The buzz is back, plain and simple, there are happy smiling faces at Villa Park and there is a joint sense of relief.
The Lions were able to celebrate the news that Gareth Barry had signed a new four-year deal and welcome the new majority shareholder, Randy Lerner, made a superb, humble and understated entrance. He is a ‘big’ man for wanting the attention deflected away from him and onto the field of play, the sort of Chairman that we’ve desperately waited for in fact!
Then we kicked off and the smiles turned to jubilation as Luke Moore slotted home within 3 minutes and Villa never looked back.
Think about it. This is the same team as last season minus two players (Kevin Phillips and De la Cruz) and yet under Martin O’Neill they are a completely different prospect. There are no more long balls, no more hoofing up the field to no one, instead we have clean crisp passing, cheeky flicks, confident players who not only look happy to be playing but look like they want to fight for their place in the team.
Newcastle didn’t play badly, we just didn’t let them play well. They might have had more possession but they were unable to do anything with it because our boys were just not interested in letting the lead slip. I think that is the first time I’ve ever seen Villa outclass the Magpies, long may it continue.
I shouted over to Martin O’Neill, ‘I don’t know what you’ve done, but it is a bloody miracle’! He has, within a few weeks got Villa organised into a tight and forward moving outfit, what a refreshing change. And to think, we’ll be getting additions to this young squad as well. The Lions can start dreaming once again, not that we’ll get carried away, but the three games so far this season more than make up for the last 4 dour affairs.
Vital Villa asked what the result would be, 54% said win, 32% said lose, 14% said draw.
Full match stats: Click Here
Hard to rate as he had very little to do, nice rest for him.
Olof Mellberg 10
back to his very best, but what happened to the beard (you’ll not win Vital Villa’s best beard of the season award for a 3rd season in a row if you aren’t careful Olof!)
Liam Ridgewell 9
no so many doubting him now are there?! Just shows, treat the youth right and they will blossom.
Aaron Hughes 8
very few problems against his former team.
Peter Whittingham 8
a player enjoying his time in the sun again, all down to confidence and that is all down to the management and player. You don’t play for England U21’s if you aren’t good, and PW is good.
Gabriel Agbonlahor 8
the new Tony Morley? Ok, lets not get carried but this guy will grow and grow.
Gareth Barry 10
great skipper, ran up and down throughout the game.
Gavin McCann 8
good tough midfield performance.
Steven Davis 8
some great touches, still much to learn but at his age, he could be a real star!
Luke Moore 9
superb goal, great performance.
Juan Pablo Angel 10
ran every blade of grass, how some can’t see he is quality personified is beyond me. He’ll bang in 20 this season given the supply. Quality take for the goal.
Martin O’Neill. Class act. Acknowledged the Holte End’s ‘Martin, give us a wave’ and my mate Gary Gleeson then said, and give us a wave too, and sure enough, O’Neill obliged. He’ll be a Villa Park legend (that is O’Neill, not Gary you understand).
Newcastle. Oh dear, same old Newcastle, loads of money spent and no end product. Missing Shearer and Owen terribly, and which team wouldn’t miss those class players?
Notably on the bench, there were no striker options, lets hope Baros is back for the West Ham game. Should be an interesting few days, Stilian Petrov was withdrawn from the Celtic team yesterday? Hmmm. And Thomas Graveson wouldn’t go amiss either!