Something For The Weekend (394)
Any evening, any day...
Villa's first win, since goodness knows when, was certainly enough to give your average Villa fan a funny walk, and whether this amounted to a sexual offence, only the CPS could probably decide, but whatever the implications of the funny walks, as exhibited by Villains, in their post-victory celebrations, happiness was definitely the order of the day.
It was very much a case of: As unaccustomed as I am of feeling this happy, let us regale with Ansells' ale.
Villa even looked good on the telly and the papers were full of praise for their high work-rate and the quality of their passing. And Matt Lowton's decent impression of Zinedine Zidane, will surely put his goal amongst the goals of the season. Christian Benteke's anticipation and cool finish, was not quite so eye-catching but what it lacked in quality, it more than made up for with timing, as it killed off the game in Villa's favour, and the Villains could stop holding their breath.
It was a pity the goals didn't come as a result of fine pieces of play by Villa, but it would be a case of the worst kind of hubris to dwell on it for too long. There was so much good to take from Villa's performance to dwell on any doubts.
Not long ago I was dreaming of James Milner returning to Villa Park to energise the team and I was disappointed, but it looks like new-boy Brett Holman is going to do that job, from recent evidence. He looks like the sort of player Ron Saunders would have loved, like Frank Carrodus and Des Bremner. Holman was deservedly voted man-of-the-match by the fans.
Talking of which, I noticed that some guy is trying to copyright the expression man-of-the-match, so that anyone who uses it will have to pay him a royalty. The case is going to court and it seems we will find out exactly how much of an ass the law is, before too long.
No doubt if the guy is successful in staking his claim, there will be a lot of claimants rushing to their lawyers to licence their own bit of football-speak. Surely, someone must have actually invented 'sick as a parrot' and they might have a case. And, it seems that Big Ron Atkinson will get millions from his massive contribution to football cliché and platitude. What with 'Early Doors' and 'Lollypop', Big Ron should be coining it. But perhaps, he'll not bother to claim that he coined one of his less reputable sayings, even though by recent events, it seems as popular as ever, allegedly.
The other advantage is that perhaps football commentators and writers will be less dependent upon cliché and Andy Townsend will find himself with less to say.
There certainly didn't seem to be anything positive to say about the Real Madrid versus Man City game in midweek. Or, at least the bit I managed to watch, where Madrid looked like a bunch of arrogant strollers and City did a pretty convincing impression of a bad team, with their collection of expensive foreigners looking like they had caught the English disease, of not being able to pass the ball. Only Joe Hart's Billy The Fish impression kept the score at nil-nil.
But as might be expected, as soon as I turned off the telly and found something interesting to do, the game exploded into life and five goals were scored, with Real's biggest head of all scoring the home side's winner. Which, if I am honest, made me glad I had missed it.
At least I did manage to see one good game midweek when England's women thrashed Croatia 3-0, to qualify for next year's European Championships. And I also managed to witness something I never expected in my lifetime - Eni Aluko scoring for England. She normally shoots like she has some personal grudge with the supporters behind the goal but this time she opted for precision rather than power, and jolly well went and scored. Nice goal too, especially for a bluenose.
Anyway, we need to forget all that and start thinking about Villa's prospects at Southampton, who I understand neither Matthew Le Tissier or Mike Channon play for these days, which comes as some relief. Both seemed to score annoyingly often against Villa and as you might expect, spectacularly so in the case of Le Tissier.
Talk about a baptism of fire. Southampton have had some really tough fixtures since their arrival in the Prem, which culminated in last week's humiliation by Arsenal.
However, It seems likely that they will conclude that Villa aren't quite Arsenal, despite their recent improvement, and no doubt the Adkins fellah will use that to trying and lift their spirits.
It certainly represents a decent test for Villa and will be seen as evidence as to whether their recent form was a flash in the pan, or not. Obviously every Villa fan, who is still intoxicated with the opium of last week's victory, will be expecting a win, but I suspect Villa will have to sweat on every yard of the St Mary's pitch, to get a result.
Last week the Times' Fink Tank team of statistical analysts, announced that Villa had a 28% chance of relegation this season and be reassured that one win won't have changed that much, so in reality this game is a six-pointer (patent pending I am sure) and is a massively important game for Villa, considering Southampton's status as one of the bookies' favourites for relegation.
A loss would be serious but not fatal for Villa, but they desperately need to get something out of the game. A draw would be disappointing, but at least something. A win would definitely have the Villans looking like the Christmas party at the ministry of silly walks.
But, can I remember the steps?
Keep the faith!