Andy Munro gives a Blue version of the Second City derby.
Villa at their own place with only enough Blues fans allowed in to form a small acapella choir; it was always going to be difficult. The other factor was that Villa had spent £55 million and if you moved the decimal point two notches to the left, you would have the Blues expenditure over the same period. Mind you, credit to Sherwood, as he’d managed to splash the £55 million cash on players nobody had ever heard of.
It was expected that during the opening exchanges Blues would play the Crewe Alexandra role yet, in the first period, it was the opposite as Blues played possession football that was a joy to watch while Villa players dived in as if their lives depended on it.
In fairness to the opposition, things changed in the first period of the second half as the introduction of their subs gave them new impetus. In consequence ,Villa took the lead through our nemesis, Rudi Gestaad and that goal rocked Blues back for a time until normal service was resumed. Unfortunately, Maghoma showed why he is a Congolese international that played for Burton, as he spurned a golden opportunity to get back on level terms.
Of course, nobody likes losing against their local rivals, but it was an honourable defeat in the circumstances. In fact, it could well have been a different story if Cotterill had been playing as, without him, our set pieces were poor. Demi Gray had a quiet game while Otabor looked lively as a sub although his final ball was typical of a player of his tender years. Our stars were definitely in midfield as they ran the show apart from a short Grealish inspired spell of Villa attacking play. Mind you, whilst I’m not a violent person, is it me or has Grealish got the sort of smug face that deserves a Mike Tyson style punch?
On the subject of smugness, the ‘humble’ Cockney, Sherwood, showed a distinct lack of class by not complementing the valiant opposition. He also, quite laughably, claimed his half-time changes had been planned before the game. Nothing to do therefore, it would seem, with the diabolical Villa first half showing. Anyway, having seen them, my advice is I’d concentrate on the league, chaps.