Brighton are coming to Aston. We might let them leave as well.
It’s Saturday, it’s half past twelve so it much be Villa on the telly and eagerly awaiting the arrival of Plucky Little Brighton, everyone’s new favourite other club right up until the time when they look like they might get into the Champions League. That would never do.
We’ve also got the delights of the all-new Holte Suite, cunningly disguised as the Lower Grounds (it’s what the land Villa Park was built on, before it was a football ground but you should know that already). You can get in there at half nine and spend the next three hours stuffing yourself with hot dogs and nachos. This, apparently is the future of football. You can go back after the match and have a few drinks, and then a few more. Please drink responsibly.
Brighton are, of course, the epitome of the club who’ve come from nowhere and done well. You can’t help but admire the way they went from not having a ground and looking on their way out of the league to doing as well as they have, but they’re in our way now so they have to be crushed. They’ve got a bunch of players who cost a pittance and will be sold for eye-watering amounts. They’ve also got James Milner, who went on a free to Liverpool from Manchester City and played more for them than he did for City and us put together. That’s value. We’ve got a team who’d better be looking to put right that fiasco from Wednesday night. An injury or two might have cleared up, but then again it might now.
Last season this was one of the great Villa Park days. The ground was packed, the crowd were fired up and the team responded. It was the sort of day that made you realise what this club of ours is capable of, and while days like that don’t come round often enough, the team should be capable of doing the same again.