A five goal thriller at the Villa – Aston Villa V Man United 10th of November 2012

I knew today boded well when word got out just before kick off that Leeds United had lost 6-1 at home to Watford. It doesn’t matter where that club is in the League pyramid, to hear that they’ve not only lost but have been annihilated is always very gratifying. Leeds could be at the bottom of the lowest league possible and it still would be too exhalted a position for me. I later hear that Mikel Aterta missed a last minute penalty as Arsenal drew 3-3 at home to Fulham. I wonder if Arteta was accosted by Fulham players the same way that Ruud Van Nistelrooy was by gloating Arsenal players like Lauren, Ray Parlour, Martin carthorse Keown and Ashley Cole (hiding behind Sol big boy Campbell) in 2003?

Take that: Aston Villa's Stephen Ireland (left) is fouled by Manchester United's Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes lucky to escape a booking for a foul on Steven the truth Ireland early in the game

I walked into Villa Park about half an hour prior to kick off today with only the minimum of fuss. By West Midlands police standards, I was impressed that I was frisked only twice going into the stadium. From past experience with this shower, this was light touch policing. In the past at Villa Park, I’ve been threatened with arrest for smoking a cigarette (long before the smoking ban) and on another occasion, ejected from the ground by a policeman only to be offered a ticket by the very same policeman who’d just ejected me for £20.00. Today, they decided to conscientiously take 15/20 seconds to pat down/frisk each and every United fan who’d turned up at the turnstile with less than ten minutes to go before kick off. Don’t let it be said that they were trying to create an aggravated crowd situation by deliberately keeping some people out of the ground a good fifteen minutes after kick off. There were hundreds of empty seats in the upper tier of the Witton Lane stand whilst this suddenly very thorough police operation was being implemented.

Meanwhile, in the ground, we had a steward on a one man mission to make United fans sit down at the beginning of the game. He was telling people that they were going to be “ejaculated” (sic) from the stadium if they didn’t sit down (I kid you not). The only down point is that United will probably get a reduced allocation on spurious safety grounds at Villa Park next time they play there.

Raucous celebrations in the upper tier of the Witton Lane stand at full time (photo courtesy of Lee Thomas)

Early in the game, Villa fans were singing to us that You’re the shit of Manchester followed almost immediately by Fuck off back to London; make your minds up boys! I don’t think it’s any understatement to say that Aston Villa fans hate United. I can’t say it’s reciprocated. Aston Villa fans are the kind of folk your parents would order you to be nice to when you were a kid. They’re truly risible. Since Aston Villa last beat United at Villa Park in a League Cup match in October 1999, they and their fans have become like moths to a flame where United are concerned. Today was the third time since that night that Villa have blown a two goal lead against United at their home ground. They never learn Villa fans, when 2-0 up, they had all the wisdom and cool of a thirteen year old lad who has just been smiled at by the pretty girl in the year above.

On 19 minutes, they had a minute’s applause for their Leukaemia stricken Bulgarian international Stiliyan Stan Petrov, this is in recognition of his squad number. Immediately after the 19th minute, United fans were graced by the sight of these very same Villa fans making aircraft arm waving gestures. It appeared that they were apoplectic at the fact that United fans didn’t join in the applause but I wonder why. I’m genuinely sympathetic to Stiliyan Petrov’s plight and I wish him a fast and full recovery from his illness. Virtually everybody I know and most people I don’t know think the same way. The fact that me and my fellow reds didn’t join in the applause doesn’t mean we’re happy with the fact he is ill. It just means that we’re not going to join in some corny, maudlin and empty gesture to acknowledge his illness. Do fans of Man City have a minute’s applause on the 23rd minute of every game in memoriam of Marc-Vivien Foé? Should they? The answer to both questions is no. If Aston Villa fans want to do that, then fair play if it makes them feel good and righteous (and that is what is truly at the heart of this applause). Just don’t get the hump when we don’t join in. The first time they did it was when Stiliyan Petrov turned up for a Villa game against Chelsea, soon after his diagnosis. Then, it was a nice and presumably spontaneous gesture, now it’s just crummy.

