Villa Blues

I hold my hand up, when I was a kid supporting Villa, I didn’t know much of the magnitude of the Villa vs Blues rivalry. While I was born in the Midlands, I was more east side and also the Blues were fannying around in the lower leagues most of the time when I became old enough to start going to games.

It only took one game to work out how fierce the rivalry was though. Villa had drawn the Blues in the second round of the 1993/94 League Cup. They had won the away leg 1-0 at St Andrews and living in Birmingham at the time, I made my way down to Villa Park for the return leg on a crisp October night.

Approaching Villa Park that night, it was like a warzone (or like Handsworth around fireworks night back then). A helicopter whirled up above supporters blowing their hair with its bluster, while shining a spot-light on supporters at the turnstiles. The only thing missing was machine gun fire from the chopper.

The League Cup seems to bring out the fiercest atmospheres between Villa/Blues, one pundit suggested the post-match events of the 2010 quarter-final – mass pitch invasion stand-off between fans, flares, flying seats – was the final nail in the coffin of England’s 2018 World Cup bid.

From the recent Daily Telegraph article detailing the worst England football rivalries, it seems that night was long forgotten by the writer…

Headline

The 20 fiercest rivalries in English football – by Jonathan Liew

Spiel

Liew’s order of fiercest is as follows:

20th – Oxford United v Swindon Town

19th – Hereford United v Shrewsbury Town

18th – Grimsby Town v Lincoln City

17th – Luton vs Watford

16th -Brighton and Hove Albion v Crystal Palace

15th – Chester v Wrexham

14th – Everton v Liverpool

13th – Portsmouth v Southampton

12th – Aston Villa v Birmingham City

11th – Manchester City v Manchester United

10th – West Bromwich Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers

9th – Blackburn Rovers v Burnley

8th – Bristol City v Bristol Rovers

7th – Derby County v Nottingham Forest

6th – Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

5th – Ipswich Town v Norwich City

4th – Millwall v West Ham United

3rd – Sheffield United vs Sheffield Wednesday

2nd – Newcastle United vs Sunderland

1st – Cardiff City vs Swansea City

 Evaluation

1. 12th? Are you serious? Behind the Bristol clubs, Manchester clubs, Norwich/Ipswich, and Sheffield clubs (which has died down a bit in recent times)? I’d say Villa and Blues is Top Five at least. We’re just let down by the Blues underachievement and preference for the lower leagues in recent decades.

2. Most alarmingly is placing Villa/Blues behind Wolves/WBA. Now Wolves and the Baggies don’t care for each other much, but the Blues and Villa HATE each other. It’s nasty, toxic and particularly unsavory rivalry, where mutual respect is nowhere to be found.

The 2010 League Cup final quarter-final battle would have been a war if the police hadn’t formed a line across the pitch. Forest and Derby can be tasty, but I rate the Blues and Villa hate, as the fiercest in the Midlands for sure.

3. The fiercest rivalry in English football is between two Welsh clubs? You do the geography and maths on that!

4. Remember this?

 

violence-flares-after-the-birmingham-city-v-aston-villa-carling-cup-clash-in-december-2010-149233449

This is standard for Villa vs Blues. Not that we’re proud of it or anything.

For the full record of Villa vs Blues rivalry – click here

Media Muppet Rating:

7/10 – of course, a lot of this is a matter of opinion and everyone will consider their own particular local rivalries as the most fierce from their personal experiences, but there’s some odd choices on the list, to say the least.

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I think the problem here is a lot of these media muppet assessments are done on fan surveys. The most important factor in these is usually a pecentage of fans from two clubs that name each other as their biggest rival. This explains why areas of the country where there are multiple clubs (i.e multiple choice) it dilutes the percentages. Villans may have said Wolves or West Brom. United fans may have said Liverpool or Chelsea. West Ham may not necessarily say Millwall. Different generations, different scores to settle. Swansea or Ipswich fans – on the other hand – can only say Cardiff of Norwich. That is their rival. So, like this article suggests, the media havent really done their homework properly, of course not to belittle the rivalies in East Anglia and South Wales.

    Great blog btw!

    Up the Villa!

  2. I agree Blues/Villa would be top 5. Millwall vs West Ham has to be at No 1. Pure evil. And have seen 2000 a side at it outside the stadium before, half bricks flying and all. And that was before the match.

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