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How to insult Aston Villa: a step by step guide

It is hard to imagine that a tactical analysis of how the other team play could constitute “the biggest insult” that one can give a team.

Yet that is what the rather strange M O’Neill said about our Lord’s statements concerning the 0-0 draw in northern Birmingham.

I have in the past had a bit of a soft spot for M O’Neill since he is the only EPL manager ever to have stepped inside my house (his daughter and my daughter went to the same school, and he came to pick her up from a party chez moi), but I think my feelings for the gent have faded a bit.

So here’s a dead simple guide of how to insult Aston Villa if you really want to.

1.  Aston Villa 1, Arsenal 3. That’s shots on target in the 0-0 on 27 January.  OK we didn’t cover ourselves in glory – but one shot on target by the home team in the whole game?   That’s not very good for a team that constantly thinks it can break into the top four.

2.  February 26th 2009 – Aston Villa went to Moscow for a UEFA cup game, and decided to leave eight first teamers at home, and so got beaten and dropped out of the Cup.   The reason was that being out of the cup would mean that they could focus on the league.   Which they did and duly dropped out of the top four.

3.  15 November 2008 – Arsenal 0 Aston Villa 2. Not our finest hour, obviously, but not something Villa should be proud of either.   Villa paraded their new “hold your head” tactic.   Three times in the game we saw players go down injured, look up to see where the ball was and then, with Arsenal on the attack, they suddenly feigned a head injury and had to game stopped.   On the first of these, which happened on the half way line directly in front of where I was sitting, the player was then carried off and got attention to his ankle.

4.  Finances. One might say, “Are you Bolton in disguise?” for the finance model of Villa and Bolton is the same.  And rather amusingly under the new UEFA rules coming in, in 18 months time, it will make Villa ineligible to play in Europe.   In simple terms the owner (Randy Lerner) puts money in the Villa bank account at various times.  But the money remains that of his company, and Villa pay a fairly high rate of interest on it.  So the ownership costs Villa around £2.5m a year in interest fees.  Not on the Man U scale of things, but still a hopeless case.   There is no way the club is making a profit, and no way they can make a profit unless they get several years in the Champs league on the trot – and they can’t get into the Champs league because they can’t make a profit.   This model of financing is specifically mentioned by Platini as being unacceptable.

5.  December 9th  2007. OK I am going to cite Harry Redknapp, not the most reliable of sources, but he singled out Aston Villa supporters as being the most abusive and disgraceful fans in the country after taking his team there for a game.  All right, not my strongest argument, but I wanted to get to five.  I could have gone for Agbonlahor cheating on three lovers at once (News of the World, 31 August 2008), but well, that would be a bit unsavoury.

Anyway, you pays your money and takes your choice.  Except that this blog is free.  If you want to pay for something, buy a copy of the stunningly amazing but hopelessly under-advertised, “Making the Arsenal“.

(c) The utterly impartial and incredibly fair and reasonable, Sir Tony Attwood, CBE, MBE, OBE, KGB…   (oops – how did that get in there?)

27 comments to How to insult Aston Villa: a step by step guide

  • Mark

    3. 15 November 2008 – Arsenal 0 Aston Villa 2. Not our finest hour, obviously, but not something Villa should be proud of either. Villa paraded their new “hold your head” tactic. Three times in the game we saw players go down injured, look up to see where the ball was and then, with Arsenal on the attack, they suddenly feigned a head injury and had to game stopped. On the first of these, which happened on the half way line directly in front of where I was sitting, the player was then carried off and got attention to his ankle.

    This is blatant deception…..deception….deception……deceptio….edceptio……eduardio…….Eduardo!

    See. quod erat demonstrandum. Point proven , case closed

    Arsenal are the cheats. Case closed.

  • Bobby Pliers

    Even more laughable (given the stats) is that the BBC website labels us uninspiring as we labour to a nil all draw and that Villa were for large parts of the game on top. O’Neil then praises “splendid Villa”, he must have really low aspirations that one!

  • Bobby Pliers

    Mark, Rooney has fallen over at least 50 times (no press hoo-hah of course) since Eduardo took his tumble….. move on, we have!

  • ze german gooner

    Nice one Sir Tony!

    I was really surprised by MoN’s reaction to AW’s comments after the game. AW was quite complimentary in my opinion. I can’t listen to sky no more. It’s so biased and all of em are just waiting for Arsenal to slip up.

    The next few days the scrutiny of AW transfer policy is gonna intensify a notch and it will turn mental, if (higher powers forbid), we loose to United. For me he epitomizes the fact that one must back ones beliefs all the way to the very end no matter what! I’m sure 99% of the fans believe that AW must splash the cash to win some silverware. To stay true to his squad and his ideas, against such overwhelming difference in opinion is truly commendable. Le Boss is really an inspiration!

