The following short article below on Villa’s current plight, I wrote for the Daily Mail this week and since I know a lot of people don’t like to click on their site in principle, I’ve posted it here as it sums up the situation and certainly how MOMS feels at the moment about Villa… 

[quote_center]’You have to feel sorry for the younger generation of Villa fans who have experienced nothing but the bland decay of their beloved club.'[/quote_center]

There’s a saying among Villa fans, that you don’t chose Aston Villa, it chooses you. At the moment though, supporting the club feels like having to serve a sentence for a crime you didn’t commit.

Since Martin O’Neill stormed out of the club after having drained chairman Randy Lerner’s resources in a bid to reach the honeypot of the Champions League, Villa have been in free fall.

O’Neill ultimately failed, Lerner wasn’t impressed and Villa supporters simply suffered.

Current boss Paul Lambert said after Villa’s last game, when responding to questions about agitated supporters calling for his head, that ‘the expectancy levels outweigh the realism’.

Lambert knows, though, considering his 41 and 38-point season finishes and the unwanted records he’s collected, including having the worst Premier League record of any Villa manager, one thing fans have been is patient with him.

I’ve lost count of the number of managers local rivals West Brom have fired during Lambert’s time at Villa Park.

Even in the face of constant humiliation (losing to Bradford City in a semi-final, being beaten 8-0 by Chelsea, suffering a record 10 home league defeats in a season, and losing six games in a row this season), we’ve always hoped Lambert could turn it around. But he hasn’t.

With 11 goals in 21 league games our ‘expectancy levels’ have now dropped to praying for shots on target and maybe seeing a Villa goal some day.

It’s sad.

Certainly in my lifetime, Villa have traditionally been considered a top-half team with ambitions of European football. I’ve personally seen them win everything bar the FA Cup. Yet, as the club enters its fifth consecutive relegation battle, fans’ ambition has been dumbed down to Premier League survival.

Relegation shouldn’t even be in an Aston Villa supporter’s vernacular, and you have to feel sorry for the younger generation of Villa fans who have experienced nothing but the bland decay of their beloved club.

The overriding problem is a lack of strategic consistency.

There was a change in transfer policy from young and hungry (and cheap) to low-cost journeymen, an astonishing U-turn on the exiled ‘bomb squad’ players. While on the pitch, Lambert, recently switched to the same possession-based ethos he abandoned during his first season in charge.

The latest edition, again offers a chronic lack of cutting edge in the final third, but hopefully the signing of Carles Gil will remedy that and make the increasingly disillusioned Christian Benteke a threat once again.

[quote_center]’There’s a saying among Villa fans, that you don’t chose Aston Villa, it chooses you. At the moment though, supporting the club feels like having to serve a sentence for a crime you didn’t commit.'[/quote_center]

Off the pitch, we finally heard directly from our chairman in a statement in May last year, that he was selling the club.

He told us: ‘I owe it to Villa to move on, and look for fresh, invigorated leadership, if in my heart I feel I can no longer do the job.’

He’s still the chairman, yet we haven’t heard much from him since (July 7th 2014 was the last time), although we are often reminded by Lambert that Lerner owns a telephone and television, so he knows what is happening at the club.

Does he know he gave the Villa boss a new four-year contract, a mere four games after he ended the previous season with relegation form of 38 points? It’s baffling why he did it.

The new Villa CEO Tom Fox talks about the club’s future being in Europe, but increasingly-worried supporters feel it’s more likely to be in the Championship.

After all, we’ve heard the Europe line before from Fox’s predecessor.

The proposed supporter demonstration of vacating the Holte End for the first eight minutes of the game against Liverpool is simply saying ‘enough is enough’. This compromised version of Aston Villa can’t continue.

We want to be confident of what the custodians of our club are doing. We want clarity. We want ambition. And most of all, we want our Villa back.

My Old Man Said (@oldmansaid) on Twitter

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17 COMMENTS

  1. I’m glad you published your article, at least it allows the national media and it’s readers a chance to think about where the famous Aston Villa they once saw winning trophies and playing in Europe have been hiding the past few years.

    I confess, the stay away-style protest feels petty to me, but then it perhaps reflects the sheer impotence of fans in a situation like this – what else can a fan do but stop visibly supporting?

    I do believe Paul Lambert has to move on for someone else to be given a go. Both McLeish and he were initially welcomed and applauded by the Villa fans – I saw this with my own eyes – but since then each delivered statistically the worst seasons we have seen in our clubs entire history, Lambert even outdoing McLeish.

    Meanwhile, clubs like Swansea and Southampton, smaller set-ups but with positivity and input from the owners, a good plan, bright managerial and player signings, have shown the Premier League how is can be done.

    When I watch these teams play, I am reminded of Brian Little’s team, by no means full of superstars, but with many solid professions who we developed or who were skilfully bought in, getting into Europe and playing brightly and winning our last trophy.

    There’s also a wrong notion that Villa have had no money for transfers in recent years – when actually I remember in most transfer windows there have been two or three interesting or promising signings, many of whom seem to get barely a handful of games and are never seen again – that’s just my impression.

