MON Explains Villa's Change In Tactics - Sort Of
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MON Explains Villa's Change In Tactics - Sort Of

MON Explains Villa's Change In Tactics - Sort Of

It is a funny old game, we wait for two seasons for a right-back and then when we get one, after only a few games, he gets dropped for a centre back! In fact yesterday against Portsmouth Martin O'Neill dropped two new buys in order to fit in, well, two new buys really!

Both Luke Young and Nicky Shorey were consigned to the bench with Carlos Cuellar being put to right-back - or as some suggested in a back three, although that isn't how the game panned out I don't think, and James Milner into midfield.

Martin O'Neill says neither player have anything to worry about though saying there really is 'nothing fantastic to read into it.'

Slightly puzzlingly though, he says that he didn't know how players would come back from international duty and yet the two left out hadn't been on international duty. I'm slightly thick, so I'm obviously missing something?!

He told Sky Sports:

'I was concerned, as a lot of managers, about how the players would be like when they came back from international duty. We only met up on Friday morning for a brief spell and, while all the players want to play, I didn't know how long they might last in the game. For instance, John Carew was suffering with cramps a lot before the game, but he came through and started to get stronger.'

Adding, 'One player I was concerned about, Stiliyan Petrov - who played two internationals for Bulgaria and was in Georgia on Wednesday - was the best player on the pitch. We've got players available for Thursday for the Uefa Cup (against Ajax) now and it is no slight on anyone. I have been pleased with both full-backs. They are trying to get to grips. They have had no chance whatsoever to settle in. But overall they will be fine, the two lads. There is not a problem.'

That makes no sense at all to me, I would have thought if you were worried about players returning then you would play the more rested players? Then again, it only has to make sense to one man, Martin O'Neill.

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Date:Sunday October 19 2008
Time: 7:14PM


Strange line-up indeed, but we still had enough on show to have beaten Portsmouth. We're not firing up front, its worrying, particularly as we have so few options and alternatives.
26/10/2008 03:39:00
Cryptic comments from MON alright. I think he may have dropped the full backs as he feels part of the settleing in process is to play a bit, then watch a bit. At least that gives them sometime to get to know the system whilst playing, then by not playing them they can maybe see where MON wants them to improve, or where they can bring own skills to improve the team. If Young and Shorey where to play every game it seems to me thet could get booged down with trying to repeat their performances rather than trying to up their performances which is surley the ultimate reason behind MON dropping them. No harm MON trying different strategies. Well put Hoss.
20/10/2008 19:27:00
Having an opinion makes you a great manager? Me thinks you want all the great managers out there to stop having a mind of their own.
Hoss The Villain
20/10/2008 13:45:00
Amazing how many great managers there are here on the internet and sitting in the stands nowadays.
20/10/2008 13:38:00
What did he say?
20/10/2008 09:44:00
Everyone's been slagging Shorey off for ages, and when MON recognises that Portsmouth might give our full backs a torrid time and moves Gareth back there to shore things up, and Cuellar to add a bit of physicality and height, then people have a go. If people noticed, we didn't concede, so it worked, right? We had opportunities to score but didn't take them. Both decent sides, and I thought we shaded it - much improved on last season when we got turned over twice. I took heart from the fact that we had by far the lions share of possession, which has been rare this season - I think per the pundits it was 57% to 43%. Trouble was we didn't really have enough invention to know what to do with the ball when we had it. I thought Petrov was excellent, but I also thought Hokey Cokey had a stormer - surprised to see he has so little of the MOM vote.
20/10/2008 07:14:00
MON doe's have brainfarts.... this idea of sticking our best midfielder as left back is lost on me.
19/10/2008 22:22:00
I dunno he tried something new and it didn't really work one thing for sure is that it might muddle up the Ajax scouts, when i saw the team sheet i thought he was being daring and playing 3,5,2, Friedel, Davies, Laursen, Cueller,,,,,,Young, Barry, Reo Coker, Petrov, Milner,,,,,Agbonlahor, Carew.
Villa 4 Ever
19/10/2008 22:08:00
Damned if you & damned iof you don't. On any given day this game could have gone either way. Leave it where it is & move on as we both have a European game to look forward to. Things could be worse, we could be Spurs or Newcastle fans.
19/10/2008 21:23:00
no match report yet?
19/10/2008 21:17:00
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