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Vital Villa Man of the Match v Arse

Aston Villa showed how far they have come under boss Martin O'Neill this afternoon - but it was sadly not enough to overcome an in-form Arsenal side.

However, every cloud has a silver lining (that's not literally true, although I wasted a summer of my life in Snowdonia trying to get rich before finding that out) and there were some impressive individual performances at Villa Park today.

The poll, on the right-hand side of the page, asks for YOUR view on who was Villa's man-of-the-match today - with all of the starting XI and the two substitutes available to choose. So many options, it's a tough challenge. Not as tough as John Carew's challenge on Aliaksandr Hleb during the game, but...

This month has just begun, and despite today's (admittedly predictable) setback, it could well be a December to remember, with five more games before the end of the year. With the possible exception of the trip to Chelsea on Boxing Day, none of the matches should be as difficult as today's game...hopefully!

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The Journalist

Writer: Derry Villan Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday December 1 2007

Time: 7:28PM

Your Comments

We lost, but the signs are still good. Lots to be optimistic about. Arsenal are a super team and we matched them in the second half. All four defeats this season have been from teams above us in the league. To beat (or not lose to) teams above us on a regular basis is the very next step we have to take.
VillaYamYam
hard luck lads but you gave it a good shot!
merlin
Cheers Merlin. We did give it a good go and it was a real test of character for Arsenal.
randy.stand
I sincerely hope you make it to the CL next season (as long as its not at our expense though). I have a lot of time for O'neill, for his pressure attacking football & for the Villa fans, who have on the whole been superb throughout this past week. Good luck for the rest of the season!!
Ashburton Gooner
We don't expect CL at all. We should make a good attempt for top six and uefa cup.
randy.stand
randy.stand, you should be more optomistic than that!! You have outplayed Chelski this season when you weren't even playing that well, you came up against a rampant Man Utd team at the wrong time & you have pushed us all the way today & could easily have taken a point. If Villa can keep all their top players fit, then I don't see why you can't push either Liverpool or Chelski out of the top 4, both of them are inconsistent & the rest of the league after them is pretty average. I bet no other team demolishes Blackburn at Ewood Park this season like Villa done the other night!! Have some faith & you may just do it!!
Ashburton Gooner
Blimey Ashburton - you can come back here again!
The Usual Suspect
I thought Young was the most potent player in the pitch for Villa, he put in a lot of crosses, and I was impressed by his performance. Carew was also dangerous. Good luck for the rest of the season !!
prits
I'm starting to like Arsenal fans! Seriously though, I thought that we missed Reo-Coker's bite today, especially in the first half. Overall, I feel a draw would have been a fair result, but fair play to Arsenal, they are easily the best passing team there is at the moment. Have to say that when you consider the fact that MON has only been here for just over a year, the signs are very good.
Nigel-not-Reo
Olof's best game at full back too. Thought we had some very good performances today: Gabby, Shaun, Freddy, and even Zat at times. But best of all - at last - was big John. He was excellent.
Gordonsleftboot
arsenal played brilliant football in the first half leaving our lads chasing shaddows but i think we gave them a scare in the second half and big john caused them all sorts of problems, when we beat pompy this match wiill be a distant memory but i hope the gunners go on and win the prem and theres always next season for us and you just never know if we keep on improving like we are doing.
claretandblue
dont think gabby should of played you could tell he was not fit
claretandblue
Good to see another side of londoners and being able to get along with them, spurs fans are just g.ay. We had a good run, were still up there, well done
AussieVilla
Aston Villa on this match has demonstrated great character
Bosko-Macedonia
