Aston Villa is a proud Club. A Club of tradition. A Club of expectation. But what does all this mean? I ask the day we're playing Nottingham Forest who have won the Cup we're most proud of more than us. And tradition, what exactly is that? Also, why do we think we're a big Club, because of our catchment area? It's got nothing to do with how big the stadium is.
Just over 10,000 supporters turned up for the League Cup game this week, but judging by the reaction on social media, this site and others, you'd think we'd sold out and it was the most important game of the season. I tried to make fun of the tournament, but I don't think everyone saw it that way. I tried to make light of it before and after.
Steve Bruce has also spoken about expectations. He's also called out some supporters. So has his son. Things just don't feel nice at the moment and it's starting to feel a little toxic at the moment. And I'm fairly sure it wont be fixed until some supporters figure out that we're not going to challenge and we're not a big Club anymore. Not really.
That is horrible to write but it's the truth. We're playing in the second tier and we change managers like it's fashionable. We haven't won anything in years and even if we do get promoted, we're not going to challenge unless our owner invests £500mn in transfers and as a businessman we know he's not going to do that.
I want to think the game will be fixed and the playing field will be levelled one day, but it wont happen. Too many companies and too many influential people are invested in the way it is. We missed our chance and unless we get an owner that wants to lose a billion dollars, it wont happen.
So with this reality, why are so many so unaware that changing the manager will likely change nothing and intent on creating so much negativity around the Club?
No more Twitter
This week, someone reported a Tweet I sent claiming it was abusive towards them and Twitter locked my account. The only way I can unlock it is to delete the tweet. I countered that it wasn't abusive and that many think Howard Hodgson is a self serving petulant child who has cosied up to people at the Club in the hope that he can become the supporter representative on the board, that he would call Director, only for my appeal to be rejected.
Twitter didn't accept that view despite the compelling evidence and nor should they even if many think it true. But I have something to thank Howard Hodgson for and that's reporting the message. You see, Twitter has become a horrible place where people like Howard Hodgson receive gratification and me for a long time, for having an opinion that many agreed with.
And Twitter is such a vile and toxic place these days that I've enjoyed the past few days not talking Aston Villa on Twitter. I've realised also that I feel better for not having to read that crap.
I should also mention that not everyone on Twitter is vile and most of the people that leave comments here are fine too. But so many are just frustrating to deal with. And there are so many stupid people with access to the internet that having one less place to engage with them, is only a good thing.
And the people that have been blocked on this site, it's because they say the same thing 20 times a day just slightly differently. It's spam and annoying and not very insightful. You all know the reasons.
I could go further, but I won't
Some supporters clearly don't want Steve Bruce as the manager and are basing last season for their decision. Some are not really sure why they don't want him, they just don't and they are part of that tribe, so they go along with it. Believe me, it's true, there are some really stupid Aston Villa fans.
Many of those are the same supporters though that wanted the new players this summer, yet they wont give Bruce a chance after the Club delivered the players. Some of them are even the ones now saying that Di Matteo didn't get enough time (he had two less points than Bruce does after eight games and when Bruce took over from him we were second from bottom). And they forget that Di Matteo was wrong from the start.
The thing that makes me chuckle every time though is when supporters talk about the quality of football we're getting from Steve Bruce as if any side he's managed has played attractive football. I bet most of them aren't even old enough to have seen Aston Villa play decent football.
But there are so many examples. Someone recently wrote that they'd be happy to see us lose if it meant getting a new manager .. just a new manager, not anything concrete. I think the only time I'd be happy to see us lose is if we've already won the league, we've won the Champions League and the FA Cup and the defeat meant somehow that Birmingham City were relegated from the fourth tier. Is that even possible?
So, I'm off Twitter and I'm grateful to Howard Hodgson for that. I should say also, I don't dislike Howard Hodgson and just because lots of other people think he's self serving and only in it for himself, doesn't mean you have to. You might believe Howard Hodgson has the best interests of the Club at heart and he'll do his best to tell you that and he believes it himself.
But Howard Hodgson thinks he's better than you and that he deserves to be a Director of Aston Villa for his insight. Go try and find an original thought from Howard Hodgson.
Me, I hope we win today, only because it's the only thing that will make it possible to visit this site later. If we don't win, then it will be horrible here. I mean, if we don't win you can as good as right off us winning the Premier League this season. The really sad part about all this is that even if we win ten in a row some will be back when we drop points in game eleven saying the manager has to go.
And I'm desperate for the win today. My expectations are that we will be putting out eleven players.