Date: 20th March 2010 at 5:33pm
Written by:

I’ve had a little bit of time to clear my mind from today’s game. I’m sure for the neutral it was a decent game, a decent local derby and I would think, despite our two goals being off side (thought so at the game, now know so having watched the sky end of game summary that I’d recorded) Wolves should be fairly pleased with a draw? They are relegation threatened and we are in the mix – albeit maybe just outside (?) – for a top four place.

You can look at this any way you want but I said to my mates before kick off nothing but a win for all our remaining home games will be enough if we are seriously looking at 4th. Today we started so brightly and really appeared to be ready to give the Wolves a proper Lions mauling. It took John Carew just 16 minutes to convert from a nice forward flowing attack – now as said, it was marginally offside but hey, we weren’t complaining and we had had other chances before and after to put the game out of sight within 20 odd minutes.


We always do it really, we just don’t kill off teams and as one caller said in the Tom Ross phone in on the way home, ‘this is why we aren’t talked about seriously for the top four’. Today’s game was never going to be easy, it is a local derby, Wolves have local pride to fight for, let alone their Premiership status, but we should have won. We should expect the quality in our team to shine through and we should be shooting more and scoring more.

Should and could don’t equal points sadly and as MON said in his post match reaction (see front page index for that) a draw was about the right result. Mick McCarthy might feel slightly differently but him and Wolves aren’t my concern, with no disrespect meant.

Ashley Young was great today, he was whipping in the ball left, right and centre. Carew got on the end of the one for his first goal. Heskey on the other hand? No, I’m not going to bother being ultra negi or going down that road, I’ve tried to so hard to support him and see the ‘other’ stuff he brings to the game but today I thought he was a liability, despite playing a part in the second goal. His ball control – sorry, his lack of ball control for an England international is a joke. He lost the ball leading to Wolves second goal and also miss-controlled pathetically by where I sit (touchline by the Villa bench) and we just sat there baffled as to why he was still on the pitch.

The most telling part of the game really was when our benched right-back (yes, we do have a proper right back, you might remember him, he was one of our players of the season last year) Luke Young ran to the Holte to warm up. The cheer was amazingly loud. Then Nathan Delfouneso ran towards them and got a similar very loud cheer. Villa fans even started singing to bring on The Fonz. Hint hint to MON?

MON brought on Marc Albrighton (what a future he has) to be …. right back, yes, that is right back and Steve Sidwell. Sidders put in the effort but that was hardly a game changing ‘risk’ was it?

Luke Young was standing by the bench looking totally fed up. What has gone on there? Surely this is more than just football? Carlos Cuellar, who I love in the centre, is simply not a right-back as many fans were heckling through the game. I feel sorry for him as he looks so out of position there and his distribution is sadly lacking. The stubbornness to make changes and use different players is costing us and costing us dear.

We have 14 points from the last 30, just three wins in 10. That is pushing us out of what could have been a strong challenge to the top four, or even the top three. It is a shame to see but this season is going the same way as last season, fizzling out. Now we could still salvage this if other results are kind to us but I did feel today we were starting the slow wave bye bye to 4th. The FA Cup semi will keep things alive, hopefully after it even more so and if we can get a swift win on Wednesday v Sunderland (Bent on fire again today I see) and get something from Stamford Bridge, then who knows?

We are unbeaten this year. You can look at it that way as well and also, we didn’t lose today either!

Opti’s? Negi’s? On the fencers?

I’m in some ways so happy with what is going on and in others (substitutions, lack of rotation etc) I’m baffled.

Think I’ll just keep doing what I do, shout myself hoarse, bang the boarding’s (my hands are bruised after today, my one finger is blue, I get the feeling it is going to hurt come the morning! LOL) and carry on along for the ride.

The bigger picture? I just can’t find the energy to over think it, what will be will be.

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Player Ratings

Brad Friedel 5
not a great game I didn’t think and was caught flat footed for the first goal

Stephen Warnock 6
some good moments, SO close to connecting from a cross to put us (I think at the time anyway) 2 up

Richard Dunne 6
didn’t seem as active today and it has since been revealed he had a sore achilles

James Collins 6
well, the defence let in two goals today so can’t go much higher in ratings really!

Carlos Cueller 5
so harsh on him but he is out of place and his passing was way off… and we’d best not mention his ‘shot’ eh?! Put him back in the centre!

