American Soldiers In Vietnam – Birmingham 20th December 2014

The run up to this game saw an unnecessary frenzy for United fans caused by Aston Villa over match tickets. Villa had put the tickets on open sale over the internet about five weeks ago, just like they’ve been doing for years, only this time, they rescinded the tickets bought by anybody they suspected of being a United fan. Through a friend who has lives in the middle of Liverpool, I’ve been getting tickets for Villa in this way for a while now and I have never seen any problem at Villa Park when United have been in the Villa part of the ground. I always thought Villa were grateful for the revenue visiting reds gave them, I was wrong. This time, Villa tried using the United game to sell half season tickets. You’re not famous anymore indeed!!

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A photograph that magically captures the madness in the Witton Lane stand seconds after Falcao had equalised (photo courtesy of Neil Meehan)

While Villa had a cull of people buying tickets for the game, they didn’t fully succeed. There’s nowt more resourceful as a travelling United fan* (please see the bottom) getting into the match. When Radamel Falcao equalised in the 52nd minute, there was a slew of reds in the Villa section next to the segregation line, who started celebrating the goal. This wound up a nearby crew of stewards to such a degree that I am now convinced (having been there many times) that they are compulsorily prescribed amphetamines before United’s fixture at that ground. It’s either that or they’ve watched too many films about American soldiers in Vietnam. If they are sane then I know where there’s a house full of people like them. The lad who had his Steve Gerrard banner stopped at Old Trafford last week on Health & Safety grounds was told today to not pull it out under any circumstances. This was at exactly the same time that a huge banner was being unfurled across the Holte End in a forlorn attempt at rousing some passion out of Villa fans. Unlike last week though, the Gerrard banner was briefly seen on live television worldwide, seconds after Falcao’s goal.

Shall We Fill Your Ground For You?

The irony of Christian Benteke putting Villa in front in the 18th minute should not be lost on any red. United have done a few smash ‘n’ grabs lately and now with this, Villa’s first attempt on goal, United had fell victim one themselves. There was no other threat from Villa in the first half but early in the 2nd half, Benteke forced a great save from David de Gea. There has been a fair amount of disquiet about Radamel Falcao recently. Once the initial excitement of his signing had calmed down, he’s only scored two goals since his loan was confirmed on Transfer deadline day (© SKY Sports News). He hasn’t had a great return of goals but the two goals he has scored have been worth four points to United. When he was allowed a free header from six yards soon after de Gea’s save, a centre forward of his quality was never going to miss an opportunity like that. That the cross for the goal was provided by Ashley Young, relentlessly booed all afternoon by the half wits that occasionally populate Villa Park, made the goal even sweeter.

In the 64th minute, Gabriel Agbonlahor was harshly sent off by Lee Mason for a challenge on Ashley Young that was in my opinion, a yellow card. The fact that it was a foul on Ashley Young which had resulted in the red card, caused an apoplectic reaction from the Villa fans. The local Police must’ve been relieved Ashley Young didn’t score the winner, even though that was what the more mischievous reds were praying for. I reckon they could have had a repeat of the Handsworth riots on their hands, just in time for the festive period.

 Actually, come to think of it, he has a point

At the full time whistle, we walked away with a 1-1 draw, probably a fair result. I now know that Louis van Gaal, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney have expressed disappointment that United didn’t win. I’m disappointed too, especially playing against ten men for nearly half an hour but United have had some good luck in recent weeks so I just go with it. We could be far worse off. Think of last season.

What this result will hopefully do is calm a few people down. Some of the garbage I’d read in the media after the Liverpool win was understandable in that they were doing their job. Winding up the more gullible amongst United fans. What has surprised me was how may people got wrapped up in that excitement. Sure beating Liverpool and Arsenal over a six game run are great results, it doesn’t meant that United are suddenly in serious contention for the title.

Thanks to Neil Meehan and Ciaran McMullan for their help in writing this  

*full respect to those City fans in Moscow who nearly got into the ground that night, only to be grassed up by their own stewards

8 thoughts on “American Soldiers In Vietnam – Birmingham 20th December 2014”

  1. Having watched Villa loads of times in the Stretford End over the years, I have found Man Utd fans to be fairly passionless more often than not. The away following are quite good though.

    1. Really? That surprises me as Villa rarely sell their full allocation for Old Trafford so you’d have no problem getting amongst the away fans if you really wanted. Was it a case of agent undercover or do you secretly enjoy being amongst passionless United fans, having been in the Stretford End “loads of times over the years”?

      1. Macca, you’re talking bollox. Presumably if you had got in the Stretty, you would have needed a ticket and they are like rocking horse shit. If you paid at the old turnstile, you were either blind and deaf or telling porkies. For a brummie to be talking about a lack of passion is surely a piss take. When you lot are happy it sounds like a wake. Though normally nice people, you lot do not register when it comes to footy things. Now fill your ground with your own fans, if you can.

    1. Hello Villa Fan

      Where did I originally say that “Gabby” should have been sent off?

      I merely sympathised with the tweet that said he deserved to be sent off for that moustache. The more I think of it, the more I come round to it. We are forever being told that footballers are role models and for that reason, moustaches like that have no place on a football pitch in this day and age. The red card was deserved.

  2. This is not a very nice thing to read and Man U fans are not very nice people when visiting Villa Park. Last year, there were plenty of Man U fans mocking my dad for his combover, nobody else who come to Villa Park do that.

    Why don’t you just be nice like everybody else? It’s not cool to be nasty

  3. Cheers Murph, good read.

    The more is see the challenge, the more it is a straight red. He knows the ball wont be there but goes through anyway to have a full swing at Young. I’m not getting into a hair discussion as it would be me and Falcs vs the rest, but i felt we looked less threatening vs 10, and when Young swapped wings.

    As for the kids being ejected- sums villa up. Can’t sell their own tickets as per, then whinge when we do it for them. Again. Still, was good to see a fair number of Reds got in every stand again despite their over-zealous sales (sic) strategy; watch the complete lack of movement behind the goal when Benteke scored. And it kicked off a few times there too. Next time, just give us 5000 and everyone’s happy. Or get relegated.

    Falcao’s first 90, di Maria back, hopefully a settling defence (with Shaw and Rafael) and a cup run starting soon. Happy Xmas!

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