement for Bent. I believe he is leading the Eredivisie in scoring this season, and he did play with Holman last year at AZ. So there is a link there, and I’m sure he has been roundly scouted in Europe. Interestingly, he has had a bit of a dustup with the USMNT coach, Jurgen Klinsmen, and was left off the World Cup Qualifying squad for a couple of matches in October. It sounds similar to the Bent situation in that there was some disagreement between the two in the style of play, but to Altidore’s credit, he came out afterward and said all the right things sbout working hard to get back in the good graces, and has been since reinstated. The good thing is he is only 22 or 23, and I’m sure both Holman and Henke have thoroughly vetted him to make sure he would be a good match for PL, if we do make a run for him. I would like to see it.

  73. B62 VillaB62 Villa04-12-2012

    Now we’re all friends again and some cases only a post or 2 away from daisy chaining ;) How do folks think we’ll get on against the clayheads? And what constitutes a decent result

  74. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil04-12-2012

    I now see who JC is or his alter ego is.You said think of him as one of those battle hardened NYPD cops.Well tonight Mathew JC is …Serpico.
    Yes the classic Pacino good cop movie.JC in the wolly hat and beard undercover exposing negative bloggers in cyberspace.The writer who stood alone saw the corruption on the web and exposed it.The only one who didn`t take pay offs and look the other way.
    The one who saw the negativity and would no longer tolerate it ,he confronted it,,he people off including the D.A.(Matt)but gets the job done.A maverick, a loner,doesn`t posses a razor but he seeks out the negativity and wipes it out.Serpico or J.C. AVL salutes you the blog is a better place with you on board.
    Well John it was Serpico or Sipowitz from NYPD blue,I went for the former

  75. TrinityTrinity04-12-2012

    Sounds like Clarky and Korean could do with one of OB’s double maple (with walnuts) cones. Geez Korean, it’s 0230 in your neck of the woods, past your bed time, mate.

  76. John ClarkJohn Clark04-12-2012

    B6…Yes, Serpico over Sipowitz any day of the week. Although Sipowitz was a great character. And how did you know I don’t like to shave?

  77. John ClarkJohn Clark04-12-2012


    A good rant can be cathartic…There’ve been many things to get my goat over the last few seasons, but for some reason, this Bent thing as a sort of symbol of frustration with Lambert has done my head in.

    And yes, you and others are correct, we do actively solicit and encourage contributions from any readers who’d like to post an article.

    And I only edit for grammar, clarity and style. Say what you like.

  78. John ClarkJohn Clark04-12-2012

    Result B62?

    I think we need a win, and I think we’re likely to get one.

    As many are pointing out, the table is very congested, and there aren’t a lot of points between most teams at the moment. So, it’s a good time to pick up three.

  79. steamersteamer04-12-2012

    Thank you for your kind words about my case of the Huttons, it was going OK until Runtingz mentioned squeaky bum time.
    The beauty of this site is, IMO, we are all friends as well as Villans, until you ask for a loan or a beer that is, The only way i could be insulted was if someone called me a Bluenose which of course you wouldn’t because i have mastered the art of walking upright which, of course, they haven’t.
    Nice to see Korean back on the site, did you know that Trinity lives in Korea ? perhaps you could meet up and share a dog.

  80. Alan DidionAlan Didion04-12-2012


    It’s funny. As I was reading your post about NYPD detectives, the name that popped into my head was Sipowicz. Maybe because NYPD Blue was one of my favorite shows of all time, and I’ve never seen Serpico. Don’t know why, it seems like that would be a movie I would like.

  81. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil04-12-2012


    Sidney Lumet movie 1973 worth a watch very good,based on a real cop by the name of Serpico.NYPD Blue is a magnificent show,Sipowiz-a good Irish name eh?-great character,great writing and acting too.

    JC,I didn`t know you don`t like a dig in the grave,just a hunch.Mind you Andy Sipowiz did have a drink problem in the show…………

  82. TrinityTrinity04-12-2012

    Yes, no bottom half team is safe. It’s certainly not just the clubs in the drop zone that are endangered.
    If the team can implement PL’s plan to run Stoke around, we’ll win. Stoke, as is well known, will dominate set-plays because of their size and our ineptitude there, but we might have the legs on them. Hopefully, we don’t have to defend too many corners. Fortunately BG had an on game against QPR.

  83. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil04-12-2012


    I hate to p**s on the neggos(great Churchy)chips but I fancy us to win.
    I detest the way SC go about their business,holding,shirt pulling and shoving-that`s in the tunnel before kick off.
    I`m not a purist I don`t knock em for using set plays and having big players,I hatr them for the way they go about getting their FKs diving,play acting etc.I just have a good feeling about the way the good ship Aston Villa is going,and captain PL will nick the 3 points on saturday.

  84. TrinityTrinity04-12-2012

    The dog controversy has been cause for some heated discussion between expats here. I won’t be eating any pooches, but a few expats I’ve known have and then brag about it. It raises a few issues.