Hard to handle: Javier Hernandez's strike flies in off of Ron Vlaar

Javier Hernandez’s shot deflects in off Ron Vlaar for United’s equaliser

I got a text at half time from Red Peter telling that United had enjoyed Barcelonaesque possession in the first half. Apparently United had 70% of the ball but for all that possession, I don’t remember any sustained pressure on Villa’s goal. What I vividly remember was Antonio Valencia getting pulled for a foul throw on 21 minutes. I see this in nearly every game I watch but the only time I ever see them penalised is at places like Turn Moss and Hough End. Referees seem to turn a blind eye to them in the professional game. In first half injury time Andreas Weimann slotted a side footed goal high into David De Gea’s goal. At the time, I was screaming for a foul on the opposite side of the pitch, I couldn’t believe that Christian Benteke had got the better of Smalling so easily without commiting a foul but having now seen it on Match of the Day, there was nothing wrong with it. Benteke dealt with Chris Smalling far too easily for my liking. Five minutes after half time, Villa scored again. Smalling was involved again when he inadvertently played Villa’s Austrian forward, Andreas Weimann onside for him to score his second goal of the game. He’d only scored twice for Villa in two years prior to today, now he’d just scored twice in six minutes.

Contortionist: Hernandez flings himself at the ball to head in No 3

Javier Hernandez heads home United’s winner in front of the Witton End on 87 minutes

There was talk last season of Javier Hernandez having second season syndrome. He certainly had a better first season than second but his first season would’ve taken some beating in any circumstances. Whatever the mutters were, he’s now coming back to the form that made him so lethal in his first season. Six minutes after Villa went 2-0 up, Hernandez brought United back into the match with a classic centre forward’s goal. The fear and apprehension of Villa fans was hanging thick in the air after this goal. They just knew what was coming. Six minutes after pulling a goal back, Hernandez forced an own goal from Villa’s Dutch centre half Ron Vlaar when he attempted a shot which was going off target but was deflected in. Villa fans now had a demeanour akin to that of a turkey on Christmas Eve. Apart from Andreas Weimann forcing a great save from David De Gea three minutes after the equaliser, it was relentless United pressure. Just after Paul Scholes was substituted for his heir apparent, Tom Cleverley, on 72 minutes, Robin Van Persie hit the bar twice in 47 seconds. Villa eventually relented on 87 minutes when Javier Hernandez headed in United’s winner from a Robin Van Persie free kick to set up scenes of sweet insanity in the United section reminiscent of Carrow Road and Ewood Park last season.

Thanks to Steve Black, Steve Armstrong and Rick McGagh for helping us get on the Monkey bus at pretty short notice and also my immeasurable gratitude to the geezer on that bus sat a couple of rows behind me who gave me a drink when I was parched on the way back. Thanks also to the enigma that is the Ralphie Milne Ultras for sorting my ticket out. Also nice one to the lads on the Monkey bus who, to the tune of Is This The Way To Amarillo, sang “Is this the way to Aston Villa, we’re gonna see a five goal thriller, obstructed view behind the pillar, Little Pea he scores for me” and my personal favourite to the melody of Let It Be, “Little Pea, Little Pea, Little Pea, Little Pea, Javier Hernandez, Little Pea”. A great day!

19 thoughts on “A five goal thriller at the Villa – Aston Villa V Man United 10th of November 2012”

  1. as long as united keep playing 90 min’s they will get the results they deserve,
    as for the [offical] saying you would be EJECULATED i think he could of been calling you a load of wankers ;-))

    1. Vic, you could be onto something now you mention it. I did hear him say ‘winka’ a few times, I’ve now twigged as to what he actually meant. I originally thought it was the name of a possible East European player that Villa have.

