This was epic. A coming-together of two tribes; an eye for an eye; a clash of titans. Wednesday night had everything you’d expect from a second city square-off: intense rivalry; bloodstained turf; and the refusal to back down. Oh, and there was also a football match before-hand.
Unfortunately, as the Villains once again showed how the new Houllier-era is reaping controlled, glamorous football, we also failed to put the opposition to the sword… once again. I hope Gerard gets his time, I really do. He’s been greatly unfortunate through the long term injuries of many key players and he is yet to dip into the transfer market and properly imprint his stamp on our club. And as sick as I am with these poor results, it is extremely refreshing to enjoy watching Villa play – I can’t remember the last time I did.
However, two games against the Blue-noses without one victory is unacceptable. It was heartening throughout O’Neill’s tenure when we expected a win on derby day. There were no nerves, no shakes and no surprises – simply normal order. But now, I already hate playing Birmingham.
Thankfully, however, the lack of class in the blue half of Brummie, which is all-too-apparent every year, yet again shone through and served only to remind us of the gnawing inferiority complex at St. Andrews. And strangely, in defeat, Aston Villa was victorious.
Taking to the pitch, provoking (and attacking) the away fans, and rubbing our noses in a mere quarter final defeat, the Birmingham faithful demonstrated just how far they really are behind us. The gulf in class between the two clubs is impenetrable: Birmingham City Football Club will always be in the shadow of Aston Villa. And the gulf in class between the two sets of fans was there for the whole world to see as the Clowns let the biggest club in the Midlands know just how much they envy us.
They say that a sore loser makes for an even worse winner. And instead of walking away; instead of starting preparations for their semi-final; instead of finally being labeled as winners, the Brum-scum spoiled their first victory over Aston Villa in years by commencing an unnecessary riot. And not that they were solely to blame for England’s failure to acquire the 2018 World Cup, but their unjustified, thuggish behaviour presented the 22 pompous executives of FIFA an easy avenue to give England the rejection they wanted to give them anyway.
Moreover, Birmingham’s reaction to what was obviously an unexpected victory once again revealed that their season revolves around Villa. Devoid of ambition, blind of direction, and even shameful in victory, it is not unfair to assume that the Blue-noses’ season is now a roaring success – they stole their win over Villa and clearly, nothing else seems to matter. So congratulations Birmingham – mission complete.
I’d also like to thank the Brum-scum because instead of deciphering a football match; instead of looking at where it all went wrong for Villa, where it went right for Birmingham even, I simply discussed their fans’ ridiculous behaviour – like every writer will. Thanks for the reminder of just how bigger a club we are than you – God knows we needed the confidence boost in this slump we’re experiencing. Finally, thank you Birmingham; because even after a winning result on the football pitch, myself, Aston Villa, and indeed the entire country can still say,
“Birmingham City FC: No class; No grace; No hope.”