  • walter

    If he ever would come to your house again, just slam the door in his face Tony. 😉

  • tim

    Ah, Aston Villa.

    I actually find it a bit flattering that Martin O’Neill feels that insulted. It shows he cares.

    He wants to be Arsene Wenger.

    Too bad. He’s Lord Wenger for a reason. His genius can only be imitated, not replicated.

  • JOHN SHERIDAN

    i love arsenal so much and i will defo us them steps to drive the aston villa supporters mad…the thick fucks..ARSENAL 4 LIFE SCAN

  • Dan

    Alright, I’ll bite… Villa fan here, natch.

    1. Yup, tight game. Neither side covered themselves in glory in front of goal. It’s an area for concern for us at the moment. Next.

    2. Yes, sore point with a lot of Villa fans and MON received more than his fair share of criticism for it. Hindsight probably suggests it was a mistake, but hindsight is always 20/20.

    3. Mmmmm. Weak sauce. Cry more.

    4. No, you’re way off the mark I’m afraid. RL has been generous, without being extravagant since taking over. Last annual accounts show a £7m loss with interest payments back to the holding co. of ~£4m that year. We’ve doubled the wage bill in the last few years to £50m. Clearly it’s a strategy of firm, but steady investment that is perfectly manageable. It’s not inconceivable that the finances can be tweaked in the next few years to meet any UEFA requirements.

    We’re a club very much going about re-building ourselves the right and decent way and it’s incredibly harsh to throw us in with the vulgarity that UEFA are trying to tackle. We’ve a lot of years of neglect under Deadly Doug to undo, but we’re hardly doing a Citeh or Chelski here and RL is no sugardaddy.

    5. Oh dear.

  • Cujo

    I also find it strange that MO felt insulted, after reading the Lord Wenger’s full statement, i realised he actually paid them a compliment and talking up their champions league credibility. i think Mr Oniel misunderstood. We all make mistakes, and today it was MO’s turn. Hey on the bright side, ferdinand received a 4 match ban and will miss the arsenal clash. We’re gona tear their defense apart!

  • Dan – thanks for taking the trouble to write – and indeed to accept that a) this is obviously an utterly biased pro-Arsenal pro-Wenger site and b) that the article has a bit of a laugh (something that we try to do regularly on this site).

    On the issue of economics, I was not wishing to suggest Villa is like Chelsea or Man C, but following the model of Bolton, who do the same thing. (We had quite a review of the Bolton finances in the last couple of weeks when Arsenal played Bolton – who for reasons I won’t try to explain we habitually call Notlob on this site).

    Some of my thinking was influenced by an interesting piece in the Guardian in the last day or so, which reviewed the lending and rate of interest by the owner in some detail, and they reached the conclusion too that the new rules would mean they could not go into Europe.

    But I do agree with you, there are virtually no UEFA rules which are followed properly, so you could well be right.

    But may I reiterate I do appreciate you writing back in a manner that accepts who we are and what we do here.

    And I must admit when Martin O’Neill came to my house to pick up his daughter, he was the most courteous of men, and I was impressed that even a man of his status would personally put himself out to go and see what sort of maniac had been hosting a children’s party for the past 3 hours.

    Tony (and my titles are all just honourary – awarded by readers for reasons that are quite beyond me)

  • Petrov did the “hold your head” trick last night. He gave the ball away and then went down holding his hea.

    The referee stopped the game and naively checked to see if he was ok. Strange he went down holding his head since he gave the ball away with his leg.

    But Martin O’Neil teaches them right.

    I dislike MON. I detest his false earnestness. You know that kind of “you know I wouldn’t lie to you” earnestness.

    I also detest the way he loves bootlicking the media.

  • walter

    Vermaelen has NOT broken his fibula. If you keep quiet for a moment you can hear a huge sigh of relief from some million Gooners out there. Well you could hear mine…

  • walter

    Yes Ole Gunner, I explained to my son who was sitting next to me when I saw the incident and shouted at my TV :”Aston hold your head.”
    I really wonder sometimes if those players look at themselves after a game on TV how many times they are ashamedof themselves ?
    Or do they all have an elephant skin ?

  • Fool zapper

    I really admire Arsene Wenger and the way he is sticking to his Guns. tHat really seems to offend a certain number of the british public. It kind of reminds me of how horribly the republicans are treating Obama. (p.s. its not because he’s black)

  • St, Louis Gooner

    A-hyuck!!
    Great list, Toney.
    I hope you sent it to O’Niel.
    Head-holding was on definite display last night.

  • Marc

    Major relief re: Vermaelen.

