Just last month we had an international break that featured Fabian Delph playing for England, and one crushing injury to a centre back. Flash forward to the past week, and it's sort of the same, minus the whole Fabian Delph part. But that doesn't mean we haven't seen any action worth mentioning.
Christian Benteke yesterday had two chances to be the Belgian hero in a 0-0 draw against Wales. The two were glorified by the official Aston Villa site:
point-blank from a Dries Mertens cross and brilliantly stopped by the former Wolves man.
The second - coming in the fifth minute of six minutes of stoppage time - led to another unbelievable save from the shot-stopper, as he got down to keep it out.
You'll notice that the second forced a second brilliant save, which is a nice way of ignoring what they had written immediately before that section that I quoted:
The first - which saw the giant striker eventually flagged offside -
I want to blame the OS for inflating things, but god knows they've had a hard time finding anything worth writing about lately. And by the way, Gareth Bale called the 0-0 draw a "fantastic result" for Wales. And while it certainly was, I wonder if Benteke was confused as to why Bale wasn't on his team if he was going to say that about goalless affairs.
Meanwhile, Ron Vlaar sat out the Netherlands match against Latvia, so now he can be a more effective and empathetic mentor to Jores Okore.
But the real highlight for Villa fans was the chance to see The Rock face off against a man whose head simply looks like a boulder. That's right: Carlos Sanchez vs. Brad Guzan for ALL the mar... oh, it was a friendly. For nothing, then. But it was Villa-brother on Villa-brother action! And it ended with a 2-1 victory to Sanchez's Colombia. Sanchez scored neither of those goals, and Guzan was only responsible for one, though, so... eh.
And I'd like to end with my favorite little bit of writing, from the Villa website:
CIARAN CLARK and SHAY GIVEN remained on the bench as Republic of Ireland went down 1-0 to Scotland at Celtic Park on Friday.
Former Villa winger Shaun Maloney scored the goal which earned the Scots a precious victory over Eire in their Euro 2016 Group D qualifier.
"Well, if Villa players can't do anything, I'm sure there's former Villa players who can!" Quick, in the comments, give me your best currently-active former-Villan starting XI. Go!