Chelsea – Villa; FA cup, am I bovvered?

So I’m back home from my jollies and feeling a bit down, to be honest. Perhaps not for the reasons you’d expect though. I usually have fleeting moments of sadness when returning from a holiday, but that’s all they are. I’m fully accepting that I have to get back to the grind and well, I’m fortunate in being able to say it won’t be long until the next holiday.
No, it wasn’t that at all.
I’ve had to insure the car (how can they justify my price more than doubling in 2 years?), tax it and file my accounts for Mr taxman. Not that I have ever worried about paying tax, but it all felt like a brutal assault on my pocket. Still, I’ll bet I’m not alone. There’s always someone after your dough, isn’t there?

Anyway, on to much more interesting things, ie football and I’ve been doing a bit of catching up.
So we’ve confirmed the signing of a right back, Kosta Nedeljkovic.
And handed him straight back to Red Star Belgrade. Hmm, I find that strange, as I’ve said previously. I think many of us think that a decent RB was the priority, as Cash has been meh and along with many, I’m just not happy with Konsa playing there. I still think the position is a weakness, but who am I to argue with what Emery wants?

And Dendonker has gone to Napoli on loan with an option to buy at £7.7 million.
I hope he does a good job for them and they take up the offer, as I struggle to see that we could get more for someone who has only been a squad filler and pair of legs for us. A terrible signing by Gerrard, which will mean we’ve lost a fortune on him. It’s not that I dislike the player and he’s always done okay for us, but he never struck me as good enough. Wolves really had our pants down there, I feel.

And then there’s the shock news that Klopp will be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season. Except it wasn’t really a shock though and I first heard rumours of this months ago.
I know it’s not Villa related, but it’s a big enough story to justify a mention, I feel.

I’ve rambled enough and it’s onto matters in hand.
We beat Chelsea earlier in the season, but I don’t think they’re the same proposition now. I watched quite a few parts of their games over the last couple of months and for a team that was not great, because they couldn’t score to save their lives, I think they’re improving and quite quickly.
Emery has said exactly the same and given that they are a team that couldn’t score, they have a couple of players who we will need to be wary of. The name Cole Palmer has been on many people’s lips and he’s done well, with eleven goals and seven assists.
Raheem Sterling’s playing well too and I watched the Blues against Fulham, where he rampaged down the left wing, putting some great crosses in, even though the strikers couldn’t get on the end of them. I predict a torrid time for whoever plays at RB.

Team news and Pau Torres, Lucas Digne and Jacob Ramsey are still out, as is Jhon Duran, who’s done his hamstring. Bertrand Traore is still at the AFCON.
Kaine Kesler-Hayden has been recalled and I believe has been promoted to the first team squad. Given that he was doing well at Plymouth and he hasn’t been punted out again, it would seem the manager will definitely give him a chance and I wonder if that might be tonight, for a few minutes at least?

Anyway, Chelsea have Malo Gusto and Christopher Nkunku back in training, but they’re not ready.
Reece James, Wesley Fofana and Marc Cucurella are all still injured and Nicolas Jackson is also still at the AFCON.

Prediction time then and it has a draw all over it, 1-1, I think and that’s what I’m going for at 90 minutes. There has to be a result though and if it goes to extra time, I can see them probably getting a late goal, although their Carabou cup stroll in the midweek might have taken it out of them. We can only hope. That said, I could see us getting a late goal too, so it makes things really difficult.

Oh, go on then. It’s always better to be positive, I guess.
2-1 to the Villa.

Am I bovvered? Well, yes I am, quite simply. I’m one of the dwindling few that still has massive regard for the FA cup. It’s quality Silverware and it would be great to have our name on it.



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  1. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum January 26, 2024 at 7:59 pm . Reply


    That was a great free kick too!!!

  2. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 26, 2024 at 8:37 pm . Reply

    Missed the first half due to spending time with our super neighbours and several bottles of wine!

    How did we do?

  3. Holte
    Holte January 26, 2024 at 8:47 pm . Reply

    Thank the stars for Martinez. It’s just as I thought and the break has done absolutely nothing. We look like the team that played a few days ago. Has our style of play been figured out? We have no outlet to get the ball to Watkins. Diaby unfortunately looks lost in comparison to his early season performances. I think it’s only a matter of time before Chelsea score if game continues the same way.

