Perspective. And Southampton tomorrow

Hopefully a few of you will have wondered where I’ve been for the last few weeks.
It’s probably best to start at the beginning, where in May, I noticed an enlarged gland in my neck.
I was straight onto the NHS site and followed the advice that you give it three weeks to see how it goes before seeking advice.
Basically, it was still there so I called my Doctor’s. Bear in mind everywhere was locked down at this time, but I suppose what I was presenting, combined with my age etc, meant she was willing to see me straightaway.
She looked at it and said that she was referring me to a specialist “just as a precaution”.
Yeah right. It’s almost a sixth sense and you just know.

Anyway, keeping it short, I saw the consultant and he asked me to go for a CT scan and biopsy.
It was really strange going into a completely seemingly empty Good Hope hospital.
Within a few days I’d been told it was cancer of the tonsils that had spread to the lymph node.
My chances of survival were around 60%.

Ah well, I like those odds and it’ll be ok. I’m fit as a fiddle and have no underlying issues.
At least that’s what I kept telling myself.

Within three weeks of me first seeing my Doctor, I was undergoing Radio and Chemotherapy, which I thought was outstanding, given the state of the hospitals at the time.
The treatment went mostly ok, but it did have it’s bad days. Vomiting the feeding tube that was inserted into my nose, for example, was a particularly bad time.
The bottom line came when the consultant made an appointment for me to have a PET scan, which is what would tell me if things were looking good or if I was in a really bad place.

And it was as the appointment approached, that things really started to dawn on me and my priorities changed.
Whereas my life had revolved around work, it suddenly didn’t matter. I wasn’t even sure if I’d ever be going back, let alone wondering when it would be.
I started thinking more about my partner and started doing things to improve the house and make her happy. Financial issues on my demise became way more important.
Even running this site suddenly wasn’t important and Hitchens60 helped me out massively by holding the fort while I got my head round things and waited for the results. I’d really like to thank him for that and hope he continues to contribute.

Anyway, the upshot is I got the results on Wednesday and I’m seemingly all clear and the treatment worked.
The cancer can always come back at any time and I’ll have to undergo regular scans, but at least I know things aren’t imminent and I’m no worse off in that I don’t know when my number will be up.
And where I’ve been worried for quite a while now, I’m now looking to ease my way back into work and get back in the groove.

So that’s where the perspective in the title comes from.
It’s funny how you see things differently in different situations.

Which leads me to the Villa.
I have of course, still been watching the games, but I’ve not taken any notice of transfer rumours, injuries or even comments on this site.
And the Burnley game had me fuming.
How did we manage to lose that when we were by far the better side and dominated the game?
It’s just infuriating when you snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

But then, I thought about it and we should remember that last season, we probably wouldn’t have dominated the game the way we did. We’re way better than we were last year and even the commentators love talking about our game.
How much value has been added to the price of our players?
I previously suggested clubs would have to pay at least £120 million for Grealish’s services, but as it stands that figure is miles off.
Perspective. Same player, but quite a short while forward in time.

Southampton at a stupid 8pm tomorrow it is, although I suppose when you can’t go out down the pub or for a meal etc, perhaps it at least gives us something to watch.

And after me predicting a big haul of points from the six games running up to Christmas, I don’t know what to think.
I’m not sure how far off my prediction was, but I do know is was quite a way.
And my confidence has waned a little.

This game is one I’d be concerned about, as Southampton play the sort of football that can easily catch us out.
I remember thinking we weren’t bad against them last season, but they took their chances well.
We’re a much better proposition this season though and are capable of scoring multiple goals against anyone.
Teams know it too, which means they’ll be just a bit more cagey.
We went toe to toe with Man City, which was another annoying game, after all.

Squad news is that we’re pretty good and the squad that went to Burnley came back unscathed.
Hause is still out, as is Wesley.

There is of course some news that I couldn’t miss and it was the departure of Hourihane, to be replaced by the signing of Morgan Sanson.
That’s an interesting signing, not because it was obvious we needed some backup in midfield, but it makes you wonder who he’s going to replace, if indeed it’s anybody. You’d have to suspect he’ll have come to the Villa to be getting games and not be a substitute and it’s my guess that the idea is he replaces Ross Berkley who will cost us a fortune if we want to buy him.

