When Sir Alex managed Manchester United, there were not many bigger games at Villa Park, even when The Clowns were in the Premier League. I'm not so sure that in seasons to come Manchester United will be seen as such a big game.

Sure, they're the biggest club in the country and they're not doomed to fail, but I don't think they'll ever regain the stature they had under Sir Alex and I don't think anyone really thought they would.

And I'm not saying they'll never win the Premier League again, just that it might not be this season or the next and it's going to become more competitive and less dominant.

And when that happens and the dust finally settles, Manchester United wont be 'such' a big game. But, that's just opinion.

By no means easy

But Sunday isn't going to be easy. Manchester United still have some decent players. The window of opportunity for us is in the fact that they've got David Moyes as manager and everyone knows how to beat a David Moyes side.

But we're playing awful at the moment and lack ideas and direction and a belief that if we keep the ball and try to play football the way it was supposed to be played, we'll get anything.

One thing we don't lack but I don't think any side ever does, is passion and determination. Sure, you can argue that some sides don't have that, but then it's down to the manager and he usually goes fairly soon after that becomes evident.

But it's about what happens in training on an ongoing basis. It's about the manager talking about channels and space and working for the team. It's about telling his players to not give the ball away cheaply and working for your teammates. And not much of any of that is happening.

So, it isn't going to be easy.

One table Aston Villa are leading Manchester United in

But battle we will

The thing is and I wrote this the other day, or might have suggested it, it only takes one win for us to believe everything is good. Honest to God, if we beat Manchester United, they'll be supporters all over the place saying that we've turned the corner.

Truth is, if we beat Manchester United with 80% possession, 25 shots on target and three missed penalties, it will be luck or fortune. It won't be because they worked any harder or because it is finally coming together or because it has clicked for Paul Lambert, it will just be one of those days.

I know this because we are not seeing anything. We've not kicked on from last season and the manager still persists with Bacuna at right back pushing forward at every opportunity and forgetting to close the bard door.

And then we'll go get spanked at Stoke by a Mark Hughes side. The ultimate humiliation. And actually, what will probably happen is we'll lose this weekend and get a point at Stoke.

It's just where we are

And that might sound all depressing and it's not easy to write, but it's just the way it is. You could look at it this way; we knew we were not going to win the league and we're surprised that the manager hasn't got things working already, but slightly annoyed because we sort of all predicted this might happen, so actually anything could happen on Sunday.

You never know; we might actually have more possession than them and we might have something close double figures for shots on target. And this might be the game that we look back on with our grandchildren and say, this was the day it happened.

Nothing is impossible. But we sort of know what is likely.