Forgive me if there is a shred of emotion underlying the theme I wish to expound, and similarly, forgive me if there is a more than a shred of hypocrisy. But you see, in the immortal words of Tupac Shakur, I have a beef, or actually, I don’t, because someone else is trying to take mine.
Not that I should be surprised given the cannibalistic nature of the Premier League, and nor, in light of the actions of my own club in the past is there any real basis for my anger, but still, Aston Villa’s recent travails with first their plucky manager and now their players, is a fabulous, tear-tinged reminder why despite the increase in standard in the Premier League, there are powerful forces mitigating against the leveling of any proverbial playing field.
Aston Villa have made the most criminal of all Premier League errors of late, and flown too close to the sun, and now they’re nought but live game for the hawks to squabble over and tear from scrap to smithereens before fleeing our rotting carcass with a sapient grin and a satisfied flap of their engorged wings.
Enter Manchester City who opened their summer activity with a tentative £20 million bid for James Milner. And whilst on the phone, Brian Marwood, the buzzard in charge of this particular feeding frenzy, meanwhile idly picking at the fleshy remnants of some European talent nestling among his sharp teeth, cast a gluttonous eye and uttered a covetous word about Ashley Young’s availability.
The jaws are gaping – word is the Watford Weenie is angling for a move away from Villa Park this summer if the right club comes in. And by right club, you can safely assume Young’s thinking fat, oversized Vulture surfing the thermals at the very heights of the league table waiting for the next opportunity to dive-bomb some fresh young talent.
Tottenham have done fabulously well to make the Champions League this year, for if they hadn’t, they may well have fallen prey to another sybaritic feast and suffered the familiar fate of watching the wheels of progress fall spectacularly off and wobble sideways into the bush. The last time Spurs nearly broke into the top four, Manchester United swooped from on high having watched Michael Carrick plump up to delicatessen perfection, followed it up with a nice glass of Bulgarian, and consequently set the club back two years or so in their progress.
And look what Manchester City did to Everton at the beginning of the season just gone; gobbling one of a team’s best players, it should be remembered, is not merely an act of straightforward plunder, but also tends to leave a nasty after effect on the little lambs who watch their kin spirited away.
But such is the nature of things, only the strong survive and the vagaries of football evolution dictate and manifest fully the notion that you should eat, and eat heartily lest you be eaten. The surest way to stop some upstart taking your perch is to peck his eyes out.
Even Barcelona, that great, moral and virtuous club owned by the people and for the people (Yuck) have in the last couple of years displayed the midnight feeding habits of a ravenous owl, recently raiding Valencia to ensue satiety for the next few years. And don’t get me started on the great golden eagle that is Real Madrid.
It was once wisely said any man should take care when fighting monsters lest he become one, but in football it would seem a facetious warning: for they’re all monsters. But its worse – they’re chasing a prey that very often wants to be caught. But such is the nature of things.
And fellow Villa fans, do not be scared, Emile Heskey, our very own TV dinner for one will in all likelihood still be at the club next year.