What a proud Villan I am tonight folks. Who would have thought at the start of this competition Aston Villa would outwit the likes of Real Madrid, FC Porto, and Juventus.
After losing to Malaga 1-0 in the first game it looked like Villa was going to match my expectations of this season due to the lack of depth in the squad. This expectation I was thinking of was being stuck in the mid-table rut.
With Barry being sold and the only player coming in was a player who has a broken foot, I was once again questioning O’Neill’s decisions. However I didn’t realise how many good players are coming through are academy. This must be what O’Neill is looking to unleash next season.
Starting with the Young man Marc Albrighton who has been so good that it wouldn’t surprise me if he picked up the player of the tournament award. I think James Milner is going to have to up his game to stay in the team at this rate, and may regret going on under-21 duty and missing pre-season.
Another player who I have heard so much about is Barry Bannan and no wonder. He looks like a star of the future and looks ready to step up into Gareth Barry’s footsteps. Scottish fans, he is your new Barry Ferguson without the troublemaking.
After the embarrassing loss to Malaga, Villa had to raise their game and that is just what they did over the next two fixtures. Bit part players last season upped their game. Players like Reo-Coker and Sidwell were dominating midfields and have both played an integral part in Villa's achievement tonight.
After dominating the first half Villa could not get the ball past Buffon, regarded as the best keeper in the world, and it looked like Villa were going to miss out again. However Brad Guzan showed O’Neill why Brad Friedel has not got a guaranteed first team place next term. After a great double save from Iaquinta, he then saved two penalties in the shootout to win the game and the cup for Villa.
Now we have won this I feel we can still be up there come next season. Okay, it's a pre-season tournament that is not generally taken seriously. The thing is as a Villa fan you don’t get to much glory and when it comes around you've got to take it.
All we need now is five solid signings to add depth and further quality to the squad, starting with two centre backs and a striker. Let’s just hope he doesn’t decide to sign a player that is out till early December!