Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday September 24 2008
Attendance: 21 541
Stand back, rant coming....
Well I must admit, I'm annoyed. It seems 20 000 Villa fans got the memo today not to bother to turn up as the Villa weren't serious about the Carling Cup despite some players talking about lifting it at the end of the season, but I didn't get one.
I must have missed the transition where Villa because too big for the Cup? I must have missed the time the players decided they were going to win these ties so easily they just had to stroll around? I certainly missed the reasoning when it came to making 6 changes to a team who scraped past the Baggies last weekend? I certainly missed Villa becoming so nonchalant about the competition that the fans didn't bother to turn up?
I tell you why we lost tonight - arrogance. Some players in the Villa team think they've 'made it' already. Tell you what lads, you've made it when you've done a Dennis Mortimer and won something for the club, at that point, feel free to wear pathetic bright red 'superstar' boots and stroll around all smug, until then, you aren't fit to lace the boots of some of our former greats.
Seriously, the first half tonight we just about shaded it passing and possession wise BUT we showed very little killer instinct or intent. The second half they must have had some dodgy Bovril or something because they just didn't show up, which is strange because I thought this cup was a serious one, a cup where we could have got automatic qualification into Europe. Oh hang on, that's right, we are bigger than that now, we don't need to worry about such trivialities?
I really wish they'd let the 20 odd thousand faithful who did bother to turn up tonight just how much contempt there were going to show to the cup, to the Villa shirts and to their opponents - who had the last laugh anyway.
It seems we'll never learn, we did the same against Leicester City last season and tonight was no different. Funny thing is, I seem to be getting too long in the tooth - or immune - to get angry anymore, just a shame for people like Reza who came over from South Africa with about half a dozen kids from his local team that they had to witness no atmosphere and a team who really weren't in the slightest bit interested. I hope to Paul McGrath that they wake up by Saturday, if not Sunderland will return to their Stadium of Carbon Footprints or lights of whatever it is called very happy bunnies - or is it cats?
Highlights of tonight? Well, I was able to change a faulty keyboard on the way to the game, two jobs in one go, all saves time and petrol! The lovely ladies who sit behind me have discovered a new flavoured chewing gum and shared it with me. I had a nice bottle of beer in the Holte and met Jonah, both young and ... not so young.. and bumped into a long time contact Lee Lindsay. So not a completely wasted evening, if you put the football to one side. Oh, and it was great to see Colin's John Carew song shown on the big screen, I could see him standing watching it looking very proud of himself, what a star!
To be fair, the best part of the night was the journey home, I usually listen to the phone in shows but tonight I played some Madness at full blast. Now they did know how to entertain. Hopefully we'll get back to business at the weekend and put in a good performance against Sunderland, the points in the league are crucial and then maybe we can pretend tonight never happened....
Star player? You're having a giraffe, I'd give it to the away fans to be honest, our fans certainly didn't help cheer on the team tonight, not sure if that made a difference but a full (ish) Villa Park is always a lift for the players. That said, the credit crunch is hitting families hard and so sacrifices have to be made. The players wouldn't know about that I guess but maybe a dose of reality is what some of them could do with, then perhaps, just perhaps, they'd appreciate the privileged position they are all in and give 100% EVERY game. Not much to ask for is it?
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Date:Wednesday September 24 2008
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