Date: 21st September 2011 at 12:59am
Written by:
0 – 2

Villa Park

20/9/11 19:45

Attendance: 22,261

What on Earth can I possibly say about that? Not much to be honest, which is why this report is going to be comparatively shorter than the rest of the ones I`ve done. If the players can`t be bothered to at least try and justify the ticket prices I have to pay, then I`m not going to be bothered giving up lots of my free time to write about them.

I always try and be as positive as I can when I`m talking about Villa, after all, I don`t believe there`s any point in watching the team regularly if you can`t just enjoy the 90 minutes, but I really am struggling after that snooze-fest. The only player I really felt sorry for tonight was Shay Given, he had absolutely no chance with any of the goals and a quality, seasoned pro like him really deserved a better show from his defence.

It was just plain terrible, from the first minute right up until the last. It seemed like there was no passion or desire, and it just didn`t look like the players even had the ability or belief to get anything out of the game, worrying stuff, all things considered. McLeish`s defensive-mindedness didn`t help things either, with Gabby looking like a completely lost soul up front and Delfouneso not looking much more spritely on the wing, to put it lightly.

Things could get worse too, if what I heard on the journey home was true, that Darren Bent requires surgery on his injury. Imagine that, we`ll have Gabby up front on his own struggling to make headway past burly Premier League defenders who all know the way he tries to get past his opponents.

Taking all this into account, it seems like there could only be one possible positive to come out of tonight. Remember when McLeish stubbornly stuck with the 4-5-1 formation when he was at Blues, only to change to 4-4-2 when injuries and form gave him no other choice? This is something that well have (hopefully) occurred to McLeish at some point during the 90 minutes tonight. He surely must have seen by now that he can not persist with this formation at Villa, mustn`t he? We just don`t have the personnel to get the best results with 5 in midfield anymore.

What makes yesterday night so harrowing is that it was a massive chance to actually get some silverware, considering what McLeish achieved in this cup during his last season with Blues. Maybe last year was just their year? The jammy bastards. I really can`t blame the portion of the 22,000 who were brave enough to show up and watch that performance who started to leave early after Bolton scored their second goal. I wish I did.

So, the game started and it wasn`t too catastrophic initially, although it was quite clear to all early on in the game that we were going to have to retain the ball a lot better and in more dangerous positions if we really were going to hurt Bolton. Villa had one or two speculative shots that generally sailed miles wide, including Villa`s best chance, Gabby`s header that deflected off the corner of the 50 pence, otherwise known as his head.

I genuinely thought (and hoped) at half time that things would turn around in the second half. In what was yet another completely nondescript second 45 minutes as our magnanimous exit from the Carling Cup was confirmed, Man Utd reject Chris Eagles scored an absolute piledriver to give Bolton a goal`s lead and that was doubled as their Chelsea loanee Gael Kakuta made it 2.

And that was pretty much it. The performance was met with a deserving chorus of boos at the final whistle and all of a sudden the 5 game unbeaten run in the league becomes 1 win in 5, and things don`t look so rosy. Still, at least we can concentrate on the ‘bread and butter` of the Premier League now, or can we? It could be our year for the FA Cup…

Player Ratings

Shay Given 6
Our best player, just because he didn’t actually do anything wrong.

Alan Hutton 5
A second crap defensive performance. We might have to get used to this.

Stephen Warnock 5
Didn’t seem to exist at left-back.

Richard Dunne 5
Won about 4 headers.

James Collins 5
Made 1 good block that I could remember.

Stephen Ireland 5
At least he put himself about a bit.

Marc Albrighton 3
Didn’t beat his man very often and the final ball was crap.

Stiliyan Petrov 5
Went unnoticed.

Barry Bannan 5
Worked hard but didn’t do much else.

Nathan Delfouneso 4
Is not a winger, end of.

Gabby Agbonlahor 4
Wasn’t great up against the centre backs.

Charles N’Zogbia 5
Can only remember him making one pass.

