Squeaky bum time for Aston Villa fans, or is it?

It feels slightly odd that we don't have a game until Sunday, doesn't it? I'm feeling sort of deprived of my fix. Sunday might as well be March - given that we have the dull inconvenience of Christmas Day and Boxing Day to get through first.

Bah, humbug, I say.


And then it all gets silly. Arsenal and Liverpool in the space of a decent hangover, and then Blackburn every couple of days for the rest of January (I think I'll stay on the wagon for them).

Returning to the prospect of Wenger's Ladies away and the Waiter's Misfits at home, in previous seasons - let's face it - the doom-mongers would have been out in force, and rightly so. This would have been the point in the season where O'Neill's charges would have been found out: with no depth in the squad, no versatility in the method of play, and injuries and suspensions biting, these would be precisely the fixtures we wouldn't want right now.

And I should be fearing that our fabulous form of now is about to come - as scheduled - to a shuddering halt.

But I don't think it is.

I have to be honest. I don't fear Arsenal any more than Stoke. Perhaps even less, because I don't think they have Stoke's balls. I think they will labour to break us down, I think our midfield has more fluidity, penetration and bite than theirs right now and, well, er, apologies - I think we're a better side.

Not scared, Arsene - sorry.

And then our favourite FSW brings his scouso-hispanic rabble to Villa Park. Sorry, Rafa - again...not scared. Yes, I know it's disrespectful, amigo, but why should we be scared of a Liverpool side with mediocrity everywhere Torres and Gerrard aren't, and poor form wherever they are. Liverpool are a mess at the moment, and I'd far rather face them than Portsmouth. A side than knows it's in the shit and is working its balls off to get out of it.

The point of this isn't to do down two previous members of what, in olden times, used to be called 'the big four'. (Remember that?)

It's simply to suggest that if certain commenter's see these two 'big' games as the crux of our season, they're wrong. These days, they're just two games like any other. Perhaps, even, slightly more favourable for us.

I really wouldn't like to be playing Bolton and West Ham over Christmas, but Arsenal and Liverpool I can deal with.

Just not scared.

And on that provocative note, may I wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and the finally requited love of those you lust after most.