The Holte End, once known for its noise and passion in support of one of England’s finest sporting institutions, has fallen flat over the last few years, which is understandable given the drab football that supporters have been exposed to. It is now the case that Aston Villa fans are louder away from home than they are in B6. We travel well too, packing thousands of fans into away ends in locations across the country. However, this enthusiasm is seemingly drained from even the most loyal of supporters when we play at Villa Park.
Whether you are in favour of the demonstration or not, it would be nice to create a positive atmosphere in the ground and really get behind the boys after the eighth minute of the match. I’m sure that the players will respond to some real support at home and it may inspire them to three points as it has done on previous occasions; the Chelsea and Manchester City games at home last year are great examples of fans’ support reaping rewards for all.
Forget the mindless booing today and act positively. Don’t sing about Paul Lambert, as it would undermine the demonstration if we did. Just for today, put the fact that Lambert is somehow still our manager to the back of your mind and get behind the eleven Villa boys on the pitch. Save the chanting of ‘We want Lambert out’ for the end of the game when it can’t possibly have a detrimental effect on the players wearing claret and blue.
There is a symbolic banner in The Holte End that reads ‘HOLTE END THE 12TH MAN’. Well, it is time for the Holte End to find its collective voice again and make an impact. What we don’t want is the Villa faithful to be drowned out by three thousand away fans, as we have been so often this season. I know that it is tempting to sing about all that is currently wrong with Aston Villa Football Club but resist the urge. There is nothing better than players reacting to a Villa Park in full voice. It creates a buzz and a feeling that something might happen. If ever there was a time when we needed to support our great team, the time is now.
Sadly, we face a very real threat of relegation once again. I urge fans to take part in the eight minute demonstration as it is a great way to ensure that Randy Lerner will take note of the fans’ unrest. However, once that eight minute demonstration finishes, sing your heart out and show your overwhelming support for the Villans in the remaining eighty-two minutes of the game. Be the twelfth man.