Let’s hope Villa history repeats itself
The evening of September 25th 1991 wasn’t the most auspicious night in Aston Villa’s history. Villa were away against Grimsby in the second round of the League Cup, battling out a dour 0-0 draw in front of 13,835 (a 1-1 draw in the return leg would see the Mariners cause an upset, knocking Villa out on away goals). The night was rememberable though for two reasons. Firstly, I had tasted perhaps the best fish and chips of my life, but most of all, I had participated in an incredible 45-minute long chant of ‘Big Fat Ron’s Claret and Blue Army – A-V-F-C’ throughout the second half of the game.
With Ron Atkinson making a decidingly average start to his Villa managerial career, with three wins in the first 10 games, the Villa faithful showed Olympian-like stamina to try to carry the team on that thankless night in Grimsby. Big Ron after all was picking up the Villa baton from one Dr Jozef Venglos, who had been sacked after dangerously flirting with relegation with Villa finishing one place above the drop zone the previous season.
A few days after the Grimsby game Villa lost 1-0 away at Coventry, but what happened immediately after in the league, seemed to be Big Ron paying his dues to the great Villa support on that night in Grimsby – Villa went on to win five league games on the trot.
Fast-forward and the chorus of ‘Paul Lambert’s Claret and Blue Army – A-V-F-C’ is now a regular fixture at Villa away games.
With the chant skipping a couple of Villa managers, it’s proof in itself that the serenading of Lambert with it, shows the Villa supporter’s faith in their current manager.
Currently, the chant has been running on average for about 10 minutes at away games. If this is an exact science – and lets face it, if you replace Venglos with McLeish and Big Ron’s stuttering start with Lambert’s, it’s a similar situation – does this mean if the Villa fans going to the away League Cup tie at Swindon belt out ‘Paul Lambert’s Claret and Blue Army’ for 45 minutes, it will be repaid in karma, with Lambert orchestrating five straight wins in the league?
Well, put it this way, desperate times call for desperate measures. It might be worth a try!
Thanks to MOMS contributor Kerry Lenihan for filming the video
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