Last Christmas I gave you my heart and the very next day you gave goals away
Posted on the 31st Dec 2012 in the category sport

This 15-0 festive week has been one to forget, it was like every Villa fan in the land had a wrapped up shit to open on Christmas day.

Losing against the big boys is one thing but against Wigan home, which by the way we've done before with a lot better team, is hard to take.

When the team sheets came out yesterday I did not think we would win, it was like the reserve reserves team for the Villa.

Yesterday our defence was without our captain Ron Vlaar, veteran Richard Dunne and ever improving Nathan Baker.

And it showed. We like our central defenders down the Villa, we have had a great tradition of them throughout the years. We venerate them more than any other club. Most of our folklore heroes are defenders. Ken McNaught, Paul McGrath, Olaf Mellberg and Martin Laursen became heroes at our club because of their brilliance and because Villa fans love top class defending.

But there was none of that yesterday, it was keystone cops stuff by youngsters being played out of position. It did not take a genius to work out we would be vulnerable at the back, especially after shipping 12 goals in the previous week.

But our midfield as well as the defence seemed lost.

The senior professional big money big wages player on the pitch for the Villa yesterday was Stephen Ireland.

Who at times looks like your backwards uncle being allowed to play with the kids during a Summer kick about. He gave the ball away constantly before eventually deciding to try and grab the game by the scruff of the neck before half time.

And then the team seemed to have a good spell in which we should have scored. But a midfield with both Banan and Ireland is too lightweight and sadly wasteful because both seem to try Hollywood balls which end up either in the stands or at an opposition defender's feet.

You can rely on Fabian Delph to be suspended during an injury crisis. He has not exactly set the world on fire at the Villa, especially as he was supposed to be the next big thing when we prised him from Leeds. But I like his bite and thought we could have done with him yesterday, it is a crying shame Gary Gardner is out for the season because he would have had the chance this year to stake his claim in the team.

I do worry about the treatment room at the Villa, it is like a free whorehouse, men seem to go in there and never come out.

Richard Dunne was only supposed to miss the first few games at the start of the season and still has not laced his boots in anger this campaign.

When Ron Vlaar limped off against Arsenal in November with a calf strain he was only expected to be out for a game and we have not seen hide nor hare of him since.

The Zog seems to have a season ticket in the treatment room and now Gabby has joined Darren Bent in being unavailable until next year. If those three were fit and on form then the threat of relegation would be negligible.

However, what is the betting, if we do manage to get past Bradford, who rightly will fancy their chances, in the cup, that all three will be miraculously fit for a game at Wembley.

This week will hopefully be the low point of Lambert's tenure at the Villa, we need to put it behind us, blame it on injuries, blame it on the boogie, blame it on anything but we need to move on.

Who knows, Mr Lerner might even open his wallet to bring some players to carry on the Lambert project.

For me our dour Scotsman is still the man for the job and after this week our young team might respond to the humiliation and realise there is another side to football than free Nandos and roasting birds from Twitter.

As a Villa fan I'll be happy to see the back of 2013, but despite the recent drubbings I know we are heading in the right direction because this time last year even going the game was a chore under the nightmare which was the McLeish regime.

We just have to be patient.


Up the Villa.

The legendary Willard Morgan is back in Miami
Posted on the 6th Dec 2012 in the category sport

IF I could be anywhere in the world right now I would be in Miami.

And not for the sun, the sand and the expensive Strongbow.

And nope there is not another election in the Sunshine State that I could sabotage but the fantastic Art Basel festival is underway.

A whole area of Miami swamped with arty types, installations and all sorts of barmy street art.

But that’s is not the reason I want to be there right now, that happens every year, I want to be there because uber-cool-dude Willard Morgan is there.

Willard, for those of you who’ve not read Obama and Me: The Incredible True Story of a YouTube Sensation, is Jelvis and I get a lot of readers asking what is he up to now as he is one of the big real-life heroes of the tale.

Well he’s a big mover and shaker in the New York art scene and can be found doing all kind of mindblowing art stuff with www.idealglass.org in the East Village. He’s the kind of Facebook friend you want to remind yourself that people are doing amazing things on a daily basis.

His latest project is a mixed media production called Debtolution where he is the human part of the act supported by all kind of wizardry.

I’d give my right arm to go and see it, and maybe share in some beers and talk ukeles or two but unfortunately I can’t. But as long as I know that there are people like Willard doing his thing, I know this world of ours isn’t a total lost cause.

Debtolution is at the Fountain Art Fair, Republic Art Booth C7, 2505 North Miami Avenue from Thursday, December 6 until Sunday, December 9.



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