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. Avatar
    Bill Pearson March 11, 2019 at 2:02 pm .

    Hitch, I could write a book on what takes place in games, believe or not I was the first steward to introduce away stewarding ,and that was at The city ground. I’ve always maintained that having your policing for your part of the ground helps the club,the fans, and most of all the police. If it had been our stewards that incident of the home steward would not have happen, as for the home stewarding it looks as if their attention was on away fans and not their own fans. I keep meaning to put on this site letters we got from away clubs that I took to help. The thing was Hitch, Steve Stride was not a fan of me doing that , but seeing the police letters coming back to our club praising our efforts turn a blind eye.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 March 11, 2019 at 5:00 pm .

      Thanks Bill. Good point about clubs providing away stewarding – you should write to the FA on that one so it becomes policy.

      So it seems you have drawn the same conclusion – insufficient stewarding of the home fans in the area where trouble is most likely to originate. On that basis (and if true) then some form of punishment for the club is merited. However, now the emotion has died down it needs to be proportionate whilst attempting to provide a sufficient deterrent.

      I have some sympathy for clubs trying to ‘police’ crowds and deal with problems that are symptomatic of wider issues in society – it’s probably an impossible task – but we cannot return to fences.

  2. Avatar
    Bill Pearson March 11, 2019 at 3:55 pm .

    He got 14 week’s jail, should have been longer in my mind.

  3. Avatar
    Bill Pearson March 11, 2019 at 4:14 pm .

    He also got a 10 year all football grounds plus a life ban from Birmingham city it self. Still not good enough as far as I’m concerned.

  4. Avatar
    Bum Bum March 11, 2019 at 4:35 pm .

    14 weeks prison sentence for Jack’s attacker.

  5. Avatar
    Pat 57 March 11, 2019 at 5:02 pm .

    Well if Mr. Mitchell isn’t crying about his prison sentence let’s hope he’ll be crying when he hears what his beloved football team will get from the FA.

    I hope that Alan Shearer’s on the panel who decides –

    (You’ll need to scroll down a bit)

  6. Avatar
    Bill Pearson March 11, 2019 at 5:20 pm .

    Paul Mitchell and Alfie Perkins banned for life… Well done BCFC
    These two are banned, the alfie Perkins is the ashore who put a picture of Grealish brother who die saying evil things about it.
    Bet they are not laughing now.

  7. Avatar
    Holte66 March 11, 2019 at 6:21 pm .

    I heard the steward who was pushing and kicking when Villa players celebrated in Villa end has been sacked. Someone I work with told me he knows a steward who works at blues and they were all given a rollicking at the end of the game. If true it is harsh on those nowhere near that part of the ground. Let’s hope a jail sentence for the muppet who ran on the pitch is a big enough deterrent for any future idiots thinking of doing the same. Banning them from grounds probably isn’t enough.

  8. Avatar
    Sidforever March 11, 2019 at 7:31 pm .

    What a joke sentence!

    As one gets older things always look rosier through tinted glasses, but in this case my view is valid.

    The Guardian reported:
    The Birmingham City fan who ran on to the pitch and taunted Aston Villa goalkeeper Peter Enckelman during September’s midlands derby has been jailed for four months.

    Role forward 17 years and for assaulting a player the Blues supporter only gets 3.5 months in prison. No wonder murder levels are on the rise and the law is seen as lacking teeth. There is something very wrong in our society. The law should be feared.

    The criminal who attacked Grealish should not have been blowing kisses when he was sentenced. He should have been weeping knowing he would not be coming out of prison until FIFA 22 was launched.

    Further, how can a jobless thug afford a ticket for this match. I work and a ticket for the Villa is a luxury not a basic right.

    1. Avatar
      Hitchens60 March 11, 2019 at 10:02 pm .

      If BCFC failed to adopt a safe ‘policing’ policy for the game then they are culpable and should be held to account. To assume that trouble will only come from the away supporters is either naive or plain negligent – the latter seems more relevant.

      It seems there is a broad consensus that the football authorities have to make a strong statement in an attempt to deter this from happening in the future; to do otherwise will show them to be weak and ineffective. On its own though that is not enough. The FA, Prem and EFL have to start working with football clubs and the police to develop an effective stewarding policy (strategy) which HAS to be adopted by all clubs, failure to do so bringing serious penalties.

  9. Avatar
    Bill Pearson March 11, 2019 at 7:50 pm .

    All city stewards had after the game a rollicking, the steward seen kicking and shoving got the sack. It still doesn’t hide the fact in my opinion it was badly organised from the start. massive police present and stewards all down the away fans section. It seems they anticipated trouble from Villa in the ground.

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