Villa Park ran out of stretchers yesterday during the Aston Villa - Manchester United match. Stretchers. After Javier Hernandez was carried away in the ninth minute, safely strapped into a stretcher, to await the news that he'd be out of action for a month, there was no stretcher available when Shay Given did his hamstring after about 30 minutes. He had to be carried off the pitch, hoisted between two of the medical team. Or possibly groundskeepers. There's no real way of knowing.
Rio Ferdinand and Chris Herd were both able to leave the grass of their own volition, although both weren't exactly smiling. By the time Jermaine Jenas went down in nearly exactly the same place as Chicharito, Villa had recovered their stretcher, enabling them to haul away the midfielder, apparently created from spun sugar, and replace him with Emile Heskey. Who, remarkably, managed to get on to the field without any help. And that's the best that can be said for Heskey.
Yesterday, I saw on the twitters (from a respectable source, likely Mat Kendrick or Tim Abraham) that Jenas had tripped on an exposed sprinkler on the pitch. What. the. hell. Even when the Villa are sad and pathetic, we've always taken pride in our ground. That's like, our club thing. We win awards for it. If an exposed sprinkler took down Chicharito, Mexico may very well declare war on Birmingham. What then? Well, I guess the season would be over.
As for Given, let's remember, he was done in by Alan Hutton being utterly moronic (Alan Hutton being Alan Hutton, in other words). We are literally sucking the life and soul out of our own team. When we hear more about just how long Brad Guzan will be taking over in goal, we'll keep you posted.