Happy Easter everyone

Opening the doors and welcoming Wolves to Villa Park.

It’s the Easter weekend and we’re playing Wolves, which is almost a hark back to tradition. Back in the days when they were inventing European football or whatever it is that they always claim at the same time as saying we’re forever talking about 1982, we’d play them home and away over Christmas. There would be at least fifty thousand at each match, three jovial bobbies would be on hand to clip any miscreant around the ear and anyone who used foul language would be turfed out by the rest of the amiable, sporting crowd in a haze of pipe smoke and coal fires. It might still be like that in Wolverhampton, when you’re a stranger.

They’re coming here this time, and I’m sure they’ll get a warm welcome as their faces come out of the rain. Whether they think of us as their Big Rivals will probably depend on how the Albion are getting on but whatever the outcome they’ll be as up for it as our lesser neighbours always are and the women will seem wicked. They’re owned by a Chinese mob and opinions on them change as often as who their Big Rivals are. Their manager looks like the sort of bloke who no matter what you buy he could have got it cheaper, their goalkeeping coach played once for us at the turn of the century and their first team coach is James Collins, although he’s none of the James Collins’ who were our players. Apart from that no-one remembers their name.

They’ve got a few injuries, so have we. We’ve also got John McGinn suspended and a couple of doubtfuls, which probably means doubtful for the start of next season. For some inexplicable reason they’ve done well against us lately and that run won’t last. Three points, the top four charge back on track and on the way home their streets are uneven.