Friday, 4 July 2008
This is a project I started in early 2006 - a project to determine the facts of the club's history from 1874-1925, the period which is probably still Villa's greatest. And during that time the Villa became the pacemakers in world football. I am at last coming to the close of the writing of this long and detailed account of what happened from the very early days. For more details (including availability), click here.
Thursday, 3 July 2008
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
Way back in the early '60s, Nat King Cole rolled out his pop song "Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer". They were days of few worries for the teenager and everything looked rosy. But even before "...those days of soda and pretzels and beer...", there were even balmier days. I come from the age before TV - and that probably says it all. All I can remember as a boy is sunny days, green fields and gettin' muddy. And being carried over the heads of the 'big' fans at Villa Park. My attitude is still a bit simplistic as you can probably see, so forgive me if I've not risen up to this world of sophistication that apparently is the real world. So some say. So when I was today told, "Welcome to the real World of today's Premiership football, John ..." then I finally realised that a few years had rolled on since my 'Mac' and Hitchens days. There was a time when you could shake someone's hand and know that you could depend on him. Now, you're looking round corners to see whether the same feller is invading your bank account! So GB's decided to jump ship like his old colleagues, Southgate, Ehiogu and Boeteng. Well, they had a semblance of an excuse they said (- but why Boro?). No matter, I still can't get my head around this Barry thing; what kind of situation is it when two players (Gerrard and Barry) can pressure a club in this way? And its fans for that matter. However I try to define it, there is a great need for the return of loyalty. Yes, GB has put in 10 years worth of effort, but it is a two-sided story and I'd say he's got MON to thank for a lot of what's happened to GB in the last two years. In view of that, for GB to reject MON's ability to carry it all forward smacks of a lot of selfishness (and a degree of naivity if he's fallen under Gerrard's spell) - he could have given VP another year to see what was to transpire. Well, the world of Prem football may just be what I've just been told it is, but unless its players get back to the realm of decency, the Prem (no matter how wonderful it glitters just now) has only got one future. And that's down. I give the Prem ten years max. at this level of contagion. Older fans will remember when the footballer was almost like an extension of him (the fan). In very old days you could meet him on the bus going to the match.The attitude was "we are one". Now? We are him and the others and us. Unity has virtually disappeared. Have you seen a bomb? It's all in one piece before it's used, and then what happens? It destructs into smithereens ... and so it is with anything else. When it destructs it is too late. I'd insure your season tickets if I were you.