Carrying on down the road

Chelsea in the FA Cup. What an occasion.

The magic of the cup. No matter how much it gets messed around with there’s still something special about it. Throw in midweek, floodlights and what should be our biggest crowd for a replay since 1980 and you’re looking at a potential Great Villa Park Night. We haven’t had one of them for a while.

It’s a pity we’re playing Chelsea, who shouldn’t be allowed to be involved in in anything Great apart from relegations or perhaps liquidation, but you can’t have everything. What have have got is a golden opportunity to get to the quarter-final, and you can see Wembley from there. Our lovely opponents will no doubt bring with them the sort of entitlement that comes with being the best team in West London again, with media coverage to match. Amazingly they’ve still got the same manager they had in the first match and he’ll no doubt rotating his squad, which means that Carney Chukwuemeka might get a game, or at least the chance to run up and down the touchline a bit. The rest of their team, whoever they are, will be a collection of the most reprehensible characters in football. Unai would probably do a bit of rotating as well, if he had a squad to rotate, although as usual there’s bound to be someone you’ve never heard of on the bench.

Credit where it’s due and all that; the Villa have learned a lesson from the Everton fiasco and prices for this one were much more realistic. Every part of the ground looks pretty much sold out even though there will probably be a few gaps where they were left for Terrace View but no point complaining about that. It should be one of those occasions where everything comes together and the Villa are unstoppable. After all, it’s our year…