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Dave’s Villa Blog

WHEN SUNDAY COMES

18-04-2008

After a six-goal swatting of Derby last weekend, Dave Woodhall expects a rather tighter affair on Sunday when Villa play a team in blue.

A good result last Saturday, even if Derby are far and away the most inept team to ever play in the Premier League. And I should know, because many eras ago, before Rupert Murdoch invented football, I spent a season watching the hapless idiocy concocted by Graham Turner and Billy McNeill.

I hope they come back up because Derby’s a good place to go for a match. It’s easy to get to and has some of the most football-friendly pubs in the country. It’s a proper football city with a minimum of the painted face and jester’s hat idiocy you get at somewhere like Reading.

Six goals, most of them opportunistic and one a piece of sublime skill, by six different goalscorers. You can’t get much better than that. Everton dropped a couple of late points, Portsmouth are assured of Europe already (although the FA and UEFA are bound to change their minds at least another half a dozen times each on that score) and the season is still alive.

Sunday of course, sees us play just another fixture. Nothing to get worked up about. That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.

And the reality will be a bit different. Souvenir special editions of the Mail, endless phone-ins, Tom Ross ‘aving ‘is ‘eart broken again. It’s a big deal for us and it’s a bigger one for Blues. In the wider context there isn’t all that much to play for. We’ve got an outside chance of Europe, they’ve got a slightly greater chance of relegation.

But to us and them, for ninety minutes on Sunday, it’s everything.

I can’t see there being much in it. A goal maybe, although a draw wouldn’t surprise me. Derbies are rarely walkovers.

I hope there’s none of the problems we saw after the match at St Andrews. If hardcore hooligans want to kill each other away from the ground, let them get on with it.

Indiscriminate missile throwing and random attacks on innocent people are another thing entirely.

This isn’t Belfast in the seventies; the Villa/Blues bastard you’re screaming at might be your neighbour the bloke you work with, or a member of your family. Either way he’s a footballer supporter. Just like you.

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