Aston Villa - O'Neill Disappointed
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O'Neill Disappointed

Martin O'Neill was bitterly disappointed this afternoon as Villa failed to hold onto a point against Middlesbrough.

Speaking on the official site after the match O'Neill was left cursing the late winner from Boro, stating 'If you can't win a game, make sure you don't lose it.'

What is very evident is that yet again we have thrown away points unnecessarily. Stoke, Newcastle and now Boro are three games that should've brought us points but we just didn't turn up again.

I don't fall for the 'tiredness' aspect, they are paid, and paid well to be fit. And tirdness cannot explain why we are still a team of two halves who lack consistency when it comes to performing for 90 minutes.

What is even clearer is how much we miss a natural goal poacher and any option upfront.

If Carew and Gabby are misfiring in any game our only choice is Harewood, who simply hasn't regained the form he showed as a super sub last season.

This has to be addressed in January, Delfouneso isn't the answer yet and although it would be nice to see him more often, he's development won't be aided if he's asked to perform and win us matches instead of learning and making mistakes.

By no means is our season over, and we aren't suddenly knee jerk relegation candidates, but we are well placed to make a challenge for the Top 4 - even if Top 6 is more realistic - we have problems that need to be addressed, because I'm sure I'm not alone in not wanting to look back at the end of the season to games like this where we clearly dropped points and our final league placing reflects blown opportunities.

Anyway, enough of my rambling, it's O'Neill's turn.

'It was frustrating. I am very disappointed. We lost a game we never should have lost.

'We didn't play particularly well but we still had enough chances to win the match.

'We didn't take them and then you always run that risk at the other end.

'Saying that, there wasn't any danger whatsoever and then Steve played the ball back and handed them a really easy goal - with not much time for us to come back.

'I said in the dressing room after the game 'if you can't win the game in the last five minutes, make sure you don't lose it.'

'Mistakes are so often punished in this league.

'You have to hold your hands up if you've been carved open but both goals were poor.

'The second goal was obviously poor but so was the first one too. We should have been able to deal with that.

'The ball was played into the area and, of course, there is a bit of danger but it was something we should have been able to deal with.

'We got the lift with the equaliser and I felt we could go on to win the game.

'We got the momentum going early in the second half. Gabby produced a great run and it would have been a superb goal to score from such a tight angle.

'Then James saw the goalkeeper make a fantastic save and Marlon got clear but couldn't get a shot off.

'Overall, we shouldn't have lost it.

'We had a let-off when they had a shot, Brad spilled and Alves followed up and missed. I then thought we could go on and take the game. But it failed to materialise.'

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday November 9 2008

Time: 7:26PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
MON has loads of great points and is a great manager. That does not make him beyond criticism, and I am sure he would be looking at himself this way too. We all have our solutions - my hope is simply that we play the best eleven players available and who are on form. If they are on form or deserve the benefit of the doubt - keep the same team, don't chop and change unless forced to. On the other hand, if any individuals do under-perform for a few games, then they should be left out. If players who finally get given a chance and come in and do well they should stay in. On this basis, despite how well Davies has done in the past, includingThursday, the Premier League back 4 that has delivered should be the PL back 4 until form dictates otherwise i.e. Laursson and Cuellar, Young and Shorie. Midfield and up front things are less clear, but one thing that was clear to me was Salifou was magnificent on Thursday and whether tackling, shooting, or threading the ball through he did everything well - and more. Why do we have to wait to lose matches before the team is changed to reflect performances. And why do substitutions have to wait until we are 1 0 and 2 0 down against Newcastle, rather than when it seems clear a change is needed to change the direction of the game. Compared to MON I know nothing, but as a collective body many fans may share my frustrations. Play our best players, don't chop and change for the sake of it, but do make changes and give others their chance when the team needs it and they have earned it.
Report Abuse
09/11/2008 20:48:00

yep right on stennyvilla, it is the point of a 'squad' as i see it. use the players who are showing form.
Report Abuse
09/11/2008 21:39:00

Since O'Neill has taken over our goals conceded column has been far too high. I for one thought it was Carson that was to blame - but clean sheets are too hard to come by. Laursen, Bouma, Mellberg, Davies, Friedel are all excellent players but surely we should have a back 5 (i am including the GK) can keep more clean sheets. Do we need a new defensive coach?? We must do if someone is telling O'Neill that Mellberg, Reo-Coker, Cuellar and Gardner are Premiership standard full-backs. At the minute Luke Young and Nicky Shorey should be playing week in week out!!
Report Abuse
09/11/2008 22:33:00

40m spent and we look worse i`m afraid.
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 07:24:00

When Bouma gets back ( can't come quick enough,) we should look a lot better. Luke Young had to play yesterday even though he is ex Boro. Can't see any reports that he was injured.
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 09:10:00

aspinall,Get a grip for god sake,What a stupid comment we are way better than last season.I am o`neills biggest fan and back him 100% but since he started ******** around with the back 4 results have been a bit wobbly in the league.
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10/11/2008 10:01:00

