Going by West Bromwich Albion’s Monday night game against Brentford, it was clear to see that they are looking forward to Friday nights game. WBA fans were very vocal in their thoughts about Aston Villa. Chants of “Aston Villa, we’re coming for you” seems to be particularly popular. Well at least until Brentford equalized late on.
This begs me to ask the question on whether you class the game as a rival or just another game?
It is often a subject that is bought up every time we play the Baggies. Many Villans on social media have been debating whether they regard the game as a football rivalry. My view of it is, it will never be the same as our rivalry with Birmingham City. That’s obvious. However, it is a rivalry because I believe we have always been programmed to despite WBA.
A lot of Villa fans who have followed Villa for many years used to consider WBA as ‘The rival’. Partly because we didn’t come up against Birmingham too often. Those who have supported Villa since the early ’90s don’t particularly see them as rivals. Again, probably because we didn’t come up against WBA too often.
Villa Park is only a measly 3.8 miles away from the Hawthorns. It is closer than many fans actually realise. This puts us closer than other sides who are considered big close rivals. The two Manchester clubs spring to mind (4.7 miles) and of course Newcastle and Sunderland (15.3 miles). Based on the distance alone, one would assume the two have a deep and long rivalry. Again, you will have those who argue that St Andrews is only 3.2 miles away.
There is no disputing how much mutual hatred clubs in the Midlands seem to have for Villa. Personally, I see it as a compliment. Both Birmingham and WBA seem to have created a respectful relationship towards one and other. But they both have one thing in common. Their hatred for us.
They like to call us historians and most Villa fans are proud of our history. Why shouldn’t we be? But for me, this is one of the reasons why they dislike Villa so much. It is so easy to despise the most successful club over time.
When it comes to matchday both Villa and WBA will have a mutual dislike for each other. But Villa doesn’t seem to have the same hatred towards them as they do us. We don’t tend to sing too much about WBA. The games are not hyped us as much as they do when we play Birmingham.
It is easy to see why some consider WBA a rival. For me, it isn’t. I dislike them more than most other clubs but I wouldn’t class my dislike for them strong enough to class it as a big derby.
What are your thoughts on WBA? Are they a big rival for Villa or just another club?