Another cup final

Saturday afternoon and it’s off to Brentford.

Brentford away. Not the sort of fixture to strike fear into the heart, more of a mild annoyance. They’re another one of those clubs who bumbled around the lower reaches for decades then suddenly got themselves a decent team, a succession of managers who knew what they were doing and ideas way above their station. A few weeks ago they were even, God help us, talking about getting into Europe when the only way Brentford and foreign travel should be mentioned in the same sentence is when you mention the flightpath to Heathrow. That was why their old ground had advert painted on the roofs of the stands. Now they’ve got a new ground, with an away end that’s just as spacious and which caused a shortage of Meccano when it was being built. We helped finance it with assorted transfers which were good, not bad and downright appalling, plus a few quid in compo for a manager. And what thanks do we get?

They’re starting to struggle a bit. They’ve got a manager who looks like he last changed his hairstyle about twenty years ago and you’ve never heard of any of their players except one, and he should be banned by now. The law moves slowly where football is concerned. We’ve got the usual collection of injuries and walking wounded, most of who were supposed to be fit long ago but this is the Villa and if there’s anything that move slower than the law where football is concerned, it’s a Villa player’s recovery.

They’ve got an annoyingly good record against us and it’s about time that was put right. Usually when we’re on a good run and the opposition are losing there’s only one thing that comes next but that was the past and things are much different now. Move over little team, the unstoppable Villa juggernaut is coming through.