On your marks, get set…

The new season begin with a quick trip to Newcastle.

And here we go with the start of another season. The predictions have been made, the new kit’s on sale and all is set fair for nine months in which the Villa dominate the football world.

It would have been good to get an easier start but instead we’ve got Newcastle, who’ve spent another fortune in an attempt to make their owners seem less barbaric and at the same time try to win a trophy. I’m not sure which would be the easier of those two. They did okay last season, as did we, and that made them strangely forget all those years of angst over a banner and instead say how good it is that two unfancied clubs are breaking the monopoly of the Big Six. When you’re beginning to have Newcastle supporters like you, that’s the time to start worrying.

Just for a change it’s on a Saturday, although it is a 5.30 kick-off, which with the new rules about adding time on and the distance from the away section to sea level means that with a bit of luck you’ll get out in time to watch Match of the Day starting. They’ve still got Matt Targett in their squad, although there’s not much chance of him getting a game. He’d have more chance if he was in our squad, because just for a change we’ve got a Somme-sized casualty list, which is some going when you haven’t kicked a ball in anger for the past three months.

We’ve had a few of their old cast-offs in the past, including Steve Watson, who was possibly the most nondescript Villa player of all time. We also broke our transfer record to buy their number nine many years ago. His name was something Withe, but he didn’t do all that much for us.

New season, new optimism. We can’t be having such as Newcastle liking us and there’s one quick way to get them on our back again. Three points, onto the next hapless victims and not one word about fat topless blokes and horse punchers.