This is the predicament I found myself in earlier this week:
Wife: "What are we doing on Sunday then?"
Me: "This Sunday?"
Me: "Oh, I'm going to Villa."
Wife: "What Villa?"
Me. "Villa away.... you know, the match Everton are playing."
Wife: "OMG I don't believe this, you mean to say there's football on on Easter Sunday???"
Me: "Erm Yea. Why? ... what's the problem?"
Wife: "The problem is you're putting football before family matters again and this time it's on Easter Sunday when we should be all out together doing things and giving out Eggs."
Me: "None of my family like chocolate love."
WHOOSH, DING the sound of a TV remote bouncing off my swede.
Wife: "You think more of Everton than you do of me."
Me: "I think more of Liverpool than I do of you... JOKE, LOVE!!!"
Wife: "Your going to have some making up to do over this I mean it. NEVER again!" Blah, blah, blah.
Me: "OK, babe... but I have got the tickets now and there's no way out of it. I wouldn't've gone otherwise but don't worry ? it's an early kick-off. I will be back handy."
Door slams the sound of feet running up stairs and no sign of any dinner being made... FFS! the shit we get into going the match!
After all the aggro I have been getting over this game on Sunday, I was wondering if it's really worth us sending out a full team given the fact that we play the Mancs next week and 5th or 6th in the league is neither here nor there.... Winning the FA Cup on the other hand has to be our main priority from here on in.
Now I can be persuaded either way but I would hate for us to get more injuries at Villa. If someone like Cahill gets crocked, it would be a killer blow. Imagine if Tim Howard aggravates his injury and we end up with Carlo Nash between the sticks at Wembley.
The way it's gone for us this season, I am dreading the Villa match for the reasons above. I reckon most of our players who are guaranteed a start will have one eye on the semi-final any way and won't want to get a knock but (unlike me) they don't have a choice to make, they have to go down there and play.
So what do you reckon we do?
Send out a weakened side at Villa Park and keep all the key players fresh for that big pitch at Wembley? Or go at Villa all guns blazing and try to grab 5th place?
Man Utd are right under the cosh at the moment and every one of their games from now until the season ends will be like a cup final. I would just love it to go to extra time then penalties at Porto next Wednesday, leaving Man Utd knackered... Rooney limping off with a groin strain.
I reckon the pressure is beginning to take its toll on the Mancs and a fresh hungry side like us can take full advantage. If we get through this weekend unscathed then it really is game on.
As for me... well the wife has already started eating the Thorton's Easter egg she bought me and there's still no sign of any food on the table... but just wait until she finds out I am staying in London next Saturday night. That's going to be a real hummdinger believe me... COYBS.
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1 Posted 10/04/2009 at 22:24:57
2 Posted 10/04/2009 at 22:29:46
3 Posted 10/04/2009 at 22:47:08
All that?s needed is a bad run of form by Arsenal (who don?t have the easiest of run-ins) and a good run of form by us and we?re in. Never stop believing and never give up... ever!! A lot can happen in 7 games... you know this.
Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.
4 Posted 10/04/2009 at 23:04:51
5 Posted 10/04/2009 at 23:01:24
6 Posted 10/04/2009 at 23:07:32
We can't go half-hearted in any game otherwise we will get injuries.
I didn't realise until I read it but Villa have had more success against us than any other Prem team. Full steam ahead for a draw and then a morale-boosting semi win if only to shut the media up about Manure.
Then an untypical Moyes team sprint to the finish and dream about 4th but only if the whole Arsenal squad is injured... but I?ll settle for 5th and the FA Cup for this year.
7 Posted 10/04/2009 at 23:18:38
8 Posted 10/04/2009 at 23:16:04
9 Posted 10/04/2009 at 23:27:31
10 Posted 10/04/2009 at 23:45:54
What are you, man or mouse? Go for it lad and suffer the slings etc etc.
11 Posted 11/04/2009 at 00:28:27
12 Posted 11/04/2009 at 01:25:39
Beating Villa would be the biggest tonic prior to playing Utd and they have to play Sunderland (fighting to stay up) and then a crucial/crunch game against Porto!
13 Posted 11/04/2009 at 02:34:42
Howard; Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines; Osman, Rodwell, Neville, Pienaar; Fellaini, Jo... with Saha and Cahill replacing Rodwell and Jo for the semi.
14 Posted 11/04/2009 at 03:47:45
I?ve been in love with Everton since the day I was born pretty much. In fact, me mum tells me she took me to a game at Goodison before I was born.
The day Everton send out a reserve team in a league match (unless we?ve won the league and are resting players prior to our CL Final appearance) is the day I will finally stop loving football...
It would be an insult to the fans who shell out their hard earned to go watch. Why worry about Man U? History shows that when the odds are stacked against us, we can come up trumps. I worry more about games against the West Broms, and Hulls than I do about the top 4...
