Aston Villa - Only A Draw? O'Neill Out!! ;-)
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Only A Draw? O'Neill Out!! ;-)

Martin O'Neill has spoken of the Villa teams performance today after he saw Olof Mellberg become the first player ever to score in a 1-1 draw at the new Arsenal ground, the Emirates Stadium.

O'Neill said 'The players deserved everything they got today. I was delighted for the players. I thought the effort of the team was fantastic. They showed a great deal of character and a result and performance like that can only give the players confidence going into the Reading game.'

'It's hard to single players out after that sort of performance. You could point to the central defenders, right through to Juan Pablo Angel at the other end. They all worked hard and when you look at some of the young lads we have, it was easy to forget just how young they are today. We battled, but when we got it down, we played some good stuff as well.'

Adding: 'Let's not forget, we've just fought hard for a point against a side that finished runners-up in the Champions; League last season. It was backs-to-the-wall at times, but we didn't let our heads drop at any time and, even when Arsenal equalised, the players worked hard for a point. I would have been really disappointed for the players if they had missed out on at least a point, because they worked hard for what they got here.'

O'Neill also mentioned the travelling fans and actually took the players over to them at the end of the game, he said: 'The away support was fantastic. They kept us going, kept us at it.'

You won't get better away support than the travelling claret and blue army, and I'm sure with something to sing about, Villa Park will once again become a noisy fortress that will intimidate opponents.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday August 19 2006

Time: 7:35PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Who'd have thought it after last years drubbing ! It's nice to hear positive things being said by a Villa manager for a change. I wonder what Randy thought of the performance ?
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19/08/2006 20:05:00

great match there was only two bad things 1. we were unlucky not to get a better result 2. the match was on setanta sport and the bill payer wouldn't order the channel
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19/08/2006 20:28:00

Yes an excellent result. Now can we have G. Barry please.
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19/08/2006 20:52:00

Great result we must carry it on at home against reading
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19/08/2006 20:54:00

went to the match.. great game and atmosphere and i think villa finally showed some passion! o'niell was constantly on the touchline giving instructions and we looked a different team to last year. ok, we were under pressure for a while at the end, but i think we deserved a point at least. bring on chelsea!
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19/08/2006 21:01:00

Yes, a great battling performance. Watched it on santas own sky channel. We did have our backs to the wall a hell of a lot after we scored, but, the difference between last season and this match was we knew how to do it properly. Where were Lenny Henry's runs ?? or even Walcott's, I'll tell you where, we never gave them enough room between our back line and Tommy, so they'll save them for next match. Indeed we still had to do some last ditch defending, but at the end of the day it was done. Well done boys and Marty !!! Up The Villa!!!
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19/08/2006 21:49:00

Oh, forgot to mention, AVwhite, we'll not have to wait long to hear what Randy thought, he's probably on the blower to Jonny Fear as I type.
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19/08/2006 21:52:00

I though Ridgewell was supurb.
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20/08/2006 00:27:00

if we can hold out a draw 2 ARSnal then only 1 thing 4 me 2 say n thts F****ING BRING ON READIN.p CUM ON THE VILLA!! WERE GOIN PLACEs NOW LADS< N LACES P
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20/08/2006 01:35:00

Yeah, I realised just how many Villans there were in the crowd, and it was good that we scored in the goal that was nearest to them. Agbonlahor is sumthin special too, comin out of his shell this season
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20/08/2006 03:25:00

Shouldn't get too worked up by a single game, especially not the first game of the season, but it's encouraging. Today we played one of the best teams in the Prem, Wednesday we will play one of the poorest and next weekend a team much on our own level. These three matches should tell O'Neill pretty much all he needs to know about his inherited players.
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20/08/2006 08:46:00

agree Saurat, shouldn't get too worked up, but you've got to enjoy the 'highs' after such a fallow period! Reading will be a test, to come back from 2-0 down v Boro isn't bad going! Trouble is for the team and O'Neill, I guess some will now expect us to wipe the floor with Reading. Should be great, hope it is a sell out, nice to see the USA flags yesterday as well!
The Fear
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20/08/2006 10:03:00

33% possession. Villa really have made progress.
Cpt. Mainwaring
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20/08/2006 10:09:00

Its a great result holding the champions league finalists to a 1-1 draw in their new stadium.
the flying villain
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20/08/2006 11:40:00

Last year we got excited when we held them to a 0-0 result at Villa Park, we thought that was great. Yesterday we achieved the result in their own backyard. Progress? we shall see, but there were definite positives yesterday. Such an altogether different showing passion and commitment wise , than we offered up at Highbury last season.
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20/08/2006 12:35:00

Over the moon. Great performance from the Villa, they showed fantastic spirit. First goal ever scored at the Emirates - by a Villa player :o)
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20/08/2006 13:00:00

o'neill got them playing for each other....need a new striker
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21/08/2006 12:50:00

Fantastic result. It was all hand to the pump in the 2nd half by the sounds of it, but Mellberg was back to his magical best and is Ridge finally starting to fulfill his potential?
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21/08/2006 19:33:00

Five Live were impressed by the performance as well. Giving particular praise to Ridgewell, Davis, Barry and McCann. Glad to see we put up a fight and took a deserved point!
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21/08/2006 20:07:00


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