This week-end, I hit upon this extract from an old 'Something for the Weekend' article by an old (or not so old!) friend and writer extraordinaire, Steve Wade. This was the part that caught my eye from early November, 2006:
"The club is as much reliant on youth on the terraces, as they are in the team, while for a lot of the aged Villa fans the revolution has come a bit too late, as too many are burnt out and still nurse their bitter disappointments and disillusionment like the shell-shocked from a war that is over - they still mumble their discontents and still relive the old nightmares. For some it has come too late and the changes will take too long, for many. It is the youth who must keep the faith and see the project through, the old will fall by the wayside - its going to be a long march.
"But Villa need more fans and fairy-dust is just so much froth. The things which bond a fan to a club, are not just nice words but the shared feeling, that you have witnessed something special and the management desperately need a 'was you there?' event, for the fans to really feel part of a revolution. You know the sort of thing - Didier Six beating United on his own; the last-gasp result against Tranmere, Phil King's winning penalty against Inter. These are the things which bring the doubters and dissenters back. Fairy-dust is fine but the other stuff is like quasi-religious experience of Damascene intensity. Get the burnt-out old duffer in a good mood and even he will tell you a tale of some distant match, drawing with United (4-4), in a totally amazing thriller."
The particular phrase that caught my eye was that in (my) italics.This phrase begs a question in my eyes ... after all the nice words, re-structuring of buildings and making things 'nice', and gestures (good as they were at the time), have we yet (i.e. after nearly 5 years) witnessed "something special"? Has there been a "was you there?" event at the club since 2006?
If not, then presumably we do not feel there has been a true revolution.
If not, then presumably we feel that we may have lost something ... or is that just football as it is now?
For me, I'd say that we've still not really recovered since Yorkie's departure. Having said that, if Gabby can reproduce his goal of yesterday a wee bit more then perhaps I might get that feel good factor once more. In fact, Gabby's been in a bit of a wilderness so it was good to see him shoot himself back into the limelight.
Nevertheless, I can't believe how Rovers gave the Villa strikers so much time to set their sights before shooting. I don't believe that many teams will be so generous..