Martin Keown has made astonishing claims that Premier League relegation battlers Aston Villa are better off without “moaning” fans in ground.
The former Villan defender said that they were more likely to stay up without “moaning” fans in the stands, and believes playing behind closed doors could work in their favour.
Player turned pundit Keown made 112 appearances for the club between the years of 1986 and 1989, getting on the scoresheet three times.
He was part of their side who were relegated from the top-flight in 1987 after finishing bottom despite winning the European Cup in 1982.
Keown reckons the “moans and groans” from unhappy Villa fans contributed to their disappointing demise.
The 53 year old admitted: “As a former Villa player that was relegated not many years after they were Champions League winners, I perhaps would have preferred the Villa fans not to have been there in that period.
“They were moaning, groaning and making it very difficult.
“The Villa players now can concentrate solely on their football without any real influences around them.
“Let’s see how a good a team they are when they are free in their minds and can play their football because there is an influence when people are moaning and criticising.
“You are looking at the bottom of the table and sometimes the fans can almost turn against you.”
Villa restarted the 2019/20 Premier League season with a goalless draw at home to Sheffield United.
They were lucky however when Hawk-Eye decided against giving the visitors a legitimate first half goal after Oliver Norwood’s 43rd minute free-kick was carried over the line by keeper Orjan Nyland.
Dean Smith felt the display and their first clean sheet in 14 games could give them hope in their battle against the drop.
He said before the Chelsea game: “I thought we made a good start back.
“Hopefully the support will have seen the work we have put in over the last 14 weeks.
“I want us to be a different Aston Villa team for this 10 game tournament.”
However since then, they have picked up just one point from the four games they have played since resuming.
They got a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United but have lost at home to Chelsea and rival Wolves since Keown made his comments, and today (Sunday the 5th of July), they take on champions Liverpool, who were thrashed 4-0 against Man City in midweek.
Despite the recent results, they’ve climbed up a place to 18th, wich has left them a point from safety, with Watford directly above them on 28 points, though Villa have got that game in hand.
They will need a good run of luck, with upcoming games against Liverpool, Man Utd, Crystal Palace, Everton, Arsenal and West Ham.
After reading the claims said by Martin Keown, that Aston Villa better off without “moaning” fans in ground, fans took to give their thoughts…
Actually agree with him
— Andreas (@TheVillaGamerYT) June 18, 2020
You spoke to 3 of them in a week?? Man I feel sorry for you
— Brad Cooper (@bradcoopa) June 18, 2020
Rapidly becoming my favourite pundit.
— JUUUUUUUKE (@thehbomb87) June 19, 2020
I can agree to some extent. There are some toxic fans when things aren’t going well. Then there are the ones that stand up shouting abuse or instructions to professional players as if they know better 😂
— Rob (@Robdw1983) June 19, 2020
They’ve still got moaner in chief Dean Smith in the ground though!
— Simon Dimmock (@simontdimmock) June 18, 2020
If 15th is a play-off position and 18 months is “just after” whilst also failing in a very clear remit which his successor achieved in just 7 months then yes you are dead right.
Definitely too good for us ..
— Scott Duncan (@Scott_AVFC1990) June 18, 2020
He’s not wrong though
— nickkkkkkk (@Nickbryan94) June 19, 2020
Tbf he has a point we are one of worst for getting at our own players at home I feel
— Allan Monro (@Allan_LV) June 18, 2020
Keown obviously hasn’t been at villa park for a while cos the fans have been great home and away.#avfc
— Tony Acton (@ActonTony) June 18, 2020
He has a point, sometimes the negativity and nerves are unbearable, I’m sure Villa played the game out quite well, obvs would have preferred the win, the save off Davis was very good
— sw (@scottward100) June 18, 2020
Good point, as fan attending Villa Park, we expect some much and with that our pressure filters onto the pitch and the players can react good or bad.
— Dan, Dan The Villa Fan (@Danthevillain) June 18, 2020
Fans might not like what has been said here but it’s true.
As soon as something goes wrong the fans are on the player’s backs and don’t let up, sometimes even if the results are good some player’s still get stick
— Mike Knott (@MikeKnott10) June 18, 2020
He has a point, too many fans are on the players back much too soon and too often even after one bad pass, you can hear it all over the stadium and it makes our players very nervous, plus the opposition can sense it and feed off it, we have to start to give the players a break
— Frank Monaghan (@monnfrank) June 18, 2020