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[Archived] The 2-1 Villa Preview Thread


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Right so it’s the annual trip down to Villa Park on Wednesday the 29th October, set in the wonderful delightful area of Birmingham known as Witton, which, it turns out, is taken from the old Saxon word for craphole.

As someone who has lived nearby for nearly 10 years, words can not describe what a crappy bit of area this is, although a bit like Burnley, is probably being a bit harsh.

Anyway, Villa, after what seemed centuries of being run by “Deadly” Doug Ellis have now got a new foreign owner, Randy Lerner, who made his money with MBMA Credit Cards.

However for all the stick that Ellis has got from the fans over his spendthrift ways and the fact that he employed David O’Leary and John Gregory, Ellis’ greatest achivement and legacy to the club might have been the signing of one of the greatest film directors of the last 50 years, Woody Allen.

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Woody has managed to produce a young (insert gag here) exciting pacy side, with the likes of Gabrielle Abgonlasomethingorother and Ashley ‘I like Webcams’ Young (who are both being criminally overlooked for the main England side) playing up front along side the underrated John Carew, with Gareth Barry and Petrov behind them. They will cause anyteam (bar ManUre) trouble. Their defence is less secure as one of the central defenders will be either Curtis Davies or Zak Knight, and as we Rovers fans well know, the worst keeper in the world, Brad Friedal in goal. Okay I lie, but he left us and he is therefore dead to me.

Villa park is an excellent stadium for the home fans with excellent facilities for the loyal Villa supporters.

However the same can not be said for the facilities provided for the away support.

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A photo taken from the season before last’s game at Villa Park. The stewards were so proud of their new high visibility uniforms

Where the fans are treated like utter crap and it is something that Villa should be truly ashamed of, but hey they’re away fans, who cares about them? I mean, even Cardiff didn’t have the food/beer kiosk’s hidden behind chicken wire. Only Goodison is worse in the Premiership for fans.

Talking of which, whilst I’m up on the moral high ground, prices for the game are £31 for away fans and range from £15 to £37 for home fans. Yes boys and girls, you are expected to pay £31 for the privilege of being treated like a criminal, a thug and hooligan for having the nerve to stand up to go to the toilet. Bitter? Moi?

If you want to go for a drink before the match, there is a pub opposite the ground by Witton Station, which is called the “Graduate” or “Cap and Gown” or something which has been for away fans, but I’d go for some beers in the City Centre and then get the train out to Witton (not Aston).

I’ve asked a couple of Villa fans (both called Dave) to answer some questions, I would have asked a third, but he’s called Dave too and it would look too much like I’d made them up.

Dave B is in Red, Dave T, when he gets round to it, will be in Blue

Some boring questions out the front first.

1) How do you think the season's gone so far?

The season has gone very well so far, I don't think many Villa fans could ask for much more. We're currently 5th in the table, and the only poor result we've had so far is the 3-2 loss to Stoke (which was probably deserved the way we played that day). We've also qualified for the group stage of the UEFA cup, which starts with us playing Ajax.

The only downside has been getting knocked out of the League Cup, however this could be a blessing in disguise as it may alleviate fixture congestion somewhat.

2) Who's your player of the season so far and why?

Tricky one this - a number of players have been in good form. Ashley Young has been excellent again, culminating in the Player of the Month award for last month. Carew and Agbonlahor look very good again, and Barry seems to have gotten over the Liverpool saga from the summer. My vote however goes with Petrov, who seems to be thriving in the holding midfield role this season.

3) Who's your worst?

Nobody has really been THAT bad, but i'm not convinced by Shorey just yet.

4) What have been your strengths?

Our strengths? The pace of the team is very good. Ashley Young has been sensational, and O'Neill has instilled a real team spirit.

5) And what makes you tear you hair out with the incompetance of it all?

The incompetence? Hmmm, well we do seem to be leaking some goals but we're scoring a lot so its not a major problem. I'll just say Marlon Harewood then.

6) How do you think O'Neil's doing and what are your views on Ince?

O'Neill has been phenomenal really, taking us from flirting with relegation and going nowhere, to a UEFA Cup team who on our day could beat anyone (except Man United it seems!) in 3 or so seasons. The signings of Young at £8m and Carew in a swap for Baros (deal value £4m) look inspired bits of business. We wait to see what Cuellar and Milner can do (if they ever get a run in the first team!).

