So Gary Gardner's off on loan (again). And I've seen a few comments which suggest this is a good thing - it'll get him some time on the park, a bit of experience and all that baloney.
But it's a cop out. Gary Gardner will be twenty next year, and like Baker, Herd, Fonz and a few others he's being let down by by the club he's signed his life away for. Why is it that the top sides are prepared to blood 18 and 19 year olds on the basis of their outstanding performances in the reserves, but we aren't? I don't get it.
We have a fantastic Academy. We bring through some superb young players and, in the Academy and reserve leagues, we achieve things that all Villa fans should be proud of. But there's a disconnect.
Brawn over brains
You get a man like McLeish in charge of the first team, and all he wants is muscle. Fight, bulk and then more fight, muscle and bulk. Heskey left wing. Big and strong. Hutton right wing. Big and strong (and shit). It was interesting to hear McLeish's comments after the Spurs game, wasn't it? Comical defending, and we didn't fight hard enough. That's because what Feck cares about is getting men behind the ball and scrapping. If it's all about fight, Feck, I'll go and watch Stoke.
Is that the Villa you want to watch and support?
Alex - you twat - we didn't lose to Spurs because we defended poorly or because we didn't have enough fight. We lost to Spurs because they played football and we didn't. We lost to Spurs because they went out to win and we went out not to lose. We lost to Spurs because you thought a dick like Alan Hutton could contain Gareth Bale, and a knob like Emile Heskey could contain Aaron Lennon.
If Villa are going to lose games against top sides, then I'd like to see the younger players doing it and learning in the process. Not going out on loan.
And that's it. For United and Liverpool - a youngster is an 18 or 19 year old. They have the bollocks to bring players into their first teams at that age. We don't.
I would like to see Gary Gardner playing against Swansea at the weekend and making a fucking name for himself and the Villa Academy. Instead, I'm going to see the same old stuff. Same old Hutton, same old Warnock, same old Dunne, same old Collins, same old Heskey, same old Petrov.
God help us in January: I reckon Kevin Phillips is coming back.