Villa Ash-ured of a Challenge (Pompey Preview)
Assuming that a giant cloud of volcanic mess does not prevent the Villa team from making that death-defying 215 mile coach trip to the South Coast, Aston Villa will be taking on a Portsmouth side with absolutely nothing to lose, except I guess an FA Cup Final.
Following on from a 2-2 draw with fellow 'also-ran' side Everton, Villa find themselves languishing outside of the race for 4th place irrespective of what Martin O'Neill really thinks.
The last few weeks have really left the Villa boss ashen-faced, choosing to erupt at random at any mention of refereeing. Once the dust settles, I think we will still look back at this season as a success, but yet cast a glance to that area known as 'what could have been.'
The reason why you aren't going on holiday you silly cow is because the ash in the air could mean your engines stop working and you can't breathe....
You have to love Martin O'Neill, always ready to say exactly what you expect him to do. There are no surprise eruptions from the Aston Villa boss. It seems that O'Neill, as he spoke to the official site, was rather enjoying the Pompey story that will no doubt make a Hollywood blockbuster some day.
(If anyone can think of an actor suitable to play goal-scoring hero Frederic Pick-and-Mix it would be appreciated.)
'Portsmouth have a cup final to look forward to and that is fantastic.'
'The match against Everton was probably a game we had to win to give ourselves a chance - or at least allow us one slip-up along the way. Now there's no room for manoeuvre.
'We've really just got to go now and win the games. We've just got to go and do it. Winning five on the trot is going to be extremely difficult but I still believe it's worth going for.'
'We've got to go again on Sunday and get ourselves ready for it.'
A quick translation for you.
Pompey in cup final = Good.
Draw against Everton = Not so good.
Winning 5 games in a row = Not a bad idea to try.
Winning on Sunday = Good idea.
Being ready for Sunday = Great idea.
That cleared that up, and my mind hurts so onto Avram!
Over on the flip-flop side, Avram Grant has had to defend his weakened side in the 0-0 draw with Wigan. Grant named just 3 players in the starting line-up and there is no clarification as to why so many players were absent amidst rumours of contractual issues. The tabloids suggest Pompey may escape punishment, something that would no doubt infuriate Micky O'McCarthy.
Grant, who is becoming somewhat less humble given that the club have gotten themselves into their own mess, said:
'The Premier League need to give us an award because we are playing as we play with a lot of injuries.'
'We needed to do it because we have a very small squad.'
Speaking of the fact that the Israeli named just 4 substitutes, with no back-up goalie he continued this silly story:
'It is not ideal for us. But what can I do, I am pleased with them. Hassan Yebda was on the bench but even he was not fit and therefore he didn't play.'
Not sure many will be so appreciative of Pompey's plight if they start to pick-and-choose exactly what they get up to squad wise!
Pompey Team News:
I actually have the Portsmouth team. It was faxed to me at work today.
GK: Avram Grant
Def: Roche, Kit Man, Kit Man Assist, Groundsman
Mid: Programme Seller (Away Stand), Peter Storie, Matchday Mascot, Chief Steward
Att: Kanu, Tea Lady.
Player to watch: The Tea Lady
Mrs Johnson, the tea-lady at Fratton Park makes a mean cup of tea, and is dangerous when countering resilient objection with a non-standard attack of Earl Gray.
Definitely the one to watch!
Villa Team News:
Aston Villa are still sweating on the numerous knocks and niggles that our squad (read: starting line-up) have been struggling with since the dawn of time.
Villa are however boosted in as many ways as one can think possible, by the return to Reserve Team action by one Marlon 'Legend' Harewood.
The way goals have been going, jokes aside, does anyone else agree that saying to the Hare 'prove me wrong' would potentially be a risk worth taking?
Player to watch: Gabby Again!
I told you to sort your life out mid-week.
As you were son!
Match Facts & Stats
There's a topical connection in both band name and song title. What is it? No prizes available for correct answers!
Portsmouth have already been relegated from the Premier Division thanks to their 9 point deduction for being a bog-standard EPL team that sought the wrong kind of investment through a never ending search on behalf of greed.
I have recently taken a course in 'how to be controversial.'
Portsmouth is famous for it's boats. Although I have been informed that a boat in the RN is classed as a submarine? So when a boat isn't a boat is when it's underwater...
..bit like the Titanic I guess?
David James is set for his second FA Cup final since he single-handily ruined our last visit to the big game in the prestigious tournament.
If the Icelandic death cloud sinks any lower, it will still have as much chance of being deadly as Nick Clegg actually has at winning the election.
Shakira is set to sing the World Cup 2010 anthem. The song will no doubt be dog****, but I challenge you to find a better body than hers!
Not actually sure, but given this years performances it's 99.9% irrelevant as they have all been woeful at some stage.
I'm sure Sir Alex agrees with me at least 50% of the time!
1-0 Villa. No comedy prediction, my bum is too squeaky!
Villa will be making a journey that I already have done this season, to the KC Stadium to play Hull City F.C. I was there to play Kingston-upon-Hull H.C. Anyone who takes time to wander around the stadium will see the pitch where I assisted our side in avoiding relegation. It's not a bad place!
Thanks for reading folks, I'm off to hide from the dust cloud!