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O'Neill Feared The Worst

Martin O'Neill said: 'I feared all our hard work was going to be for nothing' before Gabriel Agbonlahor slotted home the equaliser. Poor lad, I'd thought the players had fallen out with him, he spent the whole night on the wing only to see the ball constantly played the opposite side of the pitch!

The Villa boss added after the 1-1 draw

'We definitely got what we deserved in the end. In the first-half we were very poor. We were nervous and unable to hold onto the ball. In the second-half, I thought considering we could have been dead and buried at half-time, we came roaring back and deserved something. The crowd realised that and were lifted by a number of second-half chances. That galvanised us and, though I feared we might not get the goal, we did and it was the least we deserved.'
Adding on 'The second-half was terrific, but we've got to look at ourselves for what was a very, very poor first-half. We were tentative and edgy. At this stage of the season we're just looking to get those points for safety. A win tonight would have put us 11th in the league, but in the end at least we took a point from the game. If Gabby's goal had come earlier, who knows? I still thought once we got the goal that we might go on and win it. I think Everton sensed that as well, but we never really got enough possession after that.'

Can't wait to get this season over with, just play the last few games and off we skip into a spending spree summer, we can't have any more seasons like this, the one before, the one before, the one before......

Anyone else fancy doing a match report? Come on, lets have a different opinion!? Will check my mail box in the morning, if not it will be the usual JF ramble, and we don't want that do we? (Link to my email address in editor details as above)

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 2 2007

Time: 11:17PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
don't understand why Villa can only ever play for 45 mins in any match?
The Fear
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02/04/2007 23:20:00

neither can i understand why we can either... if we came our 2nd half we would of trounsed it, how that pen wasn't given... ffs
Report Abuse
02/04/2007 23:24:00

why did it take [b]one[/b] player to make villa pass the ball on the ground. No good crying about spilt milk after the fact evertonMike. We all have to suffer it.
Report Abuse
02/04/2007 23:48:00

i accept we were dire second half, but should of been 2-0 up by HT. We needed them 2 points, which we lost because neville and osman are championship players at best.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 00:02:00

Honours even, but Villa could have had all three points if they played in both 45 mins of the game.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 00:30:00

Whatever was said at half time worked...and i think the turning point was taking McCann off. He gave away a needless free-kick and did nothing. I wont blame any particular player but seriously it is evident that McCann and Petrov are not effective together. The second half change saw Barry move into the middle of the field whilst Petrov played a fantastic role in helping the full-backs and driving us forward. Berger must start the next few games and i hope with McCann now suspended, we can re-shape for the season run-in. I would also not start Ashley Young and i preferred what i saw from Maloney. It's time perhaps that we saw Luke Moore back too. Me thinks 42 points will be needed this season and a point from every game will just about see us through. Unfortunately, this will be another very dissapointing season for us......
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 06:38:00

The Manager has got the story of the game spot-on once again but the problem is that he isn`t rectifying them,McCann and Cahill had mares so replace them for next game? Set pieces are a joke both ends of the pitch so why doesn`t he shake up the team now and again,on the positive side he sorted them out at half-time and Maloney/Berger made a difference but it`s PAINFUL !!!!
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 07:04:00

Well maybe it has something to do with MON should have picked the team that played in the second half from the start!!
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 07:56:00

Maybe the players wont pass the ball to Gabby on the wing coz they know full well he'll lose the ******** thing if they do!!!
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 08:31:00

Laursen, Maloney, and Berger start for me next game. We will get an hour out of Berger at best but he can be so influential its scary. Maloney looked superb last night and I cant wait to see more of him. I am still unsure of what Davis has to do to get on the pitch, but with Blackburn and Wigan a day apart I am sure we will see him next wk end. Also Moore has to be involved.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 08:38:00

I have to agree with reza. I thought McCann was abysmal in the first half and when Berger came on he added that touch of quality in the midfield that we had been missing. It is clear that McCann and Petrov can't play together and Petrov was a lot more influential when Barry moved inside. Maloney is going to be a quality player, his touch, awareness and pace were excellent when he came on and Gareth Barry was superb in the second half, really driving us forward and creating chances. The first half was painful to watch as we were just hitting long balls up to Carew. It was only when Maloney got in and around Carew that things started to happen. I really feared for our safety after the first 45 minutes, because we'd have been in big trouble if we'd lost. Berger has to start the next game and if we lose at Blackburn, the Wigan game could be massive
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 08:41:00

