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  1. Another Saturday 3pm kick-off? It feels like we only had about 3 of these over the past few seasons, yet this might be the fourth or fifth this season alone. All the meedja talk about this one has centred on Stevie’s return to Anfield. This’ll be the first time he represents the opposition though. I don’t follow any Villa fan sites (why the fuck would I?) but I’m sort of intrigued to know what they make of him being manager after taking the piss out of him for so many years. We’ve all seen the photo of the birthday party on the train, they loved all that ‘Slippy G’ shite, and they root around the lower league football fans’ songbook generally anyway. Tactical know-how. Heart. Effort. Energy. Liveliness. Nous. Ingenuity. Nerve. Organisation. Order. Ferocity. Firepower. Intelligence. Never-say-die. Accuracy. Nuisance factor. Creativity. Endurance. I don’t ask for much. Last season’s game at Anfield took place around the time we were beginning to put that awful early-2021 run behind us. We were still lacking experience at centre back, but the midfield was beginning to click and the forwards were rediscovering their shooting boots. Villa took the lead in the first half through Watkins. Bobby was denied a leveller straight afterwards thanks to more VAR interference. Mo pulled a goal back on the hour but it was looking like we’d drop points again. Then Trent stepped to fire in a belter in stoppage time. We’d got some sort of payback for that 7-2 catastrophe earlier in the season. Back in May 1980 though, the league campaign ran a much smoother course. Villa were the visitors on the last day, and were a fairly strong side themselves. They’d win the league the following year, followed by the European Cup a year after that. In this game, Avi Cohen the Israeli left back made a name for himself. David Johnno had given Liverpool the lead, tapping into an unguarded net after the ball was lofted over to him in the six yard box, but it was Cohen who inadvertently levelled the scores when slicing into his own net. He ultimately got the league-clinching goal when Kenny typically backed in to shield the ball from a defender before playing a pass across the edge of the box. Avi was steaming in and hit a right-footed pea-roller into the far corner. Villa were on their holidays by this point. Another bit of pass-and-move led to Johnno hammered a third past the Villa keeper. Noel Blake then added to the own goal count by header past his own keeper following the late great Ray Kennedy’s knock down from a free kick. That was that. Champions again. May 1980 saw Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones star in Coal Miner’s Daughter, a biopic of country music star Loretta Lynn. Never seen it, but it’s supposed to be good and Spacek is supposed to be brilliant in it. She nabbed the Best Actress Oscar for her performance here. I have seen the Tina and Ike Turner biopic What’s Love Got to Do with It which sounds very similar in terms of plot, the main difference being that Ike was a massive control freak and a cunt compared to Loretta Lynn’s husband. Maybe someone on here can tell us more about whether Coal Miner’s Daughter is any good or not. As mentioned before, it’s Stevie’s return to Anfield that will hog the headlines prior to this game. Villa have been fairly patchy this term, but do have a number of players that can cause damage. Perhaps their main issue had been that so much of their play was channelled through Grealish that it took time to work out how to play another way. The signings they made with the £100m windfall they got are on paper very good signings for a club looking to break into the European spots. We’ve have a number of players return to the fold in recent weeks, which is handy with the number of games coming up between now and the new year. It’s a piss poor fixture overload for everyone caused by having a ridiculous number of international breaks, each of which consumes a fortnight. We’ve got several players in great form, and others beginning to find their rhythm having been involved much more recently. Whoever we put out there, it’s not about the guys in the opposition dugout. It’s about us being properly focussed and applying ourselves correctly. Do that and we stand a great chance of gaining another 3 points. Get it done.
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