Aston Villa - Brave Tactics Against Chelsea
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Brave Tactics Against Chelsea

The result justifies the tactics and Sunday against Chelsea never has that maxim been truer.

Without Lampard Chelsea decided to use 3 big men in defence sure that O'Neill would use Carew as a target man on whom there would be a bombardment from Villa.

How do I know, Mourinho said so in his pre match interview. O'Neill for me gambled on a 4 2 2 1 1 formation but didn't bombard Carew or the Chelsea defence with high balls instead he relied on a defensive away game tactic, using Gabby and Young as extra defenders counter attacking when they could.

Thanks to Young, mainly, it worked superbly as we all know, what I don't feel is appreciated is how brave a move it was. I can't wait to see how he approaches Man City Sunday, especially as they are such an unknown quantity and we have such a bad reputation against them, although didn't we win there last season.

Why brave, well simply put Chelsea have a knack of always scoring goals, especially from free kicks,and while we never commanded in our own penalty area from such they didn't score, yet we, thanks to Knight did. We beat them at their own game. Add in Laursen dominating Drogba and a good ref who doesn't freely give penalties and the Chelsea threat wasn't there.

They literally huffed and puffed but Villa's doggedness won through. Its not always going to be like that mind, but then I don't expect him to play like that especially if Petrov starts working properly. I've watched the game several times and have come to believe that as the game progressed Villa's individual confidence rose too, Young tried to push the limits more, Barry started swinging the ball all over the shop and our defence just kept winning through as Chelsea ran out of ideas.

Even Mourinho's usually effective substitutions didn't change much, in fact I think taking SWP off was the killer move he played right into O'Neill's hands.

Considering the Chelsea track record away from home, considering their form so far playing, such tactics were not that safe a bet, to maintain them, nay encourage them as the Chelsea possession stats increased was very brave, many managers would have taken off 1 or 2 strikers and filled the midfield, when we scored, not that he had many on the bench to do that of course.

Yep the more I think on it a brave and successful move from O'Neill, maybe he is getting up to speed at last. Sunday will see if I'm right, the squad is limited, he is a lucky manager, he doesn't always get it right, he did Sunday so deserves the plaudits.

Nice one Martin

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The Journalist

Writer: avfc48 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday September 11 2007

Time: 9:43AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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If anyone tells me that was negative I'm going to shoot myself. Now play nicely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Fear
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11/09/2007 09:45:00

No, I don't think you can call it negative. There is still the odd backhanded comment ("maybe he is getting up to speed at last") but it's a good article. I'm glad avfc has highlighted the fact that MON didn't simply pump high balls up to Carew. I personally think far too much has been made of MON's tactics with Leicester, etc., and everybody expects him to aim for the big man. In my opinion he has always done what any good manager does - he has used the resources he has and played to the strengths of his players. If that involves pumping high balls up to your big man, so be it, but he clearly likes to see good football when he knows his team is capable of it. Villa do now have players who are capable of good football, and MON has been critical of his team on the occasions they have not kept the ball on the ground. Good on you MON, and good on you avfc. (That OK JPF?)
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11/09/2007 10:33:00

Credit where it's due, good article mr48
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11/09/2007 10:43:00

I just don't get this guy. Yes this is positive, but how could you be anything but positive about that performance, and more importantly the result. What I don't understand is why on another current thread we get AVFC48 having a completely unwarranted pop at MON questioning his man management / player motivation skills when it's in the context of Shaun Moany bleating on about missing Scotland. No consistency. Always in my mind just looking to have a go at MON at every opportunity, but just knows that doing so in the context of the Chelsea result would open him up to a slagging. You can't have it both ways.
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11/09/2007 10:45:00

I speak for most on here when I say we are all now fed up these God Squad members writing positive articles about MON. For Gods sake will you all give it a rest, one win doesn’t make a season you bunch of O’Neill sheep. Ok we beat Chelski but let’s be realistic about it, they were without by far their best player in Lampard and MON got the luck of the Irish on Sunday, plain and simple. This kind of sycophantic rhetoric has got to stop right now, whatever happened to the true Villa fans amongst you who could see the wood from the trees. To us true believers, MON speaks a good game and has you all under his mythical spell and fooled into believing he’s a great manager. You all need to wake up and smell the coffee before it’s too late and MON wins us all over.
Hoss The Villain
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11/09/2007 11:42:00

