Date: 6th January 2008 at 12:10am
Written by:

Damn! I must admit with 10 minutes to go I thought that Villa were as likely – or with so few shots and no saves for either keeper to make should that be as unlikely – to score as Manchester United.

Then one minute of madness and it was game over. Wilfred Bouma was perfectly positioned to keep Ronaldo out after Giggs crossed the ball (through the otherwise solid all game Curtis Davies legs) only to ball watch and allow Ronaldo to nip in.

Damn, damn, damn. And especially damn the Man Utd fans who then celebrated by running on the pitch, pushing the cops and throwing a flair. With Brian Barwick of the FA there, I wonder if any action will be taken this time – as they’ve done this before. I bet there will be action, I bet Villa get fined for allowing it to happen!

Damn.

The first 80 minutes both teams cancelled each other out, Villa didn’t have a shot on target but to be fair, Carson had very little to do either although he is starting to concern me slightly the way he spills the ball. In the first half Ryan Giggs had an open goal only to scuff his shot and many started to wonder if that might have proved to be our get out of jail card, that one stroke of luck where we could go on and get a famous victory.

The answer is no.

Damn.

In fact, I’ll go further. Damn and blast!

So, Villa are now out of both cups, I must admit the defeat against Leicester City hurt far more but with just ten minutes to go, I couldn’t help but wonder… but then DAMN.

Lets face it, the game was dull and as Villa didn’t shoot on target, they were never going to score. Petrov did have a great effort – which I think would have just about beaten Van der Sar – go just over the bar. Now that would have been a screamer of a goal and it was good to see the Bulgarian back in the team, fit and playing far better than the whole of last season put together.

There weren’t any shockingly bad performances today and the 2-0 score line certainly flattered United, a 1-0 either way would have been a fair result. I just can’t quite understand why we looked to stifle the game so much and why we didn’t show much – if any – attacking intent. That said, we all know if Villa had pushed forward in numbers that we’d have been caught on the break. It looked at times as if a draw would have suited us but frankly I’m happy we didn’t get one as a replay doesn’t help a small squad and we rarely get any change out of a visit to Old Trafford.

Damn.

I also thought it was horrible to see the ground not full today, maybe the price of the tickets was wrong, maybe there have been too many games and some fans simply can’t afford to go, maybe the stupid kick off time killed it and obviously the fact it was on tv did have an effect. Personally I’d have got the place packed out with kids for free if that was what it took to get Villa Park full. To be outsung at home is always sad, to be outsung by ‘that lot’ is even sadder.

Damn. Damn and blast. Damn, damnations and blast to smithereens.

Oh well, there is always next year…. if we spend some money and bring in new players obviously. If not, well, there is always time to dream.

Damn.

Oh my lord, I nearly forgot to mention the ref. Who the hell was he and can he be sent back from whence he came? What a one sided pillock. I watched the match back when I got home to check some of the fouls on our players that he didn’t give and they were unbelievable. I’m not blaming that for the result but come on, grow a pair of balls and give decisions against the ‘big’ teams.

Damn.

And finally, whilst we are on a damnation roll, why the hell do some of our players wear gloves? Football is for men not fairies, take them off, roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. If not, try the bloody ballet! 😉

Damn.

Player Ratings

Scott Carson 5
Not commanding and flapping about. Couple of decent saves but also spilled the ball.

Wilfred Bouma 5
Fine defending until that massive mistake but his forward play is awful as is his distribution

Olof Mellberg 6
Did ok but a tough task for him today

Martin Laursen 8
Solid

Curtis Davies 8
Solid, really looks like he is taking his chance now he is finally in the team

Ashley Young 5
Pretty much marked out of the game

Gareth Barry 5.5
Not the usual captains performance (although listening to the radio on the way home, some were saying he was immense, so maybe my eyesight is off as I usually wax lyrical about the Villa skipper)

Stiliyan Petrov 7
Great to see him passing forward, shooting and getting stuck in with tackles.

Nigel Hokey-Cokey 7
Got stuck in today and helped break down the Man Utd midfield

John Carew 6
Can’t remember any shots, but then the service was awful and the hoofing up to him to flick on to no one just does not work.

Gabby Agbonlahor 5
Fast of foot but now he has to learn to be fast of mind. Doesn’t pass or lay the ball off nearly quick enough

Luke Moore (on for Carew 64)
No impact at all – would so have loved him to be the hero today. Marlon Harewood must surely be about to be sold (or is he injured again?) as he really should have got a game or two over Christmas/New Year. Or is he really THAT bad? If so, why £3.7m fee?

Maloney (on for Petrov 75)
Would have been a good one to start with, he is a lively little bugger!
Not on long but got in a good position for a header on goal, sadly too high but at least he got in there I guess!

Manager Rating
MON. Needs to spend, spend much, and spend wisely. The squad is a good starting point but we lack quality. We aren’t Leicester City Mark II. We are Aston Villa. We are used to quality players not cast offs. Hopefully we’ll have more of the Young and Davies variety soon and less of the Harewood and Knight signings.

Opponent Rating
Sir Alex Chewalot. Praised Villa after the game so fair enough… he says begrudgingly