Ahead of the Second City derby this coming weekend, it’s worth reacquainting ourselves with our rivals. Not because we need to, but because it is quite easy to forget they exist (given that they don’t do much of note, and that there’s a massive gaping hole between us in the current Championship standings). Genuinely. It’s hard to remember Aston Villa having an actual rival, rather than a club that meekly gives up three or four points a season.
Birmingham City may as well star in the film 127 Hours. Imagine a football club trapped in the Championship. Birmingham City were handmade for the second-tier. Pinned to the wall, not by a giant fuck-off boulder, but by their own incompetency. Screaming for help, waiting to just sever their own bastard arm off and plummet. They just need to be put out of their misery really. If you’ve seen The Cloverfield Paradox, Birmingham City are like that woman who phases into the wall - except they are phased into the Championship, just stuck there with the veins of the league tying them down.
A big bragging right for Bluenoses is that they boast the name of the city. That’s kind of like buying a web-domain for a brand that doesn’t exist and holding it hostage for a massive fee. Exactly like those strange tech companies that spam out patents just to cripple the dreams of someone else. Just because you were first (let’s not forget that Aston Villa have always been Aston Villa, we didn’t need to change our name) doesn’t actually make you right! Villa have championed the great city of Birmingham, so BCFC can keep the name, because it doesn’t really mean a damn thing if you’re not good enough to promote the city. Does it?
It’s Jack Grealish’s dream to smash a goal past the Blues at the Holte End. At this moment in time, the Blues could be posing as the Make-A-Wish foundation. It’s going to happen. Super Jack will probably ravage them on Sunday. Probably.
I said to Daniel Raza on the Holtecast that I’d happily lose to Birmingham City as long as it means not losing to Derby County in the coming face-off with our promotion rival. I’d take that. That’s probably the most damning thing I could say about the Blues. If you put a gun to my head and told me to pick a match to lose out of those two, I’d take this game every single time.
Wait - no. Scratch that. The most damning thing is that a part-timer at Villa can routinely bag a goal against Birmingham City. Gabby Agbonlahor drives those lot insane, and they can’t defend a sub-prime, C- grade footballer. That’s embarrassing.
When it’s all said and done, I think we have stopped caring about the match with Birmingham City in a small way, because we’re just enjoying the fruits of, you know, actually being a good football team and winning games that aren’t a derby fixture. For Birmingham City fans, it’s all they have to look forward to.
That’s a shame, isn’t it?