Your story, a trip to Italy helps and I love football and Aston Villa

Imagine it is 1508 and you've just arrived in Rome. There isn't much going on and you watch a man walk into a building - he has some paint and brushes. You have time on your hands, so you follow him.

What you see inspires you, so you come back the next day. Watching this man work and seeing something come alive in front of your eyes makes you believe in something you never thought possible.


Four years later and Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, Mike to you, has finished painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and you feel as if you were part of it. You and Mike go on to have a long lasting friendship and when people want something similar, they come to you for advice.

Now, for the four years you stay watching Michelangelo, every day was new. What was happening had never happened before and you couldn't predict what was going to happen next.

Clarity comes from time, understanding and history

Later on in life, smart people could predict what you were going to deliver, as the go-to-man. They had heard and read about you - what you were serving up wasn't as innovative or inspirational as it once was.

Your fee went down after each project too as you became more desperate for the work - you compromised another man's art for your own survival. It's okay - it's what happens and you invested four years of your life in this, you easily justified it and people still wanted to meet you.

500 years on and the history books tell us a lot. History helps us predict the future. Much like fashion is a circle, a leopard doesn't change his spots. But ask yourself this question; how do you know Sam Allardyce will never win the Premier League?

The words ripple

Nick wrote about mediocrity the other day and I've seen it in other places since. I wrote about how Sunderland was a must win game for Alex McLeish, even though it really wasn't, and I've seen that written in other places too since then. But why are we writing about mediocrity, why is the game broken and why wasn't it a must win game for the manager?

Mostly, why are people catching up? Is it because the picture is coming to an end and people start to see what is right in front of them?

When Randy Lerner bought the club, he bought it to make money. That was denied. Then it was admitted. I, foolishly maybe, wrote on a few occasions about how the financial success of a football club can be directly linked to success on the pitch, trying to convince myself that Lerner wanted to make his money that way.

It was blind optimism and I hold my hands up to it. I looked for hope in places where there wasn't hope and I fully accept that all we really have is Doug Ellis 2.0 - someone that is piling the club with debt to cover the spending, but doing it within the boundaries of sensible lending - or as Doug would have said, sustainable local business.

Don't get me wrong, he will spend again. Just look at what has happened with Doug to see what will happen with Lerner, because they are basically in the same place now. Whereas Doug would save to spend, Lerner has to pay back debt to make more available to spend - we will be appeased. But that is all it is now, it isn't anything else.

It is nothing else, because the history books tell us. I'm not going into detail - just look at his managerial record. Even with money this manager got his team relegated. He'd struggle with £200mn and this isn't a pop at him, it's just the way it is. I know I couldn't do it, much like I know if you give me some code I've never seen before, I'd struggle - I could probably get by, with help from the internet, but I would struggle. It doesn't make me a bad or horrible person and if you doubled my day rate to give it a go, I'd give it a go and talk the talk.

No gossip, your story

Why have I written this? Well, it is simple for me, but that is me, but if I say it every now and then, it helps. You see, I've given up speculation and over inflated opinions on team selection and formation (they were not always over inflated, but sometimes). There are other sites for that and I don't care so much for it now. We're not going to get a huge amount of cash to spend, so it doesn't matter who this manager brings to the club - impact will be negligible. A place maybe.

So I've written it to explain why there isn't as many posts as normal - it isn't easy to get interested in anything but watching the football when it is so uninspiring. Also, because I was asked recently to create a brief for someone who wanted to write a post for the site, I thought I'd open it up, as it is a popular one. It is 'I love football and my team is Aston Villa because ..... ' and I thought I'd ask here as it is nice to read about how people are connected to the club and what football means to them.

I know we've done it a few times, but this time, I'd like to make a record and we're going to do it a little differently. You don't have to write War and Peace, but tell us below and if you want, you can also send it in and we will publish it - the best ones will also be sent to the homepage and be read by the 5,000 people that visit this site every day - the others, while maybe not on the front page, will get a place in the history books of the internet and be published for all to see for all time.

So, this is your chance to tell your story of why you love football and why Aston Villa is your team. If you don't know how to send it in, ask below or click the contact link in the menu above.

And well, you know the rest. Roll on Saturday and three points, because this one actually is must-win for the manager.