The Aston Villa winners, Ancelotti speaks and Everton tomorrow

Morning all and what a fantastic day. It might not be a fantastic day where you woke up, but where I woke up, it was fantastic. I don't know why, but I felt like this yesterday morning too. It isn't the football, although the reserves winning the league again yesterday is very impressive and really is something we should lack at in more detail, so I will late.

It really is going to be a good day. I have quite along list of things I have to do and normally I'd be looking at a list this big thinking about what doesn't have to be done today, but today, I'm looking at it thinking if I can get this finished by 3pm I might open a bottle of wine and sit outside in the cold sun.


But, before we get to the wine and my list, we really should look at Aston Villa and I'm going to start with the tackle made by John The Slag. It was a tackle and it was horrible, but he didn't need to do it and we heard from Ancelotti yesterday and I hope this puts it to bed, it really should. It was a horrible tackle, but these things happen.

Carlo Ancelotti
John tried to speak with Milner after the game on Saturday. He went to the dressing room but it was locked. For him, I don't think it was a problem to say sorry. It was a tackle that can happen. I think the yellow card was right.

The rules say that, if you have intention to touch. I saw the tackle again on the television and John touched the ball before making contact with Milner. I know that John texted Milner and, for Milner, it was OK.

If I could draw a line, I would. Today is the last day I will talk about this tackle. It is football and we can't blame decisions in a match that didn't go our way - it is football.

Wednesday: An important match

Tomorrow night is important. I think the result tomorrow night will determine where we finish this season - not exactly, but if we win, it will give hope that 6th is possible, because we will be in 6th place with a game in hand on Liverpool in seventh.

Mark Lawrenson
With all their creative players back you would not bet against Everton overturning Villa and securing a European birth. A number of Martin O’Neill’s players look weary and tired and are showing signs of having had a long season.

Also their once very tight defence is just beginning to show cracks and they make no secret of the way they are set-up to play. If you can keep it tight then you have every chance of wearing Villa down because they like to hit you on the break.

Marky Mark isn't wrong. If Everton can keep it tight, like Chelsea, they could get something. But it is Villa Park and anything can happen. Nigel Martyn also has an opinion on the match too.

Nigel Martyn
Villa have all the hall-marks of a team which has gone at it hammer and tongs all season and could now be set to pay the price because they don’t have a huge squad.

You can read the rest of what Nigel Martyn had to say here.

The blame game

I'm a fan of Stiliyan Petrov. He's an honest and hard working player and he does have something about him and his comments yesterday were honest and he wasn't looking to pass off responsibility.

Stiliyan Petrov
We need to blame ourselves. You have to score goals to win games and we didn’t manage to do that. They scored three and went through. I said before the final that we could have a great season without anything. We need to make sure we end up with something we can celebrate. We are going to try and qualify for Europe. That is the ambition now. That will drive us on.

I'm almost finished and I'm looking at my list with renewed optimism and a smile, looking forward to tackling it, nut I really do want to touch on one more thing.

The winning game

For three seasons now we have won the reserve league. Yes, it is only the reserve league, but you can only beat and win what is put in front of you and I don't think we are recognising these players enough for what they have achieved. Okay, we are, but we have to embrace these players; they are winners and they are going to come through.

These players are the future and one day they will get a chance, they have to get that chance. O'Neill has to put confidence in them, because they have done everything asked of them and there is nothing more they can be asked to do - they almost, to some extent, deserve a chance. You can win with kids and I think more of them will get a chance, maybe even this season, but certainly next - they have to.

It is a headache for O'Neill. I just hope he gives them all a proper chance. It isn't often a team has such a successful reserve team, made up mostly of players form the academy. I hope we see lots more of them.