I wear my allegiance to Aston Villa on my sleeve. At the start of every season the players and manager can do no wrong. I am quick to forgive any transgression both on and off the field. I am quick to predict a winning season and can overlook any short comings on the roster. I have empathy for any player who is left on the wayside as more talented players show up. I get excited as the start of the season gets close. Best of all a season opener win proves all is right with the Villa ship and that all of my hopes and desires are going to be true.

Two years ago Antonio Luna was my Villa saviour. Last year Philippe Senderos was going to show everyone he would step up. Joe Cole was going to find fresh legs and Agbonlahor was going to score a bucket load in place of an injured Benteke. I also thought Ron Vlaar would stay healthy.

In my sunny mind all the players and team management were loyal to the club to a tee. All would be happy and produce on the field. But then a few months or weeks of hopes and desires being shattered I slide into a “next week will be better.” Come April I’m waiting for that one game that puts the team above relegation. When it happens I’m relieved and start the whole process over again.

Well, here we go again. The two best players left, an assortment of others scurried out the door no longer fitting in, or looking for greener pastures. A new manager ripping apart what really was a corpse. But a corpse I was familiar with and willing to give more time to with a few additions.

Like cliff diving, this start is bright and bold and exciting and frightening and wow, who tied up Lerner and stole his cheque book? In my sunny view I’m positive everyone who has come into the fold will set the league on fire, but there is a dark thought in there that thinks, this is a lot like Lambert’s buying strategy only further up the money pole. I’m sure it’s my sunny view that will unfold and not the complete unravelling of a football team with no idea how to turn the season around.

I’ve put my faith in Sherwood to keep the team on the up and up. To keep all the players happy, confident, and producing. I expect a decent season. I suppose the jury is still out, I see lots of rumours about future possible buys. Surely my sunny side will win out this year.

Let’s all get behind this bunch. Give them some strong backing and perhaps the cycle can be broken and players want to stay. So that next summer they aren’t trying to fix up the old family Trabant hoping to get through another winter.

Comments 49

  1. Great write up Ian, I feel the same way. In one respect the fact that we have played so bad for so long recently has made me a better person. No one would come near me when Villa lost, where as now it doesn’t bother me. This is great because I no longer have to sleep in the spare room after a loss.

  2. Morning all from Fuerta Ventura .

    Brilliant write up Ian – it is exactly how I feel . There should be a new word added to the dictionary for the heart felt optimism we villa fans experience which so often has no rational behind it . Like you , I am willing our new guys to succeed and hope they get the time to develop . I went through a similar blind faith optimism at the beginning last season – delighted with Sendeross and his leadership skills , looking forward to another 20 goals from Teckers and buoyed by our great start , then ……..
    I think we must be the trickiest team to predict this season – if they all gel we could see top half , if they don’t then it coukd be a disaster . There isn’t any middle ground for us with so many new players to the club and the premier league . So like you I will choose the sunny option .
    Back to protecting my 16 year old daughter from the locals here. Last night we had an English footballer who plays for Lanzerote telling us he came over on his boat , had money to spend and could he take my daughter out , with me supervising . And I came over on a banana boat – not bloody likely !!!

  3. Sean

    We have only spent the delph and tekkers money. Only the Troure deal has pushed net spend to 5 million i think!

    Glad we are after a striker and cb. With the riches of the tv deal in the summer we would be mental to not further strengthen.

    Its a real competitive league with some strong teams. I would not like to bet on the 3 going down.

  4. A very good article, Ian! πŸ™‚

    Yes, what you portray describes the feelings of a fair number of true Villans.

    The only thing I would say is that once I passed about the 40 years as-a-fan mark I became much more objective in my views (that’s not to say I lost my feelings for the old club), and now, after 60+ years, I’m viewing Villa Park from the Moon!

    But, nevertheless, I am opti about the future. In my mind it’s just a question of how much backing will TS get as time goes on.

  5. Hello Ian.

    I concur with JL that your article pretty much describes how many of us feel.
    Andrew- a bit worried about you feeling cold and lying naked on the floor πŸ™‚
    Be nice to get Austin, wouldn’t it?
    Jenny-I’d be worried about some footballer wanting to date my 16 year old daughter. Good on you for telling him to take a hike.
    Haggis-I think Villa in recent years has taught a lot of us a lesson in patience, at least, those of us who’ve weathered the storm.

  6. Hello Ian
    I think in the face no evidence to support we are going to be cr*p, even less evidence that Lerner is keeping the money and not backing Timbo, Plus some very exciting permutations to be had within our squad I’m optimistic damn you!


    Dry your eyes mate
    I know it’s hard to take but timbo’s mind has been made up
    There’s plenty more fish in the sea
    Dry your eyes mate
    I know you want to make Lerner see how much this pain hurts
    But Lamberts walked away now
    It’s over πŸ™‚

  7. Great piece, Ian – in fact I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever read here on AVL. I feel that way every summer and, unlike John L, I’ve carried on feeling that way for 59 seasons now. It’s what makes following Villa worthwhile and won’t EVER change, whether we’re in Europe or League 2.

  8. vivavilla,

    No, I didn’t say I don’t have a heartfelt thing about t’ Vi-y-a, of course I do!

    It’s just how I perceive the club – especially having worked there. That adds a realistic tint to the hue.