Star Player

Shay Given


27 Replies to “Villa 0-2 Bolton – Match Report”

  • Here on holiday in Mauritius … cus of the 3hr time difference i missed the game … and then got up at 6am this morning …. 3am in uk to see this set back …. Where we right to get rid of GH ? I see Michael Owen got 2 for Man U… we really are gonna

  • Why is Herd not playing? We see a young player get into the tea showing enthusiasm to go forward and was solid defensively. Then only to be rewarded by being dropped the next week. Hutton is an average right back at best from what I saw of him at tottenha

  • Well the McLeish OUT! crowd must be loving this! If we loose against QPR they will be out if full force! And judging by the comments about this game if we dont improve dramatically, we will! I am really gutted thinking that Mcleish won this title last yea

  • And so it begins. Through a glass darkly to start but becoming clearer. Before the season started I complained long and loud that AM had been a failure everywhere he had been. Now his inadequacies are plain for all to see. I see only trials and tribulatio

  • Our manager is scotish league quality
    All can see his lack of tactical know how and his stubborn belief that 4-5-1
    Works. Now I could understand his formation let’s say to play
    Away at old Trafford perfect sense but at home it’s got to
    4-4-2 nothing

  • The worrying thing is that the players have not responded to the Manager, no desire on or off the ball plus the team formation and shape since he came has looked incorrect yet he still persists.

  • I am usually quite positive, go home & away and I am not sure I can recall a worse performance than that. I was up till 2am, as frankly I was that mad I could not sleep. It was terrible, Ireland was always in the wrong position when he had the ball wo

  • Dominic, I agree mate that the players have to take responsibility and said the same last season, but good tactics and coaching can turn very ordinary players into a good team. You’ve surely heard the oft quoted phrase of the whole is better than the sum

  • Dominic, I agree mate that the players have to take responsibility and said the same last season, but good tactics and coaching can turn very ordinary players into a good team. You’ve surely heard the oft quoted phrase of the whole is better than the sum

  • What we have to remember is we have sold all our best players and not replaced them, Barry, Milner, Young, Downing, we still are short on Carew Reo Coker, bloody hell even Sidwell would get into our midfield, for me this shows a lack of ambition on Randys

  • Our thin squad is showing cracks, said before season started we needed more forward options and its showing up, also muted a forward coach …. calling Collymore get down there and teach them how to score… top teams have goals coming from all positions

  • I know I’ve been criticised for suggesting this before, but a £20 investment now could get you a whole season of Championship football next season. Bookmakers are offering 20-1 against us going down, Bolton are only 7-2. Doesn’t look right to me. On last

  • looks like, no matter how positive some of us have tried to be, this season is set to end in tears. Such a shame, I was well up for last night, I thought the result would be the flick of a coin but once I saw Bolton had made 9 changes, well, they were th

  • yes astonsteve but the players on the pitch were still capable of at least looking interested mate. Agree Dominic22, we often talk and are always (usually) up beat, home or away and we were last night. Then ‘that’… not fair eh? Not fair on the good f

  • Also thought in terms of our squad how light weight the midfield is, for me great goalkeeper, very good defence, crap midfield and winger. very good forward line, cant believe Randy paid 24 mil for a top finisher then sold his supply line, for years we ha

  • Our midfield looks very weak and the back up is very inexperienced and unproven that it even contains talent. Astonsteve is totally right, in fact everyone here is speaking sense. What is the point in RL trying to run us on a shoe string, that will get yo

  • And Gobby says they are worth what they get paid……. not on the last two “performances” alone mate! Wouldn’t pay them in ******** washers! Ginger Ninja has to go…. should never of come in the first place, and Randy needs to go too, he has littl

  • I am most definitely one of the McLeish out brigade and, no, I’m not loving it, I’ve been a villa fan for over 50 years and don’t wan’t to see them lose any game at any time. BUT, oh my we are so right about McLeish and, sounds like that bunch don’t wanna

  • The good points from last night are . . . . . the section of fans in the corner of the Lower Holte that never stopped singing all night, including at 2 – 0 down and after the final whistle. A reminder to all fans what Holte End support should be like. The

  • 2 trips up from Kent this month (1st time in a decade i’ve had no season ticket) with the family, around £300 spent, and the kids haven’t seen a single goal! (well not from us) explain to me Lerner why I need to come again.

  • I said it before the start of the season the board have put A.M. there as the fall guy and here it comes.Didnt want the guy originally, i feel hes making the best of a bad job. This game confirms what i expected the results so far were against average tea

  • Totally agree with Jonah. I will not go down again until McLeish is gone. Not so much the blues connection (although it didn’t help!) but the total lack of any tactical nose (sic) and general lack of wanting to play the game as it is ment to be played. He

  • Well said VOTH we’re in a very danigerous spot at the moment if we stick with ECK we’re screwed, if we sack him what manager will want to come here for gods sake during the summer before we sold our best players and halved the squad 4 managers turned us d

  • Only problem i have with your argument Kerry is i dont think the present squad is good enough for a top half finish. We had a different manager last year with different tatics the result near relegation apart from bents goals. The main providers of those

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