Back to the real stuff

West Ham at home and all that palarver.

The international break’s over and on Sunday afternoon it’ll be time for the proper football again. Is it just me or does it seem like we play West Ham about six weeks? Just me is it then.

It was August bank holiday 2023 when they last arrived at Villa Park with their spivvy owners and their cheerful Spirit of the Blitz, Gawd bless the old Queen Mum, they only ‘urt their own we won the World Cup supporters, all of them born ona day when the gale force wind blew the sound of Bow Bells across to Romford, Dagenham and Sahfend. I’ve forgotten the result that day, and I’ve certainly forgotten who managed us. Things are different now – for a start we’ve got a tactical genius and they’ve still got that strange bloke who goes from success to failure and back again without ever winning anything or doing much. That was, until they won the Conference League. At the time they won it was about as important as the Texaco Cup but now it’s one of the great competitions of world football.

Danny Ings plays for them and he’s about as good as he was for us. At least we got a few quid back for him, which is more than they will. They’ve also got a strangely large number of players we’ve been linked with and never bought. Maybe they got confused by the colours. That story about the bet between their player and ours isn’t true, by the way. We seem to have got through the international break unscathed, except for Nicolo Zaniolo getting caught up in some gambling story. The Villa winger is, of course, innocent and if he isn’t the Galatasary winger deserves everything that’s coming to him.

We used to have a good record against West Ham. Now we haven’t. By seven o’clock on Sunday, or whatever time the match finally ends these days, we will again.