Nice one Hoss, LOL!!!!!!!
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11/09/2007 11:53:00

I have to disagree 48. Villas long ball game to the lone striker Carew was ineffective. It was sheer luck that we managed to be CSKAhelski. M'ON should start looking over his shoulder because Graham Souness is still looking for a job.
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11/09/2007 12:46:00

Nice post avfc48......nice post avfc48......had to say it twice !! Brave, not the words I'd use.....confident more like it.......they are only a football team, and can be beaten. The ref wasn't good though 48, he gave them 16 decisions that they didn't warrant, but as you rightly point out, he never gave them a penalty, so in that respect he made one decent decision. Man City, don't think they will cope with our pace to be fair, they had a good start, but the honeymoon period is running out fast for them now......fancy a.................. Man City 1 - 2 Villa..scoreline
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11/09/2007 13:17:00

so voice.... if this lucky long ball game was going on....what were Young and Gabby doing all game ?? I'm sure I kept seeing them running up and down the wings with the ball.....passing between Reo-Coker and Barry.....or was there three balls on the pitch.....'football 90% skill, 10% luck'..Sir Alex Fergasun...
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11/09/2007 13:22:00

Well it is something like this astonmilan. We had everybody behind the ball and we kept playing it long to our lone striker Carew. If we had conceeded first it would have been different. Now before you reply to this I am being a little facetious, because I am just quoting what a poster had put on a previous thread. Can't remember their name but I am sure they are not part of the knob squad. I am also certain that he is a very, very nice man.
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11/09/2007 14:03:00

There are many who believe,myself included I hasten to add, that as a unit we are currently likely to be more effective on our travels, where the game plan very much suits our current personnel, than we probably will be at VP, when the onus is upon us to take the game to the opposition. 48 is of course spot on with his assessment that it was away-day tactics that saw us through on Sunday last, a game plan based on solid defence, allied to lightnight quick breaks from our nimble-toed wizards, in the shape of Ash, Luke, and Gabby. More of the same in Sven's backyard this upcoming weekend, and maybe we'll have the pleasure of reading another fairly vibrant, upbeat piece from '48 next week.
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11/09/2007 16:18:00

Even if we do and we did, there'd be people finding fault. It was a brave move by O'Neill and against character in many respects to have so many players able to take the game on the attack as they did. If Carew could just sort out getting into the penalty areas as well as being there for the ball played up to him, we might even see more positive results at home That said his hold up play was still half decent and he did one headed flick through very reminiscent of Withe at his best, if it had been closer to their area it might have been deadly. With as I see it a fully fit squad and with Maloney on the back of 3 goals in 2 appearances Brave still has to be the word. I don't think even had it failed I'd have complained too much, but you never know
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11/09/2007 17:36:00

Hoss the villian are you serious? Surely not.
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11/09/2007 20:00:00

Credit where it is due 48. Good article.
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11/09/2007 20:01:00

dannygav. Hoss was 'removing the urine' from 48, who may I add is a very, very nice man and should not have been named as the leader of the 'Knob Squad' but another user. And judging by his last post he is also developing a sense of humour. I have just had to check out of the window in case any pigs went flying past.
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11/09/2007 21:37:00

decent article or a 48 PR exercise...we'll never know, but, well written nonetheless....all except for MON being a lucky don't get from Wycombe Wanderers to SPL/EPL by luck - but some luck will have come his way for sure. Agree with mos of the rest of it.
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11/09/2007 21:42:00

What's this? the KNOB SQUAD want to merge with the GOD SQUAD? The comment you made about MON being lucky is a strange one though - Garry Player once said 'its funny, but the harder I work the luckier I get'. AVFC48; We make our own luck mate and its got everything to do with hard work and a small thing called talent. You may not like MON nor his decissions but the guy has a good track record as both a player and coach. He has been in the game most of his life and you do not get by on luck alone. In my opinion he is perhaps one of the best coaches in the premier league at the moment. However, he is only human and will make mistakes from time to time.
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12/09/2007 00:30:00

Hoss/Voice. Sorry, I am a bit slow. :-)
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12/09/2007 07:41:00

No worries Dannygav, I have now removed the tongue that was lodged in the side of my cheek and can now speak normally again...
Hoss The Villain
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12/09/2007 11:55:00

Good to note that '48 has actually enjoyed a game at long, long last. I never thought I'd live to see the day.
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21/09/2007 09:27:00


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