Wednesday evening and all’s well

Manchester City are arriving so mind how you go.

Back to Villa Park midweek and this time it’s Wednesday for a change, so it must be the league. Win and we break another record, and in the way are none other than our very own Premier League champions Manchester City, with all their titles and every other trophy they’ve won since becoming a rich country’s plaything obtained legally with no rules being broken and certainly not 115 times.

What seems a lifetime ago, Liverpool-supporting author Kevin Sampson wrote about coming across a coachload of City supporters on his travels and marvelled at their loyalty and good humour in the face of adversity, wondering what would happen if they ever had any success. 25 years on and we know the answer – the sort of arrogant, sneering entitlement that they used to moan about from their neighbours. In fact, worse because deep down they know that we know that without the oil money they’d be Bolton with a bigger ground and further to drive to the motorway. And yes, we also know that we say the same thing every time we play them and jealousy doesn’t come into it.

They’ve still got Kyle Walker, who was on loan with us once, and Scott Carson, who was also on loan and played more for us in a season than he would if he was with them until the end of time. Apparently one of their other reserves has got a connection with us as well and they had a goal against them the other day that was a bit controversial, which means no decisions going our way. For all their success, it took until 2021 before they’d won the proper league title as many times as they’d won division two. Ain’t that something to be proud of?

Meanwhile we’ve got a better manager, in a few positions we’ve got better players and we’ve also got Villa Park, under lights. You know what that can mean and on Wednesday night it can happen again.