I would point out that O'Neill couldn't have done it without Lerner. I know not many Villa fans liked Ellis, but his two final pieces of business (bringing in O'Neill and selling the club to Lerner - he made it clear he would only sell to someone who he felt would keep the tradition intact) were inspired and Lerner has provided the necessary support to O'Neill without interfering.

7) Although the majority of us Rovers fans were gutted to see Friedal go to you, we also thought his super powers were on the wane, how good as he been for you? Although after Carson, Sorenson and Enklemen, I suppose an inflatable giraffe would have been an improvement.

Ha! well I'm not sure yet, when we got him I was very excited, but he initially looked a bit unsteady. Recently though he seems to be coming back to what I would expect, if it wasn't for him we would have lost by a lot more than 2-0 against Chelsea

8) Who should Rover's fear and who do you worry about from Rovers, (Santa Cruz is too easy an answer), as a suplimentary, who are you so desperate to get rid of that you would pay them to move to a different club?

Ashley Young is the form player at the moment, but John Carew on his day is unplayable (other days he like's Bambi on Ice, according to Phil Thompson!) - if you get him on one of his good days you might have real trouble.

From your team, aside from Santa Cruz, I always liked Morten Gamst Pedersen though he seems to have been a bit quiet of late. I've heard good things about Carlos Villenueva, but haven't seen much of him to judge.

And if I had to get rid of somebody .... hmm, I don't know, let's go with Zat Knight, "error-prone" would be a fair assessment, but at least he's better than Liam Ridgewell was!

9) Whats the best game you can remember against Rovers, and whats the worst?

I remember us getting beaten 4-1 by you at home in an FA Cup match a few years ago, we just didn't turn up and you strolled it.

10) What would be funnier, Birmingham City staying down, or Spur's and Newcastle joining them?

Without a shadow of a doubt, Spurs! I've had a bit of grief from Spurs fans over the years so it would be nice to see them suffer a little, though I'd be surprised if they did - they should get it together in a little while.

11) What one thing would you do to improve football?

The Respect campaign for referees is a good idea , but in an ideal world the players should have the same level of respect for referees as in rugby. Respect is a step in the right direction, but we've got a long way to go.

For what it’s worth, Score wise I think it’ll be 2-1 but couldn’t call which way.

Trentvilla, bless his cotton claret and blue socks has answerd the q's for us. Dave T is currently on the run it appears

1) How do you think the season's gone so far?

So far so good. We got turned over at Stoke but that was always going to be a tough one away on the opening day that result aside we have started well. We are picking up points away and we are unbeaten at home which is keeping us in touching distance of the Sky 4 add to that the win over Ajax and we are in good shape.

The new members of the squad have all settled in quickly which has helped and we look a far more balanced squad than this time last year.

2) Who's your player of the season so far and why?

That is a hard one as most players are on form and there are a few contenders for that crown. We have Gabby and Carew on 6 goals each so far, the brilliant Ashley Young who should be an England regular by now and then we have those players who never let us down like Laursen and Reo-Coker.

However, player of the season so far just has to go to Petrov who has been outstanding so far and who is proving many Villa fans wrong after they gave him a hard time last season.

3) Who's your worst?

Can't fault a single player. We have a new found depth and strength in the squad which seems to be pushing players on to achieve more consistent form at Wigan this weekend we had Sidwell, Curtis Davies and John Carew on the bench which shows how far we have come.

If I was forced to pick one player it would be Harewood who has failed to take his chances to perform when given a start.

4) What have been your strengths?

That is simple, goals! Last season we were 2nd or 3rd top scorers in the league and this season we have started in the same vain we have goals throughout the side. We lack a 20 goal a season striker but we have so many players that chip in with regular goals that in some ways it makes us a better side.

But the biggest think we have got going for us is that we are organised and exceptionally hard working as a side every player knows what Martin O'Neil expects and what will happen if they don't deliver. This is by far the hardest working Villa side I have seen in 20 years combined with the talent in our side making us a dangerous outfit and a joy to watch.

5) And what makes you tear you hair out with the incompetance of it all?

The Villa fans who still aren't happy and continue to moan, I don't think they realise how good we have it.

6) How do you think O'Neil's doing and what are your views on Ince?