We were excellent in the first half and you were excellent in the second. You fully deserved a point from that game and if you had a proper full back to deal with Eboue and Sagna's runs I think you would've got one, possibly more. Bouma was just overwhelmed and Young, for all his attacking qualities, just doesnt get back to help out enough (Walcott has the same problem). Young did have a very good game in attack and is an excellent cross of the ball, if I could take one player from your side it would be him, but did any of you notice that O'Neil switched him to the right for about 3 minutes before figuring he had no hope against Clichy? The only low point of the game was the simaltaneous incident in which Carew should've had a red card for his tackle on Hleb and it appeared from the TV coverage Eboue elbowed Bouma in the face off the ball. Anyways, good game and I hope you lot do well this season. It is good to see the resurgence of an old giant like yourselves with a manager like O'Neil in charge, a true student of the game, dont let England take him.
Ozi Gooner
Cheers Ozi - I agree about Young. I think MoN can sort him out, just like Mourinho taught SWP. Eboue is a handful for most fullbacks!!! Don't suppose we could have him instead of Hoyte to fill our right back position? Gabby was injured, so you didn't see him at his best unfortunately. Just proud to be involved in such a great game. Maybe we can lose the "boring, boring Villa" tag now!!!
CLVilla
A provocative thought about yesterday's game would be that Arsenal showed what they could do in the first half and we couldn't live with it. They then eased off in the second and Villa looked better. If this is not the correct view, then why did Villa not get to grips with them in the first half when we were nowhere close? The other side of this is that Arsenal could not sustain that quality for a full 90 minutes and when they let go a little Villa were much able to compete. Make no mistake Villa are making massive steps both on and off the pitch - the whole setting yesterday - including cappacino coffee! and the car park moving signs, new facia on the Village to the noise generated by the crowd etc. showed a club moving up in terms of quality. And yes yesterdays performance showed the team is improving too.
Gordonsleftboot
Thought Barry was our heart beat 2nd half, I imagined Wenger wathcing him and thinking "You know what this lad could play for us", Carew also had a great game except for THAT tackle, but in all fairness Aresneal are just different class so to push them close is an achievment in itself.
DeanoVilla
Final thought - the comment above about aspirations is absolutely right. The team have to think about getting into that top 4. Shame some of the fans then still think about the blue noses. That club is so far behind Villa it is not true. They are not worth the time spent thinking about them, The focus should be on the bigger clubs not some local tinpot team that can hardly support is new manager. Might just as well sing about Tamworth than the Blues.
Gordonsleftboot
with that performance we could easily beat anyone out of the top six. although we lost very optimistic signs keep it going boys!
villabikes29
Ashley Young was fantastic. We were linked with him long before you guys were, but i thought you were completely ripped off with that price tag. But if he can perform like that week in week out, you'll recoup your money and then some!!! To be honest, as time passess, THAT tackle becomes less dominating in my thoughts, and I become mightily impressed with your second half showing. I'd hazzard a guess that you guys were very proud of your boys yesterday, well I'll hazzard a guess that you'll get prouder still with a string of Gooners coming here to tell you how good you were.
Rocky7
We was proud of our lads yesterday because we gave you a real good scare in the 2nd half and you were hanging on to a lead, no other club has done that against you this season.
randy.stand
At the beginning of the week I trhink we would have all taken 2 points frmo the Blackburn and Arsenal games. We got 3. Brilliant week IMO. Only Liverpool, Man U and Le Arse have taken anything from us at VP. If we can still say the same come May then we'll have done alright. Maybe we deserved a point yesterday but for the first time I can remember I didn't feel disappointed in defeat. Great to hear such positive views from the Gooners. My prediction for Villa at he start of the season was another jump of 5 places (so 6th). The same again in 08/09 and we'll be Champions!!! Oh and Arsenal are sensational when they pass the ball around. Certainly something to aspire to. Good luck Arsenal. I hope you win the league.
Adam Deuce
It was a great performance from the lads in the second half, and we have taken full points from the previous 4 games. I'd say we deserved a draw, but I am not to bothered because atleast we have shown we can compete with the bigger teams. Now the real tests will be when we face the "Big Four" at their grounds.
UpTheHolte
