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Cheers, Gloom ... and Cheers

Cheers, Gloom ... and Cheers

I did not expect that this, that my second visit to see Villa play at VP in 20 years (the other was three seasons ago), was going to end in tears.

Up the motorway my Man U-supporting son and I travelled, and when Villa took that early lead, there was a look of desolation on his face and when Villa could have scored a second, he was preparing for the worst. But it would not be long before the appearances of our ‘fizzogs’ completely changed around. How our defence just melted away I cannot comprehend… But, I reasoned, MON would make a couple of telling substitutions, and there’d be every chance the second would be a storming half. My dad’s talk of that 1948 extravaganza when Villa came back from 1-4 down to be 4-5 behind (only to lose another late goal) came to mind. It was not to be.

The booking of Reo-Coker the first time was an appalling decision – and the second was not far better. And then Carson.

Even after Tayls saved that penalty, the Villa fans reacted badly. Where we were – up in the gods in the Trinity – they started drifting home. After cheering the save, the Holte seemed to go silent. It was the Man U fans that were splendorously in voice now. But – bless ‘em – it was not long before the Holte recovered its composure and were singing lustily right to the end. A spirit that I had thought had gone from the Holte-enders, and one that indicated firm hope for the future.

I have never seen a match like it. I had never before seen a Villa player sent off, even! Even with 9 players, Villa came within an ace of getting a consolation goal when Maloney was released. And, what is more, the moral ascendancy ended with the Villa, as it was United’s defenders that were showing childish tantrums towards the end – even being 4-1 up against 9 players; Gabby had upset ‘em. Villa, on the other hand, never lost their spirit – but it was a forlorn hope against such a team.

However, there does seem to be a weakness in Villa’s defence. That 4-4 come-back by Spurs a few weeks ago seemed to say something. And now this. But though Reo-Coker was playing manfully in the first half, the midfield also seemed to lack something. Barry was perhaps tired and jaded after his Russian experience, and for me did not do a lot this time, of a constructive nature.

But, as said so often of late, it’s still early days. Yesterday’s opponents may well be the season’s champions. There are many other sides in the Prem that would have wilted under Villa’s rapier-thrusting play in the first 30 minutes. The future is bright.

Up the Villa!

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Writer:John Lerwill
Date:Sunday October 21 2007
Time: 10:40AM


I forgot to mention another positive - Young's nutmeg on Rooney late on in the match!
21/10/2007 11:12:00
No positives to take from yesterdays game,our performance against Man U was going to be a test to see how much we have improved this season seeing as we always embarass ourselves in this game,yesterday was probably our worst ever performance in this fixture.A big step backwards.
21/10/2007 11:28:00
The positive is that we scored first. I think Fergie must have watched us and targeted Knight as he has looked sketchy recently but got away with it. Curtis needs to leave the pub and start playing for us
21/10/2007 11:50:00
we were taught a footballing lesson, and in parts of the field we were simply out classed. Lets hope the players study the match and learn from the mistakes that were made. On the plus side we know that we can score against anyone in this league, we just need to defend better, and get some quality players in january. With Reo Coker out, maybe our guy from togo will get a chance in the next couple of weeks? Keep the faith.
21/10/2007 12:27:00
Another positive, Villan444, is that we looked capable of getting a second. And perhaps should have done. Despite Man U's obvious patient build-ups, we looked at times as though we might scythe through their defence. The defence let us down, but only having looked as though they would hold their own until they scored. And they scored through our ball-gazing.
21/10/2007 13:08:00
Still very positive and can clearly see the steady overall progression. Lets not get too down over one crazy game of football. I personally felt that if you take away the unfair sending off of Reo-Coker and the fact we let ourselves down defensively, we did have them worried for a while. Very encouraged by Young and Gabby, and believe they will only get better. The future is bright, the future is Villa!
21/10/2007 20:30:00
We kept on fighting, didn't throw in the towel. That was a positive. Its brought us back down to earth. There's still an awful lot of work to be done. Surely we all knew that? Tottenham showed us that the defence isn't right. We might have been hoping it was a one-off, we now know it wasn't.
22/10/2007 00:33:00
Of course there's a wekness in our defense. Only Laursen is good enough, the others are all 2nd rate and any team with Man U's class will walk thro' us. God help us if we have 1 or 2 injuries when we play Arsenal!
26/10/2007 15:06:00
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