Well, personally I think that was a good match! Reading the match thread in the forum there seem to be mixed opinions and certainly big question marks over John Carew, Ashley Young and naturally enough, over Emile Heskey who I SO wanted to endear himself to us Villa fans last night… sadly not! Is it true he has arse pads instead of shin pads?! Sorry, that is a bit catty I know! lol
What I enjoyed about last night was that the effort was there and most of the players seemed up for it. Now fair enough, I’m quite easy to please because all I really want to see is a team full of players who are interesting in performing for us, win lose or draw it is the effort i want to see and apart from the petty booing I thought the atmosphere was the best of the season as well.
We could have scored early on and it would have been a shocker as it would have come from open play not a set piece. Gabby was so unlucky and Shay Given, as he so often is, was there to make a great save. I thought the first half was largely ours and the goal by Stephen Dunne deserved. I also thought the guy was quality for not over celebrating in a show of respect to the fans who had idolised him all those years, they reciprocated by clapping him. Looked mighty strange mind you, the oppo fans clapping a Villa goal!!!! I don’t think we’d have done the same if Barry had scored… then again, Barry I think our worried himself from the game, he looked shaky from the time he came out onward, not a bad performance but not the commanding sort of showing his is capable of.
Now I could get picky and point out the frailties but do you know what? I really don’t fancy doing so, after an awful showing v Blackburn Rovers Villa came out and most at least put in the effort. You could look at why we think we’ve won after one goal and why our strikers don’t shoot but then you could also look on the other side of things and see just how solid a defence we a appear to have now. If only we’d brought in an out and out goalscorer like Darren Bent, instead of relying on Carew who is either not fit, not interested or….?… and Heskey I think will cause us problems this season UNLESS they hit form, then who knows?! Gabby isn’t perfect and at his age he won’t be but he is leading the line, he is causing a threat and he is giving defenders plenty to worry about. I hope that Ashley Young takes note of Gabby’s attitude this season, maybe being dropped from the England set up will also give him a wake up call. Hopefully the lad isn’t too badly injured from the crunching second half tackle, then again, a rest or being on the bench for a game or two might not do him any harm?
The interesting thing at the end – when we were 1-1 and no complaints at Man Cities goal, it was a good build up, I didn’t like seeing Stephen Ireland coming on as he looks a quality player and so he proved as he started the move finished by that orrible little bloke Bellamy who despite being a right little **** (add your own word!) is a quality player who I’d not have minded seeing in a Villa shirt! Where was I? Oh yes, at the end when the 5 minutes extra time came up, it was Mark Hughes who was angry and therefore you would assume worrying about us sneaking a late win. He let the fourth official know what he thought. Funnily enough, I’d asked him as he returned to his bench before the second half ‘how much extra time tonight then Mark’ to which he replied ‘bloody loads I hope if we are still losing!’ Fair play to the bloke, that is the second season in a row he’s responded to my banter!
A few other opinions as I’m aware this isn’t so much a match report as a ramble…!
Deanovilla: Good point against a potential title challenger. I’d have taken it at the start, just disappointed in the way we lost the lead. Carew was shocking, Young was shocking, Milner was average. Gabby was IMMENSE!!! Brilliant. He’s really looking the part, and he was our attack, single handedly. More from Deano in a bit as I’m going to use his ratings!
ClaretAndBlue82 ‘Proud of the lads tonight they all worked so hard…We were playing a team who have spent 200mil in the last year and matched them all over the field. I’m happy.’
Randy_Stand: ‘I said i would have taken a point before the game so I’m reasonably happy. We played well. Think the sub was crying out to be made 10 mins before the equalizer. Should have had NRC on for Carew then. The back four were excellent, apart from Cuellar’s distribution. Petrov ran his balls off. Sidwell ineffective. Young was taking kicks from everyone. Milner was alright. Gabby was great, I thought he led the line well. Might not have played Carew, he did bugger all game and i think some of you guys slagging Heskey off tonight are a tad harsh. Emile Heskey did more in the few minutes he came on than John Carew did in the whole match.
Last point, fair play to Gareth Barry. He had a tough night tonight. Had a poor game by his standards, pressure got to him. He got torrents of abuse tonight from the Villa faithful. I stood silent, neither boo or clap but at the end he turned to the whole ground and applauded the Villa and Citeh fans. I would not have done that if Villa fans were calling me a w*****. So whatever you think about the guy, he has some decency there. Overall a decent night, I’m reasonably happy.’
JF: Looking MUCH better than last season I think. Has he settled in now? A couple of very important saves.
JF: Feel sorry for him, he isn’t a right-back, simple as that. He does well enough but Luke Young will no doubt re-claim that position. Surprised we bought Habib Beye as cover for right-back and yet play a central defender who is obviously not comfortable in that position? Bit baffling that MON.
JF: looks like he is settling in, 6 might be a bit harsh, not sure. Then again, never saw the problem with Shorey either! Would say Warnock is probably better tracking back and defending?!
JF: Solid in defense, great goal and so nearly got a 2nd!
JF: what a great signing, never paid any attention to him before we bought him but I’m paying attention now.. wow! Solid and won every header.
JF: Good solid performance without wowing. I do like Milner though, tough player with some great touches. He’d have got another point from me but deanovilla is a meanie!
JF: agreed, this chap has so much potential and has to be careful now not to blow it just as he is bursting on the England scene (and obviously he has been dropped due to his poor form) He hasn’t made it yet, he is mostly potential, he MUST realise that potential because he has bags of it. His passing was woeful and looks like he needs a rest?
JF, would have said 6 but he does put in the dirty work and the scruffy stuff, certainly the midfield weren’t totally overpowered as they often are last night.
JF: Too much sideways, even MON (after I yelled it to be honest!!!!) started telling him to get the ball forward. Still better performance than a few from this season so hopefully starting to hit some form. Would love to see him shoot more, we need goals from midfield.
JF: agree with Deano, Carew was woeful, the most undeserving of Holte End heroes when on this form. It is all well and good waving at us and kissing the badge, what we want is the 100% full bloodied Carew that we see all too seldom but who is awesome when on tune. Wake up John otherwise you’ll no doubt be replaced.
JF: Led the line well, gave the defenders plenty to worry about, nearly scored early on with a neat flick, still needs to be supplied with the ball more to shoot.
on for Carew (68mins) I SO wanted this to be his night but either our tactics don’t suit him or…..? Sorry, useless and baffling. We should have gone 4-5-1. Why oh why didn’t we buy a top striker this summer, a Darren Bent sort could have made THE difference to this season.
On for Ashley Young (80mins) Not on long enough to make an impact really and also he is NOT A WINGER – OR A RIGHT BACK – or anything else, he is a central midfielder!