  2. Villa fans of late must be having an identity crisis. This once proud and historic club seem to be using littlepool as their template. I can only assume they will do this for any past, present or future player of member of staff who has been stricken any cruel blow of fate. That’s going to be a lot of clapping time. Who’ll be checking the clock for all this. You’re supposed to be there to support the team you clowns. And if the opposition choose not join in, show some maturity. Waving your arms aeroplane fashion is not the way to gain respect for your club. The condition of one dignified player although very sad, is not national news. Therefore not every ones priority when visiting Villa Park. I wanted to comment on a young Villa side that out played United on occasions last night. Cant be arsed now. As I sit her I can see lots of empty seats again at the BOO camp. Father RipRap should let them poznan pricks out of church, their dinner will be going cold.

    1. Talking of empty seats at the tripe colony, do you know that they haven’t sold out the home Real Madrid game yet ? One of the most famous clubs with some of the best players in the world haven’t sold out at City yet. I’m just wondering if City are playing Madrid on a holy day of obligation

  3. Obviously some contrasting experiences with the stewards and police yesterday. I had no ticket and managed to jib it. Lad in front of me in the queue had his ticket checked and was then frisked, I simply held my arms out and was patted down with no request for a ticket, then managed to leg it in behind the other lad. Absolutely over the moon with a result which, once we got the first, was never in doubt in my eyes. The whole mentality of the entire club was visible on the pitch and audible in our end. (as was the mentality of our opponents, as you point out). Bedlam at the end.

    1. I saw a couple of jibbers yesterday, I could tell, by the way they were frantically making their way up to the stand yesterday, they didn’t have the assured demeanour of people in possesion of a ticket. I’ve no problem with jibbers getting in the ground by hook or by crook, I’d be a hypocrite if I did. If the police/security are, in this day and age incompetent enough to let a jibber through then that as far as I’m concerned is their problem, not the problem or fault of travelling reds with kosher tickets. We all know the score, good reds accomodate jibbers in the stand without any fuss.

  4. The attitude of people like you is the reason everybody hates man u. The scum that follow your club couldn’t have the decency to pay respect to a sick Villa player on saturday yet woe betide anybody says anything about the munich air crash which you lot never shut up about.

    1. I really can’t see the issue with this Stan Petrov thing. Noone wishes him anything other than the speediest of recoveries. But why we should join in with a scouse-esque self-aggrandising round of applause if beyond me. Also for my part, it didn’t even occur to me what was going on, I was enjoying singing 19 19 19 19 19 🙂

      1. True Villain: Thanks for your comment. I generally find that opposition supporters make far more reference to the Munich air crash than United fans do. The only time reds really talk about it is in early February every year where approximately 500 lads ‘n’ lasses will stand under the Munich clock at Old Trafford and sing a song called “The Flowers of Manchester” at the nearest United home game to the anniversary. There’s no gargantuan banners on the Stretford End or organised weep ins, just a quiet low key celebration of the lives of the men that perished at Munich before we all get on with the game and our lives.

  5. Also, on the subject of “Is this the way to Aston Villa…..”, was this by any chance the same gentleman of, shall we say, more advanced years than myself, who sang it to me at the bar in the pub by New St Station at approx 8pm? If so you further brightened up a brilliant day out, ta.

    1. I doubt it, I acually heard it on the RI/UWS monkey bus as we were approaching Villa Park. I thought/think it was genius as was singing Little Pea to Let it Be. Did you jib the train as well ? 😉

  6. Re True Villian. Reds of my vintage have been listening to disrespectful Munich songs since shortly after the event in ’58. Your fiends (sic)and relatives may have joined in. Don’t give a shit anyway. Everybody denies it when we all know it’s been done at every ground I visited in this country. Even for youth team matches. I don’t know any who doesn’t wish him and any person stricken with that or any other ailment the very best treatment available. But if my club was to follow your clubs example, we would spend most of the first 11 minutes clapping. Would you join in. Or would you do what your and every other club has done down the years. You know. That thing you do when we give you your usual beating. You mention decency. Then start calling people you have never met ‘scum’. It’s little wonder we despise people like you. A bit thought before you show yourself up in future would help. But please continue in the current vein. It kinda proves my long term view that no Footy club has cornered the high moral ground that you are trying to assume. Futures, Muzzy

  7. True Villain: The reason your lot hate United is not because we didn’t join in an in-house tribute to an unfortunate player, but because from a point in the late 80’s and early 90’s where we were neck & neck, our club has continued moving forwards and embracing new challenges in order to stay at the top, whilst your lot have either stood still or gone backwards. Try blaming someone else for your misfortunes or use the United model as a way of getting back to the top. That way, you might earn some genuine respect rather than just sympathetic applause for # 19 – that’s your #19; ours is rather different.

