When I was a kid, our family procuring the big tin of Quality Street for Christmas was a status symbol. I have a clear recollection of one year being told upfront that there would be no big tin as we did didn’t have any spare money that year.
I had no concept of the expense required to deliver a big tin but it was obviously much much nearer to that of an Action Man than a Family Circle box of biscuits was.
The Quality Street big tin was also what we call in the trade a maximum security consumable. You could say you were going to get a drink from the kitchen, be in and out of the Family Circle box like Hudson Hawk and be back in front of Mike Yarwood without skipping a beat.
But the Quality Street lid had this series of small grooves where it met the body of the tin and when you prized that f*cker off there was a 95% chance of you making a noise to rival the Rank Film gong.
Ashley Young is Quality Street. Once, but what now seems a long time ago, an object of some desire. But now, the supermarkets have them in barley disguised pallet stacks for a four quid a pop. A big Toblerone is less than three quid and they’ve had to suffer the indignity of being grey imported onto street markets.
If you had to comprise a Fantasy Football team of Nearlymen the you’d want Young in there to over/underhit/ fail to hit at all the ball to Carlton Cole. That would probably be one of your dream pieces of link play. Their stock has not so much fallen as collapsed.
Villa’s form the season has been painful. Three wins against not very good sides, peppered with draws against better sides who were themselves off the boil at the time. See Cheatski and Manchester United.
Our lot might ordinarily undertake a Boxing Day jaunt like this talking up the cold snap and mumbling about Agbonlahor, Young & Co. But this is no ordinary season and if they aren’t crawling up the motorway with a plan to take all 3 points then they want to have a word with themselves.
Predictions? We’re favourites and a slightly hungover and cautious 0-1 …is 7/1. Back in for a top up at lunchtime 1-3 and feeling indomitable again is …16/1. Pav as an Anytime Scorer is 9/4.