Blues 0 – 1 Villa; Great win and sweet for Grealish

(Picture courtesy of the Daily Mirror)

I’m currently working in rural Eire.
It’s a lovely place, but the weather is incredibly changeable and it’s prone to power cuts.
Which is exactly what happened today. We were without electricity for about three hours
The phone network went down too and it meant I was only able to watch the first half of the game, unfortunately.
Hence I didn’t get to hear the result until about two hours after the final whistle. Time was then spent rapidly trying to find out what had happened.

The big talking point was obviously the disgraceful and cowardly punch by a Blues fan on Jack Grealish from behind, which if it had connected cleanly, could easily have resulted in a broken jaw.
I’m sure we all love the banter and rivalry. It’s a massive part of the game.
But for that to happen, well I’m sure there will be many a nose hanging their heads in shame today. Apart from the idiots who actually applauded the coward, that is.
As the official Villa statement says, this has crossed a red line and while I don’t see how you can blame the club, you’d have to expect that given this has set a precedent, that the club will receive a very severe punishment.
Just as they’re already in quite serious trouble too, as regards FFP.
Ultimately, the players and officials have to know they can walk on the pitch in the knowledge that they’re safe, it’s as simple as that.

What gets me, is this idiot is probably a massive Blues fan and has instantly been banned for life by the club, hence he’s punished himself as much as any custodial sentence he’s bound to receive.
I’d guess alcohol played a part here, which makes a mockery of the Sunday dinner kick off times.

Anyway, onto the game and what I saw wasn’t very good.
But I expected that sort of game and we did have a couple of chances and El Ghazi’s in particular, should have slotted home after Grealish’s nice snappy through ball.

And then everything went off about a minute before the half time whistle.
Which is where I’ve had to rely on the news.
Dean Smith lined the team up exactly as I thought he would from the off and it seems him bringing McGinn and Green on changed the game which led to us attacking more.
Hourihane hit the bar and Blues apparently had a decent penalty shout waved away, but the main thing is it was Grealish who shot from inside the box to give us the points. And it was somewhat fitting after the earlier incident.

Indeed, Jack has described today as the best day of his life, having appeared in his first Derby and scoring the winner as Captain.
That’s every Villa fan’s boyhood dream, isn’t it?

On a wider note, we move above Blues in the league and now stand ninth in the table, four points behind sixth place.
This was a decent away win and it’s another clean sheet.

While I’m still not convinced we can sneak our way into the play-offs, you just never know and there’s still hope if we can keep stringing wins together.

Grealish has shown us how dependent we are on him and fair play to the lad, it truly is his day today.
Well done Jack!


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  1. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson March 12, 2019 at 7:28 am . Reply

    What I’m about to say, I’m no way defending what goes on in matches, money that pays for marshalling matches are paid by Council, Club, and Police, every month they have meeting to justify the cost of matches, Police have to show why public money is paid to them otherwise told to scale down on cost, council are given evidence to show in arrest or public disorders, a lot of fans have been arrested for nothing or trivial reasons. Badger I thing you was pulled up for no reason at all. I know of fans pulled out of cars for no reason at all, SPG was disbanded over fans arrested for no reason at all. I personally think they got it wrong again in thinking Villa needed more watching than their own fans. CCTV now shows whose trouble and whose not. Police got it wrong again. IMO.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 March 12, 2019 at 10:19 am . Reply

      In support of your post Bill, my son was ‘pulled out’ by police as he was walking to the ground with other supporters at an away game – against Portsmouth I think (a number of years ago) – for no reason and then told to walk around a local estate in his Villa shirt which, quite reasonably, he refused to do so arguing that it put him ‘at risk’ so was promptly arrested. There was another Villa supporter in the police van equally bemused.

      When he arrived at the police station, the duty officer (sergeant) asked him why he had been arrested and my son said ‘for being a Villa supporter’. The sergeant agreed he had been wrongfully detained and arranged for transport to send him (and the other lad) back to the game – at least in time for the second half,

      Now my son was (he’s 40 now) no angel but neither did he do anything other than enjoy going to away matches, having a bevy and singing with his mates.

      I don’t blame the police as much as the growing bureaucracy around meeting artificial targets. Surely, with crowd control, the target should be zero trouble and no arrests?

  2. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson March 12, 2019 at 12:38 pm . Reply

    Hitch, I’ve saved a few from the grip of the law, walking back from Villa park to my car that was parked on the serpentine i heard a commotion behind me to witness two men running for their safety , they jumped over the wall in the cemetery straight into the arm of a police dog handler. The officer ordered them to get on their knees, his dog was going mad to get at the two lads who had done nothing because about 50 mob Villa supporters was after them. That police officer was treating them as you would a dog, another young officer came up by me I said have a word with that dog handler,I’ve watched what gone on, they have done nothing wrong and I’m Aston Villa chief steward . He said what can I do? I said look at that lot that chased them, he went over to him spoke with the dog handler who looked at me and then told them to get up. One of the lads walked over to me and thanked me. I’m highlighting things that went on to justify them getting over time as police officers.

  3. Pat 57
    Pat 57 March 12, 2019 at 4:51 pm . Reply

    The last thing we need is the ghost of the hooliganism we experienced in the 70s and 80s to rise from its grave. I remember all too well getting bricks chucked at the coach I was in after some away games, even games we’d lost!

    That’s why I think that the Blues should get a meaningful punishment, one which will ensure that fans will think twice before running onto the pitch in the first place and harsh enough to ensure that clubs will provide sufficient stewards and police at every game.

  4. Badger123
    Badger123 March 12, 2019 at 6:56 pm . Reply

    I’m sure we all have similar stories to tell.
    I remember when I was 15ish, we played Man U at home and a schoolfriend of mine was hit in the chest by an ashtray coming from a Man U coach (which in fairness had had all it’s windows smashed).
    He was bleeding profusely, yet he still got arrested.
    It actually went to court, but was thrown out, as all he was guilty of was walking away from the game!

    But that was the seventies.

    I think the police are much better these days.

    But I’m not so convinced about the stewards (where you’re right Bill, I had a bad experience).
    They’re predominantly fans and are bound to be distracted by the game.
    Vinnie Jones has said they should be trained, but I don’t think that’s practical, especially given what they’re paid.

    It’s a tough one and exactly why I think the club needs to be punished severely.
    It’s the only way that these nutters will see that what they’re doing will only punish the club they love.

    And that’s said even though I don’t believe in points deductions.
    A team’s placing in the league should be decided by games played and not other events, imo.

    1. Pat 57
      Pat 57 March 12, 2019 at 11:26 pm . Reply

      I thought that what you said about stewards and training – “I don’t think that’s practical, especially given what they’re paid” – is quite revealing.

      Perhaps, like referees. it’s about time that stewards became more professional too. With all the money floating around in the game the amount needed to ensure that fans and players are safe when they attend matches wouldn’t really be missed.

      I’d guess that this might become more popular only when clubs are given swingeing penalties when they fail in their duty of care to safeguard all who attend matches.

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