Aston Villa - England - A Tale Of Heroes and Villans
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England - A Tale Of Heroes and Villans

Well who'd have thought England would beat Germany on their own patch tonight? I certainly didn't.

I must admit my only interest was due to Barry, Gabby, Ashley and Curtis being in the squad. I've long since stopped caring about an overpaid England team, who rarely perform, play crap but continue to get picked by over rated, over paid, successive idiots of managers.

I'm not even that keen on Capello, it may sound rich when we debate and ponder some of Martin O'Neill's team selections at points, but I really don't think Capello is much better than the former two incumbants. Svennis the Phone, and Ginger Dutch. The teams have played the same, the formation has been the same, the form has been the same and oh golly the selections have been the same aswell.

Tonight was actually the first time in many, many years I was sat here watching the TV and I actually started becoming annoyed and upset at our mistakes.

Don't get me wrong, this is what fans should do. But over the last few years I've tended to giggle.

It's common knowledge now that since Randy took over my match day fuelled hatred has subsided. The message board is nolonger treated to what the oldies call nostalgically 'my after match rants', and I always had them even when we won.

Because I always expected more, thought the team could give more and I was generally disappointed with the club under Ellis. I heard you, those who know me are now screaming 'no sh** Sherlock'. Those who don't know me are probably thinking the Ellis comment is the understatement of the century, but I digress.

I nolonger feel that way when it comes to Villa because I see the change, the effort, the chance for the first time in 20 years to actually go for it.

With England I just gave up caring. An England match if I didn't have any paint to watch dry became 'entertainment' for 90 minutes. It was 11 players plus substitutes doing stand up routines for me.

I lost the ability to care, if they couldn't have pride in this Country and us, the fans, why the flying fig should I do anything other than wet myself like a school girl at their every amatuerish mistake.

Something was a little different tonight. This wasn't the England I expected. As admitted I was watching simply because of the Villans in the squad so I only expected to look up upon hearing their names.

Ok we had a few old heads who rarely perform, yet they did. It goes without saying Terry was again very disappointing.

Carson will take the blame for his indecision, and some of his passing was truly dire but even in defence of him - he's not my favourite player - he didn't give up running.

None of the old guard didn't try tonight.

We then had those who have been perennial fringe players simply because of the club they play for. The likes of Carrick, who rarely impressed for Spurs, has turned almost invisible to the common fan at Man U and has been a complete waste of space at International level.

Most of his passing was wayward, some of his tackles were ridiculous, but with the passes that came off I actually think it was his best performance to date - even though it wasn't that good.

Then my pet hate, Downing. Boro's Barry. Ha.

Well actually I always used to say more than Ha when chatting to Boro fans, but tonight he was phenomenal. Yeah there were plenty of times when you were crying out for a quick ball into the box and he doubled back. Times when he failed to beat the first man and times when you thought he kicked the ball in any direction because he thought it might be a bomb and he wanted it nowhere near even the German players.

But tonight I couldn't help wonder about the options he'd give us.

Ginger Dutch's love child can actually play football. Who'd have thought?

Even Matty 'The Idiot' Upson was outstanding tonight. Far outplaying John 'the parking bay' Terry. You could even say I hope he never shows that kind of form again - unless we sign him.

Barry was his typical England self, involved in most things, still has moments where he thinks he's turned into a dribbler and tries to go round 7 players but rarely puts a foot wrong.

Gabby ran all day long, and forced one fantastic save from Rachel Wiese the substitute goalie. I almost spilt my can thinking he'd scored when it rolled along the back of the net. Only error that stands out, the pass to Defoe or Wright-Phillips, I can't remember - I've started drinking now - that he under played.

Not bad going really, and proof again Gabby is improving and although he has a long way to go, he is more than a handful for any defence. And let's face it, Germany are nowhere near as good as they used to be, but they still have quality players - even if only in name.

Ashley battled well in the ridiculous amount of time he had, but I think he was scuppered by the performances from Downing and Wright-Phillips to be honest. Never quite had the chance to truly attack as we all hoped, and the one chance he did he apparently 'pushed over the defender'.

This is Ashley Young. He may fall over, but he doesn't often push people over.

It's a shame we didn't see Curtis for 10 minutes to be honest. Would've topped the night off nicely for me.

