I'm a firm believer that football is about winning and because of that belief, some consider me a romantic. But today, it wont bother me if we don't win. Sure, I want to win and winning the FA Cup would be lovely, but the priority has to be the League and finishing in a play-off place and the FA Cup isn't going to help that.

Yes, football is about winning and I'd happily stay in this League if you told me we'd win the FA Cup, hell I might even happily take it for a place in the final and that chance, but if we've shown anything this season, it's that the players are not yet up for it so why potentially reduce the chances of one opportunity for a 150/1 chance in another?

As you can probably tell, I'm not that optimistic about today. I think it's that the disappointment from the Cardiff match is still with me and that I also saw Spurs put Chelsea to the sword the other night.

Ten years ago we were basically on a par with Spurs and now they're challenging for the title and have a new stadium coming that will help sustain that level of football for years to come. We've got the best away support in the country.

I think the part that makes me sad is that ten years ago, I sort of prophesied this would happen under Lerner and I was laughed at. Look at us now. Look around us now and you'll see that most things about Aston Villa have become a bit of a joke. But it's not just Aston Villa.

Don't worry, I'll be up for it come match time and if I have a beer or two by then, I might even be saying we can win it but it's still morning and the wife was away last night so I've had to make my own breakfast and I'm naturally grumpy.

Before the match news

There are a lot of rumours going about and I'm not going to get stuck in that, but there is one thing I think a comment should be made on and that is the Rushian Hepburn-Murphy talk that he's refusing to sign a contract. And you know what, when the player starts tweeting an hour glass as if there is a time limit to something, I start to get a bit annoyed with him.

I mean, he's basically another Moore at the moment and he thinks he can start negotiating as if he was a seasoned international. The lad has done nothing in the game and if he isn't willing to sign a contract and prove himself, as far as I'm concerned, he can leave and try and figure it out somewhere else. We might lose at the end of the day, but we'll also not have a player at the Club that isn't first and foremost playing for the Club.

And the second he leaves, every other Club will know exactly what he is about and at his age and that isn't good. Sign the contract, get game time and prove yourself and then ask for another. It's not complicated. Three games isn't proven.

Updates and team news

And on that, it's time to get ready for the match. In that, I mean, I'm going to sit on the sofa and watch some football from yesterday and maybe go out for a dirty lunch. But there will be links and news and no doubt and image with the team news later.

Damian
Author: Damian
Damian started The Villa Blog as a passion project quite a few years ago while he was living in South Africa. Now living in Sweden, it continues. He's originally from Chasetown and grew up when supporting Villa meant there was a real chance of silverware at the start of every season.
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