One of the annoying things of social media is the impulse of people to spout out their kangaroo court verdicts on a matter without giving it due consideration, showing empathy or considering the context. Also, there is never ever any consequence to their comments.
So, when a Villa supporter is captured in the act of giving Aston Villa players a piece of his mind with a tirade of expletives, suddenly you have Tweets labelling him a hooligan, a thug, a disgrace to Villa fans and people wanting him banned. Picking up on the theme, the newspaper media and football websites starts to also froth at the mouth with click-bait articles, with titles like ‘A Shameful Day for Aston Villa’.
Get a grip. This was a video of supporters swearing at under-performing players. That’s it.
SMALL TIME CONTEXT
Yes, the main protagonist shouldn’t have sworn in such a manner, mainly because there were minors present, but he’s feeling powerless to what has happened to his team this season. Lets have some context here…
In other countries that bus could have had its windows put through or worse. Just ask Roma players when their fans attacked the team bus with rocks, eggs and bricks, smashing windows, after losing a cup final against their rivals Lazio. That wasn’t a one-off either, last month the Roma player’s coach was attacked by eggs after they got knocked out of the cup by Spezia.
In Greece, in 2011, Larissa’s team bus was attacked by a few hundred of its own fans after the team had been beaten 3-0, it’s windows were smashed up with rocks, eggs and yogurt (well, it is Greece!).
Let’s not even go into detail about what has previously happened in Turkey, where yogurt is replaced with guns.
These things happen because fans are fanatical and bleed the club colours and if they get a sniff that the players don’t, then expect trouble. The fan in the video has spent around £3000 this season following his club home and away (see below).
Is this supporter (one of several) that hurled abuse at the players boarding the bus, a ‘hooligan’? Well, compare the incident to what went down in Anderlecht in 1982 and get back to me.
As any regular MOMS reader will know, we’re not one for knee-jerk reaction to Villa matters, especially when Villa supporters are concerned. There has been several bits of evidence sent to MOMS since the game:
The first one from a young fan a witnessed an incident that doesn’t exactly paint Villa players’ attitude in a glowing light…
‘Yesterday at the match, as I was in the home stand with my Wycombe-supporting friend, one of their fans was shouting the usual abuse at Villa players. As Richardson went past, he called him lazy and said Villa were going down or something like that, and yelled “Why don’t you just go home mate?” Richardson turned to the stand, rubbed his thumb and finger in a ‘I’m-making-lots-of-money’ gesture, then jogged on laughing. I think that says a lot about where we are…’
Throw in Bacuna’s ill-advised instagram photo and also reports of Lescott and Guzan telling fans to f**k off and you can understand why the blood might boil.
There was a video sent in from a young fan that showed the incident from the other side of the bus, where you see some players stopping to sign autographs and fans saying ‘unlucky’ to them and Rémi Garde. Also, it had my favourite comment directed at a Villa player this weekend – “Try a little bit harder next time mate”.
It’s at odds with what the media have made out that all Villa supporters were abusing players by putting random photos of fans next to salacious headlines.
Vouching For Your Mate
The most interesting message MOMS received was from a friend of the main fan dishing out the verbals in the main video.
Nowadays we sometimes choke on political correctness due to social media and take the bait of media sensationalism. So this guy in the video was just a mindless animal, was he? In two dimensions maybe, but lets paint him in three dimensions, as his friend reached out to MOMS to do…
Message from Fan in video’s mate
The bald guy at the doors of the coach was one of my best mates who I was at the game with.
What that video doesn’t show is him having a conversation and laughing with the female Police officer the whole time we was waiting for the players, or him getting the small girl onto the coach to get her shirt signed by Kozak as he boarded the coach way before everyone else or him congratulating the Wycombe players as they left the stadium.
Yet he is getting branded a hooligan and thug, when he’s actually far from it. Yes he may have gone over the top, but like the rest of us, he is highly passionate about the club and has finally snapped after spending around £3000 following the Villa up and down the country so far this season.
He, along with the rest of my mates who go the game’s have given those players everything we have got in terms of supporting them and will continue to, but after the last three performances, added to our league position, it’s extremely hard to applaud them off the pitch.
Rest assured for the final 18 games of this season, plus the cup game(s), we will be at every game giving the players all the vocal support humanely possible for 90 mins as we always have done. We are all Villa fans together so let’s show unity and stop arguing and fighting with each other because we don’t agree with something.
KEEP THE LION FLAG FLYING HIGH!
Who’s to Blame
Does his mate sound like a mindless thug? I don’t think so. Have I ever been to a football match where I haven’t heard someone swear? Nope. Most football fans after all, don’t sit around drinking fine tea from china cups and listening to opera, before a game.
The irony is the fan in question, seems to show more dedication and spends more money than all the moral crusaders who flippantly judge him from behind their keyboards.
There certainly seems to be more tolerance for swearing in the real world then on the internet nowadays. Put it that way.
Yes, as previously stated, the guy shouldn’t be swearing, especially in front of kids, but the players shouldn’t be swearing at supporters either. The supporter’s anger at the moment is hardly surprising considering the way Villa supporters have been made mugs of by their club and their players.
The way to improve supporter behaviour is simple – Randy Lerner, Tom Fox and co, need to sort their act out.
In the meantime, stay classy Villa fans.