Date: 15th February 2009 at 5:40pm
Written by:

Oh no, no, no, that was just horrible!

Lets face it we’ve had more good days than bad this season so this afternoon isn’t the end of the world but it is a great shame to once again fall at an early (ish) FA Cup hurdle. Seems the pain of waiting since 1957 for anymore FA Cup success will just have to go on.

Right from the start Villa were on the back foot and to be fair, already being down to 10 men – (as John Carew who is clearly not fit was having one of ‘those’ days – flame suit on for all those who seem to hero worship him for little apparent reason – thanks Fabio Capello for playing Heskey whilst injured ruling out the big man from our match today) – we could have – should have – been another man down as Stiliyan Petrov handled the ball off the line. Luckily for Villa – not that it ultimately made much difference – the ref played the advantage as Everton scored from the re-bound. Would they have preferred the red card and a penalty? Probably as Petrov was for a period of the game as in control for us as the excellent Arteta was for them.

I’ll leave the nitty gritty to Glensider’s away match report later as mine was a view from the sultana armchair. A few minutes after going 1 down we were level with a penalty earnt by Gabby Agbonlahor and put away by James Milner. We had a period where we had plenty of the ball but nothing went for us at all, the play was sort of determined without it being threatening. The first half was certainly full of incident and for the neutral I’m sure it made good viewing. Must admit I just never got the feeling, even at 1-1, that we were going to get the result or even the draw today. Mostly probably down to feeling negative having man flu and still being depressed from England’s rugby loss to Wales yesterday! After 23 minutes Everton got a penalty – and could have had a couple after that as well. 2-1 to the Toffee men.

On the 75th minute Everton went 3-1 up after we failed to make anything from a hatrick of chances to get back in the game, with Gabby missing a total sitter – he HAS to cut out these close to goal lapses where he seems to take his eye on the ball – John Carew having a deflected flick (or was it a shot, I can never tell!) very well saved by Howard and then Steve Sidwell through and clear heading the ball towards the corner flag.

Game over. Just a horrible horrible afternoon but – and here comes the cliché – as much as we’d love to see a cup run or even a win, maybe, just maybe, this will give us the break we need to perhaps push further in the UEFA Cup (yes, I know, I’d prefer the FA Cup over the UEFA as well) and more importantly according to several polls we’ve held ( Click Here ) getting in the top four of the league.

For those that seem to be blind to what Gareth Barry brings to the team, just look at what we missed today and for those who have any idea what Steve Sidwell is doing these days, please do let the rest of us know! I would have gone for Craig Gardner in the centre of midfield – mainly because that is his position – but hey, what do I know?!

So an FA Cup defeat which is a real kick in the teeth but overall you still have to look and realise the season – judging by the size of our squad – is going very well.

Hopefully onward and upward, it has still – to date – been a great season and maybe this will be a bit of a wakeup call not to blow all the hard work. Bring on Moscow and then bring on Chelsea!

Player Ratings

Brad Friedel 6
not to blame for any of the goals I don’t think.

Luke Young 6
pretty solid

Curtis Davies 5
run ragged, both him and Zat at fault for the 3rd goal

Zat Knight 5
same as Davies

Craig Gardner 6
put the effort in but an effort that would have been better placed in the centre of midfield

Ashley Young 4
awful game, nothing came off, his crosses were terrible and his passes rarely found a man in claret and blue. One positive is he still didn’t hide from getting the ball but that isn’t a massive positive!

Steve Sidwell 3.5
almost farcically poor, he needs a time in the reserves. Really not looking for a boo boy figure or someone to blame, but I expected soooo much more from Sidwell when we bought him. The penalty he gave away was unnecessary and he was clear through on goal and …. well, I can’t explain what he did, think it was a headed pass to the corner flag which I assume he mistook for Ash!

James Milner 6
another who put in a full bloodied display, scored the penalty, although it was a bit …. naff?!??! Strange how the strikers never step up to take penalties, always confuses me that fact?!

Stiliyan Petrov 6.5
Thank goodness he wasn’t sent off, without him it could have been a cricket score today

John Carew 5
bland performance, obviously not fully fit but then again, when is he? His ball control was frankly pathetic for a ‘star’ striker. He has no aggression to go with that bulk and muscle, the most undeserving Holte End hero I can remember, now come on JC, once again I ask, force those words back down my throat come Wednesday night and Saturday, that is if you aren’t too tired obviously. :o)

Gabby Agbonlahor 5
got us our penalty but that miss could have cost us a chance in the game and was very poor!

