Your Team In The Media: Number 2 - Aston Villa

While many of their ex-player pundits seem to be associated with other clubs, Villa are still well-represented. Johnny & Al continue their trawl through the league...

Last Updated: 10/07/13 at 13:39 Post Comment

Latest Articles

England's Player Ratings v Lithuania

12 comments

Danny Welbeck, Raheem Sterling and Wayne Rooney all vindicated Roy Hodgson's decision to leave Harry Kane on the bench. But you can't keep the man down...

F365's No.9s Quiz - The Questions

Post comment

We have 20 questions on Premier League club's famous and not-so-famous No.9s...

All Articles

Is your club a media darling - or an unfashionable whipping boy? Does your team get a rough deal from the hack pack? Do lazy journalists always come up with the same clichés about your club? In this series, John Nicholson and Alan Tyers look at the stereotypes, coverage and media agendas for each team in the Premier League...

Ex-player pundit presence
Andy Gray, but not so much since lesbians escaped from the kitchen and ruined it for everyone with their equality nonsense. Dion Dublin pops up magnificently from time to time. David Platt used to until his head became entirely ovoid and a bit frightening. Gareth Southgate is likeable and decent and doubtless smells of Imperial Leather. Andy Townsend is widely derided; Dwight Yorke seems to be in it only for the money but at least looks happy. And of course there's fearless warrior of the wireless, Stanley Victor Collymore. Perhaps the best ex-Villa pundit we've seen is Ian Taylor but he doesn't get much of an outing. Interestingly, it seems that some of Villa's biggest players of the last few decades are associated more with other clubs than the Villa.

Celebrity followers
Villa's historical, establishment credentials are franked by claiming Prince William, former Bank of England governor Mervyn King and David Cameron among its supporters. Cameron has been a fan since he was taken to see them play aged 13 by his uncle. Who happened to be Sir William Dugdale, the club's former chairman, Sir William Dugdale. See? He's just a regular guy. Other embarrassments for Villa include scruffy violinist Nigel Kennedy and phone salesman Kris Marshall, who dedicated his professional life to promoting BT, only to be ditched just when they might actually have something vaguely cool to flog, i.e. football. On the upside, Villa can claim Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath as fans. As the latter once wrote a song containing the lyrics "Fairies wear boots and you gotta believe me, I saw it, I saw it with my own two eyes" it just goes to show you don't have to be mad to be a Villa fan but it helps.

Back page leaders?
Don't make regular appearances at the top of the media agenda since the brilliant-value 'Deadly' Doug Ellis stepped down, but major club events - O'Neill departure, Lerner's spending, McLeish's head looking like a slice of breaded ham - still get big play. This may be in part because older hacks (at section-editor level and above) still remember days when Villa were a major force but also because they can still pull in over 40,000. Very hard to imagine them getting much attention outside the UK.

Gaffer's media skills
With the exception of Steve Kean, no top-flight manager was more universally unpopular with his own fans than Alex McLeish at Villa Park, so Paul Lambert was already in some credit just for taking over. Has done a reasonable job media-wise, gets the "he's British so go easy on him" instinct from the red tops and there is some sympathy with his difficult position in having to handle a chairman who has apparently lost the drive to spend. Handled relegation-threat pressure okay last season, but got narky with local press, never a wise move for a beleaguered, non-glamorous manager.

Vox pop cliché fan
Not an ounce of arrogance, they more usually have an air of melancholy, especially when West Brom finish above them. Usually in possession of much-needed self-deprecation. Always fiercely defensive about being the biggest team in the Midlands even as the golden glow of more glamorous times fades like the setting sun. Angry that things are not better but are not sure if they actually deserve to be.

Keyboard warrior ferocity
Quite low. Most bile seems to be turned inwards, at McLeish say, or club financial policy. Don't have a large rump of online rage-heads. Don't seem bothered about faddish things such a net spend or winning trophies. Would just like to win a few more games. Dangerously reasonable.

Club's brand
The biggest and most authentic club in the region, a founder member, a once-mighty footballing force that is now forever just a couple of signings away from being one of the major players again.

Outsider's view
A historical curiosity, but one which is generally quite well liked: the Premier League's dotty and smelly, but sweet great auntie. Neutrals would rather like Villa to become a major player to break the North West/London hegemony and look on with sadness as they slip down the league. No more likely to become a big force again than rattles and rosettes.

Archetypal news story
"Randy Lerner now richer than God, Aston Villa to sign unheard-of Romanian on free," or "Player plucked from obscurity, turns out to be very good, now hands in transfer request."

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers

Read Johnny's book, 'The Meat Fix' here

Alan's football and cricket books are all in one place here

Follow Alan on Twitter here or Johnny here.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

S

hould have stayed because we carried him for 6.5 years. And then he has a breakthrough season, and was gone soon after. MU fans, you would be as disgusted had C Ronaldo left in 2007 and not 2009.

godof86
Is Van Persie Slipping Sadly Into The Night?

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Two Chelsea fans summoned to appear in court over claims of racist chants

Two men summoned to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court in May following claims of racist chants at St Pancras Station.

Arsenal are repoortedly keen to sign Liverpool's Raheem Sterling

Arsenal are interested in signing Liverpool's Raheem Sterling, with the winger set to reject his offer of a new deal.

European Qualifiers round-up: Wins for Germany, Portugal and Romania

Goals from Marco Reus and Thomas Muller gave Germany victory over Georgia while Portugal beat Serbia to go top of Group I.

Mail Box

Can Wenger Coach Young Players Anymore?

One Mailboxer wonders whether Wenger has still got ability to bring through young talent. Plus £50m for Sterling, stop being matey with footballers and Blackpool...

Forget About Flair And Play Like Greece

'Forget about flair and play like Greece' is one outsider's advice to the England national side, while an Arsenal fan wants to sell Theo Walcott to get Marco Reus.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company