Oh and deano, since o`neill has taken over our whole club has been restored to what it should be and our goals scored column is higher than ever.So why not stop being so negative.
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10/11/2008 10:02:00

OK, so it was (another) poor performace, but in the end it was two individual errors that gifted Boro their two goals.... any manager will find it hard to do anything about that. Yes, we need to address so problems, but let's not get too downhearted just yet
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 10:10:00

If Barry occasionally tracked back like he used to once upon a time then I think our defence wouldn't be left so exposed. Shoery is a good attacking left-back but playing behind Ash, he's reliant on a bit of support from our central midfield. Any coincidence our poor results have come at the same time as Petrov being out?
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10/11/2008 13:16:00

agree with platypus we miss petrov in a big way. evrytime cuellar gets the ball i start to feel ill, he always pumps it forward aimlessly! nad wots with taking off shorey and puttin reo-coker right back? take reo-coker OFF!!! his hearts in the right place but he's got the worst 1st touch sinse i saw mo sissoko play in the prem! 2nd touch is a knee high tackle!
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 13:38:00

Big season for us. dissapointing week. A win in europe and 3 pnts against either NU or Borough would have been what i was looking for. More of a concern because we have Arsenal and Man U next. I'm still a happy bunny because we've come such a long way. This is the first time Villa have been in a position where we needed to rotate and as we've seen our squad is'nt there yet but it is coming along.
Mister Mick
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10/11/2008 13:43:00

We were useless and MON needs to take a look at his substitutions yesterday. To put Cuellar at LB was an absolute joke. Why did Harewood not start ? We are at home against a team we should murder but we play five midfielders. By the end of Novemeber we will have no points for the month. FFS sort out the defence. Just one more thing I know people will come on and say stop criticising MON. I pay my money and always support the team but we have not played well since Spurs away and no-one can argue that fact. We have been getting results but things appear to be catching up with us.
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 14:29:00

The worry is nobody knows why we are not playing well. Not even MON he comes out week after week saying we din,t play well to day.for christ sake the guy needs aslap.the punters will stay away if we keep serving up crap
one match ban
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10/11/2008 16:22:00

until we buy some better players able to push us on we will stay where we are. Yes we did buy more players in the Summer but the standard was much the same as before. We need a 20 goal striker and a quality playmaker at least. Until then get ready for more performances like yesterdays.
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10/11/2008 16:49:00

MON has been making excuses saying we should have been ahead if we had taken our chances. He is not factoring in that other teams have been missing their chances. Nige, Marleeeeene and Shorey aren't good enough to push us on to the next level. Harsh but true. Laursen is amazing in the air but a tad slow on the turn when its on the deck. Curtis is inexperienced and loses concentration. Cuellar is still awaiting the return of the jury. Got to agree with deano, our defensive coaches AND GK coach are letting us down. Said it before but Sorensen and Carson are twice as good now they have left and Friedel is half as good. 2 + 2 = s hit GK coach
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 18:08:00

I don't know if many would agree with me, but I feel that we have missed Petrov recently. Having said that, MON fitting square pegs into round holes is not helping the cause either.
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 20:15:00

The thing is do we have a squad capable of playing Mon-Thu-Sun week in week out? 40 million is nothing in these days of a 30,000,000 Man City player.
Report Abuse
10/11/2008 22:15:00

PLATYPUS. THANK YOU! Couldn't agree more on the Barry assessment. I watched him time and again walking/wandering when we were defending, instead of getting back behind the ball. It takes more than 5 to defend in this game and central midfielders are a critical element in that. I hope that the staff at Villa look at the film of that match and see just how many times Middlesboro were in our defensive third and Barry was walking aimlessly.... How come he'll defend for England but then whines about doing it or refuses to for the people who pay his salary?
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 02:07:00

lerneravfc - can you tell me how many games we`ve played well in this season in your opinion ? I stand by my assesment as we look worse on balance and shape of the team plus we have much less pattern to our game.
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 07:25:00

I fully agree with you aspinall, I think we have been poor this season, we could easily be on about twelve point's wba sunderland wigan blackburn all games we were very lucky to come away with three point's. our passing percentage is one of the worst in prem constantly hoofing the ball up field to no avail, and i wish MON would stop taking shorey off to accommodate barry and reo.
chris the villan
Report Abuse
11/11/2008 17:39:00

Hopefully this result will act as a wake-up warning to both MON and his players. Home form to date this campaign has been very unconvincing, and its a surprise to many that we had entered November minus a home reversal.
Report Abuse
12/11/2008 23:03:00

We have a week to get our act together before we face the Arsenal. Hopefully we'll get our act together, to ensure that we get back on the right track next weekend.
Report Abuse
12/11/2008 23:05:00


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