Always drama with the Villa
I know you’re all used to it by now, as am I but it’s fair to say it’s never easy supporting the Villa! I’m sure other fans don’t go through the ups, downs, and general craziness that we seem to as fans. Naturally we wouldn’t have it any other way but boy does it get tough sometimes.
The latest issue involves the possibility of player dissatisfaction, and naturally a number jumped on this as a sign that McLeish has lost the dressing room and that he has to go. I don’t think we’re quite at that level yet, but it will be very interesting to see who lines up for Villa in the next couple of games.
The two players involved are apparently Stephen Ireland and Charles N’Zogbia, and at the moment I don’t think we can afford to lose either. I didn’t want to report anything in the immediate aftermath of the game when the news broke that Ireland might have said something to McLeish that resulted in him being substituted, because I wanted to hear what the club or the manager had to say. McLeish has indeed come out and said the following since the initial news broke, and I hope that this is all it is. He’s worked hard on turning Ireland’s Villa career around, and he has been one of our best players this past month or so.
“Stevie had an ankle problem and wasn’t able to close down.
“Guthrie sidestepped him to put the cross in. I thought it was too easy and Stevie should have been making that tackle or at least putting a block on the cross.
“It was clear at half-time that he didn’t have the capacity to get close to people.
“His touch was still great at certain moment. But at this level in the Barclays Premier League you need players with legs and energy.
and also added this to the Birmingham Mail:
“I know he spoke back, but at the same time, players don’t like to hear the manager screaming at them from the touchline.
“But I kick every ball with them, I am passionate, I care and I wouldn’t be so petty to take a player off for something like that if he is doing a fantastic job.”
We clearly missed him second half, and his link-up play with Keane and Bent that has been great to witness in recent games. As mentioned it will be interesting to see if he lines up in the next game, and I hope that we don’t see the return of players being banished to the reserves etc, it doesn’t help anybody.
Charles N’Zogbia was also reportedly frustrated after the game and I’m sure most of you have seen it now. He had this to say “First time in my life I’m not happy playing football.” on twitter which of course sent the Villa fans into meltdown.
He was quick to delete this statement, and tweeted the following some time afterwards.
“Football goes up and down, massive challenge for me. What doesn’t kill u make u stronger !! I have learned from it!”
Now I enjoy Twitter, and seeing the players on there certainly adds to the experience. I really wouldn’t worry too much though if McLeish or somebody else at the club banned players from using it. Things said in the heat of the moment can lead to mass drama as we’ve seen tonight, and it also offers ‘fans’ direct access to say what they like to our players.
I remember Bent being abused by a significant number after the shopping adventure, and a few of the younger lot have retweeted abuse they’ve received. It doesn’t help anybody and doesn’t reflect well on our fans, even though it is a tiny minority.
All of this deflected slightly from the match, and I thought overall we were slightly unlucky to come away with nothing. The first half we were top, the second not so good although we did end well. Sadly the same old problems came back to haunt us, namely problems at the back. Think we’ll see a big shake-up come the summer, and it’s long overdue at the back.
Hopefully this player dissent has been overblown, and both keep their places in the side. If not the level of anger towards our manager will surely increase.