Here we are then, the eve of our biggest game since our last Cup final.
What’s to say that hasn’t been said on loads of other websites in the last week?
To be honest, not a lot, as it’s all been said. Many times over.
Cut through the analysis, opinion and some might say the undermining of our position by the London-based press though and the basic fact is we are about to partake in the ultimate game in the biggest domestic cup in the world.
And let’s not forget that.
The FA cup might have been scandalously debased by certain clubs over the last few years and the Copa del Rey (probably the nearest competitor) has had a lot of promotion over a similar period.
But the FA cup is the big one, by miles, if the world audience is anything to go by.
While the pull of the cup may have been reduced slightly by the top clubs placing more emphasis on the Champions League recently, I actually think it bounced back somewhat this year.
Who can forget Bradford turning over the mighty Chelsea on their own turf, after going two goals down, for example?
And this is the beauty of the FA cup, in my opinion.
While the money is in the Champions League, there is no chance that a one-off lesser club can ever win it. Which means there’s no romance in it at all.
Those of us old enough will remember Sunderland beating Leeds, Southampton beating Man United, Wimbledon beating Liverpool and of course, more recently, Wigan beating Manchester City in previous finals, I’m sure.
They’re unforgettable results that prove that the underdog can win.
Which leads us to where we are now.
We face an extremely good Arsenal side, who on their day can beat anyone. In spades.
There’s no getting away from it; they play great football and are massive favourites.
Indeed, they’re bound to win it, by all accounts.
But this is the FA cup, where form can totally go out of the window.
Hence I’m not even going to comment about previous form or even who’s available to play.
I believe that the game is in the lap of the gods.
I’ve been suffering mood swings this week whenever I think about the game, for what it’s worth.
My dark moments see us getting thrashed, which is my worst nightmare.
But my better moments see us winning by the odd goal.
That’s the truth of it.
But the difference between tomorrow’s game and the Champions League?
I truly believe we can win this.
Why? because we’re the Villa.
We’ve won this cup seven times and are well overdue an eighth win.
Ok, it’ll mess the old song of “seven times we’ve won it now” right up, but it’s already out of date and we need to add to our collection.
Surely us fans deserve it after what we’ve had to suffer over the last four years or so?
While of course we have no divine right to win, Arsenal have had their share of glory over the last couple of decades.
It’s our turn, I say.
And under Sherwood, we have a fighting chance.
Whatever happens, I can guarantee you, it’s going to be emotional on my part.
As Tony Butler used to say;
Get yer prayer mats out.
COYL! and UTV