In 1957, Aston Villa took the pitch of Wembley facing Matt Busby's Manchester United. The Busby Babes, as they were known, were one of the best teams in the world. They were fresh off of having won the top division in England with a record of 28-8-6. In their 42 league matches that season, United had scored 103 goals and only allowed 54.
In contrast, that year's Villa team only managed a 10th-place finish with a 14-15-13 record. They only allowed one more goal than did United, but they also scored thirty-eight fewer. They were a good team, but they were not a great team.
And yet, they stepped onto that pitch undaunted. They played the match of their lives. And they won 2-1. It was the last time Villa won England's most prestigious Cup trophy.
Flash to today. Aston Villa are about to step onto the pitch facing a vastly favored Arsenal team. A team with a 22-9-7 record good for third in the Premier League. Villa, meanwhile, were... well they were the Villa we have come to know and tolerate.
But why not have this be the year? Why not wipe the league season from our memories? Why not have a repeat of that glorious day against Manchester United? Let's channel the spirit of 1957. Let's dare to dream.