Friday, 15 July 2011

2. Aston Villa FC

Aston Villa FC.

2010-2011 season saw a 9th place finish for Villa which in the end was probably seen as a success considering serious dips in form over the season. Gerard Houllier had just about settled in ready to begin preparations for next season when he fell ill and the controversy surrounding Aston Villa really began.

Villa seemed to be the 'unwanted' as managers turned them down left, right & centre then suddenly they went for the one guy no one expected - Alex McLeish; this caused backlash from most of the fans and put the club in a somewhat awkward situation. As McLeish starts to rebuild any type of relationship with the fans i have asked them about what their realistic view are of the upcoming season; considering they were recently a team in Europe things seem to have changed for the worst, are the fans happy with the goings on at their beloved club?

This is one club who has been quite busy in the transfer market but more on the players out rather than players in - Villa are definitely a club with a reputation of 'selling their best players' (James Milner, Gareth Barry as some examples). So far they have parted company with Brad Friedel, Ashley Young and it seems Stuart Downing is all but complete which leaves Villa without some of their top performers from last season.

The Villa fans definitely want their say on the state of their club as i had a large and detailed response from many fans; if i thought Arsenal fans had a mixture of view when it came to where they will finish next season Villa have taken that to a whole new level!

@bucklde - 'expectation is top 10'

The most optimistic VIlla fan i spoke to was @bucklde who was the only person to not show any negativity towards next season, he believed top 10 is a concrete aspiration for 2011/2012 'as its transitional time at Villa, new manager and want away England stars have left gaps' he see's the sales of top players could actually be a blessing as the young players can step up to the mark and will actually be 100% committed, he did go on to say 'transfer market is key' so there may not be total faith in the youth of the club but obviously doesnt want to show unloyalty.

@harrywrose - 'won't get higher than 7th at a push'

@harrywrose stated Villa would not get higher than 7th, but seemed to say it in a negative manner however i believe many Villa fans would snatch at the chance to be anywhere near 7th come May 2012. 'hoping for top half, would be disappointed with bottom half' suggests eventhough there is a huge change coming - 'it is a rebuilding season AGAIN' - around Villa park with manager and players alike fans still have optimism of some success next season.

Another point @harrywrose made was on the touchy subject of the new manager, Alex McLeish. Luckily for the new manager he is not one of the bitter ones and although 'disappointed after names that were mentioned' he went on to say 'but gotta get behind him' so looks as though fans are now just about backing Ex-Blues Manager McLeish.

@funzofinzo - 'im thinking mid-table'

McLeish is thought to have a 'route one' style of football, this worries @funzofinzo who told me 'not very exciting footy, with pressure on the manager from the start' not overly confident with McLeish and his style of football for the season ahead.

Another mention of the controversial manager is that of @aka__Ruben who reiterated the fact that 'Manager, hated by a lot.' so it looks like it wont be all plain sailing for McLeish. I am surprised however, at the lack of mention of him when i posed the questions, i feel Villa fans have moved on from the initial shock appointment and are now more focused on their club and their hope of some success in 2011/2012.

@aka__Ruben - 'Hopefully stay up'

@aka__Ruben went on to say 'Club, not bad.. Squad.. In a hell of a mess.. Lost/ losing 2 best players' showing there is a real split between the fans on their current squad and whether the loss of 2 big players who wanted to leave is good for the club.

@sameraman 'we're going to get relegated'

By far the most negative fan that have given their view is @sameraman! who is not confident at all going in to the new season who drastically said his team are going to be relegated then after abit of explanation said '16th place at best' so is not expecting a lot!

He was also negative on the transfer market situation too. 'McLeish wont get £40M' (from the downing & young sales) 'we've lost our 2 best wingers, best goal keeper and a decent central midfielder...replace 1 of those wingers at most, maybe a few mediocre signings' - this is the views of a very deflated fan with no expectations of success for his team for next season, i wonder how many more Villa fans share these views?

@AVFCandy20 - 'cant see us finishing much higher than 10th'

@StroudVilla & @AVFCandy20 have similar views on Villa for next season, looking to the youth for the success. @AVFCandy20 said ''big season for albrighton' and believes Villa are going to have to 'rely on Darren Bent's goals' which worries him (i think it would worry most!)

The final fan's view on Villa is the money side, @StroudVilla - ' i fear we have a financial situation going on. hope i'm wrong'. There does seem a certain concerning ambience around Villa Park as they continue to sell top players for big money without really investing that money back on exciting players - what the fans want.

So, having to conclude Villa fan's views on their club and their chances next season is going to be tough. We've got variance from being relegated to pushing for Europe in 7th place. Honestly, taking all the thoughts into account I'm going to go for 12th place - easy way out of roughly a mid-table finish. I do however think McLeish can be a success at Villa Park if the Villa fans will allow him the chance.

Thank you very much to all the Villa fans who gave their views for this entry, you can tell there is a lot going on and a lot for them to talk about at the moment as most couldnt stop with their thoughts, but the more the merrier i say, hope you think its a fair reflection.

@beckytLCFC 'fans view blog quest'

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