  4. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum January 26, 2024 at 8:50 pm . Reply

    Even with a great fibre speed, cabled will ALWAYS beat wifi. I can actually scroll through channels so fast now. Was impossible before.

    I was going to just try it, but it’s made an instant impact.

    Good first half. Could go either way. We’re being very resolute in our shape, and Cash is solid as ever!!! Come on Matty. Get the winner!!!! I hate Chelsea.

    On the Pool issue. Love Klopp. Not fo much love for LFC.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 26, 2024 at 9:47 pm . Reply

      Agreed Bum Bum on hard wiring v WiFi Even though the router is in the same room as the TV the fall off at the router is pretty high.

      Will have to look at whether I can change my TP links from the desk top to the TV

  5. Bum Bum
    Bum Bum January 26, 2024 at 8:50 pm . Reply

    Emi has been GREAT!!!

  6. Gerry
    Gerry January 26, 2024 at 9:20 pm . Reply

    Delighted the way villa are playing. We can sneak this. Chelsea tiring after EFL. Come on you villains

  7. Gerry
    Gerry January 26, 2024 at 9:43 pm . Reply

    You get 0-0 and then another one comes along. Great result for us. We can compete with the best

  8. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 26, 2024 at 9:44 pm . Reply

    Admit I was wrong with my forecast – I’m still thinking old Villa – mea culpa and apologies for that.

    We certainly looked more alert than in recent games so the rest has been a real benefit.

    Emery goes (how many games ?) without a 0-0 and the gets two on the trot – bit like London buses 🙂

    Anyway we live to fight another day.


  9. Holte
    Holte January 26, 2024 at 9:47 pm . Reply

    Oh well, at least we are in the 5th round draw. Certainly not a classic although we improved second half.

  10. Sidforever
    Sidforever January 26, 2024 at 9:50 pm . Reply

    Very good effort. Need Torres to replace Lenglet whose distribution is a liability. We now have a good chance to beat Chelsea at Villa Park.

  11. BFR
    BFR January 27, 2024 at 7:21 am . Reply

    Excellent result. But the goals have dried up which is a worry. Pre season I posted an article analysing the ‘what if’ season of 92-93. The conclusion was had the Villa scored one goal in six of the numerous 0-0s and 1-0 defeats of that season, Villa would’ve been champions. My point was IF Emery’s team kept firing, we had a chance of success. Need to find a solution before the season fizzles out before Easter. Over to you, Unai. And the players…

    1. The Ron Saunders Stand
      The Ron Saunders Stand January 27, 2024 at 11:59 am . Reply

      Watching football focus and I have to ask just wtf is going on?
      That man city goal from yesterday had we have scored that would it have stood?
      Not a snowflake in hell’s chance.
      Block on the keeper (Sheffield) and foot high. It’d have been picked apart until they found a reason.
      This game is just so bent.

  12. Holte
    Holte January 27, 2024 at 2:20 pm . Reply

    100% agree that the goal should have been disallowed. Is the game bent? Of course it is. I said at the time that the VAR officials had received a call to say payment had been made!

  13. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson January 27, 2024 at 2:21 pm . Reply

    I totally agree that goalkeeper was harassed well before the goal , to me that wasn’t a goal .I’m watching Maidstone game and the second goal was again a referee error, no VA R so why , football is not for us fans it’s just a business thing for the rich .

  14. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 27, 2024 at 2:36 pm . Reply

    Anderlecht v Genk to be replayed because of VAR error.

    Pandora’s Box is now open – how long before an EPL game has to be replayed?

    Must be loads of lawyers reaching for their fee scales 🙂

  15. OLL again
    OLL again January 27, 2024 at 6:45 pm . Reply

    I thought that was a good Villa show against a much improved Chelsea, and I will fancy our chances in the replay.
    It used to be the case that any challenge impacting the goalkeeper when he had jumped and was in the air was a foul. There was one exception – when the keeper had run and collided with a near stationary opponent. That VAR decided the Citeh goal was one of those exceptions is the only excuse I can see for it.

  16. BFR
    BFR January 27, 2024 at 7:15 pm . Reply

    Anyone seen the footage of the Maidstone fan rolling off the top of a stand at Portman Road and falling on the Ipswich fans in the stand below? Dear oh dear…that should definitely not be happening!

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