Are the Villa hated? and Remi talks about commitment

“Nath” asked what our views are about how outsiders perceive Aston Villa as a club and I’m happy to chuck my tuppence worth in.

The simple answer is I really don’t think anyone has a major problem with the club, certainly not from other club’s supporters anyway.

Newcastle supporters are probably itching to be the ones who ultimately send us down this season, after we took the proverbial out of them when we relegated them, but I’d been on a few of their websites previously and the consensus was that they had no beef with us.

What has been a surprise to me more than anything is the fact that even Blues fans I work with have hardly mentioned the Liverpool defeat and I was dreading seeing them after that disaster.
The truth is I thank them for that. They probably saw how low I was.
But even from them, banter apart, I’ve always got the impression that they think we shouldn’t really be going down.
It’s a grudging respect, I think.

I always trawl opinions in the Newspaper websites, to try and gauge how others see us and while you’ll always get the odd mug, I’ve found that fans of the big clubs particularly tend to feel sorry for us and genuinely do see us as a bit of an institution, with words like “great awayday experience”, “brilliant history” and “great support” cropping up often.
That said, I think there’s also a case that we’ve not been perceived as a major threat for a long time either, which makes it more difficult to dislike a club.

So I don’t believe it’s the fans then.

As for the media, well, they’ve never really liked us have they?
Even when we won the league, the papers were rooting for the tractor boys.
Although in fairness, that could just have been about wanting the smaller club to win out, much the same as many are rooting for Leicester this season.
But basically, there’s more to it than just that, imo.
We’re Midlands and it’s just a no-man’s land, stuck between the North-west and London, which are the only two places that seem to matter, it seems.
Losing out to Manchester for the BBC studios was a bit of a blow to me, but I digress.

What I do find interesting, is that it seems to me that the closer you are to the club, the more incisive the comments have been.

People like Collymore, Merson and God have been amongst the biggest critics and while the latter two might not be so well connected anymore, you’d expect they might have some inkling of what’s really going on. Collymore probably even more so.
And then there’s Lambert and McLeish.
They’d know better than almost anyone.
And pretty much everything I’ve read from them (if I can be bothered) comes across as thinly veiled negativity.
It isn’t good.

Moving on to the commitment thing then and if you haven’t heard this, you really might want to, as it isn’t good either;

I know. It’s Ron Toss. But he does ask some pertinent questions.
Remi talks about commitment and basically says that he’s struggling to pick the players up.

Having listened, I wonder if there’s a bit of confusion caused by the language, where Remi might be confusing “commitment” with “confidence”, but that was addressed separately so I don’t think so.

What does come across to me in the comments, is that some of the players don’t give a toss, but the manager has no options but to keep playing them, as they’re basically the best of a bad bunch.
Which just reinforces my view that we won’t be seeing many kids starting in the next few games.

If this is what Remi thinks, you have to wonder what his opinions of the younger players really are and I find that thought frankly scary.
If the rot goes as low as the younger squad players, we’re in deep, deep trouble.
Maybe this is why the ex pros are saying we’ll struggle so much next year?

I don’t know, but things just get bleaker by the day, it seems.

Not only is the team incredibly poor, but we seem a club in utter disarray; even more so than that Newcastle side/club that got relegated.

Still, they managed to get back up pretty sharpish.


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  1. Benno
    Benno February 26, 2016 at 6:17 am . Reply

    Outside of the midlands (and away from Geordie land) I think Villa are pretty well liked. Traditional club, big support and a team I think neutrals are behind.

    However, i think us going down is no surprise to anyone. In fact, it was inevitable unless there were major changes at the club. On the p*ss taking front, we are so bad its almost not worth taking the p*ss. I remember thinking the same about the Blues a few years back…I almost felt sorry for them!

    1. pat57
      pat57 February 26, 2016 at 6:33 am . Reply


      Agree that we’re so pathetic that taking the piss would be inappropriate for many people.

      Guy slips on banana skin – funny, laugh, take the piss. Whatever.

      We’re a car crash, no-one takes the piss out of a car crash.

  2. Hitchens 60
    Hitchens 60 February 26, 2016 at 7:49 am . Reply

    Badger I think your point that it’s a negative attitude (media) towards the West Midland rather than Villa in particular is a good one. Somewhere we got bounced by the South / North axis and became the area no one cares about – apart from the Brummies.

    For all Birmingham have done to reinvent Birmingham they seem to have done that in isolation and missed out on the goodies. The LEP over which Chairman Hollis presides (does he still?) is supposed to be a major driving force in economic regeneration of the region.

    I rest my case!

    Like you I can’t find anything positive to say. Sad times.

    1. saddened
      saddened February 26, 2016 at 12:07 pm . Reply

      “Aston Villa – the club that peddled backwards and expected to stand still”

      Headline in the Guardian, probably one of the best descriptions of Villa I have read in a long long time…

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 February 26, 2016 at 1:10 pm . Reply

        Saddened – do you have a link to the article?

          1. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 February 26, 2016 at 8:44 pm . Reply

            It’s a brilliant piece of football writing that absolutely captures everything that is wrong about Villa and underpins the very concerns voiced by fans since before MON abandoned a sinking ship he effectively holed by his own actions – summed up by one piece of staggering arrogance over the transfer of Cahill.

            Continuing the allegory, Lerner the captain of a sinking ship appointing the medical office to rearrange the deck chairs whilst conducting the orchestra!

            The piece also draws a parallel with the decline (‘wasteland’) of the West Midlands – and Chairman Hollis is / was chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership – there is no hope!

          2. Benno
            Benno February 27, 2016 at 1:50 am . Reply

            Finally a journalist who understands what happened at Villa! Very good article.

