Aston Villa away days trip to the Boleyn Ground

 

The blistering winds and bitter temperatures certainly set a different scene for this year’s trip to Upton Park when compared to the heat wave scorcher that provided the opening fixture of last season. However, as usual, the Villa faithful were undeterred, another sell out away visit, another rammed pub and high hopes of three points.

The Central pub welcomes both sets of fans, meaning whilst we were segregated, it’s easy enough to indulge in a little pre-match banter. Spirits were high, and as the beer slipped down, the fans entertained themselves with a song or two. Rather amusingly so, one chorus from Hammer’s fans of “chim chim chriee, chim chim chiroo, we are those b**tards in claret and blue”, saw Villa fans ironically join in; you’d be forgiven for thinking the pub was completely full of Villa fans. In fact as I snuck over to the other side of the bar (easier to get served as a homebody), I amusingly heard one of the Irons proclaim, ‘Them lot are a noisy bunch, we’re shut them up later’.

Marching (being blown down) Barking Road just after half two, the news of Sylla starting, meant an onslaught of ‘Sylla, Sylla, he loves the f**king Villa, the Villa’, pretty much continuously from pub to ground.

Upon entering the ground, I immediately remembered why I disliked it so much. I’m not sure about the home stands but the away fans conditions are truly awful. I’d go as far as saying they’re even a health & safety issue. I did have to smirk at the one of the stewards who proclaimed ‘there’s too many Villa fans in here’. Erm…I’m pretty sure you sold each of us a ticket.

Things turned from bad to worse as the minute’s silence in honour of our fallen heroes began. Now, I’m not sure if the stewards just didn’t deem it necessary to inform those still inside of what was happening, or whether some people really are vile enough not to respect it, but chanting, singing, even shouting at others to ‘shut the f**k up’ is completely out-of-order. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one stood, red-faced cringing at the racket behind us. Next time stay at home.

Kick off…. zzzzz. Half time.

The Villa away support is usually hard to fault, always lively, always in full voice and always game for a wind up. However even we seemed a little dejected at the poor quality of football playing out before us. It was for this reason I feel we never really got going, a verse of ‘Paul Lambert’s Claret & Blue Army, and a round or two of the ever so cringey ‘We don’t care about West Ham… All I care about is AVFC’ summarised the first half.

Sometimes singing ‘bla bla’s a s**t hole, I wanna go home’ is a little harsh, but in this case, it couldn’t have been truer.  Trying really hard not to just fill this post with moaning (the twitterati will have my head), but I know a lot of people were unhappy at the lack of facilities/crushing/bar shutters being bought down/unhelpfulness of the stewards. I expect West Ham will be issuing some sort of apology, as we asked them to do last year, shortly…

A renewed sense of optimism greeted the returning troops to the field for the second half; however this was short-lived, as we failed to make any real impact. Simply keeping hold of the ball seemed too much of an ask. Chants of ‘Woaaaaah, Christian Benteke’ cried out, mostly out of desperation, that we might just try and create something, push forward a little, utilise the gaping holes of space, but sadly not.  Then out of no-where, in the midst of despair, Lowton wips the ball into the box onto to Benteke’s head, the fans are half-way in the air to celebrate… when it rebounds off the crossbar. The best chance of the game by a mile, but unfortunately he just couldn’t bury it.

Not one of my favourite away days to say the least, in fact, probably one to be swiftly forgotten. On the plus side, we did surrender all three points last season, so a point is definitely a bonus. But the frustration is growing, especially with our home form being so poor. Usually, pubs are still fairly lively post-match, however as with Hull, my crew were pretty much the only ones around.

Thumping Arsenal at the Emirates seems a long, long time ago. Roll on Cardiff, a goal or two would be nice, aye? I’ve almost forgotten how it feels. UTV.

 

* Are you an Aston Villa away supporter who was at the game? Tell us your experiences from the game in the comments below…

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Picture by John Burton

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12 COMMENTS

  1. @ westhamwag – why apologise to whu? – the silence wasn’t for you. Next you’ll be threatening to come & mess up our minutes silence as retaliation!
    Even on the video thats doing the rounds you can hear from the echo on the noise that its coming from under the stand, with only the miguided shouts to shut them up coming from the stand itself.
    You’d think that only cockneys had Grandad’s! Why would Vills fans want to disrespect a silence for war heroes? Like I said, its not your silence, it belongs to all of us.

  2. I was in the concourse and it wasn’t until I came up the gangway I realised a silence was going on. At which point I stood still on the steps and paid my respects as every villa fan still down there would have done had they simply known.

  3. The noise from the Villa fans wasn’t in the concourse, and it wasn’t singing it was just shouting to be rude/crude. I was in the main stand and I could here people ‘shushing’ them and asking for quiet and getting abuse in return. If you want decent facilities they need to start acting in a decent manner…….it was a disgrace to the people who gave their lives for them, and those of you making excuses for the bad behaviour should be ashamed.

  4. I was still trying to get in your little shithole of an away end so missed the minutes silence…6 tiny gangways for away fans to try and squueze through ..the away facilities have gotta be the worst i have ever seen in my life ..even Pompey had better and you have to que single file to have a piss down there …how there wasnt a crush at half time il never know.. i had to squeeze my way out of it n go back to my seat ..how they can charge £42 for that is beyond me

  5. Think Villa should apologise to WHU for the disrespectful way that they treated the minute’s silence

    • By all accounts, those Villa fans were in the concourse and didn’t know there was a minutes silence. Maybe the stewards should have given them a head’s up? After all, it’s a bit early for remembrance day silence. It’s an unfortunate occurrence, but if they had known, they more than likely wouldn’t have made any noise.

  6. Now, now Johnsey, not our finest display away from home fan wise, but no noise at all isn’t correct. I was standing just next to your lot as it goes. Must say despite the poor ground, the lads/lasses to the side of us did seem good craic.

    Greg – Anyone who is aware of the minutes silence and opens their mouth, whether it’s to shout shut up, laugh or any other expletives.

  7. I don’t know where you were standing mate but Villa were easily the worse set of fans to visit the Boleyn this season.
    No noise whatsoever.

  8. Are you asking the singing fans in the concourse, who had no idea of the minutes silence, to stay at home?

    Please clarify.

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