Gaps in the stands at Villa Park, Ashley Westwood stretchered off and a poor Leicester team that should have been blasted off the Villa Park turf, but this was one of the more enjoyable Villa games of the season so far. Here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Aston Villa fans

1. Entertainment

I actually enjoyed a game at Villa Park. Despite a crowd of just 27,692 and the fact we were playing a poor Leicester team, it was a game that entertained with plenty of incident to get the crowd involved. From the occasional dubious decision from referee Craig Pawson, to a decent enough away following from Leicester that provoked the Holte End into action and some cracking saves from Kasper Schmeichel that had us head in hands our heads. If only it had been more like this over the previous three seasons.

2. The Incredible Mr Hutton

Alan Hutton not only broke his four years drought without a goal but became the first Villa player to score in front of the Holte End since Grant Holt last season in April. His winning goal gave the Villa Park a chance to pay tribute to a player who has done an incredible zero to hero transformation.

For once it’s hard to argue with Lambert when the Villa boss said about Hutton after the game: “I’m delighted for Alan because I think he’s playing as well as any right back in the country at the moment.”

3. The Defence Attacks

A lot has been said about the lack of goalscorers in the Villa team, before the Burnley game only two players had found the net for Villa (Gabby and Weimann). Now the spread of goalscorers is finally widening, but the impressive makeshift back four of Hutton, Okores, Clark and Cissokho after impressing at the back in recent weeks decided to impress at the other end by scoring both of Villa’s goals. More please.

 

 

4. Run Switch

After six consecutive losses and being winless in nine, Villa find themselves five games unbeaten and with back-to-back wins for the first time since Chelsea & Norwich last season. By the looks of it there will be three worse teams than Villa this season (as long as we have Benteke in the team) so relegation should be a worry (it should never be). But if there is to be any proper progress up the table it may depend on what happens in the January window – both in terms of incoming and outgoing players.

5. Reception for a Returning Son

The ovation granted to the returning Marc Albrighton by Villa fans when he came on as a sub was a nice touch. After coming through the ranks, Albrighton always played with plenty of heart. He was one of the stars of Villa’s Peace Cup win and perhaps if Martin O’Neill had blooded him more in the season that followed, he may have kicked on properly for Villa.

UTV

PS – Whatever happens, fight to keep the Holte End the ‘Holte End’. Don’t just shrug your shoulders.

 

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20 COMMENTS

  1. callum deserves a better response than asking about selling his soul. in 2000 AVISA* tried to stop the club demolishing the old trinity road stand, which was an iconic building, a grade 2-2 listed structure (had it been grade 2-1 they could not have demolished it) and one of the few examples of an Archibald leitch stand in existence. We failed. THe commercial pressure to have a modern bigger stand won out.

    Naming the stands is not important. Naming the ground would be. I suggest that there be a strategy for stopping this, which would be difficult to reverse unlike naming the stands. In fact I would be happy for the north stand to be named the ron saunders stand…. till it is knocked down as I hope it will be.

    My move would be to rename the Witton station. At the same time you could repaint the bridge, which at one point MOMS was trying to do. It needs to be done. So revive that campaign and get something done which would make a difference. THe witton road station is a disgrace, and if the fans did paint the bridge for once the result would give fans real kudos.

    I have my paint brush ready. Just say the word.

    Trevor Fisher.

    * AVISA was the Aston Villa Independent Supporters Association, which tried to influence the club and failed, not enough support. We merged with the Supporters Trust to mobilise all fans behind one organization.

    • ‘Not important?’ So if Disney came in and renamed the Holte End the Mickey Mouse stand, that would be fine.

      The reality is in terms of the North Stand, to help fund the actual rebuilding a sponsor would be be brought in. That is a tangible reason, plus the North Stand doesn’t have the identity or evoke the sentiment that the Holte does.

      Any branding of the Holte cheapens it for no tangible benefit. It’s a myth to think that any sponsorship will lead to a pot of money that will be enough money to buy players that will propel Villa into Europe. Not going to happen.

  2. I agree with callum. Holte end will always be the holte end and the crowd will sing We are the Famous, the famous holte end.

    Can’t see why any sponsor would want to have their name on a stand for a short period of time (it can’t be for ever) while everyone ignores what they have called it. So take the money and run.

    However changing the name of the ground is something else. As I have said before, with the possible exception of celtic park – parkhead, there is only one other ground in the country called after a club

    Vale Park in Burslem (though why the club is called port vale I do not know)

    So lets lock down the name of the ground by getting the station called Villa Park…. and the whole country knows about it.

    Trevor fisher

  3. Just hope lambo starts to let grealish and Robinson
    Plus Johnson who’s getting goals and rave reviews
    at Oldham into the first team frame. No fear factor
    With these kids ,ship out cleaverly and Richardson,joe cole

  4. here are two debates going on here, the result on Sunday and the renaming. It would be sensible to separate them. THe renaming would only be temporary, as no club would ever want to give away a sellable asset. So the revenue is not going to be a big source of money. In fact if the thinks the PR backlash is another Birmingham 21 then they will abandon the idea. Selling the ground would be a bigger issue. Since the Holte End is always going to sing its own name, it s not a big gain for sponso r The Holte sings \We are the famous, the famus Holte end, and TV picks it up. ITs never going to sing We are the Famous Insert the Sponsors name End…..