Delfouneso (on for Sidwell 82)
Looked bright, shame he didn’t come on earlier for Sidwell really.


29 Replies to “Horrible Day At Office For Villa”

  • not sure I agree with the ONLY part DO’L but maybe it is an age thing, always been a very important cup for the older gits like me (not that I know your age…!)

  • I feared this result when everton finally beat liverpool, on the positive side we should be really up for the Uefa Cup now.

  • Haha, only the FA Cup! Don’t get ahead of yourself DO’L, you’ve had a great season but you could very easily miss out on both other competitions based on today’s performance. You could very well have missed out on your only chance of silverware today. Good luck for the rest of the season however, I look forward to our next meeting at Villa Park.

  • a bit over the top in my opinion. everton played well, and we were the better side for spells. everton deserved to win but not by much, and it was their good defending which stifled young, carew etc. agree that sidwell was useless though. with barry in there we might have won. with laursen as well we probably would have.

  • Probably a blessing in disguise we lost today – less fixture pile-up and we looked woefully inadequate without Laursen, Barry and Heskey. Although I’m also a sentimental, older git who would love to see us one day lift the cup, I’m realistic enough to know that top 4 is the holy grail. Now, bring on CSKA Moscow!

  • I am gutted, but I am hoping this will really spur us on for the rest of the season. We ( villa fans, staff & players ) have probably forgotten what a defeat feels like due to last few months form. It probably feels worse than it should do right now. But maybe that will get everyone back up for the UEFA & Prem and not think about whats priority and just give it our all as we have been doin, today being lack of quality as opposed to effort. Petrov was excellent at times today & thought luke young did ok, but apart from that. Thought Sidwell was awful, and I am also one of them that fails to see why Carew is such an idol. Im not a critic either but I do feel he is hugely over rated, and find him very frustrating, especially at how he cant control a ball and gets knocked off it far to easily. Anyway roll on wednesday Martin O’Neill’s claret blue army…

  • gabby was 4 yards from the centre of the goal and his headed attempt HIT HIS SHOULDER!!!! How much does this guy get paid to CLOSE HIS EYES when he tries to head the ball? He should be god damn embarrased! You give him a 5 for that?

  • Not a good game today. Lacked any creativity in the middle. Sidders really needs to pull his finger out. I got very worried when Curtis Davies pulled up in the first half. Who would of replaced him? Young needs to stop going down whenever anyone gets close to him, he is better than that. Luckily Petrov stayed on the field today otherwise it could of been a lot worse. Only niggle with Petrov is that he always seems to go backwards, never looks for a forward pass, even though he is such an excellent passer of the ball. To be honest, i never saw us winning today. We have been having a few off days recently and getting results, today against a better quality opposition we were caught out. I do think Everton are a very good side and hope they go on to lift the cup. I fear Chelsea less than i do Everton. Hopefully today will be a wake up call that it wont go right for us every week.

  • We were generally poor today but the very heart of our problem was Sidwell. Ashley Young and Milner not too involved in the attack-no balls to them from midfield. Davies and Knight run ragged-too many balls down the middle. Why? Sidwell. Congradulations to Everton, though, they played well and exploited what was obviously a huge weakness. Carew being far from match fit didn’t help either. Would have liked to have seen Gardner in the midfield-he would have made life a lot harder for the Toffees had he been playing there.

  • Massively disappointed with Gabby today. I’m desperate to see Villa lift the FA Cup. We held the record for most amount of wins right up until the 1990s despite not winning it for over 30 years. We’re now a long way behind Man U and even Spurs have won it more times. This to me is clearly not good enough. This should have been our year. I expected us to win it for Johnny Dixon. It wasn’t to be. Good luck to Everton. I hope they win it. Now lets win the UEFA and qualify for CL. UTV

  • The fact that Barry intentionally got suspended for this game instead a league game or the UEFA Cup game is quite revealing as to the clubs aspirations. We are not big enough to compete in the domestic cups, the league, and Europe all at the same time. We will do well to finish top 4 and that is where the big pay off is. More money from the league, more status as a ‘big’ club (in the eyes of others rather than just our own or the eyes of Birmingham City supporters) which may make us a destination for players, and a shot at the Champions League. Having Barry present for league games is far more important than the FA Cup.

  • agree gwyllum, i am glad gaz baz is back for the league. it would have been nice to go further but the champions league is the holy grail

  • No shame in losing to Everton – they are a very solid side. I would consider this a massive achievement if we finish in CL spots and then maybe we can try to tempt a couple of their players – how we’d love to have Lescott and Cahill in that Villa side….now THAT would be progress my friends.

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