    These are just my views, and my facts might not be right, but the current situation is heart-breaking, and I just had to say a few words.

  2. Ok David thanks for putting me right regarding your correspondence with the Mail.
    I do understand you (this website) is part of a collective, it’s just that I disagree with the collectives descision to demonstrate in this particular way at this particular match.
    I’m actually looking forward to Saturday (not your demonstration) but the 3 o’clock kick off against one of the bigger clubs, with a brand new Spanish signing on view.
    In fact I’ve already started my pre-match preparations (along with my wife who is also a season ticket holder)
    By the way she thinks it’s a crap idea too, and she’s far more switched on than I am.
    Anyway I sense my own opinion is not going to influence you to change your mind, so I will bow out of this thread now and channel my thoughts into attempting to convince my fellow drinkers in the New Aston Social Club that the MOMS website is not necessarily the Daddy that I though it was.
    VTID

  3. David,
    You are already aware of my thoughts on the proposed protest on Saturday, and I can understand why you would write to one of the nationals to help gain support or advertise our current feelings as supporters.
    However I would suggest that the majority of Aston Villa fans (both attendees and non-attendees) would not choose the Daily Mail as their first port of call to read about their club.
    I’ve just checked out the Mail on-line and said article has 185 shares and 16 comments (I truely hope these are by Villa fans) as I’m fed up already with my personal mobile contact list (non-Aston Villa fans) continually bombarding me with texts taking the piss out of this proposed 8 minute stand off.
    I respect your right to protest (indeed I would happily take part in something….anything else but this!) and would ask you to reconsider this idea before saturday and instead use your brilliant website/twitter influance to call it off until something less likely to back fire is suggested. If nothing else lets give Carles Gil the welcome he deserves!

    • The Daily Mail approached me before the idea of a demonstration was out, to comment on the supporter malaise, the coma Villa have been in, their terrible scoring record, pressure on Lambert etc, etc.

      I informed them on the demo and they ran their own new story the day before the above opinion piece, which broke it the idea wider.

      Hopefully you can guess my feelings towards the Daily Mail, but it is what it is – largest circulation newspaper in the UK (at least the sports section is ok).

      By the way, I’m simply part of a collective who have come up with a idea that supporters can chose to pursue or not. It’s entirely their choice.

      There is a huge amount of dissatisfaction about a whole number of things, so this was an idea of galvanising all these issues getting the ball rolling in terms of supporters letting their views known.

      As one of the editors of the other sites who came up with the idea, said: ‘It’s not a protest, The overriding aim is to demonstrate what is going to happen if things continue as they are. There is no significant call beyond showing some ambition. Are we here to compete or not?’

      The 8 mins symbolises the future if things continue, while the 82 mins (symbolic to our finest hour in 1982) demonstrates how it should be, if the crowd rise to the challenge and show their might.

      It’s not just about the 8 mins, the 82 mins is actually more important. UTV

  4. I like your website and respect your passion but I can’t agree with you.

    Lerner is in no way worse than Ellis, or the Bendalls, or Dugdales, in fact, when you look at the balance sheet, Lerner is a fool, but for pouring money in, where the others only ever took it out.

    Villa’s problems aren’t just on the pitch, and they aren’t all down to Paul Lambert. Villa got caught short by a naive Lerner and MON, who spent the family silver, then ran off in a huff when he couldn’t spend more.

    Everything since then has been consequential, and Villa fans are not patient, Houllier Out, McAllister Out, McLeish Out, now Lambert Out, all banners I have seen in the Holte. In fact the only one who didn’t get an out banner or a booing was sad Kev MacDonald, and that was only because he wasn’t there long enough.

    Villa ended up with mediocre players pulling top money who never play. No new talent can come in because of our wage policy, and that policy is all that stopped us going Leeds United.

    Bent, Given, Agbonlahor, N’Zogbia, all top earners and all so good no one else wants them. So they sit, sucking the money out of the club, or run around like headless chickens losing game after game. Can’t blame them, but their prescence prevents rebuilding.

    Lambert has been moaned at from the moment he got here. But given the reality of the situation keeping Villa up is some acheivement. Villa have no room for movement and too much deadwood on the books. Our most expensive signing is Benteke at £ 7million. Is that top six?
    Some of the suggested replacements are plainly moronic, Peter Withe ffs!

    Demos, banners, booing, petitions, facebook campaign’s, in the end they are all chav. And they are chav because they are about the people protesting feeling good, not the rest of us, or the players. You want to feel like you have some control, some ownership, that you are making a difference, well you are, you’re making it worse.

    No one thinks losing is a good thing, no one. No one runs out to lose. The ‘ultra’ posse at Villa need a dose of reality, we are were we are and we need to deal with it right now. Lambert may not be your choice, but he has kept us in the division on bread and water, but if you want change, here’s an idea. Buy the club and and appoint whoever you want. I hear it is for sale.

    UTV

    • Just another apologist for lameberk. This fool must have his head up his arse if he can’t see that he is tactically inept and out of his depth.

  5. he may own a telephone and a television but that doesn’t necessarily mean he knows how to turn them on. Hope you got paid rate for the article btw To all those moaning about the moaning – don’t believe you complained much when it helped get rid of Ellis, who, frankly, is more to blame for the decline of Villa in the last 30 years (a £12m dividend in *the eighties* – f888 me sidelways).

