Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Something For The Weekend (85)

Something For The Weekend (85)

By Steve Wade

Despite staring the reality full in the face for too many years in a row to admit to, I have to confess that I have never quite rid myself of the expectation that Christmas might be something to look forward to. It is
obviously a Pavlovian response and it stands as proof that it's continued association with positive reward must arise out of some actual positive experience and it seems obvious that the behaviour is far from extinguished, even if the constant barrage of propaganda, hardly allows it to die a natural death. It is one of the many ephemeral delights of childhood, which
the receipt of a hundred stingy presents and the enjoyment of innumerable tetchy, histrionic Christmases, have so far failed to entirely erase.

Hope springs eternal and even if a Christmas parcel looks like its probably a pair of socks and even feels like a pair of socks, nay, even if I'm told its a pair of socks, its not until I've actually opened it, that I am willing to give up the hope that it might be a bottle of scotch after all, or at least a voucher awaits me.

Alas, this can lead to bitter recrimination and wicked ungrateful thoughts on my part, which usually involves the giver enjoying a garishly knitted suppository but normally dissimulation prevails and I am left to contemplate the possibilities of becoming a Jehovah's
Witness by the next time it comes around.

You can live in hope but not on it.

So, it wasn't until I saw Roy Keane actually doing the press conference, after he had signed for Celtic, that it began to sink in that he was unlikely to sign for Villa by January. It was not as though I was entirely
without my doubts about the idea in the first place, its just that Villa are so desperate for a talisman right now, that I was happy to give the lad a chance and hand David O'Leary the responsibility. I have little doubt that Villa could be transformed should they take to the field, with a player they could totally believe in and who would walk over gilded splinters to get them a result. There's little doubt that Roy Keane is that sort of player and the only doubt I had was whether the frail egos of the present team could withstand Roy's brand of constructive criticism, should they turn in one of their periodic lack-lustre performances. I sort of concluded not and thought maybe his verbals might extend beyond O'Leary's 'honest bunch of lads', which I am sure when it is uttered by him in the dressing-room is loaded with sarcasm. Saying the same thing to the press, with the sarcasm removed, is just him being clever.

Things have looked much better recently, after Villa turned in a string of solid, if unspectacular, performances, which was rounded off by matching Bolton last week, a team attracting as much praise as O'Leary's boys have drawn criticism. In a one-one draw the two sides more or less cancelled each other out, each letting in a similar sort of goal. And if the goals arose
from individual error, at least no one looked too far out of position, which is the genuine stuff of a coach's nightmares.

Villa will need to repeat the sort of discipline they showed at Bolton, as it seems obvious that should they get too gung ho, they will end up on the end of a similar scoreline as Wigan, when they take on the mighty Reds this weekend. If Villa's backs get too far out of position, Ronaldo and old man Giggs will get behind them and Van the man will have a field day. McCann will need to counter Rooney and if anyone is to charge forward it has to be Davis. Moore seems like a must, as his pace will give Villa a vital outlet, should they be under the cosh. With Mellberg out, Villa lack an important voice on the pitch, on a day when positioning the back line, exactly where it should be, will be crucial. It is a game where Villa's forwards need to produce something a bit better than a routine performance and establish
their star status but I see Steve Davis as Villa's key player, as he exploits United's lack of pace in the centre of midfield and draws fouls from the likes of Smith and Scholes.

Whatever the result, it is certain that a lot will be made of it, for both Villa or United but with an ominous silence descending on Villa concerning the takeover and with Ellis reasserting his habit of withdrawing funds just when the manager and supporters, are desperate for a centre-half, the prospects look as promising for Villa, as it does for me enjoying anything better than a new pair of socks for Christmas.

But socks or not, I really don't want another turkey on Boxing Day.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Friday December 16 2005
Time: 10:26PM

Best of Vital Network

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Villa's International Injury Update

Another tired and boring international break in the world of football, so here's an update from Bodymoor Heath on our walking wounded.

The Villa Times - 24/03/2017 (Aston Villa News Round-up)

The latest Aston Villa news and views via the uno fish ial one...

Videos. Inside The Aston Villa Dressing Room

Hate international breaks, so hey, thought some of you might have missed these. Quite good fun some of them.

Villa Replicate Reading Offer

With Reading charging our fans (season ticket holders or members) only £20 for our trip to the Madejski Stadium earlier in the season, Villa have reciprocated the deal...

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Profile
Mike Field
Editor email
Profile
Steve Wade
no email
Profile
Villa_Grizzly
no email
Profile
Turkish Penguin
no email
Profile
Glensider
no email
Profile
Chris Heath
no email
Profile
M Calucar
no email
Profile
JuanPablo Angel
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

I have nothing to ask! I hate international breaks!
Suggested By: ;o)
Agree87%
Disagree8%
Whatever 5%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 38 24 6 8 78 38
2 Brighton 38 23 8 7 77 30
3 Huddersfield 37 22 5 10 71 4
4 Leeds Utd 38 21 6 11 69 16
5 Reading 38 20 7 11 67 2
6 Sheff Wed 38 18 8 12 62 9
7 Fulham 38 16 13 9 61 19
8 Norwich 38 16 9 13 57 9
9 Preston 38 15 12 11 57 6
10 Derby County 38 14 11 13 53 3
11 Barnsley 38 14 9 15 51 0
12 Aston Villa 38 13 12 13 51 0
13 Cardiff 38 14 9 15 51 -1
14 Brentford 38 14 8 16 50 3
15 Q.P.R. 38 14 8 16 50 -5
16 Wolves 37 12 9 16 45 -2
17 Ipswich 38 10 15 13 45 -9
18 Birmingham 38 11 12 15 45 -16
19 Bristol City 38 11 8 19 41 -3
20 Forest 38 11 8 19 41 -11
21 Burton 38 10 11 17 41 -14
22 Blackburn 38 9 13 16 40 -11
23 Wigan 38 8 10 20 34 -13
24 Rotherham 38 4 5 29 17 -54
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
2017 Australia GP - Race
Latest Vital Boxing News
Taylor v Joubert – Meadowbank, Scotland
Write for Vital Football

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Apr 1 2017 3:00PM : Norwich City (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 4 2017 7:45PM : Queens Park Rangers (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 8 2017 3:00PM : Burton Albion (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 15 2017 3:00PM : Reading (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 17 2017 2:45PM : Fulham (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 23 2017 12:00PM : Birmingham City (H)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.The Fear373
2.Pride of Lions300
3.sirdennis296
4.HeathfieldRoad1874264
5.JuanPabloAngel249
6.Sasquatch189
7.Silhillvilla168
8.Melon Donkey156
9.BodyButter142
10.DeanoVilla129
The Vital Football Members League