Something For The Weekend (252)
The boy Dunne good!
Okay, so the Collins kid was pretty decent too but I am a bit short of puns in that area, except maybe for a mention of the fact that City's shooting might have got me humming In the Air Tonight and that victory felt very much like Another Day in Paradise to the Villa fans.
But Dunne got the mention because he just totally dominated the penalty area with his heading and if he didn't have a headache afterwards, then he certainly deserved one. Although Alex McLeish's decision to play five in the middle and hope his single attacker could feed on scraps and mistakes, certainly did not make life too difficult for Dicky Dunne and it certainly looked like his type of game.
The fans certainly liked what they saw and he was mentioned several times in various Monday morning despatches. Some daft bugger, on the radio, even suggested that he might be the new God, for heaven's sake, which was not only blasphemous but it could only come out of the mouth of someone who never saw the almighty play. Big Ron was very quick to put the misguided youth right but although the boy was wrong, I can understand his yearning.
But sorry son - never the like again.
Sometimes when you hear the fans chant there is only one blah-blah, you can't help thinking, in some cases, thank goodness for that, but McGrath was unique and definitely a one-off and original. The fact that he was still playing for Villa at 37, shows that he had the brains to overcome his rusty knees.
If comparisons are to be made, then perhaps big Dicky should be compared with Shaun Teale, especially in the chin department, where Villa's erstwhile macho man could have given even Desperate Dan, a run for his money. Dunne's got that sort of chin and the general look of the character Paddy out of that very fine computer game called, Commandos. Or, maybe its that Rockfist Rogan fellah who used to entertain our granddads with his adventures in The Tiger, I am thinking of?
He definitely looks like he eats cow-pie.
But lets not kid ourselves. It was a dour struggle between two evenly matched teams, both playing 4-5-1 and until Gabby killed off Birmingham's ambitions for a draw, there were only a few half-chances which flew off the toes of Milner, to separate the teams. Villa's midfield middle three, of Reo-Coker, Petrov and Sidwell, had not exactly dominated the game, and Bowyer looked the pick of the midfield grafters, for the neutrals.
In the end, it was superior resources which won the game for Villa, which allowed their extra quality to tell. Ashley Young's superb Beckhamesque free-kick arrowed in onto Carew's head, for him to find Gabby's judicious wanderings had left him a free-header, which he duly dispatched for the close-up miserable delectation of the home supporters.
It was a rare moment of beauty, in an ugly match, played in an ugly atmosphere, followed by some less than subtle triumphalism and pathetic whingeing, which fulfilled just about every expectation of a local derby. Gladly, it was Villa triumphalism and Blue whinging, which filled the airways. Come Monday, I had forgotten most of the dullness and took the most delight in the thought that it was now FIVE wins on the trot for Villa over their Small Heath neighbours.
Enckelman? I have never heard of him.
Anyway, it seemed that the perception that Reo-Coker was not overly thrilled by being substituted, when a certain midfield colleague of his, had even less to shout about, was confirmed when he decided to share his feelings with his manager, a few days later. Presumably, Martin must have provoked him on purpose, in an effort to bring his burgeoning sulk to an end. Better out than in, as they say. Now Nigel can rest his bones and O'Neill can demonstrate the power of forgiveness. In the ordinary working environment, it's what is called a run of the mill bull and cow but in football and show-business, its what they call passion, darlings.
The trouble is that, it is well known that Man City have created some substantial wage-inflation within the game and we must hope that Adebayor has not also raised the bar for what constitutes an emotional outburst these days.
Although, I was rather more forgiving of his actions which led the Arsenal fans to empty the detritus from their Fortnum's away day picnic hampers, in his direction, the attempted removal of a van Persie eyebrow looked both reckless and career-threatening. Aaron Lennon seems to think its the coolest thing in the world to have a few gaps in an eyebrow but I am sure that, even he would have to agree, that having only one eyebrow would not be cool at all. And having one permanently raised, would have every referee on your back, thinking a player was questioning his every decision.
Adebayor certainly raised eyebrows for his total loss of control and what constituted an assault but he has pissed even more people off by making himself unavailable for the Manchester United game, where most of the nation will set aside their revulsion at City's potlatch, in the hope of seeing them rout the Reds.
It won't happen but I am sure the referee will have his say in the outcome.
Lets hope Villa have put aside all the hissy-fits, squabbles and mud-wrestling, by the time they come to take on Portsmouth, on Saturday (yes folks a Saturday) because with their present form, Pompey look too much like a banana-skin to be taken too lightly and they would be just the sort of team to bring Villa's fine winning-run to an end, if O'Neill's team take to the field thinking it is already in the bag.
It promises to be a lovely Indian summer afternoon down Villa Park and a win would make a reasonable case, that despite Tottenham's early-season flash and dash, Villa are not too far behind them in terms of future prospects.
The question on everyone's lips is whether Martin O'Neill will change to a more attacking formation, against a side which has yet to accumulate a single Premiership point?
And which Villa will turn up - Villa v. Liverpool, or Villa v. Wigan?
Keep the faith!