  85. Alan DidionAlan Didion04-12-2012


    Perhaps I had a soft spot for Sipowicz, since my mother is Polish. And then there is the drinking, and the lack of patience for idiots. Not to mention that despite his looks and his lack of confidence around women, he seems to be able to do quite well for himself, and marry up.

    Let JC be Serpico. I AM SIPOWICZ.

  86. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil04-12-2012

    OK Chicago,you`re Andy from now on.Maybe you could become partners.As you allude to I hope you do as well with women as Sipowicz did.

    Steamer have you been eating Middle Eastern food.?I had a Lebanese meal once and I woke up with the Shiites.

  87. John ClarkJohn Clark04-12-2012

    good call on the spelling, chicago…

    Sipowicz does pretty much embody of the essence of the NYPD.

  88. steamersteamer04-12-2012

    You woke up with Blose fans ?
    Abhorrent covers it, massive animal lover myself, vegetarian, the full whack.

  89. Ballyd100Ballyd10004-12-2012

    Evening all,

    John, did someone steal your whiskey ? :)
    sometimes it can be good just to get things of your chest and clear the air for youself.
    no harm in it on occasion.
    for what its worth i agree with your view on the bent situation. if he really wants to get in the first team he knows what is required. On the overall scheme of things its not all good but its improving i think.

    some funny stuff on here this eve.


  90. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson04-12-2012

    Great read John. I feel like a lot of people are being so drama filled with this team last year we cried to get all the overpaid old players out, now they r gone and people like deem and screaming.for more old people in the team. Another example was last year people were complaining about the style of football, well now its gotten better those same people saying we need to go back to last year cause we are not picking up points. Its so high school knew jerking it drives me crazy!

  91. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson04-12-2012

    People need to just so back, shhut up and let pl do work

  92. proxoperaproxopera04-12-2012

    “Its so high school knew jerking it drives me crazy”

    “People need to just so back, shhut up and let pl do work”

    Fastback , are you having a stroke? Do you need us to call 911?

  93. FremFrem04-12-2012

    stoke will be one of the hardest games yet and if we win it would be a brilliant 3 points. unfortunately i cant see us beating them. our record against them is cr*p and they have so much height and power.

    they are rock solid at the back and they just need a set play to beat anyone and they will always get corners and free kicks, its all they need.

    thats the thing, we need something special to beat someone , and we dont really have that in our locker. they just need a set play to beat someone

  94. Korean VillaKorean Villa04-12-2012

    Is it true, trinity? You’re stationed like myself here in the orient awaiting the next silo from the commies up north? Have to say, I’m starting to see a few more locals traipsing around Seoul wearing villa jackets these days. Then again, they are the old Nike ones. Can’t see macron getting a foothold the same. I do give away my old villa tops to Koreans I know every year though, to try and spread the heartache. Also, whilst I disagree with this neggo/posso stance on here, I do agree with the overall view re. Bent. No harm offloading him or benching him IF he is causing trouble. But if it’s down to this supposed clause, then it’s pathetic in my view and lambert shouldn’t pander to it

  95. FremFrem04-12-2012

    we are neither here or there with how we play. we are dreadful at set plays and we aren’t anything special from open play either so we are always going to struggle. when we were good a few years back, we had great balance. we were solid at defending set plays, we were very good at scoring them as well. we had great delivery in young, and two beasts in carew and laursen and off course we had quality from open play as well

    we have no balance to our side now, it needs to change in january. quality out field players, but also a CB who can score

  96. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson05-12-2012

    proxy- from my phone… horribly hard to message stuff.

  97. Ian GibsonIan Gibson05-12-2012

    Well this was a day to be missed on AVL. Reading today’s missive at 8 PM leaves little time to add to the day’s replies. Hilarious, heartfelt, truth to one’s self, and a love for claret and blue. We are definitely different but we all love each other. The best part is Steamer’s predicament. So regular he goes every morning at 7, the only problem? He doesn’t get up until 8.
    Ranting is cathartic and the topic can be anything at the moment. It just comes out in a big burst and is usually blunt, honest and always humourous. Firehall tea time at it’s finest. Maple walnut cones for all.

  98. Ian GibsonIan Gibson05-12-2012

    8 hours behind today.

  99. Ian GibsonIan Gibson05-12-2012

    Then there’s that great Korean cook book—-wok your dog.

  100. TrinityTrinity05-12-2012

    Sorry for the probably too late replies, just got in from work.

    Yes, I work in Jinan County near Jeonju City.


    I don’t eat red meats or chicken, but I eat fish. Hope you’re feeling better.

    I’ve a friend, Kate, from Hamilton BC. When she first arrived, I took her down to immigration to get her visa stuff done. We arrived early, so we went for a walk in the market. I warned her about the dogs. She didn’t believe me at first. Poor Kate nearly puked when she saw cooked
    dogs on display.