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…
‘You have to feel sorry for the younger generation of Villa fans who have experienced nothing but the bland decay of their beloved club.’
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.
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.