    What this debate is really about is how a club with a constnt struggle against relegation can market itself. Walking along the North Stand lower on Sunday I noticed a number of boxes were empty. Th e villa shop was also very quiet.

    My proposal to give a permanent boost to the club an make it impossble to sel the ground name is to get Witton station renamed Villla Park.

    I ahave always suspected the club rejected the idea not because it wuld cost £50k, which is peanuts for them, but they want to sell the naming rights.

    To stop them, get witton station renamed.
    TrevorFisher.

  5. Needs to be a shout out for Sanchez last two games he has started to look good, could be a key player

  6. lambert has bought in some really good players , i dont think anyone would complain about vlaar benteke
    and okore in their side
    and sanchez and cleverly and sissoko have settled well, bacuna was good last season and richardson cole and sendeross have added depth to the squad
    but kojacks injury, and tonevs poor displays, helenius depression, and luna being just poor shows he does get it wrong,, but i think he has more say in signings now,,, the free and loans have been pretty good and its a shame we could not have bought bertrand as he seems to have kicked on
    so the real flops would be bowery , luna, helenius stevens kea, holman,holt sylla dawkins
    with the jury out on steer, kojack , lowton and bacuna
    so in reality, he has probably wasted less than 10 mil as kojack should return and lowton and bacuna wont leave for nowt
    and tonev may yet have a second chance yet

  7. I don’t think they would be daft enough to change the name (its named after the Holte pub, not the Holte family who had sold Aston Hall half a century before the ground was built) but they would be able to sell it as the Barclays Bank Holte End for commercial purposes.

    Everyone would still call it the Holte end.

    Names come and go. I don’t know what Newcastle United’s ground is called nowadays, it seems to have changed again. But everyone calls it St James Park.

    However arsenal is now the emirates, which shows the dangers. The name of the ground is the key point. And it is a unique selling point, which we could make into a big plus point> I guess the idea of painting the bridge outside witton station is now dead. But renaming Witton station as Vila Park is still possible.

    The club refused to pay up the £50k it would take to do this when I raised this when Lerner took over. But if fans are serious about defending the club heritage, then raising the money and renaming the station would (a) stop them selling the name (b) make Villa Park known all over the rail network. Most people think Aston station is the one near the ground.

    There is a precedent. Arsenal tube station was once known as Gillespie Road. THe genius of Herbert chapman got the name changed.

    So lets change the name of Witton station.

    Trevor Fisher.

    • St James Park is called St James Park. The current sponsor who paid for the naming rights turned the name back to St James Park as a gesture to fans, who protested passionately and just didn’t shrug their shoulders and apathetically say, ‘Oh, well, it’s the product of the modern game’.

      Speaking to some supporters on the Holte yesterday, they said they would boycott going if the Holte’s name was changed and so would I. It’s always been a big part of why some supporters support Villa.

      • I have to say the opposition is ridiculous if, as Trevor saids, the stand is renamed the ‘Barclays Bank Holte End’ or whatever it would be called. The ‘Barclays’ End’ of course would be more debatable….
        Also the reason why the Emirates is called the Emirates is that, that name was its original name upon opening, it has always had a sponsor. This proves that stadiums are only known by sponsorship names if they have never been called a popular name beforehand, therefore if Villa Park became Coca-Cola Park it would still be known in most circles as VP.
        IMO, renaming the stands is not a problem so long as the original name remains semi in tact e.g. Barclay’s Holte End, Barclay’s North Stand,

  8. Good to see us create plenty of chances for a change and Hutton has been brilliant in the last two games. He was superb against Palace. Agree re a nice touch for Albrighton. He was decent but didn’t have much pace. Can’t really blame O’Neill for that. Gabby has had plenty of game time over the years and he continues to be very average at best.

  9. No never say no no never. No more!!!! Sorry for the argument but some things will NEVER CHANGE go ahead call it what you want it’ll all ways be the Holte End vtid.
    He fkin built the hall ffs don’t you get it!!!! Lol

  10. agree with the comments but the Holte end renaming is inevitable. The money side is getting worrying, and the reason why tom fox was brought in was to get sponsors. I don’t have a problem with this, the crowds and prawn cocktail brigade are not bringing in enough cash – look at how many boxes are empty – and if we want to get players in at top dollar, then we have to raise the money.

    Spurs and Liverpool are building 60k seat stadia> Villa is 43K and large numbers of seats have been empty for at least twenty years. The name of the ground should be sacred, but there has to be ways of making money. My information is that the club used to make money from the restaurants till the recession, but sacked a dozen chefs because the trade dried up.

    TOday we saw two teams going for goal which made for entertainment, but they were both desperately poor with little control or creativity. Thankfully Villa won and with a bigger stadium than Leicester and the history and international reputation we can get back to the top table.

    But not without money. Ellis was right to build the new Trinity Rd Stand to expand the facilities, but Aston is not a trendy place to come to. And there is not a lot of car parking.

    So some other ways to raise cash have to be found, without selling the soul of the club

    How to do this should be the debate

    trevor fisher.

    • The TV revenue increase was so big this year they could have let everyone in for free this season and be no worse off in terms of loss of revenue from tickets. The club have access to more money than ever. One thing they have failed on is Lambert’s recruitment having potential sell-on profit. Benteke and Vlaar yes, but all the 1-2 million purchases have largely flopped. When you’re buying young players at that price, you’d be looking for at least a few of them to make some kind of decent profit.

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