    • Did I f**k! Papers like to take advantage of ‘passionate fans’ to get free copy. Obviously, it was useful in this respect to put across that most Villans are happy with their lot at the moment.

  6. Truly an article worthy of the Daily Mail; “Free Fall”? After years of free fall we’re still in the premiership. That’s not free fall, that’s treading water. Why? – it’s simply about dosh. Paul Lambert has tried and continues to try everything he can to bypass the fact that we are not a rich club and until there is investment we can’t realistically expect much more than we’re getting. It’s difficult to see how negativity can be of any help.

    Vinsculler

    • Negativity is what is happening now. On the pitch – 11 goals in 21 games. Games that have 0 or 1 shot on target from Villa. Off the pitch – the stands have become toxic with fans berating players and fighting amongst themselves. it can’t go on.

      Freefall – no top half finish the last three seasons, with two of those seasons finishing on 38 pts, which normally sends you down. If we carry on with our impotence in front of goal, then the fall will be further come the end of the season.

  7. Disagree with Northern Villa and Load of rubbish completely! Villa fans have supported the club with their money for tickets and merchandise for years, through the Ellis years and the Lerner years. The fans have ridden a rocky road during those years, but especially since MON left.

    The appointment of Alex McLeish was the main slap in the face to Villa fans, who were completely ignored, despite protests and thousands of emails sent to the Villa. The Official website only seemed to advertise commercial ventures, and patronise fans with glib player interviews, praising the club and it’s management. The appointment of a non-football man in Paul Faulkner, was another major dissappointment.

    Paul Lambert’s appointment on the back of away fans at Norwich the last game of the previous season, chanting for him, was further proof that Faulkner and Lerner didn’t understand British football culture. The fans were taking the p*ss, and had we been playing any other team, they probably would have been chanting for their manager too!

    It’s true that we are up for sale, but why isn’t Lerner or Fox keeping the fans in the loop? They are treating us like morons, or mushrooms, and either is not acceptable. The proposed 8 minute protest may not have the desired effect, but at least it is drawing attention via the social and press media, that Villa fans are not happy with how they are being treated. I understand the fans that say support the team, but isn’t that what the majority of fans have already been doing? What have we got for that during Lambert’s regime? Being knocked out of cups by Bradford, Millwall, Leyton Orient, Sheffield Utd, etc;? 8-0, 4-0 and 3-0 defeats in a row, by Chelsea, Spurs and Wigan? 11 goals in 21 games, most ever home league defeats in a season, and now the ‘most boring team’ in the all of the English leagues?

    We can’t just keep shouting ‘VILLA’ a bit louder at Villa Park, so that the prima donna players on 20k a week, wont feel demoralised, we have to try something new, and then we can say at least we tried, otherwise we are sleep-walking down to the second division. UTV.

  8. My ten year old has been supporting Villa for two years now and has not seen them win at villa park or on TV. Something has to change soon or this young supporter will be lost forever

    • It was a young supporter who emailed all the Villa sites with the idea of 8 mins (original plans were for 10, when the idea was put to me). His mates and him were basically feeling miserable about the whole Villa situation and wanted to do something.

      That got me thinking, it’s all right for the majority of us to back and vent our disappointment, but we’ve seen Villa win cups, the league and the greatest prize of them all in club football, but some young supporters haven’t even seen us finish in the top half. Or if they are a casual supporter in terms of trips to Villa Park, as you mention, have never actually seen the club a home game.

      That’s when I thought, this can’t go on. We all have to do at least something. UTV

  9. Agree totally with “load of Rubbish” to much negativity around, get behind the team for a change, instead of slagging everyone off. I still have a season tkt for the Holte, it costs over £100 per game in diesel. the last thing I need is a much of know “Jack Crap” pessimists making my day.

    • You’ll waste a lot more money in the future, if it carries on.

      I have to spend a similar amount to see a game. the last thing I want is pessimistic idiots moaning and groaning, slagging off most player’s every move, and calling the manager a c**t or worst.

      I’m sure a few folk feel the same way about that.

      We’re slagging no one off.

  10. What a load of rubbish. What villa do you want back exactly? Are you talking about the Ellis era here because all anybody did was moan back then. Look, any quality supporters would be taking positive action and filling the Holte end not emptying it.

    Compare yourselves to the Crystal Palace fans. You are a bunch of self entitled spoiled brats spreading negativity and they are doing their part for their club and helping the team get results. It’s about time YOU had a look in the mirror and thought about your standards as a supporter instead of tryign to run the club .

    • I’ve understand this thinking that wanting better for your club and better communication between it and supporters is negativity. Negativity is the word you use to describe others to make yourself feel content, when the reality is you’re doing nothing and accepting everything. If it was your family or own business, you’d try to do something about it.

      As for filling the Holte, that’s been ‘Plan A’ all the time – http://www.myoldmansaid.com/paul-lambert-wants-holte-end-like-yellow-wall/ but what’s the reality, people sitting in the Holte slagging over the players every move.

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