Despite more money being invested into English football every day with opulent foreign owners risking their fortunes on our clubs, fans still remain of paramount importance. Regarding Aston Villa we, the 12th Man, have always had a major say in decisions and continue to passionately support the boys in claret and blue around the world despite the circumstances that the club find themselves in today.
- After a turbulent three seasons in the Championship, Aston Villa now find themselves in 18th place in the Premier League table after losing four consecutive games. The Villa faithful are now beginning to become pessimistic of their sides chances of maintaining their Premier League status for another year after losing to Southampton 3-1.
After a total of 12 signings were made in the summer, it’s clear to see that Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens have high aspirations for Aston Villa Football Club with the club spending over £100 million in the Summer Transfer Window.
The two entrepreneurs were enticed to the West Midlands club due to it’s stature with supporters of Dean Smith’s side prevalent across the globe. Co-founder of Under a Gaslit Lamp and American Mark Jirobe informed me why he chose to support Aston Villa. “I remember the exact day I first read the words “Aston Villa”. It was October 20th 2007. I was off work and looking for something to watch on my brand new laptop computer. What’s a better way of breaking in a new laptop that searching for streams on the internet?” Mark continued to describe the passion of the Villa fans during the Premier League fixture he watched. “The commentator kept referring to “The Holte End”. I immediately brought up a Google search and typed it in. It added the ‘e’ for me. Amateur mistake, I will admit. What I found with a few clicks was once more something I have never witnessed before. A bunch of lunatics screaming at the top of their lungs in synchronised song. The hairs on my neck only stand up when I’m either incredibly anxious or something completely floors me emotionally. It was such a powerful sound, albeit very beautiful to my ears. I wanted to know what they were saying. I wanted to know why they were even doing this in the first place…and I really wanted to know who in the hell John Carew was because he looked like a damn tree with legs.”
The Villa faithful are a powerful community that have a large influence on how their football club is run. Since the opening day defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, the fans have fervidly supported the boys in claret and blue this season after Aston Villa returned to the Premier League for the first time in three seasons.
Gaining the supporters trust is vital to any football sides success. When speaking to The Athletic writer Gregg Evans, he highlighted the importance of gaining the fans support in order for a side to succeed on the pitch. “It’s very important for any set of supporters to stick by there team when going through a rough period. I’ve spoken to players in the past who have played at Villa Park when the fans have turned on them and it’s hard for those players to pick themselves back up. When the supporters get behind their team it gives the players an extra boost that they need which could be the difference in the result of a game.”
Gregg continued to highlight Dean Smith’s appreciation of the Villa faithful’s support this season as the West Bromwich- born coach reminisced with the media of his experiences at a toxic Villa Park and emphasised that it is not a nice place to be. After helping his boyhood club gain promotion back to the Premier League, surely Dean should be trusted by the Villa faithful to implement his system after a major overhaul of his squad.
In order for Aston Villa to maintain their Premier League status for another year, we the fans need to support Dean Smith’s side no master what the circumstances are. Former Villan Garry Thompson emphasised the fans importance during the next three League games. “I think the fans home and away have been brilliant, and over next 3 games it’s vital that they stay with boys, but I’ve no doubt they will.”
We are the 12th man! No matter the score line, the Villa faithful need to continue to ardently support their side for the remainder of this season. Every game in the Premier League is tough and therefore in order for Aston Villa to succeed on the pitch the players need to be supported. Let’s not turn Villa Park into a toxic arena! Let’s get behind the boys in claret and blue! We are the 12th man