In the old-fashioned way

Dave Woodhall doesn’t watch Villa beat QPR.

First, a confession. Due to previous commitments I wasn’t at Loftus Road on Sunday afternoon, neither was I able to watch the game, follow it online or even listen to any but a few moments on that most retro of ways to know how the Villa are getting on, the wireless.

There’s something comforting about doing things the old-fashioned way; all I needed to make the afternoon complete was a nearby Radio Rentals to stand outside until the final scores came up on a bank of 26″ TVs. But it does makes you realise how much coverage we take for granted nowadays. It was strange not to know how individual incidents panned out, how players performed and not know the result at the exact moment the ref blew for full-time. Even in the comparative media wasteland that is the Championship we now take all these things for granted.

So, if you’re looking for insight or informed analysis, you’ll have to find it elsewhere. I know that Steve Bruce had finally, hopefully for good, lost patience with a few players, that equally hopefully Gabriel Agbonlahor has played his last game for us in any circumstance short of epidemic, that the team weren’t particularly convincing but that despite missing a penalty, Jonathan Kodjia won the game with a goal after 75 minutes.

There were a few murmurings about the overall performance at the end of the match but three points is still three points and we’re not yet at the stage where we can complain about the way we win them. You’re not going to get Total Football from a Steve Bruce team, particularly when the talent at his disposal was predominantly bought by another manager to play in a different style. It would be like sticking a Ferrari engine into a Land Rover and expecting it to do 150 miles an hour through a ploughed field.

Saturday’s results had left Villa needing a win to stay in touching distance of the top six. There’s been a general consensus that it would be vital to be in contact with the play-off positions at Christmas and whether a gap of six points constitutes still in contact is, I suppose, a glass half-full/empty quandry. With two home games coming up (and the distinct possibility that our highest gate of the season will be against Burton Albion is entering into parallel universe territory) pulling back some of that deficit will be important, and stand Villa in good stead for the FA Cup visit to Premier League giants Spurs.

To finish with anther blast from the past, I read last week that Sky Sports presenter George Gavin has retired. How well I remember his show on BRMB, his ‘outspoken’ comments and his inability to take even a fraction of what he dished out. Good luck in your retirement, George, and thanks for all free adverts you gave us poor, misunderstood fanzine types. Every time you said a word about us, our sales shot up.

And a happy Winterval to you all.