What can be said about our Martin that hasn't been said before? Sometimes he drives you nuts but there is always method in his madness he has simply been brilliant for us.

As for Ince, some might recall I posted on here in the summer in defence of Paul Ince I simply couldn't believe the views of some Blackburn fans on their new manager. I personally think Ince is one of the best young managers in the game and has huge potential he reminds me a lot of Mark Hughes in his early days which is why I think your board went for him.

I said it at the time and I stand by it Ince was the right choice for Blackburn and given time, support and backing from the board will do a good job for you.

7) Although the majority of us Rovers fans were gutted to see Friedal go to you, we also thought his super powers were on the wane, how good as he been for you? Although after Carson, Sorenson and Enklemen, I suppose an inflatable giraffe would have been an improvement.

I've always admired Friedal from a far so to land him this summer after our recent history of keepers was a great bit of business but I do agree his powers on not quite perhaps what they once were. That said he is still one of the best keepers around in the short term and is just the calm, cool and experienced head our young side needed.

8) Who should Rover's fear and who do you worry about from Rovers, (Santa Cruz is too easy an answer), as a suplimentary, who are you so desperate to get rid of that you would pay them to move to a different club?

It sounds a little arrogant to say but as I said earlier we aren't a one player team or a side that you can stop by stopping one player. If you stop Ashley Young there is Milner on the other wing or Carew or Gabby or Barry but most sides opt to try and stop Ashley Young.

With regards who I fear from Rovers (other than RSC) it would have to be Fowler! No seriously that man has scored more goals against us over the years than just about any other player, if he gets on the pitch he is bound to score.

I used to also be a big fan of MGP but its been a while since I've seen him perform to his best, I thought he might shine again with the sale of Bentley and still regard him as a threat.

9) Whats the best game you can remember against Rovers, and whats the worst?

Last year at Ewood was pretty good and there was that big win we had up there a few years ago. As for the worst we have taken some beatings off you over the years and we regularly got played off the pitch by you but the 4-1 home defeat in the cup was the worst.

10) What would be funnier, Birmingham City staying down, or Spur's and Newcastle joining them?

Spurs and Newcastle joining them as that would mean Blues have stayed down!!!

11) What one thing would you do to improve football?

A time machine to take us back to the days before money destroyed the beautiful game perhaps. That or banning Harry Redknapp from football, I can't stand that man.

As for a prediction I'm going for 2-0 Villa

Again, Many thanks Ash

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2-0 Villa.

If you think £31 is too expensive, don't buy a ticket.

£31 IS too expensive for the worst facilities and treatment of away fans in the PL.. and, Ok, I won't buy a ticket then :rolleyes:

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Dave B mentions the 4-1 drubbing we handed out in the 3rd round and i remember it well because it was my first visit to villa park.

On my way to the ground we walked through a side street which was full of damaged vehicles, broken glass all over the pavement and alarms going off everywhere and then passed a run down basketball court with junkies jacking up on heroin.

The ground imo is old fashioned, run down but it has something about it that i liked which i can't explain.

We started with a front 3 of jansen, ostenstad and yorke and took the game to villa from the off and were rewarded when jansen broke into the box and rifled it past postma. villa equalized just before half time with i think angel with a tap in.

the 2nd half seen us dominate and yorke played probably his best game in a rovers shirt by scoring 2 goals in front of the villa fans to silence the abuse and jansen adding to his first half strike with a well placed header.

the home fans where streaming out with 25mins to go aiming their disgust at graham taylor who didn't last much longer in the hot seat with deadly doug at the helm.

good times :brfc:

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Where the fans are treated like utter crap and it is something that Villa should be truly ashamed of, but hey they’re away fans, who cares about them? I mean, even Cardiff didn’t have the food/beer kiosk’s hidden behind chicken wire. Only Goodison is worse in the Premiership for fans.

Talking of which, whilst I’m up on the moral high ground, prices for the game are £31 for away fans and range from £15 to £37 for home fans. Yes boys and girls, you are expected to pay £31 for the privilege of being treated like a criminal, a thug and hooligan for having the nerve to stand up to go to the toilet. Bitter? Moi?

What's the problem at Villa Park? We went last season. My only complaint would be as our seats where on the front row we had to put up with a constant stream of fans and stewards walking across our line of vision plus front row is always a bit low for seeing what happens on the far side. Seems to me Villa Park has improved significantly in recent years and makes them look like a club going places.

