Sinbad couldn't help Birmingham City, semi-final date confirmed and season ticket prices

You've all heard of The Clowns - they are a football team that play at The Circus down the road. They have a new Ringmaster who has instilled this belief that anything is possible. It isn't really new manager syndrome, but it is, sort of.

The thing with The Clowns is, not even Sinbad the Sailor, borrowing three wishes from Aladdin, could turn that poor excuse for a travelling Circus into anything worthwhile or valuable. They are the typical yo-yo club and this is a great season for them, but we all know it is temporary.


But why do I bring up The Clowns? Well, last night, our reserve team played their reserve team and well, we won. But it wasn't just a cheeky 1-0, it was a fairly convincing 4-0 and really could have been a lot more.

I'm not going to try and pretend that I saw the match, I am one of those that really doesn't see enough reserve team football but if I could, I really would - in fact it is something that I would pay for, if the quality stream was good enough.

Goals goals goals

Nathan Delfouneso scored twice with Marc Albrighton and Andreas Weimann picking up the other two. The reserves also had two goals disallowed - so all in all it was pretty much a rout and that rout secured a five point lead at the top of the table for Aston Villa reserves.

Aston Villa team

Bevan, Lichaj, Bouma, Hogg, Clark, Davies, Albrighton, Salifou, Delfouneso, Weimann, Bannan. Subs: Forrester (Bannan, 84), Collins, O'Halloran (Bouma, 82), Hofbauer (Salifou, 79).

Still a slim chance of a bright future

So, a great win and a well deserved one by all accounts but it is worth pointing out that we have had a very good reserve and academy team for a very long time and when you add it all up - not very many have actually made it, in fact, if you wanted to get specific about it, only one has really come through and some would argue that he is still to really make it.

Some would argue the manager doesn't have faith in them and that he is more interested in players that will run themselves into the ground for him other than having something about them as players, but I say, there is still time to be proven wrong.

I'm not trying to put a downer on things and it is very very easy to get carried away when the reserves are doing well and the first team is sitting in the semi-final of the FA Cup, but like I said above, a successful reserve and academy team isn't new - we have had it for a number of seasons and it doesn't mean any players are going to come through - it does likely mean that the academy does pay for itself though and possibly makes a profit.

Back in the real world

Not much other news at the moment and I'm getting sick to death of rumours linking us to players that really wouldn't strengthen our first team, but there are bits and bobs.

Martin O'Neill thinks Gabby will be fit for Saturday. The virus he picked up is thought to be a 24 or 72 hour thing. I think he should be dropped personally - only to see if Heskey and Carew can do again what they did against Reading - surely they deserve that opportunity? Gabby is nowhere near a player that should start every game.

The FA Cup semi-final date is set for April 10th, kick off is 5pm. I won't be going to this match, so we'll be doing the whole thing from the blog but it will be a fairly late start as it is my sons birthday and we are having his party on that day.

Season ticket prices for next season have been released and there is an increase. Basically, that increase goes straight into the pocket of Randy Lerner - it is his management fee and the dividends on his investment.

Last bit of news is that Nigel Reo-Coker appears to have been given the all clear to resume training. This is a perfect opportunity for him to display his ability before the end of the season and his eventual departure. I suspect, after you floor O'Neill, you don't get many more chances and his days have been numbered for some time now.

Right, that is it and before I go and retreat into my little space, I want to return to The Clowns for a moment. You see, I predicted they'd be relegated this season but they got a new owner and that 'new owner syndrome' effect has well and truly done them good, but it is only a temporary thing.

They will do well this season, there is always one team that is promoted that does okay - but here is my prediction; next season they will be relegated. They really are the stuff you don't want to get on your shoe.