Ashley Young 8

James Milner 6
not as good a game but still worked tirelessly. He scored an own goal but had to try something as the Wolves player would have slotted it in anyway

Stiliyan Petrov 5
looks tired to me? Put in some good work but also lost his rag and could have been (should have been?) sent off. His one foul led to Wolves first goal. Bit ragged basically

Stewart Downing 5
pretty poor to be fair, awful crossing, not many passes connecting etc. Started brightly for us in his Villa career but in the last few games he seems to have faded. Hopefully he’ll be fully at the party next season with a full pre-season under his belt.

John Carew 8
that is the Carew we should see all the time, if we did no-one, including MON would have any complaints would they?

Emile Heskey 5
ball control pathetic for an international and a player of such experience.

Marc Albrighton (on for Dunne 70th min) 7
looked very bright, albeit going forward as is a wingers want. Luke Young looked gutted to have a winger ahead of him for right back!

Steve Sidwell (on for Downing 77th) 6
put in the effort for the short time he was on

Pie Scandal
I’m sorry to report the steak and kidney pies weren’t cooked on arrival and so I had to settle for a chicken and mushroom. I told the young lady who served me she had ruined my game (don’t worry, in a nice joking voice) and she apologised most profusely bless her!


24 Replies to “Villa An ‘Off Side’ v Wolves”

  • I thought Warnock had a poor game today. His passing was awful for the most part of the game. Cueller at RB is getting a bit beyond a joke. The second goal today he just flopped to the floor when the Wolves attacker just stepped to the side of him. THe am

  • Maybe you could say the same thing to MON about him ruining your game, doubt he will apologise though, just be perplexed as to why you too were not ‘delighted’

  • I’ve been saying for ages that something has gone on re LY. It’s blatently obvious and he’ll be gone if MON thinks he can get away with it imo. As much as I don’t mind Cuellar at RB (why change a superb defence?) he was poor today, no doubt about it. But

  • And while you’re at it JF, pleeeeease get rid of that damn side pop out thing, well annoying….understand you probably can’t due to revenue protection but…………

  • I really thought you were in the pole position for 4th. This one will hurt. Really didn’t see this on coming. Still have confidence you’re the side to beat for the last CL spot. Bear down and get it done, gentlemen.

  • last year was a massacre advertising wise koolbill, got to recoup this year if we continue to head out of recession. Once we get some decent sponsorship, bits like that will go again, I always make sure we balance as much as possible. Going to start a 1

  • Think the worry is Teddy, that the players might start thinking of the end of last season now, we are at least grabbing the draws when a loss seems on the cards but the 14 from 30 has killed us and all really for the want of finishing chances. Our guys n

  • For a long time I’ve been fine with Carlos at right back for various reasons, but today there was a glaring need for a pacy right back to deal with Wolves attacking at will on that side. Luke Young AND Habib Beye were sat on the bench – they must have be

  • On the two goals – the second one he was level as Sidders hit it, and on the first the ball was played square…..

  • Thanks for an excellent report Mr Fear. Just because I agree with everything you write with the exception that I’m not such a fan of Carew! Sorry to say I’m getting well fed up with MoN’s stubbornness. He should not let ‘fallings out’ get in the way of se

  • koolbill, you should just move to germany, or get a german IP, I dont get any probs at all on this forum…… but to the game, excelent report! Why are we even bothering with Heskey anymore? Its time to start giving more minutes to the Fonz! I really do

  • we looked tired after 20 minutes today, and have done a bit of late… my only beef with MON is this baffling lack of squad use?? why not rest Heskey, Carlos and Stan?? we have very capable replacements…. i wish he’d come out and say why he thinks this

  • Petrov was indeed lucky not to have been sent off before half time. That he never once looked like getting a second yellow after the break speaks volumes about the way Wolves played in the second half.

    My opinion on John Carew is very simple; he score

  • You should have complained to O’Neill about the pie’s he would have changed it for you after 75 minutes.

  • I was intrigued to see luke young and nathan come out for a warm down after the game and spend most of it signing autographs for the lower holte end…..i think luke will be off at seasons end, and who can blame him. We desperately needed a natural full b

  • I’d really love to see Martins player ratings every week just to see how he rates Heskey and Carew amongst others . I know he doesn’t rate Carew after the snide remarks he always makes about him .

  • Don’t panic just yet guys & gals…. should we win against sunderland in the week, all bets still stand on our top-4 race… i had us down to draw the sunderland game, so we will need to win that instead :s

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