The Week In Villa (23... and 24)
I have had to do double weeks before because of circumstances beyond my control. This time, I was just too angry. Normal service will resume from next week.
Wednesday, 2nd January
Talk of the Swansea game is a mix of positive vibes (stopped the rot) and disappointment (late equaliser) which is all perfectly understandable.
Thursday, 3rd January
Guzan says we need to be starting stronger. You ain't wrong Goose; you ain't wrong my friend.
Friday, 4th January
During talk of tomorrow's cup game against Ipswich, Lambert is asked questions about transfer targets, and refuses to rule out Lescott. Personally I would be as amazed as I would be delighted to see a move like that; sometimes a real good signing can snowball a positive flurry of transfer activity which, frankly, I've been saying we need since the first day of September!
He also says that no-one is for sale, although I am sure that doesn't include Hutton or Warnock. It won't stop various rumours about Darren Bent either. *yawn*
Saturday, 5th January
We get through a tricky tie at home to Ipswich, Bent scores which is good for him and us, Weimann carries on his good form which is good for him and us, and for the first time since Anfield, all is right with the world.
Sunday, 6th January
We're drawn away at Millwall in the 4th round of the FA Cup. Villa fans everywhere are divided into, 'Millwall? Don't fancy that much!' and 'Millwall? Let's 'ave it!', whilst punters everywhere get ready to back the home side to pull off a not-that-shocking shock.
The ladies draw 1-1 with Cardiff. Jade Richards got the goal.
Monday, 7th January
We're linked with moves for Danny Graham and Philippe Coutinho. I like the former but unless we're selling a striker, it seems unlikely. The latter is undoubtedly an exciting link but seems even more unlikely.
Attentions are mostly focused on Bradford. I said we should have enough to see off Ipswich and Bradford and while nothing will be settled tomorrow, there really is no excuse to not beat a League Two team over two legs.
Tuesday, 8th January
Not since the defeat at Doncaster have I been so embarrassed about being a Villa fan. Sure, had we taken our chances - and yes, it is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT down to us, I don't want to hear about how well Duke played because he didn't do anything I wouldn't expect to do if I was in goal myself, seriously. Did he make a number of saves? Yes. Was even one of them particularly difficult? No. We were wasteful, end of - then maybe we would have won comfortably. Maybe if we had defended something like what a professional football team, full of players who get paid to do this for a living, should do, then we would have won comfortably.
But we wasted our chances and defended pathetically. Tonight is a new low. I seem to be full of new lows when it comes to Aston Villa over these past couple of seasons.
IN OTHER NEWS. While the first team were doing that, the U-18's got beat 4-0 away at Peterborough in the FA Youth Cup.
What a good night, eh?
Wednesday, 9th January
My column is due out today and I honestly don't care. They didn't seem to give a damn last night so why should I?
Thursday, 10th January
The link to Coutinho is dismissed and Richard Dunne is linked to QPR.
Friday, 11th January
While discussing the must win game against Southampton tomorrow, Paul Lambert mentions something about having no money.
I'm sorry, have I missed something here? Didn't Lambert say there was money to spend after the window? Did we not have an £8m bid for Clint Dempsey accepted on deadline day?
Something just stinks there. I don't know what game we are playing but if anyone at the club is stupid enough to think that we don't need investment, even with the return of Vlaar, Dunne etc - and especially given the new financial riches of the Premier League's TV deal next season - then they should leave. Now. Get the heck out, and please, don't come back; because honestly, you don't know what you're doing.
Saturday, 12th January
Remember when I said this was a must win game? Well, we lost.
The second half performance was actually quite good and overall we deserved a draw but we were woeful in the first half. Yes, yes their penalty was clearly a dive but did you see how it got to that stage? From our own pathetic corner that had all the strength and quality of that seen at an U-12's game, through to defending that had all the quality of an U-12's team - and a not very good U-12's team at that - we played ourselves into the ridiculous situation.
Not that it wasn't a vile cheating action, mind.
Elsewhere, Jerell Sellars scored as the U-18's won 1-0 away at Middlesborough.
Sunday, 13th January
That pillock who manages Southampton said that Rodriguez was right to dive because if he hadn't got his foot out of the way, he would have been fouled anyway.
What. Are. You. Talking. About?
If someone nearly bumps into you in the street, you don't have just two options of a) getting hit or b) hurling yourself to the ground like you've just been shot. What you can do, and what just about everyone does, is get out of the way without falling to the floor.
The same thing applies on a football pitch.
I am sick of it. I am really sick and tired of cheating, and then of the cheating either being defended or dismissed. People aren't questioned, and even when it is punished, it is so flimsy that there really is no deterrent. Well done football, you suck.
It's really bad enough having to put up with how rubbish we are without that nonsense on top.
In other news, the Villa ladies, who frankly are the pride of the club at the moment, had their game against Coventry called off. Is it just me or have they played Cov about 12 times already this season?!
Monday, 14th January
Apparently Paul Lambert's job is safe at this stage, and investment is available. According to Mat Kendrick anyway.
Tuesday, 15th January
Daniel Johnson scores a penalty as the U-21's lose 3-1 to Middlesborough.
The window isn't done. No-one gets relegated in January. No-one has ever got to Wembley after just the first leg of a two-legged semi-final. It's not over yet, nor is the FA Cup.
But none of it looks good, does it?