As for Gabby, its clear he is being told to play as a right midfielder, not a winger. You could see it from MON in the second half barking his orders at him. Its frustrating to see him not going forward when Bardsley comes up but he is clearly learning discipline and how more important it is to hold your shape. for a striker having to do that must be very frustrating, but him learning these lessons now he will become a better player for it. Give him a break he has played an entire season out of position for us, there are a lot of players out there that would have spat their dummies out by now but he has just got on with it - credit too him.
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03/04/2007 08:44:00

Petrov was shocking, i thought he was Jamie Carragher in disguise..... did nothing but pass the ball backwards until the last 5 minutes. McCann and Young were *****e too. Bring back Davis and Moore. Why Moore didn't make the final 16 is beyond me.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 09:12:00

Petrov was great 2nd half. Maccan suspended now, so he'll have to play Maloney or Berger and/or Young. Mellberg and Cahill had terrible games, but if you've lost confidence and are always on the back foot it's hard. We must bear in mind we've only had three games in 5 1/2 weeks and Everton are an in form side. Very impressed with both managers post match interviews.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 09:21:00

I said recently that McCann gives 100% every game and as supporters that is all we ask. It is up to the manager after that to either improve players or find somebody better. We need to find someone better. Petrov played that deeper role much more effectively than McCann. When you only play two central midfielders they both have to be effective at passing, tackling, creating, scoring and have a general all round game. McCann can tackle and play a simple ball but this is not nearly enough when there are just two of them in the middle. It is making Petrov look poor. There is then a choice of players that can play left (Berger, Barry, Maloney) or in the middle (Barry Berger, Davis). Up front it was criminal not to have luke Moore on the bench at least. Ashley Young would be better out on the right whilst Gabi would prefer the central role alongside Carew. There are lots of permutations, unfortunately M'ON hasn't found the right one yet.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 09:40:00

Hmmm,you did sooooo well to land Ashley Young.Same money as Tottenham paid for Dimitar Berbatov.BARGAIN..!!He he he
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 09:57:00

Well said VOTH: The only thing I would say to that is MON doesn't appear to have tried to find the right permutation. He just keeps picking the same players who do the same things every game. Until, like last night they were forced to try something different, and waddya worked!!!
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 10:13:00

Ive been on holiday for the last 3 months and last night was the first game ive manged to watch in ages. I was hoping a few things have changed The 1st half was one of the worst ive ever seen, 2nd half was better but we still never look like scoring even when we have the ball insde the box. Carew looks good but seems to need alot of chances to score. Barry, Berger and Petrov in the middle is a must when playing physical teams. Gabby and Maloney on the wings and carew upfront. Why dont we use the same tactics we used for the first 9 games of the season??
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 10:17:00

Ashley Young cost £7.5 million. With the possibility of add ons this could rise to £9 million. Time will tell if this is good business or not. However time did tell on the £12 million that was paid for Rebrov. Bargain..!! He He He. Fool. Go infest your own site and come back on here when you have won as much as the Villa.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 10:19:00

Cannot fault the effort last night, however the actual skill level and application wasnt too clever. We look short on confidence and need to score early to settle the nerves. I think that both Davis and Moore should be in for the next game, they will give us a bit more energy and control.........I would also have Angel on the bench, we just needed another threat in the box for the last 15 mins. Lets hope we get at least a point and a win over the easter period and then we can relax and look forward to next year.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 10:20:00

son_of-cher: Own up, you just came on here to brag that you've been on holiday for 3 months didn't you?
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 10:43:00

I think Cahill needs a rest. He is class no doubt but has he really been an improvement on Ridgewell these last few games? I think not. Ridge was unlucky to be dropped and will be unlucky if he cant win his place back at the moment. Mccann is just a crap player, end of. I hope MON is beginning to realise it. I would LOVE to see Barry given a run in the middle, I think he could be as effective for us as Gerrard is for Liverpool.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 10:50:00

To many long balls last night. Its a bad way to play and it isn't getting results so try something new MON. I am still not convinced by you.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 10:54:00

