Aston Villa at West Brom: Updates, team news and and with a bit of luck and fight a step closer

I had a post all written and I went to open a new tab and pressed R instead of T and the page reloaded. I lost everything. And it was a good one too, possibly my best ever post.

The post didn't really go into my usual rant over the manager, because we all know he is now off at the end of the season. National media have now turned and while the local media are puppies for Paul Faulkner, they're bigger puppies to the national media and when they turn, Faulkner is going to find out exactly why he backed the wrong horse.

Talking of Faulkner, I was listening to 5Live this morning and Pat Murphy brought up the interview Lerner gave The Times and after Murphy publicly criticised it, he received a 'cursory' letter from Faulkner. I've also learnt recently that it was Faulkner who was ultimately responsible for the appointment of McLeish. Surely that means the end of him too?

To the match

But enough about the kindergarten goings on inside Villa Park, we have a match today and 'must win' just seems too soft a definition for it, but it really is. Anything other than a win and no excuse will be good enough. Mostly because Aston Villa fans don't believe them or the PR anymore.

What today comes down to is fight and determination. Sure, possession, making space and not giving the ball away are important because if we have the ball West Brom will not be able to score, but you'd like to hope that these are the basics.

And they are, to an extent. But we give the ball away too often these days. It comes back to what Hleb said and it should come back to what Houllier was trying to do; don't pass unless you are sure it is going to an Aston Villa player. Pass back if necessary and long ball football is dead.

And if the players are not making the space in front of you, keep it until they do. Don't give the ball away! Defend like Chelsea and shoot. When you see the goal, have a pop. Shoot and don't be frightened. Christ, we're desperate for some goals.

Team news, banter and odds

But, it doesn't matter. Talking about this manager and tactics is irrelevant. He doesn't have any. We just have to hope that the players tune him out and do what they know they are capable of, because we can beat West Brom and I think we will.

But that is pure blind optimism, because right now, that is the only thing that is keeping me sane. We just have to hope that the footballing Gods look kindly on us.

The players

Shay Given, Alan Hutton, Carlos Cuellar, Richard Dunne, Eric Lichaj, Charles N'Zogbia, Chris Herd, Ciaran Clark, Stephen Warnock, Gabby Agbonlahor and Emile Heskey. On the bench we have Guzan, Collins, Ireland, Bannan, Carruthers, Gardner and Weimann.