The last month or so has been a reality check. I went with my Dad to the League Cup Final, thinking the game might be our opportunity to take home a trophy. One disappointing performance – and a very poor refereeing decision later – and our dreams were dashed.
More than just a defeat, the game proved to be a bit of a watershed. The Villa are still in the FA Cup but my natural Brummie despondency leaves me to conclude we’ll lose. We’re still in the hunt for fourth spot in the Premier League, too. Sky Sports would have you believe fourth spot is the promised land; I would vehemently disagree. We don’t win things very often and I would swap fourth place for victory in either of the domestic cup competitions in a heartbeat.
More to the point, I think we’d make an arse of ourselves in the Chumps League. The Villa lost in the qualifying rounds in this season’s Europa Cup and I fear a similar fate should we qualify for the European Cup (that’s the trophy’s real name, in case you’ve forgotten). I think the ‘race for fourth’ (T.M. Sky Sports 2010) will finish as follows:
- (4th) Manchester City – Straightforward run-in; class in depth
- (5th) Aston Villa – Not a bad run-in; not a great squad
- (6th) Tottenham Hotspur – Bloody hard run-in
- (7th) Liverpool – They are going nowhere fast
Which still doesn’t explain why I am being such a miserable swine when it comes to the Villa. Well, because as my Dad said: “What’s the point?” We don’t win trophies, we’re doomed to always come 6th in the League and – even we did qualify for the Chumps League – we’d end up out of the trophy and in debt. So, I had to have a think about why I still love the Villa. And here’s why:
- We invented football – The Football League was invented by former Villa chairman William McGregor
- We have a beautiful name – It’s almost poetic; I mean, just look at it: Aston Villa
- We play in great colours – Not red, not blue, but claret, blue and gold
- We won the European Cup – And no one can ever take that away
- We are not Birmingham City – No more comment required
- We have a great ground – Villa Park is a proper British football ground with four big, separate stands
- We are not arrogant – Villa fans expect little and get little
- We have won stuff – Every so often, things turn out right; we never take winning for granted
- We are the Samuels family – Me, my Dad, my Grandad, my Great Grandad are/were all Villa fans
- We had Paul McGrath – And he is God
Ah, I feel better now. Bring on Chelsea! Bring on the Chumps League!