A hard one this week. Villa are one of those clubs that I really don’t care about. That sounds nasty, but it’s not, they just don’t interest me that much. Despite them being in the top flight for as long as I can remember, they weren’t one of the sides that excited me about being promoted. So you’ll have to bare with me, I might make it to number five, I might not.
Crash, Bang, Wallop!
It’s an easy one this. When the crash barriers on the popular side at Springfield Park needed a revamp (probably to prevent a reduction in capacity to around 10 people) Aston Villa were in the process of renovation themselves as a result we managed to pick up the crash barriers from the Holt End second hand, a lick of paint later and they’re as good as new.
Do I not like that!
Graham Taylor, the best I can summon up for him is a strange mixture of repulsion and pity. I’m sure that’s not fair, that he’s one of the nicest guys around, that he cares and is knowledgeable about his football, but knowing that doesn’t help. Although he’d probably prefer to be remembered for his achievements with Watford he goes hand in hand with Villa for me. I think it’s something to do with Tony Daley.
Go on, be honest, the most painful thing about not qualifying for the 1994 World Cup was having Taylor as manager. Not even his regeneration as a media darling following his stewarding of the ‘celebrity’ team on The Match has redeemed in my eyes, maybe it’s made things worse.
Villa have a chairman so manager hungry and outspoken he makes Mr Whelan in his dafter moments look serene. He makes it sound like he’s spent billions on the club whilst all around him are crying out for more investment and regularly threatens to sell up and ship out, then when he realises no one cares then shuts up for a bit. There’s probably a lesson in there, but I’ll not push it.
In a taxi from New Street, visiting a mate living in Birmingham. It’s clear that the driver hasn’t a clue where he’s supposed to be taking me and the meter is ticking over. I’ve been before, and have a rough idea where I am and where I’m going so I ask him to drop me ‘next to this big building here’. To my surprise and down to my stupidity, ‘this big building’ is Villa Park. A football stadium built out of brick was not something I’d noticed before and it’s the one thing that sticks out about the club for me. Right in the middle of the local community, the whole lot should probably be listed so expect a retail park some time in the next 5 years.
“Well done, I hope you manage to keep your team up this season”. What are you supposed to say to that? “I bet you do, you condescending git”? “F*** off you annoying man”? “how are the goldfish doing?”. According to the ‘grapevine’ Jewell was posed this challenge at a meeting of Premier League managers during the summer, luckily he was a little more on the ball than I would have been and gave the almost perfect response, “Thanks, I hope you do too”.
Jewell has a long memory, and Saturday gives him another chance to hammer home the point he was making, we’re not here to be patronised, we don’t want other teams to wish us well, in fact we’d prefer it if you were more than a little bit bitter after we’ve met.
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