But this is the biggest surprise to me tonight, from a team who would be in the main considered the England B side - they played better, tried harder, and cared more than the England team that appears with World Class names such as Lampard, Gerrard, Rooney, Owen, Ferdinand etc.

You know the ones, the normal idiots we have to put up with.

Tell you what - Capello plays this team again and other players who care and I might just watch the next one and change my opinion of him.

And that for me, after the last few years of England is quite a commitment.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday November 19 2008

Time: 10:17PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Vitalvillan, good call mate. Aggy ran his socks off and on another night would have had some chances to score and shout about. And City's own SWP ran them ragged too. Both should be part of Capello's future teams! What say you Villans?
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19/11/2008 23:28:00

"The likes of Carrick, who rarely impressed for spurs" yet on the back of his spurs form got an 18mil move to the scum
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20/11/2008 00:02:00

Totally agree with you Sindbad... although, I really wish 'City's own SWP' was 'Villa's new SWP'.
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20/11/2008 01:01:00

Yep, SWP one side and Ash the other will be Englands future and should have been Villas present, same for Gab and Defoe up top.
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20/11/2008 06:56:00

I agree with a lot of what you have written. I don't normally bother with England friendlies. I enjoyed tonights game. Not the usual Prima Donnnas going through the motions, but a team who were making the most of the chance they had been given by the '7 to 10 injuries'. A good game between two fairly evenly matched sides. Thought we edged it. And the Villa boys did us proud.
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20/11/2008 07:42:00

great article Vital, i would ever so slightley dissagree about Downing, wasn't actually that impressed - thought his crossing from open play was very poor, seemed to shoot on site rather than look up for options, didn't take people on and far to scared to even look at his right foot. i too open watched the game for the villains and was dissapointed Young didn't come on for Downing at half time. would love to see capello just drop the likes of Lampard and i have never been a fan of Rooney - simply the most overrated player ever! The futures bright the futures Villa !!!
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20/11/2008 09:18:00

I have never rated Downing, but he had a good game, fair play to him.
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20/11/2008 09:57:00

Quote of the night from David Pleat. "Sometimes playing the early through ball gives defenders more time to deal with it".
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20/11/2008 10:36:00

Nice to see the England team keeping the ball (apart from Carrick) But the London bias from the ITV pundits was again clear as crystal.
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20/11/2008 11:57:00

Good article, mostly. I tend to agree about the past few years as an England supporter being far to dull watching a bunch of over hyped primadonnas, but Mr Vital - How could you possibly say that you don't think theres much difference between McClaren and Cappello??!!!!?? Thats just unreal man!!!! Have a look at Cappellos record then compare it to the tit McClarens. Its like me saying I don't see any difference between Paul McGrath and Keith Curle!!! Even, for whatever reason it may be, if you don't like Cappello surely you can see he's on a different planet to McClaren????
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20/11/2008 13:43:00

a good review, but i have to say the englands teams mentality and desire have been evident for the past few games, capello is a good manager. the players may be the same but fabio, unlike sven and mclaren, doesn't treat the england team like a holiday camp. leave your wives at home and turn your phone off. thats all the difference he's made, but it makes a big difference.
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20/11/2008 16:04:00

Sol let me get this straight, you dont think Fabio "Ive won every single trophy possible 8times over in 3 countries, learnt english in a fortnight and is strong enough to question whether certain players are really injured" is an improvement of Steve McLaren?
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20/11/2008 17:04:00

"I've long since stopped caring about an overpaid England team, who rarely perform, play crap but continue to get picked by over rated, over paid, successive idiots of managers""Tonight was actually the first time in many, many years I was sat here watching the TV and I actually started becoming annoyed and upset at our mistakes." well im proud for you, let me ask you this when we win the world cup in 2010 will you celebrate our victory like a sheep or will you stick to your guns and let the rest of the proper england fans rejoice? NEXXXXXXXXXXXXXTTT
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20/11/2008 17:07:00

PBAVF - McClaren is on a different planet to everyone lol I don't dislike Capello, I don't know him, but in the first few games he was nowhere near the improvement his current wage suggests he would be. He still isn't in my opinion. Plenty can be good at club level, but not be able to replicate that at International level. Look at Sven's record, and then look how quickly he turned Man City round - doesn't mean he wasn't awful for England though. Same is true of Capello, I just haven't seen enough to warrant the hype around him, the jury is still out and he still needs more games to tinker and last night I liked what I saw. Doesn't mean in the end he'll not still turn out like Sven and not earn his money though does it.

