European football back at Villa Park and our manager loves it

The weekend result didn't need me coming on here telling you that getting knocked out of the League Cup wasn't nice but that that made it a little less bad. And you didn't need me telling you that had any other side won 6-2, it would have had Gary Lineker salivating on Match of the Day instead of throwing it in the middle and pretty much ignoring it.

You also don't need me telling you that sitting fifth after 18% of the season is not a bad place to be or that things have changed so much in the last year, just by getting rid of a CEO and his Playstation friend. 

You maybe do need me to remind you that this manager loves European football and that tonight I think we will see how much. 

You see, he could take a little gamble in the first match and he arguably had to because there needs to be a balance this season. Sure, we'd all like to win this tournament and we'd probably all accept a poor season everywhere else if we did win it, a little like West Ham last season.

But, if we can do it a little differently and do well in the League, we might also accept that that is best for us. You might even look at losing to Everton one day as a good thing. Not that defeat is good, but any side having to play this many matches would struggle this soon into a transformation. I nearly went into work mode, have to stop.

So, this is a post about Zrinjski at Villa Park tonight and it's a long time since European football was played at Villa Park so I expect the atmosphere to be special. I think tonight could be special all round and just so I don't forget, I'm leaving now to get a nice bottle of red.

Back much earlier than usual today. I might just get two bottles.