  8. Three things. First about the blog: the chants about Manchester and ‘back to London’ obviously went over your head – or are you being ironic and I’ve missed it. Oh, no – it’s the first one. Second. In response to Andy Cooper’s response – Neck & neck in the 90’s and modelling ourselves on ‘doing it the United way’? What? By being leveraged to the tune of £800 million? At least the relatively small debt our American owner has incurred is to himself and not the banks (and incidentally, he has supported the club since he spent a year at Cambridge University in 1983). The third and final thing is that United has a worldwide brand with big commercial potential – if you had not been streets ahead of most others then THAT would have been the surprise. And just a reminder: football, like many things, goes in cycles.

    1. Franky:

      I find it interesting how anti-United people always turn into amateur bankers (that’s with a ‘b’) when they run out of any other arguments. Whilst I’m aware of United’s uneasy relationship with their owners, I have to say that I don’t think anyone was worrying about the balance sheet when we beat Chelsea in Moscow in 2008 or when Rooney rifled in a penalty at Blackburn to nail down our # 19.

      I think if you look back over the last 60 or 70 years you’ll find that football finance has always sailed a little close to the wind. Supporting a football club is not about accountancy and financial due diligence, it’s about glory and reaching for the impossible. When Peter Withe played a one-two with the Bayern Munich goalpost back in 1982, I imagine you missed the goal because you were worrying about whether or not Chairman Doug was going to come up with the money for Tony Morley’s new contract.

      And, yes, football does run in cycles, but, as you say, the nature of Manchester United in the 21st century is that it has become a global brand. On that basis, if we get to a point where things on the pitch start going pear-shaped, the financiers behind the club will no doubt ensure that money is made available to steady the ship. United is no longer just a football team and many people who have little or no interest in football do have an interest in ensuring that the cash continues to flow through the Megastore tills.

      You may not approve – and there are many United fans who would agree with you – but you also can’t deny that all this distasteful Yank money (as opposed to Mr Lerner’s squeaky-clean dollars) has greased the wheels to ensure ongoing success in the Ferguson era. And it’s that success, ultimately, that puts 75,000 bums on 75,000 seats at most home games.

    2. Franky,

      Sorry for not being au fait with the nuances of the unique brummy humour and irony. It must be that kind of subtle humour we used to see on “They think it’s all over” and “Fantasy football”, I:E, that fuckin’ subtle as to be transparent. Please don’t bother trying to explain it, I’ll just be a martyr and cope in painful ignorance.

  9. I believe West Midlands’ finest were at it again, and the FSF are soon to have the details passed on. A few years ago i was singled out and pushed by the throat into a wall for having the cheek to voice my disapproval of the Glazer leeches within their precious earshot. As were many others. Some things never change. A bit like winning at Villa Park, I suppose.

    1. I did see police being filmed by people with I-phones and what have you with their usual shenanigans. Under normal circumstances, I believe the evidence would be pretty damming but after the Simon Harwood trial earlier this year regarding the death of Ian Tomlinson in London, April 2009, I’d take nothing for granted when it comes to Police accountability. It appears people can die within hours of being struck by a policeman without any legal sanction being applied, throwing a football fan up against the wall would probably get them a commendation. Snort, snort, grunt, grunt

  10. Franky the villan. The debts your club to carries, compared to the debt we have incurred have nothing in common. Other than the word ‘debt’. Manchester United PLC (URGH). makes enough profit every financial year to subsidise the other arms of the yanks empire. The other thing is, in the business world you cannot have a debt you cannot service. So that means your tiny debt shows that you support a tiny club. No irony there. Just want to keep it simple, to match your outlook on things you clearly no little. Murph, these villa simpletons will get you ready for the other shit kickers next weekend. Cheers

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