In about 12 hours Aston Villa will take the pitch. And I’ll be sitting on a bar stool in Washington DC at 10 in the morning approximately 3,662 miles/5,893 kilometers away from Wembley stadium. Not quite as far as the name of this blog. A year ago I was in a hotel room in Pittsburgh getting ready for a wedding. I remember ironing my shirt... three times. Thankfully the Queen Vic has enough space, depending on how many people show up, for me to pace around.
So yes... this entire article is a way for me to process some nerves. I don’t have any brilliant schemes on how to make Aston Villa win. Though I offer this — Elmo and El Ghazi are the key.
I don’t have any heart warming stories to spur the lads onto victory. Though this is a good one.
I don’t have a crap load of money riding on the match — though it is the first match since I moved into my first house.
Unpacking is ongoing in my first house. But the flag is in place for Monday's big match. pic.twitter.com/wxjl2OlaMQ— Phil Vogel (@PBVogel) May 26, 2019
So as the clock ticks down to the lineup release before kickoff — and the debates over Green v Adomah and Whelan v Hourihane — know that you are not alone in the nerves. For the record — Green and Hourihane for me. Hourihane for the set piece opportunities. And Green because he is more likely to crash the far post on crosses from the left. Yes, he struggles to put away those chances. But getting into the position means he may put one away or cause the defense to adjust to his movements — thus creating some space for others.
The match is a massive one for all supporters, staff, coaches, players, and most of all for the club as a whole. Aston Villa should be a Premier League team — but should means nothing. Aston Villa will have to earn the right to be part of the top division. Nothing else will do.
Up the Villa.