Rob Holder – Fan of the Fortnight

In Fan of the Fortnight

Our latest fan of the fortnight is 21-year-old Rob Holder, a season ticket holder who hails from Hampshire.

What’s your name and where do you come from?

My name is Rob and I am from Farnborough in Hampshire. Our claims to fame are an airshow and nail bomber David Copeland being found in a bedsit at the end of my road.

When and how did you come to support Villa?

It was Simon Grayson’s face in the 1998 Merlin sticker book that did it… I’m not sure why but I consigned myself to a life of misery and depression while the rest of my family enjoy watching Manchester United lift trophy after trophy. A bad idea is a bad idea, forever.

It's all his fault...
It’s all his fault…

What do you remember about your first home game?

24/04/1999 – Villa 2-0 Nottingham Forest: I remember being in the lower Holte with my dad and I have vague memories of the two goals but to be honest most of it’s a blur (I was six at the time).

My first proper memory of being at Villa Park is the 3-2 FA Cup win over Leeds. We were sitting in the front row of the Witton Lane stand and we were right behind Carbone when he hit that one from long range. That cup run remains my happiest memory of being a Villa fan.

Who is your favourite Villa player of all time?

Dwight Yorke’s departure during my first season of supporting Villa taught me that there was no point getting attached to the individual players. To me, they’re a group of obscenely paid people who are just employed by Aston Villa so I don’t feel any great affection for anyone in particular, especially amongst the current crop.

If I have to pick someone, I’ll go with Olof Mellberg.

What are the best and worst things about being a Villa fan?

Best thing? Hmm… Probably the fact that not many people where I live support the Villa so when I was at school I stood out from the crowd a bit and it’s a decent conversation starter.

Worst things? Well… Our owner, our manager, our players, the uncompetitive nature of the league, the fact that it’s a 260 mile round trip for me to get there, the fact that we’ve done absolutely nothing for the best part of twenty years, the fact that we’ll probably do absolutely nothing for the next twenty years and the only chance I’ve got of ever seeing Villa win a league title is if we get relegated first. I hate the fact that we always take a 2-0 lead against Manchester United and manage to lose. I hate the fact that we always make an arse of it in the cups and I hate the fact that we always lose at home.

I really don’t like Aston Villa very much at the moment!

Rob's impressive 21st birthday cake
Rob’s impressive 21st birthday cake

What are your thoughts on the current state of affairs in B6?

We have a totally inept manager who is tactically limited and has seemingly run out of ideas completely but the bigger picture also shows an unbelievably incompetent owner who decided to give a manager a blank cheque book then, when he failed, decided to cut back on everything to try and regain the money that he spunked. The man’s entire time at Villa Park has been a shambles and while fans spent years having a go at Ellis with regards to ambition, or the lack thereof, we wouldn’t be in this position if Ellis still had his finger on the pulse.

People will always point to Martin O’Neill when discussing Villa’s problems but he’s not had anything to do with the club for nearly four years now. In that time we’ve had three managers, a complete overhaul of players and we are still rubbish. There’s been one constant in that time – Mr Lerner.

As for the season itself, I think we’ve been absolutely abysmal but this is the weakest Premier League I’ve ever seen. The fact that this Villa team is eleventh speaks volumes for the amount of cannon fodder that occupies the bottom half of “the greatest league in the world”. Having seen us play pretty poorly and still managing to get results over the other dire teams in the league such as Norwich, Cardiff and Sunderland, I feel confident that we’ll stay up, especially if the floodgates open for Christian Benteke.

Rob (left) enjoying a pre-match pint... and forgetting which way the Bulgarian flag goes
Rob (left) enjoying a pre-match pint… and forgetting which way the Bulgarian flag goes

Which player would you most like Lambert to sign this month and why?

In all honesty, I don’t think it’ll make much difference. With the budget he has to work with his options are limited and we’re stuck between signing a carthorse like Holt or gambling on another unknown European player. I think it’s been obvious for a while that we’re crying out for some creativity in the middle of the park and I’d also like to see an experienced head who can sit in front of the back four and help our midfield keep the ball better.

Which song best describes your relationship with Aston Villa?

The Smiths – ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’

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