Date: 29th November 2006 at 11:30pm
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Ok, we lost. In fact we didn’t just lose, we got turned over. Shall we panic? Nope, we are still fifth in the league with basically the same players that nearly got relegated last season and tonight was just one of those games where nothing clicked for anyone.

The first half we weren’t at the races and throughout the game, even during the period in the second half when Villa did rally following a superb long distance goal from Gavin McCann, Manchester City were still closing us down far quicker than we closed them down and they were constantly snapping at our players heals, it goes without saying the no-brain from Citeh Joey Barton had to take it too far, he’s a yob pure and simple, he even told Martin O’Neill to ‘f’ off, kinda sums the bloke up, once a scum bag, always a scum bag no matter how good his footballing talent, please God, don’t let him every put on the claret and blue shirt.

I digress…….!

The first goal had to come from Darius Vassell and despite the predictable boos for the former Villa player by certain sections of the crowd, he had the good grace not to celebrate in front of the Holte, a place he frequented as himself as a lad.

What I can’t figure out is what is it with this Villa team, whenever the opponents are on a poor run, we oblige in helping them end it. Boro last week hadn’t scored away from home, so (although it was off side by a country mile) we allowed them to score. Tonight Citeh turned us over and yet they’d not won away from home all season. Chaps, we don’t need to be nice, be bastards, allow other teams’ bad runs to continue, in fact, rub it in and make it worse!

Seriously, this was just a glitch, Martin O’Neill has said what is important now is how they react and with a tough away trip to Portsmouth, they’ll need to react correctly.

Lets face it, with all due respect, there are players in the team at the moment who won’t be here this time next season. There is a nucleus of a good team plus some very promising youngsters, but there are areas where we are woefully short of skill and I’m sure that will be corrected.

I don’t however think anyone can seriously complain at the strikers tonight, fine in total we only had four shots on target, but with our midfield largely missing, the supply was dire and they had to feed off scraps. A playmaker is still very much a priority, although I have to be honest and say I can’t see Baros being around come the start of next season, his skills will be far better suited to the continent, not the battles and scraps of the Premiership.

In summary….. wahey they all cry …….. from the get-go it was obvious this wasn’t going to be our night, after the McCann goal we had a chance to get back into the game and even earlier than that Petrov hit the underside of the crossbar only to see the ball bounce back out from a free kick, on another night our luck might have gone differently, but when they broke and Taylor as well as Ridgewell made a hash of the threat from Citeh defender Sylvain Distin who neatly deposited the ball in the back of our net, it was game over.

At times like these you can see who the real winners and fighters are. Olof Mellberg was clearly furious at the score and didn’t give up until the final whistle, tackling tough and showing Barton especially that he was still in the game, whereas a few other players heads dropped and they accepted it just wasn’t to be their night.

Funnily enough, I quite enjoyed the game, take away the disappointment of not taking advantage of Arsenal losing again, at least there was some blood and thunder, shame it mostly came from Citeh.

Player Ratings

Stuart Taylor 5
A fantastic double save, haven’t seen the replays so don’t know if he could have done anything about the first two goals, could have done more with the third.

Gary Cahill 5
some tough tackles and hard work but as with the rest of the defence, beaten well.

Liam Ridgewell 5
stuck in but again, we conceded three goals

Olof Mellberg 6
gets forward fairly well as right back, certainly the most physical of our players tonight.

Wilfred Bouma 5
as above, substituted with Barry dropping to left back on 63 mins but that was more to get Davis on than a criticism of how he played.

Gavin McCann 6
As with our other midfielders, not at the races in the first half, but his goal was superb.

Stiliyan Petrov 5
Unlucky not to score with his free kick and did put more effort in tonight, but Citeh’s midfield bossed the game.

Gareth Barry 5
Even his distribution was off tonight, not his best game and I think a suspension is now due for five yellow cards.

Gabriel Agbonlahor 5
The ball wasn’t got to him much and when it was he rarely held the ball up.

Milan Baros 5
No supply, from memory no shots. Did try though.

Juan Pablo Angel 5
As above.

Steven Davis (on for Bouma 63).
Seemed to make a difference but Citeh’s 3rd goal took the wind out of everyone’s sails.

Manager Rating
Martin O’Neill. Hopping mad by the end of the game. At least he did try to shake things up and the change to 3 5 2 so nearly worked, especially with the introduction of Steven Davis on 63. He knows what he has to do at Villa and the January transfer window can’t come soon enough for him to start.

Opponent Rating
Stuart Pearce. Psycho, what was your cuddle with the linesman all about!???


19 Replies to “One Of Those Nights”

  • Last night provided a reality check for us all. Vassell and Crouch sold for £4m and Baros bought for £6.5m – O’Dreary’s leagacy? No point harping on about what’s gone I suppose, so roll on the New Year and some new faces!

