Paul Lambert has labelled this weekend’s final home game against Hull a “cup final”. It’s much more than that in my opinion, as relegation is simply unthinkable for Aston Villa Football Club.
Whether or not this mooted takeover hinges on us surviving is unclear but, regardless of that, Saturday is about pulling together, finding some pride and creating an atmosphere that the players and fans can thrive in. Winning on Saturday would put all fears of relegation to bed and, once again, we can then analyse what has gone wrong and hopefully look forward to better times ahead.
Creating the atmosphere we need against Hull is a two way street: the supporters need to do their bit but the players need to go out and give the fans something to cheer. I’m a believer that the fans getting behind the players at Villa Park makes a massive difference. However, some of the poor football that has been served up this season does not always make it easy for the supporters not to become frustrated, even Fabian Delph has suggested as much. The players need to go out and give the fans something to get behind.
I’m one of the more patient fans but even I have reached breaking point now. What we have seen for the last four years simply is not good enough: supporters are paying big money, with little reward to show for it. As a supporter of a football team, you have to take the rough with the smooth and back your side. The trouble is that the rough seems to be ever present whilst the smooth doesn’t seem to be evident often enough.
Nevertheless, supporters need to treat Saturday as a one off. It’s a game we mustn’t lose and the crowd and players need to give their absolute best.
Regardless of what you think of Lambert, Lerner, Faulkner or some of the players, you simply have to get behind the team for ninety minutes. Show what you think of the aforementioned personnel after the game. We need to be the twelfth man, we need to support the badge and those wearing claret and blue, whatever we think of them.
Even if we go behind we must stick with them. This is our last chance at our ground to drag ourselves over the line. Supporting the team for ninety minutes does not mean you condone everything that has gone on in the past few seasons but it could help in securing our Premier League status, which looks like it could be absolutely vital for us to enjoy better times.
The crowd in general has been patient since Martin O’Neill did a runner and we stopped challenging for the top six but sometimes the atmosphere at Villa Park can be poisonous when we are losing a game. These are the times when the players need us and our encouragement most.
On Saturday let’s stick with it for ninety minutes and hopefully we can secure our safety but, as I say, it’s a two way street and a lot of fans respond to what is happening on the pitch.
I don’t think many Aston Villa players can look themselves in the mirror this season and say they have done enough.
Too often we have toiled in games. Basic errors have once again been costly and we have not had a go at the opposition in too many games. After some games at Villa Park I have come away feeling like some players don’t realise how fortunate they are to play for this club. Whether or not that final statement is irrational I do not know but that’s how I have felt.
We were poor for large parts of last season but I did not mind so much as I always felt the players were working their hardest and playing for both the manager and the supporters. This season, there have not been many games in which I have felt that way.
I state that the fans need to stick with the players regardless but the players also need to give the supporters something to get excited about. Although I hate us losing, it hurts a lot less when I feel the players have left nothing on the field. If the players are visibly giving everything, the crowd will respond.
It’s all well and good hearing the sound bites from Bodymoor on the official website all week but the players need to deliver. Actions really do speak louder than words. The same things are being plastered on the official site each week but the time for talking is done. We need to see actions. I much preferred reading what Fabian Delph said in ‘The Daily Mail’ last week than what I have read from people on the official site, although I do appreciate the official website has to have a certain agenda.
There have obviously been problems behind the scenes during this campaign, which can’t be legislated for, nor can a few of the awful injuries we have picked up. All in all though, I know the players are a lot better than they have shown the last few weeks; the Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City games proved this.
I hope that we have confirmed our Premier League status by next week. Every Villa supporter loves this club so let’s show it on Saturday and roar the team to victory.
Up the Villa!