A tough question but football is nothing without emotion. So what happens when money, technology and instant access to goals and highlights intervene?
Have you ever gone to a match and the spark isn’t there anymore? Does it just feel like the same old same old? Maybe you’ve been going for so long that it’s just part of the weekend and you don’t get that buzz anymore? I’ve had that feeling for quite a while and even though the playoff final and the build up was everything I could have wanted, it’s slipped back into it’s old ways, only this time a little worse. It used to be about battles, Keane vs Vieira or Villa with Dublin, Barry, Mellberg vs Savage, Horsefield and Dugarry with Blues back in the day. It used to be about blood, sweat and tears yet it doesn’t feel as if it’s a war anymore. Am I stuck in 2001, yes probably, but I’d like those times back. Real characters, proper debates, feisty affairs – it’s all gone.
It was a bad night for us but a match played with fire!
I’ll start with VAR. It’s brilliant if it goes for you and can be hell if it denies you a last minute winner (ask Man City) but now I find myself somewhat hesitating when a goal goes in. I can be denied a goal by a clear offside (on an instant decision) but when my drink goes flying up in the air only to be told 5 minutes later that it’s no goal, it’s pointless. The freedom is being taken away and it won’t ever return until instant decisions can be made. I want controversy, I want to feel hard done by and I want to argue key decisions after the fact. Football used to be about opinion, now it’s about fact and that is what is destroying this game, if it isn’t dead already.
I know some of you will either tell me not to bother coming to Villa Park again or tell me to stop watching if this is how I feel but some of you must feel it too?
The incentive to physically go to matches is also gone because what is the point in going if you can see Sky Sports or BT upload match highlights 20 minutes after the game has finished? You’ll probably say something like ‘there’s nothing like quite being at the game’ but, truthfully, is that the best you have? We can go on Twitter and get minute by minute news. We can experience everything about the game without being there. Hell, it’s probably on tv. The big game feeling has gone, the fire has gone, it feels like just a game when it was always supposed to be more than life and death as Bill Shankly once said.
It’s there waiting for you near enough immediately!
Tickets are expensive and the matchday experience is bland to say the least. Sometimes you can love it so much that you don’t want to criticise it but if you can say, with a hand on your heart, it’s as good as it used to be, then that’s fine and I applaud you for it. We have the same Villa chants that go through the stadium every week but we are capable of so much more! Different songs, more noise; maybe a better build up package before the boys come out? Anything that is a little different could go a long way.
I just want to be able to feel psyched for a game, have that adrenaline rush and it’s still there to some extent. It was there when Tammy Abraham stuck it away at West Brom to watching Super John McGinn get it over the line in the final but I can’t say it’s what it used to feel like.
Did that clip give you goosebumps? I thought the Holte End would fall because of the noise that night….If I had it my way, I’d bring the old video package that aired 10 minutes before the boys came out. It was a breakdown of classic moments before the superb 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 from Thunderbirds came over the speakers. It was classic Villa and it was unique. West Brom come out to ‘insomnia’ which is a tune that gets people going just off the top of my head! Perhaps we should consider revamping how we come out?
Obviously from reading this, you can see I’m a man stuck in the past, a man out of time some would say. It’s why I’d like to see more Villa legends arrive on matchday just to give us a bit extra. Just for fun, let’s say we are facing Birmingham at home and a few minutes before kick off, we have Olof Mellberg do a little speech to the crowd. He hates Blues, they hate him and we love him so it’s a nice push before the game. People that know Dion Dublin know that he can make people run through a brick wall – bring him in. The club should do everything in its power to get people through the doors a little earlier. Maybe an offer on food every now and then or some live music. Nothing huge, just an idea. Is there something you’d like to see?
Right, now don’t shoot me, just digest it before you hurl abuse at me. There’s a huge part of me that likes the idea of goal music (yes I know, here he is). Would it be so harmful just to try it once and see how it fits. It would be Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes when someone scores or simply when Kodjia scores as his song fits around that. It’s something new, a little different and it’s not tinpot before you say, it’s just a thought. Just watch the clip below and see if it wouldn’t fit at Villa Park somehow. You might think it’s a silly idea because you’ve seen it at Bolton or Wigan but in a packed stadium, it’s worth a shot!
Just while it’s on my mind and, yes, I’ll know I’ll get hate. The ‘Allez Allez Allez’ song isn’t ours. It’s good but it’s not ours. All football chants are copies in some way or another but we could at least try and make our own! Think of something and put it out there? Send it to the boys @heartoftheholte and you might have 42,000 singing it in good time? Why the hell not? I’ll start shall I?
Oh what a night
Late in May in 1982
Peter Withe made our dreams come true
What a feeling, what a night
(A bit of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons going on)
It’s only a short moan today but have a think about it?
I love football, it’s just lost the spark or perhaps it’s just not for me anymore?
Up the Villa