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It was always inevitable that Aston Villa would go into the League Cup final at Wembley in the relegation zone, after falling to Southampton last weekend. Wins for both Watford and West Ham, now see Villa in 19th place with Norwich City cushioning them from bottom spot.
A woeful performance at St Mary’s, a ground where they had previously been battered 6-1 before the 2015 FA Cup final, didn’t actually inject the Villa fanbase with much optimism.
But football is a funny old game, as Mr Greaves once said. It’s a game where Liverpool can beat Crystal Palace 9-0 in the league in 1989 and later in the same season go onto lose an FA Cup semi-final against them (4-3 at Villa Park). It’s also a game where Watford can beat a Liverpool team that was considered invincible this season, 3-0.
When Villa look at their remaining fixtures, which feature many of the current top 10 teams, their record of just one win against them this season (Everton) needs a massive improvement, or they’ll certainly be relegated.
The League Cup final provides a great chance to lift standards and lay down a marker to boost confidence in the clashes to come against the Premier League top brass. In the unlikely event Villa lift the cup, it would generate a massive confidence boost to help galvanise the players and fanbase alike.
After Villa’s shocking performance at St Mary’s, it was swear box time on the My Old Man Said podcast, as we picked through the bones of the Saints defeat and profiled the relegation picture.
As well as questioning the Villa player’s heart for the fight ahead, we looked at how the upcoming League Cup final fits into the relegation battle, as we broke out The Rasmussen Diagram to chart where Villa stand in terms of their potential for safety at the end of the season.
If you have time before Wembley also have a listen below to a new MOMS podcast show that was recorded earlier in the month in Los Angeles, that gives in insight in following the claret and blue from across the pond.
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David Michael – @oldmansaid
Chris Budd – @BUDD_music
Editor/Producer – David Michael
Outro music – Phil Marten