        1. saddened
          saddened February 26, 2016 at 4:07 pm . Reply

          Quite a sad reflection to be honest summed up by “Villa is a masterpiece of broken promises and it adorns a derelict football club whose fate has finally caught up”.

          1. Hitchens 60
            Hitchens 60 February 26, 2016 at 6:07 pm . Reply

            Thanks mate; will read later – cooking dinner at mo 🙂

  3. Paul Taylot
    Paul Taylot February 26, 2016 at 8:28 am . Reply

    I’ve said for years that there is an actual effort being made by the government,bbc or whoever you wanna mention to keep the West Midlands and Birmingham in particular from becoming to strong and powerful,they know that if we was to be in a position to challenge London on an even plain then we would blow them and the rest of England out the water,we all know we should have the biggest airport’s in the country,the national stadium should have been built here,the new parliament and if the bbc was gonna leave London the it should have been taken to Birmingham,a continuous effort is being made in the media to ridicule everything from our accent to our music,arts and sport while sucking off Manchester and Liverpool at every opportunity,

  4. nath
    nath February 26, 2016 at 12:36 pm . Reply

    thanxs for sharing your views :)) its the ex players like sidwell, saying we will struggle next year and the former coach ray wilkins constant villa bashing which is annoying me, he speaks more now about us than in his short stay.

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 February 26, 2016 at 12:53 pm . Reply

      Don’t even bother to read the rubbish Wilkins spouts – his CV with the Villa says it all.

  5. pat57
    pat57 February 26, 2016 at 1:36 pm . Reply

    The only views that matter are the fans (and God knows we’ve been making our feelings clear) and those who can change things inside VP.

    As we’ve not heard a sausage from them we’re bound to get this space filled with venom from some of the old has-beens. After all Nature abhors a vacuum.

  6. pat57
    pat57 February 26, 2016 at 3:37 pm . Reply

    Shawcross and Muniesa both out for the game against Stoke.

    I used to give a toss about stuff like this but now find I just don’t care. Stoke could field their U18s and they’d batter us (big sigh).

    Actually looking forward to the cricket season, at least it will mean that this shambles will be brought to an end.

    1. Saddened
      Saddened February 26, 2016 at 4:09 pm . Reply

      Ahhhh Cricket, what a welcome relief, I feel like a dog thats been run over – I just need putting out of my misery!

      1. Hitchens 60
        Hitchens 60 February 26, 2016 at 6:11 pm . Reply

        Yep looking forward to going to a couple of test matches at Lords and a good season for the Bears with Belly and Trotty in the side

  7. Sir Earl Barratt
    Sir Earl Barratt February 26, 2016 at 6:59 pm . Reply

    I take an opposing view to most on here so far. I reckon there’s plenty of fans that will delight in seeing us drop. I’m afraid that as far as the rest of the football world is concerned, Villa fans – and I include myself – have fallen squarely in the ‘we’re bigger than we think we are’ category. I still think we should be battering teams like Watford, palace, Bournemouth, Leicester et al. The sad fact is we’re a pathetic specimen of a badly run club and we’ve been overtaken, no lapped, by teams who shouldn’t be in our league historically. There’s always a big team that you’d love to drop, it’s the British psyche to revel at a fallen hero – it’s why the news of the world used to sell so many papers when a big star was on the front page being humiliated. I came out of the ground when we relegated Newcastle with a smug grin the same as thousands of others. Well this season it’s us. We’ve lauded it over clubs for twenty premier league years and now it’s over. I’ll be at Stoke tomorrow and hear their fans singing ‘that’s why you’re going down’ as our one shot of the game sails over into the crowd. Why shouldn’t players like Sidwell have his say – he was told he wasn’t good enough to play for the mighty Villa and now a 25 year old Sidwell would walk into the team along with countless others we’ve got rid of. I’m afraid we’ll need to grow some thick skin over the coming months as it’ll get much worse before it gets better! As ever, UTV.

  8. Rocky1
    Rocky1 February 26, 2016 at 8:26 pm . Reply

    Slightly off topic but has any one noticed on the OS that they no longer report on the daily media reports. They used to post an am and pm press reports, but nothing since 18/02/2016. Strange that one, nothing positive to read I know but still interesting to see what the press have to say about us.

    1. originallondonlion
      originallondonlion February 26, 2016 at 10:43 pm . Reply

      It is not off topic at all, it follows the Stalinist attitude of Tom Fox towards criticism and his own fans. He is not going to have the current commentary about Villa published on his site.

      Stalin meets Napoleon in the next world, and says “I have always admired you as an inspirational commander. Had you been in charge of the Red Army the Germans would have been halted at the Russian border.” Napoleon thanks him and says “Well I have always admired you also. If Europe had possessed newspapers like Pravda and Isvestia – nobody would have heard of Waterloo.”

    2. originallondonlion
      originallondonlion February 26, 2016 at 10:55 pm . Reply

      I don’t know anyone who supports a London side and who has been to Villa Park who hates Villa. The clubs they dislike, with reasons, are the ones you would expect. United – far too cocky and Liverpool – an evil bunch when they are not winning. Chelsea fans haven’t the cheek to resent Citeh buying the title – but everyone else has.

      The usual comments about Villa Park are that the stadium is inspirational, the stately home of football is agreed.

      1. pat57
        pat57 February 26, 2016 at 11:42 pm . Reply

        Always thought OLL’s comments were quire considered….until this one that is. Badly done indeed!

        1. pat57
          pat57 February 26, 2016 at 11:43 pm . Reply

          By the way if anyone wants to dislike this I’d like then to leave a reply saying why

          1. Stubbs
            Stubbs February 27, 2016 at 7:43 am . Reply

            I dis-liked your comment because I don’t agree with it.

            That’s the way it works Isn’t it?

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