Carling Cup Preview – Colly’s Call vs Charlie Says

by Charlie Coffey

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Working in the same building as Stan Collymore has its ups and downs. On the down side my colleague is a big, strapping Brummie skinhead with a short fuse who upon first meeting me looked me up and down as a convict would fresh meat. On the plus side I get to hear his hilariously biased score predictions of any fixture involving his beloved Aston Villa.

This time, though, Big Stan isn’t so sure. His claret and blue troops meet my Red Army in the great battle of the, er, Carling Cup this Sunday and even with his partiality Stan feels that Aston Villa will need more than 90 minutes if they are to overcome Manchester United. Stan’s view as a fan is that Villa will nick it in extra time. His ‘objective’ view is that the match will go to penalties.

Before I reveal my own views, let’s take a look at the form. Villa have won two and drawn three of their last five games, including their 3-1 victory at home to Palace in the FA Cup last night. United have won three, drawn one and lost one. United won 3-0 at West Ham on Tuesday, meaning they will have had a day more rest than Villa, so Ferguson cannot blame fatigue as he did after his team were deservedly beaten by Everton on Saturday (even though Everton played on the same day the previous week).

One of the aforementioned draws was between the two teams in question. The fact is this season Villa have taken four points from United, three of those at Old Trafford, the only league game they have lost at home all season. Both results were deserved and United will have to up their game if they are to retain the Carling Cup. Last season United had luck and, bizarrely, an ipod to thank for a narrow win against Spurs on penalties.

United have injuries to Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Anderson to add to long-term absentees Owen Hargreaves and John O’Shea. Villa only have Nigel Reo-Coker injured, but their squad is smaller.

From a personal point of view this game is just that. I can still feel the pain as I ran upstairs to cry into my pillow. The year was 1994. I was a United-obsessed 10-year-old who had just seen my beloved team beaten and my favourite player, Andrei Kanchelskis (whose name was on the back of the shirt I was wearing) sent off for a handball. For those who don’t remember, Dean Saunders scored the resulting penalty to seal the league cup final for Villa. 3-1.

The year was 2009. I was stood in the North Stand, much taller but only slightly more mentally developed. My team were beaten by a Villa side inspired by Richard Dunne, the former Manchester City captain. 1-0.

Over the years the moisture in my eyes has been replaced by that of a consolatory pint of beer, but the pain remains. I personally, predictably, think United will up their game and win this one. But Villa have not won a trophy in fourteen years. They’ll be right up for this and won’t give an inch. I don’t want a repeat of 1994. I’m watching the match in Derby (for some reason), and I’m sure the locals don’t want to see a grown man cry.

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  • moocher

    Hope they have plenty of tissues in Derby!!!!

  • Dexylongshot

    Can you get Stan to give me Sharon Stones number, all time top 3!

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