Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Something For The Weekend (179)

Something For The Weekend (179)

Arise, oh, mighty Barnsley, we salute thee!

I've never experienced the sights of Barnsley but the shot from Oakwell's TV gantry across the ground, over the roof of the old west stand, should be memorialised on the lid of a biscuit tin, at least. Such is the wondrous sloping curve of Belgrave Road, as it dips down to Grove Street, that the grand old ground seems to be embraced and enfolded in the bosom of the south Yorkshire landscape, as tradition expects. Surely, Kes must still dive and tumble, on yonder hill.

Ayup, it were grand!

After Scudamore's betrayal and on-going attempts at asset-stripping the Premiership, Barnsley versus Chelsea looked more and more like a re-enactment by the Sealed Knot, of old values versus new. Northern character taking on the rapacious spin-driven blood-sucking South. I did not need reminding that it was in Barnsley, in 1984, that the whole world changed and Mrs T's f**k-you society was born. I needed no reminder that Scudamore and the rest of the carpetbaggers, were but a logical conclusion of the philosophy which prevailed.

And poetically, it was the south who were guilty this time, of getting help from the Russians.

But didn't we all prefer the empty promises of Saatchi and Saatchi, to the soothsaying of that annoying King Arthur? And, fear not, Oakwell's west stand will go the way of Archie Leitch's finest creations and Barnsley cannot but yield eventually. The Grimethorpe brass band has already followed the money south.

Somewhere, old England, still lives.

As for the football, it was just a fantastic game and I couldn't help but be reminded of Villa in their heyday, as giant-killers. For nostalgia addicts like myself, so sickened by the state of the nation and the people who run it, the FA cup has been fantastic this year. And if I wasn't dreaming in Northern clich├ęs, I was remembering West Bromwich decked out in blue and white, in 1968, which made it look like a village community united behind their local team. Does either that community or that village still exist, in the age of multiculturism? My guess, and its no worse than anyone else's, would be that such evidence of community, is far more likely to be found in Barnsley, than in either West Brom or around Villa Park, come the longed-for Wembley day. Such is the Diaspora, such is the urban division.

As you would expect, from 'The Tarn' with a tradition of glass-blowing, Barnsley showed a lot of bottle.

Elsewhere, Portsmouth relied on cosmic intervention to knock Man United out, who cried like babies (expect a soft penalty for them anytime soon); while Albion were simply astonishing and Cardiff managed to do what Villa didn't - beat Middlesbrough - courtesy of a wonder-goal from ex-Villan Peter Whittingham.

Such moments of televised football delight, always invite questions about whether the lad should still be at Villa. Its the sort of question Man City fans are forced to ask whenever they see Ryan Giggs, which is quite often. Or, the question Man United might have asked when both Paul McGrath and David Platt were handed their PFA Player Of The Year awards. No club can keep everyone and there is no guarantee that a player who gets stuck at a club would have developed in the same way as they did elsewhere.

Some transfers should never happen (Campbell from Spurs to Arse, Figo to Real Madrid etc.) and any player with any respect for the fans will avoid it like the plague. But when it comes to youngsters, you can't keep them all, they just block the progress of the next generation and hold back their own development. But for me, there is always the bonus of suddenly finding other teams interesting, just because they have a Villa boy playing for them.

Watching the UEFA cup rounds this week, which lets be honest, is not always the most riveting thing you can do with your evenings, was transformed by the chance to see two Villa boys play for Bolton. Okay, Everton and Spurs had the drama and the not too displeasing outcome (I get a bit jealous), but I do find my attention wondering. But Bolton was another thing altogether, as I could watch every move of Jlloyd and Gary Cahill, who was captain for the night. For me football is just not interesting unless it is personal.

I think I might have shouted, 'Come on me babby', a couple of times, when the Villa boys were on the ball. Gary as we all know is a great player and it looks certain that he has a very good future - he's surprisingly skilful for a centre-half. He's obviously still learning and his desire to win a game, sometimes takes him into some very surprising areas of the pitch, for a defender. Jlloyd is the most frustrating, just as he was at Villa Park. He's got a surprisingly good physique and can be quite skilful but he just has some annoying habits, like taking the ball too close to his opponent when he tries to beat him. But his main problem seems to be not maintaining a rhythm to his game, which tends to mean he loses concentration. Jlloyd did not look great but compared with Nicky Hunt, he was outstanding. No matter what shirt they wear, Villa boys will always be Villa boys.

