Aston Villa: Route One My Ar*e // A Day In The Boozer

I only lost my bloomin season ticket on the day of one of the best comebacks in years...
Publish date:
Updated on

It was one of the great days at Villa Park on Saturday. We beat one of the most expensively assembled sides ever without our talismanic striker Benteke. The players on Man City's bench cost 76 million pound more, more than our entire first team.

In the last 15 years as a Villa fan I reckon you have to go 15 to 20 games to see an outstanding game like Saturday.

But in the last ten home games we have had three, beating QPR and Sunderland in crunch six pointers to keep us up last season and now pulling off a giant killing by coming back from behind.

When the Holte End roars it is like nothing else. Being a classic four stand football stadium and not some soulless cereal bowl Villa Park is incredible when something special happens. And beating a Champions League team packed full of silky superstars at home with a team like ours was everything that football was something special, a game that will be remembered for years.

Which makes it all the more galling I was not there.

I can't remember the last home game I missed but I committed the football fan's worst crime - I lost hope and presumed we'd lose so did bother making the five minute journey from the pub to the ground. Yep, I'm that idiot who missed the best result in years.  I'm George Best who left the Champions League final before Manyoo scored two goals and won the thing. I just hope I don't become someone who leaves with ten minutes to go "to beat the traffic".

Often I'm the knob who misses the wonder goal whilst fumbling around in the toilet but not to go on Saturday was shocking.

However, there were mitigating circumstances why I dodged Man City at home.

Being a Perry Barr Villa fan, as say opposed to a Sutton, Tamworth and Cotswold fan means I take it for granted, after all I see the ground every day of my life. But despite being closer than 99 per cent of other fans we always seem to be the last in the ground.

More Aston Villa...

Aston Villa: Delph Looks Vieira-Esque But Okore Will Be A Massive Loss

Aston Villa: Lambert Is Mental & Hates Midfielders But I Still Love Him

I could not find my wallet with my season ticket and ID in and could not be arsed queuing at the ticket office to answer questions like "what is your membership number? Favourite colour? Seat number?"

By the time I'd have taken my seat I would have missed a good half hour, that is if I'd answered all the questions right.

Another circumstance which conspired against me was my nine year old godson, who I've started taking down this season, was at his nan's house miles away so I did not have to pick him up as usual. And it is him I feel the most sorry for because he has only seen the Villa lose at home in the league, my guilty conscience has now lead me to promising him a half a season ticket.

And thanks to appliance of science the  game was on at The Seventh Trap which was five minute from the pub where I was sitting debating whether to go the game.

But worse of all I presumed we would lose, I even bet on us losing 3-0 as I always do as my usual "blow softener" bet against the moneybags teams. I knew we would lose against Spurs on Tuesday night, me and my  mate turned up at 41 minutes and left at 81 minutes and presumed it would be the same against Man City.

However, when I saw the teams I immediately thought we might pull off a shock.

A lot of bloggers, none of which are Champions League winners by the way, seem to have a pop at Paul Lambert's tactics and critics were coming out the woodwork after the Spurs dicking and recent home defeats.

After years of moaning about negative football down the Villa now I've heard people moan Lambert is too attacking.

There have been cases when he has been too gung-ho especially against teams which are a lot than us. But his team selection against Man City was an example of Lambert's pragmatism and graduation to being an established Premiership manager.

Last season he would have put three or four players up front and tried to fight fire with fire but packing the midfield was the only chance we had of not being cut to shreds by the brilliance of Man City's forward players.

We had injuries but bringing Sylla back was a masterstroke as he hassled, harried and complemented Delph's bite. Even our boys at the back had a good game, with Baker looking like a colossus, Vlaar commanding the box for once and Ciaran Clark reading the game better than for a long time, and unbelievably none of them giving a penalty away during the 90 minutes.

Our young Dutchman Bacuna played a blinder and his confidence of demanding free kicks and corners despite being his debut season paid off as he curled a cracker of free kick. However, his deft flick through ball with the outside his foot on the edge of the box for El Ahmadi for the first goal was breathtakingly good.

The planets have to align for a team like the Villa to beat a team built with the endless billions of oil money that Man City has, so we did ride our luck, which we had plenty of, to win.

But the winner, after a week of criticisms by swanky managers with unlimited budgets about the Villa being a long ball team, the winner was perfect.  A Guzan hoof of the ages flummoxed Man City's defence and in nipped Weimann to poke the ball past Joe "clanger a game" Hart to score the winner.

Now Wenger et al might call that long ball but I'd call it one touch football at its best.

I just wish I was there to see it....