The Week In Villa (16)
Wednesday, 14th November
Enda Stevens says he hopes he did enough against Man Utd to keep his place. I think he did, I thought he played very well in fact.
Thursday, 15th November
Attentions turn to Man Citeh. Talk is of their amazing record at home, us heading in the right direction after a couple of decent performances and the general idea that it would be surprising if we got anything out of it, despite the fact we have already beaten them there this season; mind you, law of averages suggests that makes it even less likely I suppose… Oh and James Milner should be fit. I loved that man. *sob*
Friday, 16th November
Ah, the newspapers. Christian Benteke apparently has no fear of making enemies at Villa by saying he loves Arsenal and wants to play for them and thought Aston was in London and he's too good for Villa anyway and he once made love to Arsene Wenger and…
Oh, I don't know. Some of what he says is twisted into nonsense, and comments like 'I am just using Villa as a stepping stone' are quickly dismissed by Paul Lambert.
For the record though, why shouldn't he have affection for Arsenal? I am from England, I am from Birmingham, my family have always been Villa fans since my great-great Uncle Walter played for us before the First World War, and given our location, probably were before that. So I support Villa. But from an overseas point of view, who do I have affection for? Well, Barcelona. I liked watching any team that had Zidane in it. I liked Rangers because they had so many English players when I was little.
Point being that Benteke is 21, so when he was about 10 or 11, Arsenal were a very exciting and entertaining side, whereas as we were been served up to the awful second run of Graham Taylor.
Are we supposed to expect him to be a Villa fan?
Saturday, 17th November
From, 'Ah, the newspapers' to ah, officials; what the hell was that? You all know what happened so I won't go into detail on the penalty decisions other than to say that on both counts, the decisions were so bad that I have to question why officials are not fined or suspended - or at the very least given a warning - after such woeful performances. I don't want officials to be afraid to make decisions, but I do want them to have to think of the consequences when they are just having a guess like the first penalty, or displaying a shocking lack of knowledge of how football works on the second one.
Now, if you`re thinking, 'Well we would have lost anyway' of course, that is a safe bet.
But it was 1-0, and at that stage, you couldn't rule us out. We actually had the better chances on the break and the difference in quality essentially comes from the fact that had players like David Silva or Sergio Aguero being in the positions that people like Stephen Ireland and Andreas Weimann had been in, they most likely would have done a lot better.
However - that is not to say that we would not have gotten another chance and taken it, and given that they have been pretty poor this season from set pieces, you simply can't KNOW that we couldn't have got anything from the game, football is a mad game and we were on the ropes but most definitely not out of it.
Also, please, no-one come out with any stupid, idiotic comments about the fourth or fifth goals - fact is, if a penalty isn't awarded for the second, the rest of the game doesn't pan out the way it did. It's all about changing the course of history. Have you never seen Back To The Future for crying out loud?
Oh and we`re now in the bottom three. Fun.
In further annoying news involving Manchester clubs, the U-18's lost 2-0 at home to Man Utd.
Sunday, 18th November
LET'S ALL PANIC! I really don't like going on social networks or NewsNow much on match day or the day after, as it is full of overly positive and overly negative drivel - the truth (as it so very often does in life) lies in the grey areas, not the black and white.
In addition, at least the overly optimistic and overly negative stick to their guns, and those that live in the grey areas like me rarely get too drawn into either camp. But the people that were so happy after the Sunderland and Man U games and are now convinced we are going down because of a hammering from Man City really need to get a grip.
I have read some complete and utter nonsense today - including a call for protests.
Perspective - Man City have taken, including Saturday, 89 of the last 93 points available at home, and while I loathe blaming match officials for us being rubbish, the fact is that on this occasion, they did change the game, and finally there were clear signs of improvement against Sunderland and Man Utd.
Yes, we are in the relegation zone. Yes I have been baffled by some of Paul Lambert's decisions. Yes some of our play this season has been awful and yes, there is clearly lots of work to be done.
But Lambert has been in charge for 15 games, following the worst season in living memory and then some, and he has tried to overhaul the squad and change the way we play. Is getting rid of the manager AFTER 15 GAMES really the solution? Are protests against the chairman really going to help the cause?
Football is all about opinions, but blimey, sometimes it is real hard to give people enough credit that they even deserve one.
In other news…
Stan Petrov was in attendance (along with - either playing or watching - Lee Hendrie, Steve Staunton, Gordan Cowans, Ian Taylor, Gary Shaw, Gareth Barry, Ashley Young and probably more) at Halesowen Town for a charity match in his honour. The 'Petrov XI' beat the 'Lions & Legends' 7-6, and the handful of people I know that attended said it was an enjoyable affair. Good to see Stan there, I can't speak highly enough of the bloke.
Finally, the ladies beat Birmingham and West Midlands Police 8-0 in a County Cup match. Natalie Gibson and Emma Follis both grabbed two goals each, with Katie Wilkinson, Livy Fergusson, Aoife Mannion and Maddy Cusack all scoring in what was a complete rout.
Monday, 19th November
With the transfer window looming, combined with the upcoming ending of the MLS season, we are strongly linked with another move for Robbie Keane. Personally I would be all for it, I am not against loans if they are useful to us and he certainly was last season. Plus it is important to have options and, even with him being another year older, as a player he offers us something we don't really have in the squad right now. Finally, it would not hurt to have another experienced head around right now.
Also, hotly tipped prospect Jordan Graham scored a penalty in a 1-0 win over Man Utd for the U-21's.
Tuesday, 20th November
Paul Lambert suggests funds are available in January and he'll likely be looking to a do a little business. I would like that Mr Lambert, very much please.