    As for Villa, they like the Spud’s may mange to break into the top 4 over the course of the next few seasons. What they don’t understand is that they will go out at either the qualifying or group stage, this will lower the PJ’s coefficient and that could end up resulting in the PL losing a place to another country, thus making it harder for them to qualify again. Their hope relies on them not achieving their aims. Bit strange really.

  • There’s now more insight on the O’Neill comments with the next article on the site by Walter Broeckx. Do keep reading.

  • shane

    I think there is another thing to cite. I still have a soft sport for O’Neil and Villa. But another thing to add is of course the villa chants following Eduardo’s Horrific injury. Glorifying the lunge of taylor and rubbing salt into the Arsenal wounds. That is my friends digraceful. And it can then be seen how statements made by those such as Redknapp the chump start to carry some weight.

  • Mark

    3. Mmmmm. Weak sauce. Cry more.

    Not really. Its against the Laws of the Game.

    So. Strong sauce, or whatever you say in Brummie Land

  • Mark

    Lea and Perrins I guess

  • tim

    Fool zapper — (p.s. it’s because Arsene’s French. Shh…)

    Completely agree about Mr. O. It’s sad, but I don’t think the media likes smart people.

  • Sean

    Of course, a Villa fan, if he or she wanted to insult an Arsenal fan, could sing:
    ‘We’ve won the European Cup,
    We’ve won the European Cup,
    You ain’t, you ain’t’.

  • Macca

    What have we here? Aston Villa Football Club, the club that in 1888 created the game the world plays, being run down by a bunch of Arsenal fans?! Arsenal – the Chelsea of the 1930’s – the club that bribed its way into the top flight and simply bought the entire Huddersfield Town bootroom in order to win some trophies for London? Ironic. The Aston Villa Football Club being given lessons in class from a young whelping pup of a club? I’ve heard it all!

    Before taking potshots at another club, its playing style, its manager or its fans, you should first get your own house in order, surely? The diving of a certain Arsenal forward springs to mind. The hissing and anti-Jewish chants when playing North London rivals spring to mind. The feeble surrendering to direct counter-attacking football springs to mind, too.

    Villa being hamstrung by the twenty-five year reign of English football’s most awful chairman (Doug Ellis) seems to have given you folk the misguided view that your club is superior to Aston Villa. You question Randy Lerner’s financial practices – I’ll tell you what, I’m very confident that they are sound, very carefully thought through and substantial enough to restore Aston Villa to its rightful place at the very top of the pile.

    Isense the problem here. I sense frustration. I fear you folk can feel your rather plastic Premier League era spell of success is coming to an end. Cheer up! At least you have a new, fairly large soulless concrete bowl of a stadium to boo your team out of over the next decade or so (a concrete bowl that is already looking a little dated, might I add). Aye. You get rid of Highbury for that! In twenty years time you will look back in anger. A soulless club, built on bribery, putting money before its own (limited) tradition. Sad, sad, sad! And you lecture your elders and betters at Villa Park about class?!

    Give me the peerless Aston Villa Football Club any day.

    P.S. Talking of stadia, wait ’til you see Mr. Lerner’s plans for the expansion of Villa Park – observe, in the process, his respect for the unrivalled history and traditions of English football’s original giant. News will be filtering through soon enough…

  • Macca

    P.P.S. Arsenal fans, you spell our Martin’s surname thus:

    O’ N E I L L.

    Best wishes.

  • notlager

    Macca,

    it is not nationalism, dear fellow, it is just insularity.

  • Macca

    Notlager – Like most of the posts on this topic, your comments make very little sense. What are you talking about, old son?

    For a broader perspective on things, though, I’ll tell you all where Villa are in terms of ownership, direction and re-establishment. We are where Arsenal were around about 1986-87. Lerner is our David Dein and O’Neill our George Graham, if you will. The point the author of this blog misses entirely is, apart from finances, Lerner has a rock-solid vision for the club and where he wants it to be. He and the Manager are in it together and both understand the club, its history and where it needs to be. I think this is why so many Villa fans are happy with the people at the top of the Club. It’s their vision and attitude. (That O’Neill tells Wenger,Benitez -whoever- where they can go is exactly what we want in a leader.) They believe, quite rightly, that Aston Villa should be second to none and are working very hard to get the club back up there competing for, and winning, the League and European Cup once more. That is what we all want.

    Unlike yourselves, let us not forget, Aston Villa have a tradition of winning the very top trophies. Restoring English football’s greatest club is probably the most special job out there -Lerner and O’Neill are doing a fine job. It’s football’s equivalent to restoring a vintage Rolls-Royce.

  • notlager

    Macca,

    can you understand delusions of grandeur? You sound a lot like our neighbours, the tiny totts.