HuddersfieldYiddo - When you put it like that he obviously is, however I don't care what he did when he was 18, I'm not that bothered that he had the balls to say what we all know about overnight injuries, and unless you are a Sun reader you know he didn't learn English in a fortnight. He did it in good time, but it took him a lot longer than his PR camp would have you believe - you can see that from the interviews he conducted. Not sure what any of that though has to do with the fact he's in the main played the same players, the same tactics and England have in the main been as awful as they were under McClaren and Sven. International football is meant to be a showpiece, it's meant to be entertaining, last night was the first time England had entertained me in years.

When we win the WC in 2010 PMSL But for a serious answer, if we win the WC with players who care I'll be watching and cheering them on. If we win the WC but are scraping goals and playing idiots like Gerrard, Lampard etc and show all the talent of a pub team I'll be back to watching my paint dry. If the players don't care, I won't lose sleep win, lose or draw over them. So your comments are pretty redundant, if you're a proper fan and cheer on muppets happily fair play to you, having been a Villa fan for years I prefer to praise those who are worth it.
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20/11/2008 18:26:00

Mike, fair points. I'm a big big fan of Capello, have been for a long time. He keeps things simple, which as far am I'm concerned, is the way to do it. I think a few games at International level isn't enough to prove your worth. I have to admit though, recently, England have looked like a different proposition. We might have used the same players, tactics etc, but we've looked organised and hungry, just look at the Croatia game. This time last year we wasn't a match for them, whilst under Capellos guidance they couldn't get near us. I mean, we've had our best start to a world cup qualifying campaign for god knows how long. The man definitely does something right. Also, was Svens Englands record that bad? Was it 3 or 4 quarter finals he got us too, thats not bad going if you ask me. I know the Sun generation expect us to win everything, but we know thats not within our ability.
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20/11/2008 19:20:00

No doubting he's a very good club manager, I hope he does prove to be a good International manager because selfishly with the England talent we have at Villa, it can only help our club. As said, last night was the time I watched England in ages so maybe I'm being harsh on the overpaid idiots who weren't playing last night if they have been showing improvement themselves.

Re Sven again it's the entertainment value I want from Internationals, Sven had a decent results records but England were awful to watch which is what matters to me. I'll happily watch England lose if they battle for every inch and try - that doesn't bother me. Next match up, regardless of the team I'll watch and if I have to eat a few words over Lampard and Gerrard etc I'll happily do it, how about that lol
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20/11/2008 19:42:00

"Sven had a decent results records but England were awful to watch" Mike, I can't disagree with that one.
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20/11/2008 19:50:00

Jonah .. glad somebody else noticed that piece of David Pleat wisdom! The man just gets better and better.
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20/11/2008 20:08:00

DOWNING WAS RUBBISH. Every ball forward went through him and eventually he made a couple of decent passes but he wasted so many. People aren't picking up on the facts that he cocked up so many times against a very poor German defence when the likes of Ashley or Joe Cole would have done miles better because he did make a good pass or two. The consistency was not there atall and as per usual, most people were drunk whilst watching and just remember the good bits. The guy is 1 dimensional and half his crosses went straight to the keeper like a pass back. The whole team played well other than him and Terry was poor but What a Header for that goal.
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21/11/2008 10:54:00

Capello certainly seems to be sorting the mess out, and after a long, long time, we actually look to be on the right track.
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21/11/2008 15:58:00

Disagree about little SWP though. I still remain to be convinced that he's England class. I guess as a player he's never particularly impressed me. All about opinions though I guess.
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21/11/2008 15:59:00

Villan444 - I thought it was just me, but you seem to have seen the same game I did. I can't understand why he's getting such rave reviews. Look at the Prem stats - Ashley beats him on passing, assists and goals. Downing was very wasteful for England. AY can cross with either left or right foot, so the defence has no idea which way he's going to go.
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21/11/2008 18:17:00

Terry disappointing - take yer Stevie Wonder specs off mate!
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21/11/2008 19:45:00


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