Waffle. Luckily I title the post after writing it. Waffle waffle waffle. Up the Villa

Roy Hodgson said this week that taking Fulham to the final of the Europa LDV League probably cost them a few league places last season and in the same interview he also prioritised the League over Europe.

This isn't a post about Liverpool, don't worry, it is about beating the dogs from Vienna next week at Villa Park and qualifying for the group stages and what happens then and seeing as I'm editing this after I've published the post, I'm going to waffle too.

Better than last season


Roy Hodgson doesn't think he can win League with Liverpool, but he does believe he can finish in the top four and playing in the group stages of the Champions League generates millions more than winning the Europa LDV League. Can Aston Villa really finish in the top four this season?

It is a valid question. We did come close last season and while you can take away James Milner and retro football, you have a really good position to argue from that we have actually strengthened the first team with the signing of Stephen Ireland - so why not?

We need excuses

It is human nature to look for excuses. After a good win at the weekend, it was that West Ham were poor. After last night, not a victory but a very good result, it was that they were missing a certain player and we were lucky.

I mention this, because the kids were good again. I'm not going to go down this road, trying to suggest we can go all the way with these young players, but how Lichaj, Albrighton and Bannan worked for our goal yesterday was clearly something they have done many times before.

The kids are not kids. I apologise. But they're probably going to get called this a lot, not just by me on this site this season. They are young men wearing the claret and blue and deserve more respect, but we have a reference point and that is why it comes out.

Hogg also didn't look out of his depth and even today I maintain that Isaiah Osbourne has a bright future ahead of him, if he doesn't get carried away with what he has and continues to work at it. He does have something about him and needs a proper little run.

Ciaran Clark didn't play yesterday but he was solid against West Ham at the weekend and he was magnificent last season when he made an appearance against Fulham - the game O'Neill asked Heskey to play at centre back.

We all know what The Fonz can do and Kevin MacDonald is clearly a fan of Andreas Weimann and I know a few are. He picked up an injury after playing only a couple of minutes last night - we hope it is nothing serious.

Decisions decisions decisions

There isn't a rumour anywhere today, unless you count the one about Leicester and Emile Heskey, so instead of talking about what might or might not happen, we are left to ponder what we should do in the Europa LDV League, if we qualify and this is why I've waffled on, touching on things and quickly touching off and why I'm thinking now that this paragraph has gone on a little too long.

The question is; do we have two teams and when does it become serious? Does Heskey sit on the bench for League games but starts every game in the cup competitions and if we do well in one of them, when do we start bringing in the likes of Webcam, Gabby and Ireland and is it fair to drop those that have gotten us wherever it is we are?

For me, football is about winning. It is about silverware, not about finishing sixth and then not taking a tournament seriously. But I also accept that if we played our strongest eleven for every match in Europe that our League position would suffer.

Which is why Kevin MacDonald has a tough job. Knowing how to balance all that out, knowing what your players are capable of, or not and knowing when they need a rest or when they can go an extra ninety minutes is going to be critical for him. Could someone come in and manage that better than him?

Right - I've waffled. There is no real point to this post other than the question - or position of playing in four competitions and how you manage that, so I'm going to leave you with a video.

Like this post {rokbox title=|Janis Joplin :: One night stand| text=|there is no meaning to this song|size=|640 505| album=|demo|}http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWY-NarOq3o&autoplay=1{/rokbox}, but for some reason I've had it in my head for a few days now. Great song, just don't know why I've got it in my head and seeing as I've got to run around with it, I thought I'd pass it on. I'm off, to mentally prepare for three points against Newcastle.

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