Apparently there are two things in life that are certainties, death & taxes. A strange quote if ever there was one given the fact that Parliament is as hung as Dion Dublin at a Sports Illustrated Swiumsuit Calendar photoshoot.
Likewise, the fact that by 6pm tomorrow, there will be no further claret & blue fix this season and fans will leave Villa Park for that final time in a Premier League campaign that has seen us (just about) improve upon last years efforts.
Villa sign off with a tricky home tie against Sam Allardyce`s Hoofball Xi, the team we duped out of the League Cup at the quarter final stage after one spectacular night under the lights at our famous home.
Sunday could see the very last attendance at the stadium of Messers Harewood, Osborne, Salifou and a few more and with a bit of luck, that Salifou chant will get one last outing.
One confirmed departure, will be Wilfred “Freddie” Bouma, who has been allowed to depart on a free transfer once his contract expires this summer, and naturally we all at Vital Villa will be wishing him the very best.
End of season quiz Q: Who suddenly dabbled in a rare portion of humble pie?
“When you look at our rivals, you know that everybody celebrates. We don`t do that any more because we have qualified for so many years that everybody finds it normal.
“It is not normal. It is the consequence of the quality performances and it is not because we are ******* that we are guaranteed that.”
Martin O’Neill has spoken about the departing Bouma to avfc.co.uk:
‘My own view is I am disappointed to have to make that decision, at the end of it all,’ said the manager.
Freddie never missed a minute of the season when he was just brilliant for us.
‘I think Freddie is a wee bit disappointed that it took him so long to recover, then he had a bit of setback with a bit of floating bone in his ankle and then his foot injury.
We’ve got the two left backs here at the football club, Nicky Shorey on loan at the moment and Stephen Warnock.”
Bizzare really that O`Neill mentions Shorey, given that the midget full back was never really in favour in the first place? Anyway he added:
‘If I could have found a way around it I would have thought about it but Freddie is fit, he is raring to go and I won’t forget his brilliant effort that season.’
You could uhh, keep him?
Anyway, moving on, the manager has warbled his views about Blackburn Rovers, their season, the UEFA Cup, and that League cup game:
‘Winning is the most important issue this weekend obviously because it would guarantee finishing sixth in the league.
‘That would be pretty important – important in the aspect of the Europa League.
‘The difference between sixth and seventh is obviously not just the one place. It’s the extra qualifying games in that competition.”
‘There have been a number of great moments – that epic game against Blackburn Rovers – the semi-final second leg -6-4 which got us to the Carling Cup final – the first time back at Wembley.
‘Obviously that was great news for the football club. Those are the type of things that are tangible signs of progress. There was the disappointment of losing the final of course.”
Yes quite, but I won`t comment too much on my views of progress though Martin, through fear of you having a go at Sue and making a suggestion that my views are bigoted.
I don`t like Sam Allardyce particularly, I`m not sure many particularly do.
However I am, under the terms of my contract as Vital Villa`s editor-in-chief bound to contribute to this section of the preview so here goes.
Big Sam spoke to the official Blackburn Rovers website about suggestions that youngster Amine Linganzi his 1st team debut:
“There’ll certainly be ”
Aston Villa Team News:
Martin O`Neill has called up young Austrian prospect Andreas Weimann into his “18” for this game after finishing the reserve team season as top goalscorer.
As we are oft used to with Martian, the team is unlikely to be changed from that side that has started the vast majority of games. I personally would have a subs bench of the following: Marshall, Delfouneso, Harewood, Weimann, Salifou, Bouma, Osborne for the proverbial s***s and giggles, but that would perhaps suggest why I am only Villa`s manager in Football Manager 2010, rather than real life.
Player to watch: Lap of Honour Players
Looking forward to the lap of “honour.” One thinks that will tell an awful lot about the futures of some fringe players.
Blackburn Rovers Team News:
The Algerian Amine Linganzi as mentioned previously is likely to make his debut after Sam`s detailed hints (see previously) of his involvement. Steven Nzonzi is likely to be the player to make way after a debilitating wisdom tooth injury has left him sidelined. Sadly (for comedy purposes only) El Hadj Diouf will miss the game.
Player to watch: Morten Gamst Pedersen
Pedersen is just one of those players who can randomly hit a shot from nowhere and make a difference in games and I always see him as a threat. As per whoever the heck it was scored that overheard kick when nobody cared in the league game, I`d keep an eye on that Linguini chap, debutants are always eager to impress!
Match Facts & Stats
There was a small tear in my eye as I scoured the web, well, youtube, for this music for this, the last Preview ahead of the world cup (hint ;o) ) That may have been however because I overcooked my sausage and egg sandwich and the interior of my house here in sunny South Cheshire (it`s raining) is currently shrouded in a veil of Volcanic Ash/Sausage Dust.
All across the nation, men are panicking over the next few weeks of shopping, DIY and generalised housework, but never fear, the World Cup kicks off soon.
It is believed that Marlon Harewood is off to Qatar, or so he`s been told. Like all useless mares & hares, the shotgun`s been loaded and the carrots placed in a line out to the back of Villa Park.
Qatar is hot.
Blackburn Rovers have never won a European Cup, a European Cup, a European Cup.
They have however won the Premier League d`oh!
Moustapha Salifou will likely depart the club a Villa legend, however has rarely featured in an Aston Villa 1st team shirt. One of few legends ever to do so.
Steve Bennett, who recently missed a Premier League gig due to Volcanic Ash (no commitment these referees) will take charge of the curtain erm, de-raiser?
Bennett, who can be described as a complete Kent-onian, has managed 121 yellow, and 6 red cards this season. Still, we like him more than Phil Dowd don`t we? Who I`ve just witnessed get something right!
Going to round off the season in fashion with a scrappy 4001-0 win,
Who can say
It`s tough to know whether it will be Europa qualifying, or friendly matches that will kick off post-World Cup. Needless to say, that all of us folks at Vital will be lingering this close season, ready for the new one!
Thanks for reading folks! I know I`ve been a bit hit and miss with these previews but I always appreciate the comments I receive when I do find time to write! For anyone at the game tomorrow, look out for me, I`ll be the one next to Baldy giving MON advice!