Aston Villa away days are the stuff of legends. Whether it be in Rotterdam, Manchester, Grimsby, Portsmouth or Portland, it’s probably the most fun you’ll have as a Villa supporter. In terms of vocal support, humour and banter, Villans are well recognised as being one of the best sets of away fans in the English league. Fact.
Over the past few decades, we’ve had fairly frequent European football to enjoy and experience foreign lands, stadiums, culture and the local tipple. While such trips recently have been exclusive to preseason games, while Paul Lambert builds a team to fly the flag in Europe once again, after the club’s US tour, a trip to Bremen perhaps wetted the appetite again for competitive fixtures on the mainland.
The team picked up a decent and entertaining 3-3 draw against Werder Bremen most notable for a Darren Bent brace.
MOMS member Liam McAdam, his old man and his girlfriend Gill, joined 300 Villans – amongst them members of German and Dutch Lion Clubs – to send MOMS a few pictures of their Bremen adventure, so fans who weren’t lucky enough to go, can at least get an insight in the atmosphere.
(Also at the game was Villa’s new head of European Scouting Michael Henke.)
The game timed with a Werder Bremen fan park open day (I experienced a few of them at the World Cup 2006 – the German’s do put on a decent spread) and included the national treasure…German beer tents! And, with Bremen being the home of Becks, it was always going to be a worthwhile Villa away adventure.
By the sounds of what Liam has reported back, it seems the Villa faithful were well looked after by the locals.
One thing you’ll notice in the pictures is the low profile of the police. It’s good to see some faith being placed with both sets of supporters to mingle and share a few drinks and enjoy the sun. Hell, Werder Bremen kids were even thinking of defecting to the Villa faith…
With the Westerstadion sitting on the banks of the river Weser, it recalls the trip to Forest a week before, with the City Ground on the bank of the River Trent, although this time more home fans turned up to see the Villa. It seems Werder fans have better taste that Forest fans – just saying…
If during the game, the Villa defence at times repaid Werder Bremen’s hospitality and Villa need to sort out their left-flank out, the fact that Villa are amongst the goals again will cheer Villa hearts. I’m sure all of us will take a 3-3 over a 0-0, after suffering the long attrition of last season.
While I’m sure supporters and maybe even Paul Lambert would have liked a few more preseason games to hone the team, sometimes it’s better just to dive in the deep-end and get on with things. Roll on the new season. It’s possibly the most unpredictable one that Villa have had in years.
Postcards from Bremen
Many thanks to Liam, his old man and Gill for the pictures (copyright Liam McAdam 2012) and for representing AVFC in Germany! UTV.
* Some of the buildings above aren’t really bars, we’re just joking.
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