Looking at the latest this Second City derby in isolation, it was a sad example of what football is fast becoming and why the modern game increasingly governed by marketing people is rubbish.
It’s now a regular 12 o’clock kick-off, but you still get idiotic behaviour despite this. There’s a novelty value to drinking beers at 8am, but it’s not cool or healthy. However, you do need a couple of beers to watch the standard of football normally on show in the derby in recent years.
The cheesy pyrotechnics for the TV cameras, clappers (dumbest idea ever by Blues Marketing department – they were obviously going to be used as missiles), and away fans with sponsored scarfs (aka branded fans, taken advantage of by a sponsor, who is doing it with little actual genuine good will).
Then a hold back for away fans that was as long as the actual game – 90 minutes. Paying good money for such an inconvenience, isn’t really anybody’s idea of a good time. Even factoring in the safety issues, there has to be another way. 90 minutes to way, way too long.
Oh…and there were no goals.
It’s no surprise that there were empty seats in the home stands. It’s a fixture that has already become a hassle, but now it’s in danger of becoming a farce, if it’s not careful.
To be fair, the actual game, despite the lack of goals was arguably a better contest then both the two games between the teams last season. The tension was there, there was chess-like intrigue at times and there were certainly more chances than we saw at the game at Villa Park last season.
Anyway, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Villans, despite all the above…
1.Once is Enough
Bar an unfortunate FA Cup draw this season, the good news is we don’t have to go to St Andrews again this season. If Villa get promoted, it will be two less times we have to get up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday to have a few beers before the game.
2. Terry Gamble
MOMS wrote a feature on Terry when we signed him, airing on the side of caution but pointing out that his marquee name would potentially cover his wages through merchandise sales (the retail department dropped the ball on not getting enough letters in to spell Terry), tickets and also extra Sky TV revenue, as he’d make Villa a draw again.
So, in financial terms, the risk was minimal, but would he deliver on the pitch?
He was great against the Blues and was the MOMS man of the match in the Player Ratings, and he certainly won the tussle with the Blue’s big front man, Vassell, before the Blues forward went off injured.
If Terry stays fit, then his signing looks all good.
Glen Whelan looked like he was on the Anthony Johnson undercard the night before, as he lied on the pitch surrounded by clappers, with blood pouring from his face.
A better game from the Villa midfielder too on the whole.
4. Jedinak Return
Finally, we saw the return of Mile Jedinak. His stats for the half-hour or so, he played for, showed the value, at least defensively, the Aussie offers to the team. He made 11 clearances (all headers), which was two more than the player with the next highest amount of clearance, John Terry – and he had played the full game.
5. Dog Heads
When Wolves beat Villa at Molineux the other week, a few Villa fans seemed to wave the white flag in terms of winning the title this season, claiming that Wolves were nailed on for it.
A look at the last six games form table sees Villa second (to Sheffield United) having earned a point more than Wolves in the period of matches.
Wolves 2-1 defeat at Loftus Road against a struggling QPR team, suggests they’re not the finished article yet.
We all know that Villa haven’t played in anything beyond third gear yet, so there is room for improvement from Villa.
Lets just hope Bruce can find the gearbox!