Quite simply, what a brilliant win that was!
But it was a bit of an up and down game for me for reasons I’ll go into below.
This is more of a personal post, just for posterity, just in case I want to look back sometime in the future, but the truth is I doubt very much that I’ll ever forget this game.
What I saw of it anyway.
As some of you may know, I’d decided to book a last minute holiday to Cyprus, as work has currently dropped off, before we go on a big push again. It’s just an ideal time.
The flight went okay and I’d pre booked a car, no problem.
Until I went to pick up the car and they basically wanted to jack up the price by 50%. Being a man with some principles, I quite simply refused to be held to ransom and ended up refusing to pay. I then
had to get a taxi to the hotel. It was expensive and frankly a pain.
So we arrived at the hotel at around 1am Sunday morning and of course, the first mission (along with getting a well deserved beer or two) was to try and find out where I could get to see the game.
I was chatting to the barman and he assured me that if the game was on Fox sports, I’d be able to watch it. There happened to be some Spanish footy on the telly and up flashed a list of games, with the semi final included.
“There you, no problem” says the barman. All Good stuff then and it was bedtime.
After a few hours sleep, the next mission was to sort a car, as the missus isn’t too mobile these days.
We sorted that out and were basically all set, so I felt a few more beers were called for as I warmed up for the match.
Imagine my horror then, when I discovered that the game wasn’t on.
With two minutes to go, I scrabbled around to find a stream for my Lappy, which I managed, but the Broadband is of such low quality that it was basically unwatchable.
The missus suggested that she drive us down to an area where we could probably get to see the game. Which we duly did.
It had cost us the first half near enough though and we walked into a bar, to see that Benteke had just equalized.
I was fuming, as by the sound of it I’d missed a big chunk of what was apparently a very good game, something that annoys me in a normal game, let alone one as big as this.
Fortunately, I managed to watch the second half fine and of course was able to witness a result that is the biggest for the Villa in many a year, especially when you bring the media darlings that are Liverpool into the equation.
How sweet it’s been to put one over those and ruin the Gerrard fairytale story.
Regardless of what I’ve thought of him as a player and captain for his club and country, I’ll never be able to forgive him for that cheating dive at VP, which earned him a freekick, which Pool went on to beat us with, a few seasons back.
Me watching the game must have been quite a comical sight for the others in the bar, to be honest.
Those watching the game were mostly ex pat old timers from up north who constantly rattled on about Liverpool, even though they weren’t fans.
Then Delph scored to take the lead and I automatically screamed out a monster “Yeeeeeessss!”
The whole pub looked around and I felt massively embarrassed, but didn’t care.
As the game went on and Pool put us under more and more pressure, where it looked inevitable that they would score, so my arms were flapping around and my practically getting on my knees and praying had the locals in bits.
Another massive cheer at the final whistle then and that was it, a game where we were the better side, although from what I saw it was more an utterly resolute performance.
Back to the hotel for another pint and then straight to bed, totally elated and thinking about Wembley again.
Where I’ve just slept for the best part of 14 hours.
I think it was a combination of things, in the flight, the stress and the pure emotion (and probably the beers too), which made me so tired, but it was worth it.
Certainly one of the longest days I’ve had in years.
Langford has it right and his comments have been echoed by me to other footy fans I’ve spoken too, in that we can now score goals, which quite simply means you can win a game.
Hence I’m no longer scared of anyone.
Bring on Man City next week.
Indeed, bring the lot of them on, as although I certainly don’t think we’re unbeatable, we can beat anyone on the day, in my opinion.
As for “Tactics Tim”, whatever we think, he’s plainly got results when they’ve mattered and if that’s poor tactics, let’s have a load more of it, I say.
It’s all about results and when you’re playing decent footy too, it can’t be bad can it?
Proud of the lads today and it’s ended up a superb start to my holiday.