Here we go again

This time it’s Sheffield United away.

Time for another journey into the unknown. It’s a Saturday, it’s at 5.30 so there’s time to get there and it’s in Sheffield, where there’s always plenty to do before the match. It’s also one of those weird fixtures where you pay the same team twice in a few weeks. Sheffield United, or to give them their full title HawkeyeSheffieldUnited because whatever might happen in the rest of eternity, Villa are the only club ever to have had the ‘benefit’ of a ‘wrong’ decision.

Since then they’ve been relegated, promoted and now they’re bottom of the league again, and serve them right. Not because they’re particularly unlikable club, or at least no more dislikable than any other, but because they ruined Christmas. There we were, ready to go top of the league and they came along with the aid of a biased, one-eyed, incompetent and useless referee, and got a draw. You knew who was going to score for them and he duly did. When he comes back I hope somebody at Bodymoor lets his tyres down. From then on we’ve stuttered a bit and January was the new March. But it’s over now so there’s no excuse.

Saturday’s lucky opponents are owned by a Saudi prince, their manager looks like he spends a lot of the time at the bar of a flat roof pub saying they ought to bring back hanging and national service and laughing at his own jokes. Peter Withe and Paul McGrath played for them. We’ve got the usual assortment of injuries, doubtfuls and probably get hit by a meteorite between now and kick-offs, so God knows what kind of team Super Unai will be picking. There’s bound to be at least one of the subs you’ve never heard of and at least three of the players will make you wonder why. As John Gregory put it, Hindsight United never lost a match and from now on, neither will the Villa. January’s out of the way; new month, new start.