I personally don’t see the side changing tomorrow, but I’d expect Sanson to get a few minutes to help find his feet.
What a shame that it’ll be at an empty ground.

As for the Saints, they have a few players coming back.
Ryan Bertrand will be back after his suspension, as will Nathan Redmond. Moussa Djenepo and Oriol Romeu are possibles while Kyle Walker-Peters is a doubt.

I see goals. More than three and I’m going for a 2-2, although my spidey sense thinks the result will be 3-2.
Who wins, I really don’t know.

Oh, one other piece of news I saw is that Nuno Espirito Santo, the Wolves manager has coughed up a cool £250,000 to a Hero’s charity. I’d like to think there’s a few involved in football who make similar contributions to charity, but keep quiet about it.
Either way I take my hat off to you Nuno.

And it’s nice to be back!



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  1. Avatar
    Tekkers48 January 30, 2021 at 10:18 pm .

    Yet again we have met my mini targets. 20 points by Christmas and 30 points by half way mark. Time to set my next target. How many one nil wins is that now this season. We are improving bit by bit with the odd setback. Tough game but another 3 points in the bag.

  2. Avatar
    Roy Bracy January 30, 2021 at 11:05 pm .

    Welcome back Badger sort to hear of your problem but glad it’s all well now.
    My wife was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer yesterday it’s a cruel world.😞
    Good result for villa though scrappy game.i was screaming at the TV for a substitution towards the end when we needed fresh leg’s. That’s a problem with Smith he not very good with substitutions
    Should have put subs on in last 15min against Burnley might have won.

    1. Avatar
      DSVilla January 31, 2021 at 2:56 pm .

      Wish you and your wife and family all the best Roy.

  3. Avatar
    VillaAwayInDiv3 January 30, 2021 at 11:34 pm .

    The 2 VARs were correct.
    Mings did make 1 mistake…the back pass which Emi just got to.
    We DID deserve the win.
    Was Ward Prose playing ?
    Yes need to get subs on as we were not sharp enough and couldnt believe we played same 11.
    Jack player of the Season.

  4. Avatar
    Roy Bracy January 31, 2021 at 12:39 am .

    Hi Badger hope you don’t mind but how bad was the chemotherapy?she has to start next week after 1 more test result comes back that will decide if has another type of treatment with chemotherapy to shrink tumor before surgery’s whichever but almost certain mastectomy so not good already had to be covid19 vaccine early.
    Anyways hopefully villa will keep playing well take mind off things.
    Take care hopefully you stay clear.
    All the best keep 7p good work on this s8te as it’s the best one around

  5. Avatar
    Sidforever January 31, 2021 at 8:59 am .

    Badger, I wish you well in remaining cancer free and Roy all the best to your wife in her fight with the disease.

    Well done you Villa boys last night. It seems to me that each match we play Martinez produces a world class save. What an immense purchase he has been!

    Next up West Ham, who we owe a beating to after earlier this season.

  6. Avatar
    Bill Pearson.. January 31, 2021 at 10:03 am .

    Sid, not only for that beating but to shut my next door neighbour up and his kids, they eat sleep and wear the gear and crow .me take it on the chin, I’m watching it again now again and, ok we didn’t put it together like we been doing but hell didn’t we defend well. Still think Barkley don’t have the legs like we should have ,and I’ve seen him again pull out on a challenge but good on moving the ball . I don’t know why we dont tend to replace a flagging player, still we are doing ok so far. West ham and Arsenal games will sort the men from the boy’s.

  7. Avatar
    Originallondonlion January 31, 2021 at 11:21 am .

    You can see why Southampton are a threat to anybody in EPL. Romeo is an outstanding defender, who manages to get to the ball carrier in most counter attacks. Ward-Prowse is a great dead ball kicker. Thankfully Villa, by committing so few fouls just outside the penalty area, gave him only one chance. Ings is a real goal poacher.

    They bossed our midfield about: which explains the possession stats and the pattern of the game. I suggest it also explains why Villa signed another experienced midfielder. If we can improve our midfield performance so we are 50/50 with the best midfields, we have the rest of the weapons to be a top 4 team.

    Take our two games in Manchester as examples. United’s midfield isn’t top 4 material, so Villa were able to go toe-to-toe and should have shared the points.
    City midfield dominated us. In the second half they pushed us back to 8 men in our area. Though Villa were swindled for the first goal, we were a long way off winning that game.

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