Blues (v) Villa Review: Second City derby reflection.  Police, Aquascutum & the Panto Villain.

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Time is a wonderful thing.  It allows you to put the emotions of the moment aside and ponder what went before.  

It also means that you don’t have to negotiate the detritus click-bait post match Birmingham Mail brain-porridge.

It’s been interesting sitting back and watching the fall-out from what was a broadly under-whelming derby game.  

It had it’s moments, but this was a hard fought draw in which Villa dug in for the away point after conceding and Blues lacked any real quality.

It was also a strange day.  It’s always a strange fixture.

Fans covertly supping cans of anything alcoholic before 12pm.

Police dogs as interested in burger van droppings as they are discovering kids smuggling flares (sorry “pyro”) into the ground.

And the finest collection of Aquascutum you will find this side of Saville Row descending en masse, wanting to be noticed, but not wanting to be noticed.

Football is funny like this.

And what of the game.

I thought Villa played ok.  Bruce had set us up to be disruptive.  Mile Jedinak, [whom apparently many a Villa fan has been closely following for years] finally began to show his worth.  Interceptions, headers and sheer presence alone were worth the price of admission.

Whilst it could yet become a repetitive phrase uttered when watching Villa under Bruce; it might not be pretty, but it’s damn effective.

In typical Villa fashion, we rode a wave of terror and good fortune.  For every smile there is a grimace. 

Blues’s Clayton Donaldson conspired to miss when it seemed only plausible that he’d score.  That was a particular highlight. 

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The post match annoyance from the Blues fans that the goal was [correctly] not awarded, overlooking that the striker  missed from almost on the goal line.  And also that it actually never actually crossed said line.  Superb.

Villa took the lead after Kodjia was fouled.  From the resulting free-kick Ayew whipped a dangerous ball over and Gary Gardner planted his head to score a fine looping header.  Cue jubilant scenes amongst the travelling Villa fans, as the locals peeled themselves another banana.


Gardner ran the length of the pitch to celebrate with the Villa fans.  He’s a Villa fan…like his brother was…is…right? 

Blues did though try to employ some dark arts, attempting to kick off whilst the Villa players celebrated.  

We have since learned that the much maligned Mike Dean (Officiating) prompted Jedinak to remain in the Blues half, thus preventing the kick off.

Jedinak heeded Dean’s advice, wrestled the Blues players trying to push him into the Villa half valiantly and prevented their a free run on goal.  

What great sportsmanship to cement what we already know about the Blues.  Seriously, who even attempts something like that and wants to be taken seriously or not looked down upon?


The second half was a different affair as Villa dug in.

This is the new Villa, an unseen Villa in recent seasons.  One which hasn’t ordinarily had the ability to shut up shop.

Gollini pulled off a fine save after Alan Hutton decided he’d like to play an assist to the opposition striker – a massive let off.

Blues though managed their equaliser via a scabby deflection.  It was celebrated like a dubious incapacity benefit application being approved.

The noise was only matched by the screams as Donaldson performed his next trick, hammering wide from 8 yards, goal gaping.  The fear, anxiety and hilarity achieved in just a second must occur at few other places than St. Andrews. [Jongleurs, perhaps being one.]

And then we introduced our pantomime Villain:  Gabby Agbonlahor.

Gabby came on, ran around, riled up anyone he could form a sentence towards and even managed to get himself caked in Vaseline after suffering a cut to the head.  It was as farcical as it was enthralling to wonder what on earth would happen if he scored. [Of course, he didn’t.]

Villa though could have stolen all three points at the death, with Kodjia guilty this time heading wide from a McCormack corner.

Special mention to Ryan Shotton.  His ‘Worst Haircut Since Taribo West’ award is in the post.  What an absolute numpty.

And so it ended.

Blues fans wandered back home for their home-cooked Rustler burgers, repeating the mantra that the draw felt like a win. But facts are facts one supposes…drawing with “duh Villuh”….is a win in the world of Birmingham City.

Villa fans meanwhile were treated to a 2 hour impromptu walking tour of Birmingham by West Midlands Poice finest.

Having already been held captive in the ground, the local constabulary thought another couple of hours of marching was in order.  Great work once again.   

It’s also best not mention the unfortunate Blues fan who was apparently pushed over by Police without provocation – with another being kicked.  So much for “protecting the safety of the public”.

That though, doesn’t make for such great self congratulatory press.

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And special final mention for Gary “Villa Fan” Rowett.

Gary, your post match interview is almost ringtone worthy.  As a piece of comedy, it’s befitting of a Perrier Award.  To hear a man so clearly embittered at not being offered the Villa job…well…brilliant.

Roll on April 23rd 2017.

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