Booing Aston Villa fans are merely frustrated Aston Villa fans

I have this recurring dream about winning the lottery. It is Sunday morning, I go get the papers and I am reading them over breakfast when I get to the page with the lottery numbers on. I recognise them all immediately as mine and go get my ticket just to make sure.

Sure enough, my numbers have come in, the jackpot was £30mn and I start dancing around the kitchen. Then, there is a frantic look for the wife and we both start dancing around the kitchen and start thinking about everything we are going to do with the money, what we are going to do with the house, what car she wants and what new computer I am going to get and where we are going to go on our first three month holiday.


The next few hours are euphoric. It is the best feeling in the world and even though this is a dream, I am smiling in my sleep.

Then, I call the number - I've already decided to let the press know it is me, I've called everyone I know and I've quit my job. Ten minutes later I find out it was a freak weekend and just over 10,000 people had the exact same numbers - I was taking home just under £3,000.

The next few minutes of my dream turn into a nightmare and while I always wake up just after that, I've never woken with tears, but I always wake feeling as if I should be crying.

Things can only get better

The reason I tell you about this made up dream is because getting to the final of the League Cup and losing, while nice to get to the final, isn't something that I am going to fondly remember or really want to look back on. At the end of the season, I'm also not going to look back and think 'we battled for the Champions League', if we finish sixth again because clearly - we wouldn't have battled hard enough - but you can't actually question the determination of a Martin O'Neill team - they go into battle every time they play.

At the start of the season, my real expectations were not to finish in a Champions League place or to lose the League Cup final or to get to the semi-final of the FA Cup - merely to do better in the league than the previous two seasons.

Finishing fourth would be fantastic - a huge step, but I only wanted to do one place better, because I know it doesn't happen over night. I know it takes time - look at how long it has taken Harry Redknapp.

Martin O'Neill
Maybe they are not happy with a Carling Cup final appearance and FA Cup semi-final appearance and still battling for the Champions League with nine games left.

I can tell Martin O'Neill we are happy with a League Cup final appearance and we are happy with a semi-final appearance, that if we win, might very well make us the favourites for the competition and that we are happy because we still have a chance of finishing higher than we did last season, but the reason some people booed at the weekend is that they are simply frustrated.

I'm 35 years old and I can not remember an Aston Villa team that has shown as much determination as this one and if we don't win anything and finish sixth again, the one thing it can not be put down to is determination and desire - the battle. I will however be frustrated and I think if we finish sixth for a third season in a row, while I will dress it up as further consolidation, it will be sort of frustrating that four seasons in, we hadn't seen the progress we were all hoping for.

Great expectations

I've said this a few times now, but the only thing that really matters now is where we finish the season. I've set my expectations low in comparison to some, only because I don't think I can be disappointed. I can only feel good at the end of the season as I fancy we will meet my expectations.

But Martin O'Neill knows we are happy with two trips to Wembley and he knows we are happy with where we are with nine games to go, but the cracks are appearing and this summer, like I said about this time last season, is an important one.

Points for points

The point of this post was to merely respond to what the manager said after the Wolves game and it took a turn, because in a way, he is spinning it a little and rather than accepting why supporters could be frustrated, he is trying to make out that we are not grateful, which most of us are and will be, if we progress this season.

But most of us have seen us finish higher than sixth and most of us have seen us lift silverware at Wembley and pretty much all of us believe we are really close and when most of us can see how close we are, it is very easy to get frustrated when we clearly haven't progressed enough to beat Wolves at home. It is only frustration Mr O'Neill and there is no need to bring our happiness into play.

Video of the Day

I think this video is fitting, because we do seem to be standing fairly still at the moment. {rokbox title=|Next season must get better :: Aston Villa Blog Video of the Day| text=|Click here to watch|size=|640 505| album=|demo|}http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIj-6fr2SlI&autoplay=1{/rokbox}.