Sunday at the seaside

Destination Bournemouth. Enjoy yourselves.

After Thursday night’s shenanigans it’s time for a trip to another hotbed of explosive ultra culture on Sunday. Bournemouth away might be a pleasant enough trip when the weather’s nice but it’s December. Then again, we played there in August last year and look what happened, although you could argue how that debacle set in motion a chain of events leading to where we are today, so thanks Bournemouth.

That apart, their very existence in the Premier League presents a bit of a dilemma. Getting tickets is hard enough and it’s not the easiest place to get to. Then again, having a club like this around probably annoys the people who run the league so Bournemouth can be excused many things. One of the Americans who owns them is named Michael Jordan. No, not that one. Alex Scott plays for them. No, not that one either. Tommy Elphick’s their assistant manager. Yes, that one. I wonder if they’ve forgiven us for Tyrone Mings yet.

Bournemouth managed to stay up last season without too much trouble and they’re doing alright this time, mainly because the teams below them are so bad rather than anything else. I suppose if they stay up much longer they’ll begin to get ideas above their station and think they’re the same as us, which will never do so we’d better get started sending them back where they came from.

We’ve got players coming back and what’s starting to look like a bit of squad strength. We’re also thinking this is the sort of game where it all goes wrong, because it’s the Villa and that’s what we do. Not anymore – this is the Villa and what we do is win. And this time it would be good to win without the other team’s supporters moaning about tackles, letting off fireworks and trying to destroy their surroundings.