Yeah, so yesterday I got my four hours sleep, went to see a house and then shuffled down the M1 to get back home. All the way, some fool in a red Fiat Punto was about three millimetres from my rear bumper, whether I was doing 40mph, 50mph or 80mph (don’t do it kids…it’s illegal). When I pulled into Newport Pagnall services, I thought I’d lost it, but it was waiting for me outside.
So I was a bit tetchy and tired last night, therefore no article. Sorry and all that, but it would have just been a diatribe about Red Punto drivers trying to do their own, slower version of Duel.
It’s Villa tomorrow. The godfather of Vital Football, The Fear, is a Villa fan. This, in effect, makes Villa my second team. You have to write it in the contract and unless you send him emails every week telling him great Villa are, how it’s a damn shame they are where they are, and how Birmingham looks like a nice place to raise your family, he cuts your wages. And your fingers off.
By the way, Stephen Ireland disagrees on the last bit. But we all know he’s a tit.
‘Aston Villa are coming off a terrific result in the league last week, beating Blackburn 4-1. We accept that they made a lot of changes for the FA Cup tie in midweek but people have to give balance and recognise that any of the top teams in Europe can go to Manchester City and get beat on any given day because of the quality they have. So I don’t think there is any shame in losing 3-0 at Manchester City. People are looking at the fact that there were eight changes made and are searching for a bigger story.‘ St Owen actually manages to praise two teams rather than one.
‘The likes of Villa have been struggling, even though they`re coming off the back of a good Premier League result against Blackburn. They`ve struggled a little bit with a change in manager and players. They have got youngsters in the squad and sometimes that can take a bit of time to gel.‘ SuperKevinDavies gives a counter argument. Coming off the back of a good result against Blackburn is no guarantee. We beat them with ten men and look what happened after that.
‘I hate Aston Villa. All their fans are simple minded fools with funny accents. The ground is old and crumbling. I would rather manage Darlington than Aston Villa. I am glad Birmingham won the League Cup. If I could sell him for glue, I would send Richard Dunne to the knackers yard. Now, get off my lawn.‘ Gerard Houllier hasn’t actually made these statements, but he’s so popular with some Villa fans, he makes our relationship with Sheffield Wednesday’s manager look like a veritable love in.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Blimey, here’s news of someone coming back. Gretar Steinsson’s injury worry appears to be over and he looks set to take back the right side of defence from Paul Robinson, allowing the left back to point and snarl at right wingers, which he much prefers.
Player to watch: Daniel Sturridge
Three from three became four from four for our on loan striker, and until he stops scoring in consecutive games, he will be the player to watch.
Apparently, only five other players have scored in their first four games for a club, Dion Dublin, Micky Quinn, Darren Bent, Emmanuel Adebayor and our own Ian Marshall, although he didn’t do it for us obviously.
Aston Villa Team News:
Richard Dunne is out for a month after injuring his shoulder in the cup loss at Citeh. James Collins may replace him.
Player to watch: Ashley Young
He scored against us in the reverse fixture at Villa Park with an excellent free kick and is the one individual that Villa have that may be able to turn a game. You can look at Darren Bent and say that he is the one that will score goals, but he tends to drift in and out of games. Young, on his day, is England class and has the ability to provide the spark that Bent can capitilise on.
Match Facts & Stats
It’s 53-59 to Villa overall, with T’Trotters holding a 37-19 record at Burnden/T’Reebok.
Our record against them at home is quite plainly rubbish. We haven’t beaten them since the Jay Jay inspired 5-2 victory in the League Cup Semi back in 2004 and haven’t beaten them in the league at home since Fat Boy lumbered up to the penalty spot and stroked one in early in 2002-03.
Our leading scorer in the league is Joe Smith with fifteen between 1912 and 1925, and he would have probably got more if Kaiser Bill hadn’t got an itchy trigger finger.
In the Premier League it’s SuperKevinDavies with five.
It’s your friend, my friend and Jussi Jasskelainen’s friend. Yes, it’s East Midlands funster Kevin Friend, who sent off the taciturn Finn for giving Roger Johnson a playful slap back in September. Since then he has taken charge of one more Bolton game, and failed to notice that Joe Cole was in an offside position when he scored the winning goal at Anfield on New Year’s Day. Probably because the fat biffer was blocking out the light.
2-0. I’ve worked out I’m about £65 down so far this season, so this should bring me back on track.
Birmingham comes to us this weekend. Next weekend we go to Birmingham, for the little matter of an FA Cup quarter final.