As I said in a previous article, Villa are one way or another destined to repeat their history. So when fans ran onto the pitch during the dying minutes of Aston Villa's victory over West Bromwich Albion today, I couldn't help but smile at the memories it brought back.
Aston Villa's last pitch invasion was way back in 2010, when they booked their last trip to Wembley in the League Cup Final, so I've obviously got a positive connotation in my mind of what a pitch invasion signifies. It signifies a chance at glory and if that's 'bad' in the eyes of announcers, then I'll be the first to go down with that ship.
There were no less than four separate pitch invasions during today's match, one after either goal, an ill advised invasion in stoppage time and the final victory invasion, which had Fabian Delph dancing with the leaky Holte End.
Obviously, I can understand why Mark Lawrenson feels angered, the players are obviously endangered and considering the fact he played professional football in the eighties, he has had to bear witness to some terrible events concering the invasion of pitches, so I don't blame him.
I also can't blame Villa fans. I've spent money going down to matches and during those matches I've not managed to see a goal be scored. When money is on the line (and let's be honest, a season ticket is a huge chunk of money for the average Joe), can you blame some fans for not being able to contain their joy?
Villa will surely face a large fine from the Footballing Association of England, but blame should perhaps lie with the people who decided to organise an important local derby late in the day, when fans can spend a good six hours getting drunk before the match. Just food for thought.
At the end of the day, this is the bubble bursting for fans who have spent mind-boggling amounts of money on watching boring, dross and horrendous footballing matches and whilst it may be considered 'dangerous', there are a few massive problems at the forefront of the beautiful game right now and a bunch of fans being unable to contain their emotion should be a footnote on all of that.
It should be noted that the pitch invasions before the final whistle were of course, idiotic. I can't and won't condone the actions of the fans that surrounded Fabian Delph and other players, but I can sympathise with all sides of the argument. What I will say, however is that most of the people who have an opinion on the incident weren't there and weren't feeling the same level of emotions as those that chose to run on the pitch in that instant. Steps could have been taken to prevent this from happening and weren't taken and I fully believe that the majority of the fans on the pitch at the final whistle were just caught up in the moment. The same can't be said about those that tore up seats and invaded the pitch before the match was finished.