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my fave villa park story is also one of my fave uncle jack stories!

I'd been lucky enough to be sitting in the directors box (through work) and uncle jack was about 10 people to my left.

when we scored - he jumped out of his chair and started cheering....

I'd been trying to keep quiet until this point, as i was sat with the villa directors, but when I saw jack react, I couldn't help myself! So I sprung up and cheered too. He looked over, gave me a nod and a wink, then we sat down again!

funny the things you remember, but the passion from jack was plain to see!

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4-0 villa! The back four will be run ragged by the pace of Young, Agbonlahore, Milner and the Carew. Whilst our attack creates nothing.

Sounds likely except I'm going to france and our best results always seem to come when I'm in france. Remember getting off the ferry in Portsmouth to hear Chris sutton had scored a hat trick. We heard Mark Hughes debut for rovers hanging out of the window of a hotel near Eurodisney, trying to get good enough radio reception in the pouring rain. We won last year at the Boro when we were on our hols and this year at Everton too. Perhaps I should move to France permanently.

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Shame they couldn`t repeat last years prices (£10 for the first 1,000 to buy tickets).

Good preview Flopsy.Last year i fully expected us to get hammered and yet came away from Villa thinking we were unlucky not to get a win.

I am going for 2-1 with a dogged performance. :tu:

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I was going to go as im off work but when i saw £31 i refuse to pay it....a stream and a few stellas and a 0-1 win!!!!!

I hate going to villa ever since I got shoved around by the villa constables for the crime of wearing a pink jumper and pink pants!!!!

pmsl, pink jumper and pink pants :lol:

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Great preview Flops.

I fancy us to play really well at Villa Park and either slip to a narrow defeat or get a draw. Odds tip towards a 2-1 Villa win depending on the injury situation coming out of this week-end. Villa away is a game that needs Roque up front as they have defenders who struggle against him.

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is it wrong to admit that i just cuffed it? And them just vented some spleen. I was looking forward to going but not at that price. I'm going to england v all blacks in november instead for free but the 30 quid will be spunked on beer

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Interesting to read the preview piece from your perspective.

Ticket prices - As a regular at Villa away games £31 seems reasonable and not out of line with what we have to pay on our travels for instance £30 for Newcastle and £35 for Arsenal are two of our upcoming away games. I would be interested to know what the cost in the away end at Ewood is this year? As I understand it they are between £26 and £32 so not sure how you can complain at £31.

As for the facilities I'm surprised to see these being complained about especially until 2 years ago the now away end was a home section of the ground so the facilities are on a par with the rest of that stand which are perfectly reasonable.

It isn't as if the away fans are stuck up in some corner of the ground you are given two tiers in the corner of the ground I'm not sure what else you expect.

In terms of the team there is no chance Zat Knight will play he is 4th choice CB these days behind Laursen, Davies and Ceullar.

Your right we haven't quite clicked into gear yet but we are sitting in a decent position in the league and confidence is high after the win against Ajax. We have a tough game on Sunday at Wigan before we face you and fatigue is a serious worry.

I think it will be a tough, close game which I hope we can edge but wouldn't be surprised to see you take a point.

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Interesting to read the preview piece from your perspective.

Ticket prices - As a regular at Villa away games £31 seems reasonable and not out of line with what we have to pay on our travels for instance £30 for Newcastle and £35 for Arsenal are two of our upcoming away games. I would be interested to know what the cost in the away end at Ewood is this year? As I understand it they are between £26 and £32 so not sure how you can complain at £31.

As for the facilities I'm surprised to see these being complained about especially until 2 years ago the now away end was a home section of the ground so the facilities are on a par with the rest of that stand which are perfectly reasonable.

It isn't as if the away fans are stuck up in some corner of the ground you are given two tiers in the corner of the ground I'm not sure what else you expect.

TrentVilla - At ewood you will be paying £25 adults, £7 kids. So for a family of 4 say, thats £36 cheaper in total, and dont forget its a night match too. Maybe clubs should look at the pricing more based on the time of games? You can then compare your £31 to £15 a ticket at bolton.

As for the seating - its crap, if your in the bottom tier then you are too low to see half of the pitch. Also the stewards are always over the top.

Hope we win this one, but to be honest id be very happy with a point.

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