Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

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.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Sunday October 19 2008
Time: 7:14PM


I think he's trying to say 'I messed up'.
19/10/2008 19:33:00
Only a tought..Portsmouth are very strong physically and they don't tend to play with 'out and out' wingers. Cuellar and Barry gave us extra heading cover at the back, and in the first half when Crouch won a lot of headers, Barry with no winger to mark, moved into a position in front of Defoe to act as an extra shield. My only critiscm with that is that we adjusted our game to combat Pompey. They should have been worried about us! I think MON's ploy worked very well defensively, but we missed GB#s drive in midfield although Reo Coker and Petrov in particular were exceleent. Just a thought!
19/10/2008 19:44:00
at the end of the day if it had worked and we'd won, he'd have been hailed the messiah, if it had failed and we'd lost he'd have taken the flack. He tried something - seems strange timing but he is the manager - it didn't work but we didn't pay too heavily and as we did get the draw and still had the lions share of the game. still think the main problem is the strike force.
The Fear
19/10/2008 19:49:00
intrestingly, you emplyed the system we expected to use, whilst we emplyed the system you expected to use... do you think maybeharry and martin got there team sheets muddled up?
19/10/2008 20:23:00
i posted this on the forums, i think it cleared up mon's ramble: I think to be fair, it confused the hell out of harry redknapp, they defended most of the game, pompey had the measure of villa last season. This season MON got everyone confused, got shorey and Luke Young thinking they were back from international duty, got petrov, Barry et al thinking they all been at home with their feet up during international break, thus thinking they had been rested to play like they hadnt been on international duty, and were full of beans and ready to run a marathon. Clever bloke this mon, took me a few days to work it out. Sherlocks job is safe me thinks!
19/10/2008 21:08:00
no match report yet?
19/10/2008 21:17:00
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
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
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
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
Page 1/2
  1. 1
  2. 2

Login to post a comment


Recent Aston Villa Articles

Something For The Weekend (512)

From Rotterdam to Götterdämmerung, in a generation?

Lescott Talks Watford & Injury Update

Joleon Lescott has spoken about Watford and Jores Okore and we also have the weekly injury update.

Audio - Richards & Gregory Talk Villa

Skipper Micah Richards has spoken about the first time he realised Villa were in trouble, and former gaffer John Gregory gives his thoughts.

The Aston Villa Injury Table...

Our weekly update looking at the injury table for Aston Villa and also comparing with all our competitors in the Premier League.

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Mike Field
Steve Wade
Turkish Penguin
Chris Heath
M Calucar
JuanPablo Angel

Current Poll (see more polls)

Aston Villa v Watford will:
Suggested By: Mystic Mug
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Leicester City 13 8 4 1 28 8
2 Man Utd 13 8 3 2 27 10
3 Man City 13 8 2 3 26 14
4 Arsenal 13 8 2 3 26 12
5 Spurs 13 6 6 1 24 13
6 West Ham 13 6 3 4 21 4
7 Everton 13 5 5 3 20 8
8 Southampton 13 5 5 3 20 5
9 Liverpool 13 5 5 3 20 2
10 Crystal Palace 13 6 1 6 19 1
11 Stoke 13 5 4 4 19 -1
12 WBA 13 5 2 6 17 -5
13 Watford 13 4 4 5 16 -2
14 Swansea 13 3 5 5 14 -4
15 Chelsea 13 4 2 7 14 -6
16 Norwich 13 3 3 7 12 -8
17 Newcastle 13 2 4 7 10 -12
18 Sunderland 13 2 3 8 9 -12
19 AFC Bournemouth 13 2 3 8 9 -13
20 Aston Villa 13 1 2 10 5 -14
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
2015 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP2
Latest Vital Boxing News
AUDIO: Fury to 'deal with' Klitschko on Saturday
Vital Football Comment

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Nov 28 2015 3:00PM : Watford (H)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 5 2015 3:00PM : Southampton (a)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 13 2015 1:30PM : Arsenal (H)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 19 2015 5:30PM : Newcastle United (a)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 26 2015 3:00PM : West Ham United (H)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 28 2015 3:00PM : Norwich City (a)
Barclays Premier League

Vital Members League Table

1.Pride of Lions1048
2.The Fear623
Write for Vital Football