April 2012 Archives
I came away from the game feeling utterly frustrated. We missed the opportunity to put them deep into trouble but that point may well be enough to keep them up. If we had played anywhere near like we can, we would have won comfortably. This is weakest Villa team I can ever remember. We played poorly for the most part but it was still enough not to lose.
The term 'cult hero' is one that is usually given to players who entertain fans and make them laugh - yet are not usually the best players on the pitch.
Ray Parlour was given this status by fans at Arsenal. The Charlie Dimmock lookalike was a rare Englishman during Arsene Wenger's early days with the Gunners and whilst he was not as technically able as Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg or Patrick Vieira, his work ethic endeared him to the fans. (Scoring an FA Cup final goal after being mocked live on air by Chelsea supporter Tim Lovejoy also helped his case.)
Every team has their own set of cult heroes past and present and Blues have unearthed a new one this season.
Its been a couple of weeks since I last blogged. To be honest, continually posting such positive things doesn't sit naturally with me. The unofficial Baggie supporter motto of Semper Te Fallant is always lurking there in the background. However, Albion under Hodgson continue to smash hoodoos and delight with results whilst around us our local rivals continue to delight us with their own results. Not since Wolves choked a 11 point lead has their been a better all round season.
He may have played for Atletico Madrid and started for his country at the 2006 World Cup - but Spanish international Pablo Ibanez will have to prove his quality all over again as Blues push for play-off glory.
Ibanez will start his first game in his favoured centre-back since the FA Cup replay with Chelsea in early March when he lines up next to Curtis Davies at The AMEX Stadium against Brighton on Saturday.
This Saturday sees the first return of Martin O'Neill to Villa Park since he left the club on the eve of last season much to the annoyance of the fans. Said annoyance has hardly wavered in many, who blame the Ulsterman for a number of, let's say, questionable financial outlays and a lack of loyalty.
The weekend's clash will see a stadium unite, in the majority at least, in their disdain for both managers perhaps like no other match this season. For what it's worth I'm not on the O'Neill hatred bus, as I don't really blame him for an admittedly fairly cowardly desire to keep his record unblemished with the foresight that he possessed.
With a plethora of injuries mounting up at just the wrong time of the season, even the majority who don't want the manager in place can notice that the gods seem to be against him right now.
The average age of Villa's outfield ten against Chelsea recently was just over 23 and a similar side has lined up since. The reality of the matter is that Villa will most likely field an inexperienced side until the end of the season, but can we get away with calling a number of our young stars youngsters anymore, and are the majority any better than alright?
Well, its been a great few days to be a Baggie with first the players, then the manager and finally the chairman giving us something to be happy about. At a time when its all doom and gloom elsewhere on the West Mids football scene, its a time for smiles all round for us Baggies.
Regardless of what division Blues find themselves in next season, the position of goalkeeper is likely to be one that is up for grabs.
Currently, we have three 'keepers registered to the club that are in and around the first-team set-up - yet only one of those seems to be preparing for a quiet summer with no transfer talk.
What a strange season this has turned out to be. Moments of unbridled joy mixed with complete and utter garbage. Looking at the table, we should still be happy. Anything higher than 17th is still an above par position. However, it's all a bit depressing at the moment. Instead of looking up at the clubs above us, we have started to count the points to those below us. How have we found ourselves in this position?