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Thoughts on Today, Thoughts on a Trophy

It's 6am Pacific Standard time, I've been up since 4.30am, and I just spilled half my coffee across the table.

Probably because I was foolish enough to open the YouTube video of X Factor star Niki Evans singing a tribute to Aston Villa. X Factor is more or less the equivalent of American Idol in the US, although one never hears about Carrie Underwood recording a song for the Ottawa Senators as they fight their way to the Stanley Cup--and center Mike Fisher is her fiancée!

Perhaps I'm just bitter due to my early rising, but I fail to see how this song will help improve our chances in the Carling Cup final. Granted, I couldn't stand to listen to the song in its entirety, but the first thirty seconds were enough to convince me that we probably shouldn't consider this song our ticket to the trophy.

If not a song, then, what does lead to Villa hardware? That’s the question on my mind as we are just a day away from playing United. Will this be a preview of Wembley, or is there no connection whatsoever?

In the lead-up to the ManU/City tie, I was pulling for United—hard as that was. I figured City had a lot more to prove at a Cup final, and they’d be tougher to beat. Now that Rooney is on fire, though, I’m utterly terrified. While our defense is arguably the best in the Premier League, I’m positive that anyone who follows football is wondering the same thing: can the amazing fence of the Villa back four contain this ugly pit bull? (And if you don’t think Rooney looks like a pit bull, don’t worry, I’ve got other comparisons).

Given my unabashed (and unfortunately unrequited) love for Richard Dunne, I’ll go ahead and say that it’s likely the problem won’t be in defense. So what of the other end of the field? Our top goal scorers (Agbonlahor and Milner) have 20 goals between them, compared to Rooney’s 23. This game seems draw-able, but is it win-able? Heskey is out for Wednesday’s game after managing to hurt himself in the Spurs match, making it a near-certainty Carew will be pairing Gabby up front. I adore big John but he looked a bit lost on Saturday. Of course it is likely that he’d expected to be a late game substitution, and he wasn’t quite healthy. If his feet are steady, we might be able to pull off a goal.

And that’s what it comes down to in tomorrow’s game, I believe. One hand holding faith in defense while the other frantically crosses its fingers, hoping our front line can keep it together. If we get through it on Wednesday, healthy strikers might be enough to earn victory at Wembley.