Something For The Weekend (293)
Yep, looking up Villa in the various 'transfers in' tables spread across the media this week, has invited daily forlorn disappointment and has been a bit like being a Jemini fan back in 2003 when they scored an embarrassing 'Nil Point!', for their song Cry Baby, in the Eurovision Song Contest. And yes, it was bad enough to make anyone cry, let alone a baby.
The Villa fans have been crying too, at being deprived of the merest hint of hope, on which to sustain their dreams for the new season. The consolation of seeing Marlon Harewood depart, could only sustain them for so long. And, starting the season with the same team they ended the last with, has begun to look like a luxury worth celebrating.
So nowt, nichts and narda, in the imminent-signing department.
Jemini's problems were caused by lack of feedback from the monitors. Villa's problem is that they get more feedback than they ever need and tend to ignore it. So things can end up as badly out of tune, between the club and the fans, as any peroxide Euro-girl, having a bad night.
And of course, when the Villa fans have nothing to feel positive about, they start getting very negative.
The papers were very quick to pick up on this seasonal negativity, and within a few days we were told Stiliyan Petrov was being sold to Liverpool and the usual Villa miserableists had to content themselves with tearing the lad apart, by way of consolation.
It's what they do.
The clever philosophy chappies might write books on the uses of pessimism and the danger of false hope, but this self-evident truth is taken for granted by Villa fans, and is captured in the phrase - its only moaning which keeps us going.
But even Villa fans suffer burn-out.
In the old days Deadly Doug used to appease the fans with constant rumours of imminent signings, and Villa were going to sign Benni McCarthy for about twenty years, and the guy is only 32. This didn't actually do any good in the long run and just added to the fans' cynicism.
Nevertheless, it does seem that the skills the General honed over a thirty year career in the American military, telling people that 'this war is winnable' are just perfect for dealing with fans, demanding to know when Villa will win the Champions League.
But enough of the negativity. Lets face it, we could be Russians, and have to struggle to understand how a nation of 141 million can't seem to consistently qualify for international tournaments, while they see their own countryman building a team in London, which is amongst the best in Europe.
Here's Leningrad, showing that happiness is still possible for Russians and perhaps even Brummies, given the right amount of vodka and ciggies, although the papers tell us the Ruskies have developed a recent taste for Advocaat:
2 Tone in St Petersburg - just fancy that.
In the meantime back in Aston, anyone with any knowledge of the habits of Martin O'Neill, will know that he is more likely to make a signing on the last day of August rather than in July, although it is a year this week since he signed Stewart Downing, and with the Milner question hanging in the balance, Martin is hardly in a position to know what he needs and what he has to spend.
But with the season only a fortnight away and with the transfer window only open for two weeks after that, someone definitely needs to get their finger out, or in Man City's case, their money.
All the rumours suggest that City have cooled on the deal, and if so, we ought to be told. But knowing football, if Milner is anything like Gareth Southgate, James will suddenly turn up in a Liverpool shirt, for half the fee Villa were holding out for.
Whoops! There I go again, I can't get out of this negativity.
But to be positive, a few Villa players only have to be a little bit better in the coming season, for the team to be a lot better. Certainly if Gabby takes his game to the next level (goals in the high teens) and takes up the challenge of forcing himself back into England reckoning, then Villa would probably get a little closer to getting
over the elusive line, this time around - all other things being equal.
Ashley Young only needs to be slightly better too, to find himself amongst those chosen, to rebuild an ageing England team.
Some players need to be a lot better, to justify their place in the squad. With others we will be quite satisfied by a repeat performance of last season's form.
And Nigel Reo-Coker, the Purley King, as I always think of him, needs to be taken off jankers and given his chance, in a position not too far removed from where he's proved effective, in the past.
Steve Sidwell needs to sew the head back on the chicken and put in a bit more practise on the training ground with a cow's arse and a banjo; as long as Emile Heskey has finished with the equipment.
Curtis Davies should be fit enough to shoulder a bit more responsibility.
There's not a Villa fan who does not dream of Nathan Delfouneso making the breakthrough by scoring a goal or ten, and not dread his undoubted promise going the same way as the Moore brothers, who they thought were going to answer all England's problems, not so long ago.
In lieu of any news in the papers or the Interweb, we just have to hope, that someone on the books already, has put a bit of magic in their boots over the summer.
But here, by way of consolation, we can look at some girls and dream of finding ourselves doing well in the C-cup.
Keep the faith!
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