So much has already been said since our captain Stiliyan Petrov announced his retirement from football earlier on, and the outpouring of love and support goes to show how much people appreciate the man and everything he’s accomplished, and will continue to accomplish. The news that he’s due to lead the team in their lap of honour after the match will make the last home game even more special, and you can be pretty sure the 19th minute will be cheered louder than normal.
It’s not a surprise, but it’s still a sad sad day. I was always a fan of the player, and felt that early doors, he got a bit of an unfair rap from sections of the Villa support. You only have to look how much we miss him to understand his influence both from a playing point of view, and a leadership perspective. Keeping the ball is vitally important in football, and Petrov did that better than most. He kept us ticking along, and was a steadying influence throughout his tenure. You can only imagine the impact he would have made in this young side.
He also popped up with some classic goals, and I still maintain if a player from a more fashionable club had scored THAT goal against Derby, it would be held much higher than it is. 45 yards out, half volley, top corner and on your weaker foot? Way better than Beckham’s which we see repeated all the time in my opinion, though I am naturally a bit biased.
I was fortunate enough to meet him once, and while I was like a Justin Bieber fan-girl barely able to speak (though without the screaming I may add), he was as nice as everyone says he is, and it was a great experience. We wish him well now and in the future, and I’m sure his foundation will do great work.
Thank you Stan.