  • City totally outplayed us last night, sometimes you’ve gotta hold your hands up and say you were beaten by a better team. I certainly wouldn’t mind Barton on our side, I thought he was a class act and run the game! Not convinced about Bouma at all, I rate Jlloyd more. I know the eye patched wearing Holte Enders will disagree but if Jlloyd stayed stationary like Bouma did for their 2nd goal he would have been mullered for it. Gabby was getting no joy on the wing (again) so he should have been put up front in place of Baros. Baros was completely hopeless again, sorry J.P. but I’d only give him 2 out of 10. I thought Davies looked fresh and willing like he looked when he 1st got in the team, he’d gone a bit stale but worth a start perhaps Saturday?
    It’s never really a good idea to boo a former striker is it? They do normally score so DON’T do it!!! If the other team has a decent stiker who hasn’t played for us before don’t boo him either because they normally score too!!!

  • In perspective how many losses now????? everyone is allowed a bad day. We’ll be back. The big question is was Petrovs new chant (as suggested by VOTH) sung for him??? UTV

  • As we all said when Randy and M’ON came on board there will be many ups and downs in the coming years. It is all part of the ride. Last night was a down …. and there will plenty more downs. But we can also see that there will be plenty of highs, so just enjoy the ride. As for the second goal, Bouma was not at fault. Ridgewell (who has been superb this season) was five yards deeper than the rest of the defence. Had he have been up with them, then Samaras would have not been in that position. Barton then made the run from midfield and Gareth realised a second late and was five yards behind him, instead of tracking him all the way. So lets not start the old Villa thing of castigating players and saying this player and that player should be dropped. Mistakes were made and it is M’ONs job to reduce the number of mistakes. Personally I think Man City beat us at our own game. They played the same system as we did earlier in the season with three players up front, who were also prepared to track back, and we didn’t know how to cope. It was only when we went to three at the back and five in the middle that it looked like we could get something out of the game. But then we got caught on the break. It happens and we will move on. As for my Petrov song, we scored two minutes after I went to the back of the Holte and started singing it (manfully joined by a few brave souls). I will try it again at Sheff Utd. Unfortunately not going to Pompey, as Dublin and the back stuff is calling me. Looking on the bright side, from the exact same games last season we had lost nine times (including both Boro and Man City at home). Our last four games (Everton, Wigan, Boro and Man City) last season produced four defeats. A win, two draws and just one defeat is progress in my eyes. UTV

  • Barton – annoying isn’t he? Let’s buy him -he’d die for the cause and would love to leave MANC. Let’s also get rid of Bouma-no-neck and get Wayne Bridge, then get rid of Baros and have Defoe – with lots of games behind him he’ll be a 15-20 goaler which will in turn attract other players….see it’s all making sense now isn’t it.

  • Great match review. This was bound to happen at sometime. You can’t afford to make too many mistakes in any premiership match. Look at Arsenal, Everton and Redscouse – in similar positions as ourselves (they forked out shed loads of cash and strikers have gone cold). The focus on Baros worries me, we have selective memories – we had no money to spend and Duck Egg tried to sign Beattie, Parker and Bellamy (I would say only one of those has come off). We have to keep our nerve with the new manager and believe in him – a different mind set for many fans. We have to sign a few hungry players from the lower divisions IMO.

  • Have to disagree koolbill. I do not believe that left back is a priority for us a the moment. As for Defoe he is not good enough for a starting place at Spuds, so why would he be good enough for us? His scoring record is better than Baros (79 league goals in 222 appearances compared to 39 in 162 for Baros). But I believe that to make real progress we must be looking at a level above that. Bring on Luca Toni. Give him the wages and all the spaghetti he can eat and get him to VP.

  • all the other results last night bailed us out as well so theres no change from befour the game.just reading to watch out for.

  • What impressed me about citeh is they didn’t let us play our game, they didn’t give us a second on the ball and it shook our lot up!

  • Pointless starting to have a pop at the players. Let’s just remember how far we’ve come in such a short space of time. It’s only our second defeat of the season, which is fantastic considering where we were this time last season. Agree with voth- left back isn’t really a priority at the moment. Luca Toni would be a superb buy and he’s exactly what we need up front- could be the perfect partner for Gabby in the long term. Have to disagree with JP about Baros. 2 out of 10 for me as well. They guy doesn’t look interested at all- he’ll be shipped out in January

  • Back to reality for you guys this morning!! But as the article says, you’re having a good season with a relatively poor squad!! BUT only 4 points from 11th!!

  • I believe it was Barry 5th yellow of the season? If it was, does that mean he must sit out the Pompey game?

  • baldy, are you lost, you appear to be on the wrong site. Your site is the one for those within six points of the relegation zone.

  • In late April Manchester City came to town and turned us over. We were in the depths of despair, the future looked very bleak, we were going absolutely nowhere but down. City returned to the scene of their April success last night, and once again left Villa Park with all three points. On the surface then not much has changed? Except of course that we all know and appreciate full well that it has. Nothing can excuse or explain that appalling first forty five minutes last night, when City gave us a footballing lesson. We deserved what we got. Nothing but a thrashing. The future though is full of hope and optimism, one home defeat isn’t going to change or destroy the huge strides that we have taken since the events of this past summer. Lets pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down, and head off to the south-coast for Saturdays game at Fratton Park, sound of heart and in good voice.

  • Baldyyid – enjoy it while you can, this time in 2 years the only fans that will be on here worrying are Utd and Chelsea.

  • Still think that Pearces outfit will struggle to stay up this season. What concerns me though having said that, is just how easy they took us to pieces.

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