For all the hype, the UEFA cup is not all it might be and even with Andy Townsend, reminding the viewers, of how Villa beat Inter in a penalty shoot-out, my memories of it are of dreary matches, which you are desperate to win - not the happiest combination. It was with these thoughts in mind that I consoled myself, as Wednesday's draw against a team they might have been expected to beat, saw Villa's challenge for a European place begin to falter.

Combined with a rather depressing budget, which seemed designed to have a go at yours truly, all that remained for me to do, was to lie back and think of England past, and that view over Barnsley.

It were a reet Bobby Dazzler and its a pity Villa left me feeling brassed off.




Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Join the Vital Fantasy Football League - its Free!

Writer:Steve Wade
Date:Friday March 14 2008
Time: 6:32PM

Comments

0
great stuff.
villabikes29
14/03/2008 21:31:00
0
great stuff.
villabikes29
14/03/2008 21:31:00
0
'Villa boys will always be Villa boys'. What a great line, and what a pity we dont all really believe that. Maybe then a few more of them would get a decent welcome when returning to B6. Another great weekly dose of Mr Wade.
glensider
17/03/2008 00:19:00
0
'Villa boys will always be Villa boys'. What a great line, and what a pity we dont all really believe that. Maybe then a few more of them would get a decent welcome when returning to B6. Another great weekly dose of Mr Wade.
glensider
17/03/2008 00:19:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Recent Aston Villa Articles

De Laet Set For Pre Season Return

Fullback Ritchie De Laet has confirmed that he's on course for a pre season return to training following his nightmare 2016/17 season.

Top Championship Google Searches 2016/17

Newcastle United topped Google searches for 2016/17 with Aston Villa following in second place, but which other clubs featured in the top ten.

HK - Villa Top Soccer Sevens Group

Aston Villa's results on the first day of the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens saw them finish on top of Group C.

Green Has Holte End Goal For 2017/18

Winger Andre Green has been speaking about his eagerness to achieve a boyhood dream next season following his breakthrough this campaign - a goal in front of the Holte End.

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Profile
Mike Field
Editor email
Profile
Steve Wade
no email
Profile
JuanPablo Angel
no email
Profile
Glensider
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

I'm all out of questions at the moment
Suggested By:
You can suggest one39%
if you want to!61%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Newcastle 46 29 7 10 94 45
P Brighton 46 28 9 9 93 34
3 Reading 46 26 7 13 85 4
4 Sheff Wed 46 24 9 13 81 15
5 Huddersfield 46 25 6 15 81 -2
6 Fulham 46 22 14 10 80 28
7 Leeds Utd 46 22 9 15 75 14
8 Norwich 46 20 10 16 70 16
9 Derby County 46 18 13 15 67 4
10 Brentford 46 18 10 18 64 10
11 Preston 46 16 14 16 62 1
12 Cardiff 46 17 11 18 62 -1
13 Aston Villa 46 16 14 16 62 -1
14 Barnsley 46 15 13 18 58 -3
15 Wolves 46 16 10 20 58 -4
16 Ipswich 46 13 16 17 55 -10
17 Bristol City 46 15 9 22 54 -6
18 Q.P.R. 46 15 8 23 53 -14
19 Birmingham 46 13 14 19 53 -19
20 Burton 46 13 13 20 52 -14
21 Forest 46 14 9 23 51 -10
R Blackburn 46 12 15 19 51 -12
R Wigan 46 10 12 24 42 -17
R Rotherham 46 5 8 33 23 -58
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Blog: Monaco GP Report
Latest Vital Boxing News
In Victory Groves Remembers the Vanquished
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.JuanPabloAngel387
2.The Fear382
3.sirdennis251
4.Pride of Lions217
5.BBJ216
6.villasince67185
7.Silhillvilla155
8.BodyButter146
9.kefkat140
10.col8139
Vital Football Comment