We've now got to move on from yesterday. Its over, done, forget it, and we now need to get back to winning games against Pompey this weekend. Our MOM? John Carew. Think we saw the 2007-08 Premiership Champions elect there guys.
glensider
After all the Gerrard slating from Villa fans for his supposed dive in the first game this season, and all the righteous comments about not tolerating divers, I find it amusing that no Villa fan have commented on probably the worst dive this season by Ashley Young. And here I thought that you didn't tolerate divers.
JohnDoe
JohnDoe - in defence of those watching the highlights, BBC chose not to show it, never mind comment on it. Have only just heard about it, and if true I cannot condone it. I hate diving. Mind you, Gerrard won a freekick from which you scored, whereas Young was booked, so one was dealt with correctly, one wasn't.
CLVilla
CLVilla, It's true. Don't take my word for it, check this link out. http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8742_2939923,00.html
JohnDoe
I guess it must be true JohnDoe if you read it on F365. If you want I can send you another link to a story about Elvis living in a chip shop in Skegness.
YatesyVillain
JohnDoe- have you been scouring Sky Sports since the first game of the season to find a dive by a Villa player, just to come on here and gloat about it?? Great second half performance, Carew was a real handful. Have to say though, some of Arsenal's passing and movement in the first half was unbelievable. They're a great team and for us to have outplayed them in the second half shows how far we've come
Geordie_Villa
No I haven't, I just find it amusing that Villa fans, who came in droves to our site to slate Gerrard for his supposed dive, don't even comment on probably the worst dive this season because it's been done by a Villa player. I find this hypocricy very funny. YatesyVillain, why was Young yellow carded? Just because the BBC didn't show it, it doesn't mean it didn't happen.
JohnDoe
JD - go back and read what I said. I didn't know about it until about 10mins before I saw your post - and assume others didn't. And again - he was correctly punished for it, Gerrard was not, we were with the goal. Hate diving, whether it was Young or Gerrard. Still doesn't make Gerrard's right, does it? I know you are worried we have caught you up, but really, get a life.
CLVilla
Carew, Carew, Carew is on fire! I even noticed a fire engine parked on witton lane, i think someone had dialed 999 possibly an arsenal fan to try and put Carew out! ha ha! Seriously if we gave these top 4 teams less respect (like we did against Chelsea) we might come out on top one day.
*Holte*End*Star*
absolutly gutted!! thought you'd managed to get them beat! oh well, well played tho gents, looks like its gonna be down to the CFC to hopefully snatch the points and give them that 1st league loss
SMOKIEJACK
The problem with Gerrards dive against us was the fact that he awarded himself a free.
Pking
CLVilla, I was responding to YatesyVillain and Geordie_Villa, not to you. My problem with this is that we got a righteous indignation from Villa fans after the Gerrard supposed dive, yet when a Villa player performs the worst dive this season, not one Villa fan condemned him. I find this hypocritical to say the least. Young tried to cheat, the fact that it didn't work for him and it worked for Gerrard doesn't make him less of a cheat.
JohnDoe
Shut up you plonker
Pking
Well said pking, I was enjoying the constructive comments before John Doe made a terwat of himself.
morky13villa
Oh sorry! He wasn't responding to me, how could I have been so stupid!
morky13villa
morky13villa, I don't know, how could you? Thanks for the sentiment Pking, insulting me only proves that you lost the argument and you have nothing else to say. I hate diving as much as any of you, but I don't go to other clubs sites and moan and complain about their players diving when my club's players do it. It makes me look hypocritical, as it does to those who came to our site to moan about Gerrard's dive. Some of which even went on to say that diving isn't tolerated at Villa, and if any player did it he will be booed until he stops doing it. Well Young performed the worst dive this season by any player, yet I haven't read any Villa fan condemning him for it. That hypocritical in my opinion, and if you're upset because I brought it up, tough.
JohnDoe
You have read one Villa fan critisising it - me you plonker. Again - we didn't profit from it so justice was done. Still makes him a cheat and i HOPE HE DOESN'T DO IT AGAIN, BECAUSE i WILL START TO DISLIKE HIM. GERRARD COULD HAVE HAD THE DECENCY TO MISS THE FREE KICK!!!!!
CLVilla
 

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