  9. Great read. I like Sherwood but was extremely annoyed with our set up against United. It was a dire game, and we did nothing. Sinclair has to stop being played. I haven’t seen a more useless winger In my life apart from Gabby. Ayew was played out of position yet again, and Gabby. What a lazy robbing b*****d he is. Didn’t try to get in behind once all. Couldn’t be arsed to move. Can we please terminate the guys contact. Villa fan my arse.

    Mark- Good vids. We are blessed to have 3. They should all start on Saturday in a 4231. Drop Sinclair and gabby, maybe Ayew as well and play Gestede up top.

    We need a good all striker still. Michu. Bacuna signing and new long term contact Is strange, like Baker. He’s not a right midfielder, or right back. But I guess he will be played as right back

  10. sherwoods doing ok so far some signings gelled quick others not
    really could do with centre forward ,we have had since may to get one in we let wiemen benteke go replaced with striker from 1 div who not quite ready to pull this exciting team together
    need to play like city 4 4 1 1
    for palace
    from kozak ayew
    gil westwood baker hutton gabby

  11. Great article Ian,

    I am sure it really sums it up for many Villa fans……I also thought that Sinclair did ok on Friday, and should not have been subbed. Gabby should have been the one subbed.

    Would have liked to have seen more from the team, but it is early days, and they played with confidence. they need maybe a couple of more matches before they really start to gel..

    Next trip will be the Carling Cup, and hopefully we shall see some of the promise which is to come.

  12. Sorry for replying so late. Thanks for all of your remarks. It’s nice to know that everyone feels the same way
    Andrew, I tried lying on the floor naked. It’s not my cup of tea.

  13. I haven’t been impressed impressed once with Sinclair since he we got him on loan. I’m actually so surprised how poor a player he is for someone who use to play for Swansea and City. He doesn’t get me of my seat. He doesn’t beat people. He never looks comfortable on the ball. His vision and final pass is level with Gabbys. For a wingers, he has nothing. He’s more of a striker. I think he’d be so much better of there than we would be play Gabby there

  14. Andrew you cant be more accurate than that
    Obviously players have hit certain fitness levels to be reliable. One adrenaline fueled appearance and two months with the physio doesn’t help anyone.
    We will see him soon enough but will probably be grealish who gets the nod this week

  15. Yeah sounds like Gill & Grealish are ok.

    Big game for us (arent they all) Id be ok with a point and beat sunderland next weekend.

    I want to see us score 2 goals in a game most weekends…..it’s always by 1 goal all the time for years!

    For me after the international break i want to see a high level of performance and results.

  16. I’ve got a friend all the way over here that’s a transplanted Londoner and lifelong Crystal Palace supporter. Does anyone know any derogatory club nicknames or slurs that I can taunt him with?

  17. Texas Villan, they’re just not good enough to deserve a derogatory name πŸ™‚

    Gacuna, Gichards, Glarke, Gmavi
    Gana Gestwood
    Grealish, Gil, Gabby

    This 4,2,3,1 can switch to 4,4,2 or 4,5,1 when not in possession

    All with first name Jordan

  18. Very well put Ian
    i think you sum up the feeling of many a football fan who loves a club along with many other sports

    lets not be fooled about randy backing the club as he hasn’t really spent himself so far this window and it seems unlikely that he will

    great juggling by Tim and backroom has improved the quality / potential of the squad but we are still short going into the season imo

    saying all that if the club is sold before the next window the club will have a good base for the buyer to build on

    tough game tomorrow – real big test of were we are

  19. Darren: they don’t deserve a slur — touche! I think I’ll wind him up by calling his team “Craptal Palarse”!!

    Loved your renaming of the team with all G’s

  20. I don’t think a win is out of the question. As far as tactics go, it’s all a bit of a cr*p shoot when you are trying to guess what the opposition is up to. I’d like to see Villa start on the front foot right away, none of this feeling the other team o ut. First blood is so important. Just like a street fight, first score usually wins.

  21. I think we have a real chance at beating Palace we are stronger in defence, have several very good players returning, are an unknown to their manager
    and are another week fitter.

    Runtingz – I can understand why you’d say it hasn’t cost Randy anything but I don’t buy into this Randy’s spent nothing yet? Β£50 m is definitely something and mostly profit at that, as much as Lambert in 3 seasons.

    He could of said OK replace 3 players for cleverly, Tekkers and Delph here’s Β£20m and make do with what you have, Tim did say he could keep us up and we wouldn’t be in the same position with the same players did he not?

    Lerner if he was really being tight would take him up on that and pocket Β£30m . With the amount of places TS has been spotted at recently too I doubt the spend is finished yet. I suspect TS has been given Β£20-5 mil plus whatever he generates from sales. IMO Benteke was always off but not Delph in TS’s mind and he held out for the Β£32.5 mil, good business.

    In reality if you take away what we have spent on the recent departures fees and wages it would be way over Β£50m especially as bent left with no fee, in fact he’s cost the club Β£42 m while he’s been here.

  22. If the defense stacks up like everyone thinks they will, we can expect an attacking midfield more often than not. If one more striker shows up we will be in for an exciting year.
    Teams to beat for me? Lpool, arsenal and Tottenham. I just have that little bit of dislike for them. Mourino gets my goat too. But then that’s his game. Not much love for Martinez either.

  23. Ian: ” If one more striker shows up we will be in for an exciting year.”

    I see there’s a hint that there’s no more loot left to spend until some more go out of the door.

    So that clearly indicates that the summer’s expenditures have been courtesy of the Benteke and Delph sales … not because the chairman has felt a sense of generousity.

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