15 Posted 11/04/2009 at 06:47:15
I?ve got a cunning plan... All the family are coming around so my missus will be enjoying herself in the kitchen at the crack of dawn; about 10:00am I?ll start to "help her"... She?ll last about 5 minutes before she?s kicking me out from under her feet. I?ll be on the M6 before she?s finished peeling the spuds
Moyes should look at each player individually; ie, if Cahill is still struggling, give him another week to recover, but if people like Osman and Fella need the game to continue to sharpen up, play them. I just hope we have a real go, whoever plays ? Villa are already feeling sorry for themselves, an early goal for us would be perfect.
16 Posted 11/04/2009 at 07:38:24
Best XI that we could play I think would be Nash; Jacobsen, Lescott, Jagielka, Baines; Van der Meyde, Castillo, Rodwell, Gosling; Jo and Vaughan and there is a fair chance we would get pasted.
Play the best XI I say, give Villa a spanking, and go to Wembley full of confidence.
17 Posted 11/04/2009 at 07:50:29
1) Pragmatically; Since the Portsmouth loss and Arsenal?s form, 4th is a dream for both us AND villa.
2) Morally; We might suppose that the Club has an obligation to put out, in terms of players and commitment the best that it can.
3) Ethically; To play to up to the spirit AND letter of the rules.
4) Historically; Back in the day when the much missed better standards were supposed to be all pervading, we fielded a weakened side and took the £5k fine on the chin and did it anyway.
5th or 6th? It doesn?t matter, the yawning pit of the waste of space that is the new Europa (play 17 games to win it and walk away with £1 or 2 mill if you do) Cup beckons no matter what happens.
All very nice for an away day jolly on the piss, but in real terms....?? Nah.
Bigs up our profile for new players...?? hasn?t happened yet.
Gives us a better coefficIent for when we EVENTUALLY (???) stumble into the CL... Maybe.
Art for art's sake (read joined-up footy); money for God's sake sang 10cc.
FA Cup = Gloooooooorrrrry !!!
18 Posted 11/04/2009 at 07:57:20
I for one think the chance has gone for both clubs but the only outside chance of 4th is ours. The fact is we have finished above Villa the last 2/3 seasons, we have a much better defense and score as many goals. I for one want to see us go all out and treat this as our biggest league match of the season.
Resting Cahill is unthinkable, he is our key man wherever he plays. We are a momentum side, historically we either have great runs of form or shocking runs. Let?s ram MON's arrogant, sarcastic tone back down his throat, get revenge for that ridiculous smash and grab in December, and go to Wembley on a great run, fresh from a week's rest while the Mancs are knackered.
19 Posted 11/04/2009 at 08:55:20
It would be wonderful if Villa tumbled to sixth or even seventh this year (come on you Hammers!). Despite all their advantages of money and owner, they have scarcely played well this year and have been extraordinarily lucky (their luck ran out about a month ago, so since then they have been playing like the average mid-tablers they are).
MON is over-rated just because he is the favourite of the self-satisfied MotD luvvie set - one of which please God will be the manager of a relegated team come the end of the season.
20 Posted 11/04/2009 at 12:28:26
On the question of 4th. Don?t forget Arsenal have yet to play the 3 teams above them, which is potentialy 9 dropped points, and of the 3 teams in the so called race for 4th, Villa have the easiest run-in.
Of course my money would be on Arsenal, but that's any easy bet, but I would out my house on any of them.
21 Posted 11/04/2009 at 14:08:59
To be honest, I have only seen Moyes rest players on a couple of occasions, the last being Lescott when he was on 4 yellows, the day before the cut-off period.
Our squad is too small and he has to look at the Villa game as a must-win to press on to Europe.
I don?t know what to think but, as usual, hindsight will be a wonderful thing if it all goes pear-shaped.
22 Posted 11/04/2009 at 15:13:31
The Tim Howard situation is a bit alarming though, why is it when a major game against United is in the offing, he either starts playing a bit wobbly or misses out? I have a horrible feeling that Nash will start at Wembley...
COYB ? we?re due a win away from Goodison!
23 Posted 11/04/2009 at 18:05:21
24 Posted 11/04/2009 at 21:28:32
Great post Tony. While I will be nervous hoping for no further injury problems, we have to go into next weekend's game at Wembley with as much confidence as possible.
25 Posted 11/04/2009 at 22:04:45
If Christ himself could deliver any justice tomorrow on the Day of Resurrection it?d be that we stick 5 past Villa and completely demoralise them ? I just however can?t see it.
26 Posted 12/04/2009 at 13:21:34
But seriously, I agree with the choice. If in two weeks someone said to me you have a choice you can secure fifth place (fourth is no longer a chance), or get to Wembley for the final its a simple choice. Problem is, if we go to Villa and let them walk over us, the damage it could do to team confidence.
I think Moyes will always go out and demand 100% from his best team and today will be no different.
And don't forget ? Bring flowers on your way home.
27 Posted 12/04/2009 at 14:58:53
28 Posted 15/04/2009 at 15:54:10