Deano: Cahill did have a bit of a mare last night, but I think he has been playing well otherwise. I agree about Ridgewell though, he has been unlucky. Still, MON can only play 2 from 4 in the centre. At the moment it's Ollie who is looking jaded. Maybe drop Mellberg and Cahill and bring in Laursen and Ridgewell?
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 11:02:00

We continue to limp along, and it will remain that way until we start putting away the chances. Yes, some players were below par last night, but we still created enough to have won at a canter.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 11:20:00

ouch chalky76, that REALLY stung! Can't believe the big teams didn't spot Berbatov, looks the complete striker. B*stards!!!
The Fear
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 11:55:00

Voiceoftheholte, last warning, multiple accounts aren't allowed, you want to be a smart arse, you'll be banned with both usernames, you want to be the intelligent and good poster then you are welcome to stay with the one. I'll email you. Anymore of the snipes etc will just be deleted.
The Fear
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 11:59:00

you deserved a draw after that second half performance
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 12:11:00

we should have put up out of the game at half time though
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 12:11:00

poor defence cost us
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 12:12:00

VOTH - Why don't you just change your name to Voicesoftheholte
Hoss The Villain
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 12:50:00

Fear old boy, I (or should that be we?) look forward to your email.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 13:16:00

May biggest Fear (not you Jon): - Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of European glory / Fighting the drop vs. Sheff Utd/Bolton at close season. C'mon the Villa boys - don't do it to us otherwise we'll start being hailed as the new Notts Forest (MO'N will see a irony in that...)
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 15:03:00

lol @ hoss the villain.
The Fear
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03/04/2007 15:04:00

Why does VOTH have 2 sign on's??
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 15:06:00

Voiceoftheholte has voices in his head! He's talking to himself now on the posts. He'll probably reckon it's the only intelligent conversation he gets:-)
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 15:21:00

Oh no it isn't. Oh yes it is. I think I will take up Hoss's suggestion. I'll ask me and see what I think. Seriously though, Fear emailed a little old love letter to me earlier and I think we have kissed and made up. I can't believe he tried to use tongues :o) So it looks like goodnight from me and goodnight from him. utv-sotc is dead. Long live the Voice.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 15:36:00

Good email VOTH. Only joking JF.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 15:43:00

Petrov is not playing well because he hasn’t been accepted in the team. He does not have the confidence coming from the support of your teammates. There is great animosity towards him by Barry. Barry feels that his leading role in the team is threatened and he does not play with Petrov. The same is true for the Nigerian Scott, who also never passes a ball to Petrov. These are interpersonal issues and if MON cannot sort them out one of them must go, either Petrov, Barry or MON. There was an attempt by both to play together during the 2nd half against Everton, may be MON pressured them with several weeks’ wages fine to make them play together. Also as long as the future of the club is put into impressive hobbits like Maloney there is no bright spot on the horizon.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 17:21:00

where do some people get this rubbish from?
Hoss The Villain
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 18:24:00

I like your match reports JF!
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 18:39:00

I still beleive in MO'N, it would have been so easy for the same Villa to come out for the 2nd half in the way that they did in the first and credit where it's due, I don't think any one of us can fault them for that, and that's what has made it all the more frustrating for us. There were things that came out of players last night, and I don't want to critisise but the 'misguided' efforts I think are evident in McCann, Bardsley, Sorenson and to some extent Mellberg. Someone made a very good point that in the premiership you can't have misfiring players and we have too many of them. If you look at all of the best teams, none of them have a 'defensive midfielder' and we need someone who can hold the ball but also get forward. McCann get's stuck into a tackle but his distribution is poor and he doesn't have an eye for goal. Same goes for Mellberg to some extent. We need players that are good at a bit of everything. We can get something from the Blackburn game, but it'll depend on which Villa decide to turn up.
Report Abuse
03/04/2007 20:01:00

Amazing revelations soccaron. Your source sir?
Report Abuse
04/04/2007 10:17:00

Judging by what he knows soccaron must be Petrov
Hoss The Villain
Report Abuse
04/04/2007 12:25:00

The source...??? 31+ games.
Report Abuse
04/04/2007 19:39:00

31+ games doesn't explain the Barry/Petrov fued my friend. Making allegations in the manner you did surely needs further explanation, along with proof to back up your, in my opinion, totally ridiculous slurs. Spouting such complete and utter nonsense serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever. All it achieves is to make you look something of a clown.
Report Abuse
05/04/2007 07:44:00


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