Writer: Steve Wade
Date:Friday March 21 2008
There was only one subject which dominated the chat around the water-cooler this week and it wasn't the certainty of Villa qualifying for Europe by May. Instead, there was a rather unhealthy obsession with Heather Mills and her twenty-five million quid. Of course, there was a substantial amount of chat about the madness of the law, which decided that she deserved so many millions for doing nowt, while the fruit of her loins got rather less, but despite the obvious conclusion that the law is a gold-digger's charter, most of the guys were secretly obsessed with only one thing - her stump.
You know what blokes are like and I'll spare you the worst. But let me just say, that it wasn't long before some jackass was retrieving the word 'acrotomophilia' from the Interweb. It went down hill from then on.
Myself, having a more literary bent (sic), couldn't help but recall that passage in that wonderful book, The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck, where the preacher (?) is telling the tale of the one-legged
whore who charged extra because the experience brought with it such substantial bragging rights. As the story-teller explained: not many can make the claim. Money, maybe, can't buy you love but surely it must increase the variety of sex an old man can enjoy, in a lifetime.
All this may inadvertently have strayed into a region, some might consider to be of poor taste, but it certainly provided a desperately needed distraction from those daunting seven points, which seem to offer an unbridgeable gap between Villa and Everton, in the Premiership table right now.
I am actually not a big fan of the UeFa cup and for reasons I can't explain, the name Helsingborg has left me mentally scarred, after one grim night in 1996. But, I don't like caviar much either but I would still like to be able to afford it. And, of course, being male, I am rather goal-oriented, like most of my sex. But obviously, with Helsingborg in mind, Europe is more of a theoretical state of grace to move towards, rather than a reality I absolutely crave. A bit like the female orgasm: it is a theoretically desirable goal but my own pleasure is not entirely dependent upon it being achieved.
(For those needing reassurance - Google >Tootsie Garr Orgasm<.)
But in an ideal world......Click Here
However some will be suffering from Status Anxiety (Alain de Botton 2004) and will forget what really matters and may even be heard rehearsing speeches, which sound very much like they are trying to inspire another Munich putsch.
Thankfully, these sad specimens are very much in the minority, I must report, even if they are incurable. Me, very much a Football wet, I want what that Villa fan, Mark Williams, used to say on that Prudential advert, 'I just wanna be together'.
The Villa's resident critics, depressives, obsessive neurotics, and O'Neill second-guessers, always remind me of that Woody Allen joke, ' My ex-wife was a philosophy major at NYU. Yeah, she and I used to have deep philosophical discussions where she would prove that I didn't exist'. There is always some glaring contradiction in what the chronic second-guessers say. They present themselves as Villa fans but their message is never anything less, than to suggest that it is a bad idea to support the Villa. Of course, its not for me to deny the hen-pecked, the oppressed and the otherwise down-trodden, self-harmers, their one outlet for their cathexis - I just don't want to join them on planet misery, that's all.
I'm still hoping to go to K-PAX, with the rest of the dreamers.
In my view the only league that really matters, is the feel-good league, and by my reckoning Villa are certain to finish in the top-four. Should an English club fail to win the Champions League, then three of the top four will be falling down the feel-good league, like a stone. If Portsmouth win the FA cup, they would have to take the top spot and with Spurs holding the Coca-Cola, then Villa are a shoo-in at fourth. Everton are just too much in the shadow of Liverpool to be quite as happy as Villa, and they are scousers after all, but should Liverpool go out in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, I expect a very late rally for the blue half of scouser town. Obviously, as Villa fans are so legendary for their sporting natures, plus the Moore and Phillips factor, should the Albion win the cup, Villa's mood could actually go even higher. Should Birmingham City get relegated, hysteria might even break out.
So there is still plenty to play and hope for.
Alas, before we can celebrate being champions of the feel-good league, Villa need a return to form and the memories of their defeat at Portsmouth need to fade rapidly. It was a bad result verging on the terrible, as Villa slipped down the table and were overtaken by their south coast rivals.
I have been a big supporter of Scott Carter but his two mistakes ranged from the bad to the disastrous. Now, I know that he is trying to take a bit of pressure off himself, after his England blunder, but surely if he needed to remind Capello that he didn't think he was quite ready for a return as England's number-one, then surely he could have sent the guy a letter or have given him a bell. He didn't need to make such a strong case by letting in two silly goals. But what with James doing miracles at the other end of the pitch, I am certain that Capello got a clear message in a language he could not but understand. Scott might be happy to know that having stated his case so clearly, the pressure is now off.
I don't know the source but I suspect the papers were taking the wee-wee, a bit, when they linked Villa with Paul Robinson, this week.
Oh, yeah, and Gabby doesn't need a rest, he needs a goal - once that ball hits the back of the net, all his aches and pains will fade away. And, you never know, it might even make the moaners smile for a nanosecond.
Where you find cheerfulness of spirit, you'll not find a broken man.
So, happy Easter my fellow Villans!
Date:Friday March 21 2008
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|1.||Pride of Lions||911|
|Man Utd||3||-||1||Aston Villa|
|15. Aston Villa||33||8||8||17||-21||32|
|17. Hull City||32||6||10||16||-16||28|
|18. Leicester City||32||7||7||18||-17||28|
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