Well, it was a great but brutal weekend in Liverpool as not only had we got Everton to face, we also had Deanovilla’s 30th. It started at 10:40am on Friday and finished rather later than the end of the match. The only lowlight of the weekend really was the actual game.
I might have my grumpy head on I’m not sure but I’m bored of being bored. The quality of our games, with a few noticeable exceptions (Chelsea for instance) isn’t exactly the free flowing attacking football that the press would have those who don’t attend matches believe.
Ok, got to admit, my first game was the mid 70’s and I’ve been a regular season ticket holder at Villa Park since the early 90’s, I get to the away games that I can and I live breath and sleep Villa but I’m sooooo bored. The standard of football we play at least 75% of the time just does not reflect the money spent. The tactics, or lack of them, are naive and the …. in fact, even now I’m getting bored talking about it.
The game v Everton was just standard mid table fodder, the ref was awful and the players not much better. There were a few bits and bobs that added spice like the sending’s off and Emile Heskey towards the end of the game at right-back, or was that just a drunken dream???? NO, I have proof, we took a photo!
As Steve Wade said on my site (Something for the Weekend) ‘The recurring problem for Martin O’Neill, seems to be, that despite the overwhelming evidence suggesting that Villa are a much better side, when playing 4-5-1, he keeps trying to prove that 4-4-2 can work. You can’t blame him for trying but I can’t think of many good results or convincing performances, which Villa have achieved lately, while playing 4-4-2.’
As for the sending offs… and lets not make any bones about this, the ref was awful (both ways)… The Russian who I can’t spell the name of by the look of a few replays maybe deserved a red but I’d not have been at all surprised it was just a yellow, he was late but I am not convinced it was intentional, then again this is the modern game and not one where people can tackle really. The Carlos one was balancing things out because the Everton fans were up in arms. He did look to get the ball but hey, these things happen and on a positive note, that is another decision MON won’t need to make now as to how to get our right-back Luke Young back in the team. Job done, Carlos suspended and no real management required.
The first half was awful really, even the ever vocal claret and blue army got quieter as it progressed and when someone behind me shouted ‘I say chaps, this isn’t very good wot wot’ (or words to that affect but with slightly more colourful language!!!) I don’t think anyone could argue.
On chances – with both defences being solid – maybe Everton just shaded it and I don’t think our defenders were really to blame for a counter attack goal. We had a couple of chances also but if you don’t bury them then they are of no use to you at all are they?!
The second half was a little better but still we just don’t pepper the goal with shots enough. The midfielders should just shoot the thing every now and then, you never know, it might go in, it might deflect in, there might be a striker to take the rebound, better surely to chance your arm than to pass sideways and backwards? To be fair Stiliyan Petrov did follow the Villa faithful’s shouts of SHOOT and very nearly got a screamer of a goal, more of those please Stan!
I could ramble on but in truth, there isn’t that much to say. No one was THAT bad, just no one was that good. We clearly need a top striker to spark things, anyone know where we can get one of those?!??!
Still, all in all, a great weekend, just a shame about it being interrupted with 90 mins of the same old same old.
Same as the Wolves, Everton with 8 men injured were there for the taking. We didn’t take them. Still, once again the same as the Wolves, a draw away from home is no disgrace. That said, as my mate (yes, that is you meyouldy!) said as we were leaving, surely it is better to go down all guns blazing trying to get the 3 points than settle for 1 point and boring the pants off the fans in the process.
Brad Friedel 6
did what he needed to when he needed to, not to blame for the goal. Not sure about his banana outfit though!
Stephen Warnock 7
nearly scored, looks solid, I like!
James Collins 7
solid as usual… going to be saying that a lot of times over the years I think.
Richard Dunne 7
solid enough, don’t think the defenders were really to blame for the goal.
Carlos Cuellar 6
not bad, his distribution still is awful though, he’s lost his place and will struggle – unless there are injuries – to get it back I would think. Then again, that is MON’s idea and lets face it, none of us can second guess him?!
Stiliyan Petrov 6
played well enough, nearly scored, got stuck in
Ashley Young 6
still not really at the races but did try. Not so sure about all this limping one minute then dashing around like road runner (beep beep) the next!
Steve Sidwell 5
pretty poor, missed a decent (ish) chance, really not what I thought he’d be, although maybe he is doing the scruffy stuff that goes more unnoticed?
James Milner 6
shame he got injured, always puts in the effort, hopefully not too serious a knock
Gabby Agbonlahor 6
so hard for him the way the ball is either played when he has his back to defenders or hoofed into a corner
Emile Heskey 5
well, you had your chance big man and you did exactly what?!?!?
John Carew 6 (on for Milner)
only really did one thing but that one thing was score. Was funny, chap behind said when he came on he has to do something to earn his reputation. My mate agreed with him and I said he is the most undeserving Holte End hero in years… 1 minute later he scored. We spent the rest of the game trying to slate everyone else to see if it had the same impact!
Hokey Cokey (on for Petrov)
not on long enough to do much but had a good reception from the Villa fans.