War of Worlds and Bolton Trotters
NO ONE would have believed in the last weeks of the 2007/08 season that this match was being watched keenly and closely by supporters greater than manyoos and yet as mortal as Martin O'Neill; that as men bruised them selves about their various tackles they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a manager with a microscope might scrutinise the transfer market.
Players that swarm and multiply in the penalty box at a corner. With infinite complacency men swayed to and fro over this match about their aspirations and hopes for the season, serene in their assurance that the winner takes it all and building their empire depended on this 90 minutes.
Where did the season go tits up, coming off the pitch against Arsenal the players had done really well, Arsenal getting a goal in the 94th minute to salvage a point from the game, Arsen Wenger was the happier of the two managers after seeing his table topping team salvage a draw from the jaws of defeat.
What happened next is really, to me anyway un-explained, I know we lost Davis to Injury but surely this single Injury can't be the single reason for what followed?
The team had a ten day break, surely enough time to work on the training ground before facing a resurgent Middlesborough side who had showed sings of responding to the managers desires to get away from the relegation scrap.
The performance against Bor'o was dreadful in every department, hard to think of a worse performance this season. At least at Fulham we did take the lead.
Pompey away and the team although losing seemed more coherent but still lacked the performance of a team challenging for Europe, the own goal a really fluky effort as it was would have not changed the fact that we were again leaving empty handed.
Again its difficult to see what lacking from the team.
Never mind Sunderland home and an easy three points, losing Kenwin Jones in the warm up was a massive blow for Sunderland but no the less they left Villa Park with all three points. The only change to the Villa side was the introduction of Gardener, surely this one for one with Olof Mellberg should not have made that much difference surely?
Man Yoo last Saturday was IMHO a better performance by Villa but alas Utd proved what a quality side they are and why they are the bookies favourites to win the League Champions and Premier.
Don't blame you if you have not read all the ramblings above but the point of the post is:-
Leaving aside the transfer window activity or lack of it, leaving aside personal opinions of the manager, can someone explain to me as a simple kind of bloke how the team sitting 5th/6th in the Premier League can go on such a poor run of just 2 points out of a possible 15. When you look at the team its not like whole sale changes have been made, nor have we suffered mass Injuries. (Davis Injured and Olof suspended) What has caused this recent run with the manager using the same players.
I hear a lot of people criticising the manager, end of the season, out of Europe, transfer window blah blah, but basically the same squad had us in pole position.
Mystified really, rant over, needless to say the Bolton match is our chance for the same players to get the club back on track.
Europe still a possibility? I think so as long as the players who strode off the pitch at the Emirates stride onto the pitch at Villa Park against Del Boy and Rodders.