Something For The Weekend (257)
Autumn in the air - a spring in my step.
I have never been entirely sure about all that, season of mellow fruitfulness, stuff, because at seven o'clock in the morning, in late October, with an icy breeze shrivelling my nuts and with the rain coming sideways - doing terrible things to my quiff - romantic feeling is not exactly easy to come by.
But this week, was slightly different.
Okay, so I am not exactly what you might call a laughing boy, early in the morning, but this week, as I shivered in my anorak and contemplated the sheer joy of another working day, I at least had a warming happy thought to dwell upon. If not to de-clench my scrotum, then to offer mild analgesia to my early-morning march of misery.
Bloody good side - Chelsea, and Villa beat them. Something I never expected.
My cup most definitely, ranneth over, and when I woke up on Sunday morning, I found I had a right arm like Popeye, from the one-armed Charles Atlas routine I'd indulged in, from Saturday afternoon and well into a drunken night.
Yeah! Get in there!
For me personally, the right-handed victory-punch and bicep flex, is just the perfect expression of the inward sense of defying the odds. I know that some players and fans prefer the celebratory pelvic-thrust but I find that despite the accompanying feeling of satisfaction, it can be misunderstood when used as a public display. Something best avoided on the mean streets of Erdington.
So, its the victory-punch, the bicep-flex and the monkey-face for me.
The buzz-word/jargon of the week, was 'hedonic adaptation', which is the technical term for experts and poncy gits alike, for describing the human tendency to get used to any source of happiness, take it all for granted, and then fall back to normal levels of misery. A phenomenon well known in the world of football supporters, as we find that even the most successful teams, are not short of depressives, moaners and whiners.
So it was with this in mind, that I was more than grateful, to witness Chelsea thrash Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday, to remind me just how good the Pensioners are and to enliven my Villa pleasure for the rest of the week.
Bloody good team, Chelsea. And Villa beat them. How good does that make Villa?
You know the sort of thing and I was smiling too.
Obviously, the downside to my happy Villa glow, was that it made any schadenfreude over Liverpool's beachball-goal absolutely impossible and temporarily lacking a bitter bone in my body, my attempt at a maniac belly-laugh was far from sincere or convincing. The only consolation it offered, was the confirmation of what every football fan has known for a long time - the referees' knowledge of the rules, is not quite what it should be.
A Bent goal, without doubt.
I didn't even take my usual delight from seeing Blues getting stuffed at The Emirates and just took note of agent Ridgewell's sterling work in ensuring the Villa's wide-boys don't get too much competition, by ensuring Walcott's chance to impress the England manager is further delayed.
Amazement of the week, was Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson, the putative patron saint of Chairman, giving Gareth Southgate, the old heave-ho. Gibbo has been the dream owner, who has not only been know for stumping up the cash (he bought half the Villa team, some may recall) but he showed the sort of loyalty to his managers, which is virtually unknown in football.
So if I was surprised, Gareth must have been flabbergasted, especially as it happened after 'brough's two-nil win, which took his team within a point of the league leaders.
The question which remains unanswered, is whether Gareth was the last remaining mullet in professional football?
And, did Gibson say: 'Sorry Gareth, but I want a club that can win things!', when he handed him his P45?
So it was a pretty good Villa week and it meant I never got round to worrying about the Wolves game until this morning, when those little internal dialogues started up in my head, which ran along the lines of, 'It would be typical of Villa, that having beaten Chelsea, they would....'. You know the usual stuff? It can drive you nuts.
Wolves have had a mixed start.
A well deserved point at Everton, in a game where they actually deserved more, means that Mick McCarthy's men might expect something from the game and the impressive movement of their forwards might keep Villa's defence on their toes. It should be an open game and Villa's strikers, are likely to get more chances than they did against Chelsea. I really expect, Gabby to add to his tally but I suspect Kevin Doyle might nick one, as he's enjoying some decent form since he arrived from Reading.
All Villa fans, will be expecting nothing less than a win, and for O'Neill's big men to turn on the power, against their newly promoted local rivals.
Its been a good week.
Keep the faith!