Date: 2nd December 2010 at 9:15am
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McAllister Uses Youth As An Excuse + A Change Is Needed

Gary McAllister has sensationally used the youth academy products for Villa’s failure to beat Birmingham.

Taken from the Official Villa Website McAllister said, ‘There were a lot of young players in the side,’ he added. ‘They will learn from the experience of losing a derby match and they will be ready for the next one.’

This is completely ridiculous! Barry Bannan, Jonathon Hogg and Ciaran Clark (who is playing out of position) all played tonight in one of the most important Derby games this club has ever had and all three players were fantastic! ‘They will be ready for the next one?’ They were ready for this one!!

What have we learnt from Houllier’s reign so far then?

1) James Collins and Richard Dunne at the back does not work! Last season it did work because having Cuellar (a centre-back) at right back meant he drifted inside helping out when we were defending because it was his natural instinct as a centre half. We can now finally see the reason why MON always played Cuellar at right back, because Collins and Dunne together are too weak!

2) Barry Bannan, Jonathon Hogg, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Delfouneso and Marc Albrighton are all fantastic players and deserve to be keeping their places in the team when the seniors are fit. Although having Clark go to centre back in place of Dunne and Petrov or NRC coming into midfield would be a sensible idea.

3) Ashley Young is NOT a central attacking midfielder! He is a natural winger! His game is speed, tricks and delivery. His strength is in one on one situations running at a full back. In the middle he will always be pushed off the ball too easily.

4) The formation 4-4-1-1 does not work. So far we have beaten a weaker Blackburn in the cup, a poor Wolves team (currently 19th) by 1 goal, only just beat Burnley in extra time by 1 goal and Blackpool (who made 10 changes) with a last minute winner, winning by one goal.

I am all for Houllier staying on but if he keeps playing Ashley Young in the middle, with Dunne and Collins at the back, keeping Cuellar on the bench when he is fit and always sticking to this formation then it is not a bright future for Villa! We are playing the ‘stylish football’ Houllier and the fans have wanted to see, but we are not a team that is ready for this style of play because we can’t keep the ball for it to work. We are still a side built on counter-attacking so we should play like this until we can change the squad around. Play to our strengths until next season!

When they are fully fit Cuellar, Reo-Coker, Albrighton, Petrov and Heskey need to be starting more games for Villa and the Dunne and Collins partnership needs to be split up unless Cuellar goes to right back again giving them extra support. But blaming the kids is not on! Without them we wouldn’t have gotten as far as we have so far this season, it’s the seniors that need to get their act together (apart from Gabby, Downing to name a couple who are playing well).

Gerard Houllier, sort it out! Please, PLAY CARLOS CUELLAR!!!! He is our best defender and it is disgusting that even though he has won Man Of The Match in every performance he has made under Houllier he still won’t play him when he is fit. The jury is now out and I hope you stay and improve the results Gerard (not the performances) because if things continue then soon the fans will make their feelings known. It’s a results game, not how you play but the results you pick up.

But onto Anfield now and Up The Villa!

astvil123