UK time is: 11:31:23
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Confidence Is The Key For Villa

Confidence is the key

Not only did we win at Blackburn, not only did we reach a new record of away victories, not only did we move ahead of Chelsea, we did it with some style.

Far from being a totally supreme performance it remains one of the most dominant ones the team have put out, and one where 'luck', good or bad, didn't play that much of a part, even the ref only made one mistake, not to allow the goal from Emile Heskey's head.

No the dream is alive, and it was achieved by a not too impressive performance from Villa's wonder boy, Ashley Young, who looked off the pace for most of the game, but still managed as is his want to skin several Blackburn defenders, and make some decent crosses.

James Milner seems to have taken the headlines, especially amongst most Villa fans, probably the need to justify O'Neill's price paid partly to blame. That said he at least showed that he can play like we know he can, and a well taken goal, left footed too, shows as on his birthday he can do it. All he needs now is to continue to do it.

Talking of continuing to do it, that bald headed giant of a defender Zat knight, continues to surprise with a near faultless display against some of the best strikers in the division, am I surprised, is he you reckon, or is it the confidence that now abounds making a full impact on him too. Petrov, again to my pleasure but continued amazement, went through the game in second gear, and was inspirational at times. His performance allowed Barry to make some of the most ridiculous moves and passes I've ever seen from him and he's usually surpasses most Villa players out on the pitch anyway, but Saturday he excelled again.

Football is about confidence they always say, who are 'they' by the way ? Saturdays performance oozed confidence all over our game, and inevitably against a team who had gone 9 games without defeat a victory was assured, thanks to a decent shot from the bloke who rarely shoots and the now obligatory near last minute strike. Oh did anyone notice in the wonder performances of Milner and Petrov and others that little cameo from Gabby?

I say Little because at times, he reminded me of a player we once had who used to do things like run from the half way line past several defenders into the box to score. Gabby didn't of course, he got close, but Emile got the ball between his legs rather than on the end of one and Blackburn survived. What a run though. He did several others too, eventually finding
himself on his right peg and goal number 2 resulted. To think he'd gone all those games without a goal and suddenly he's done it again. Some of his movement was of the best quality, creating space for all around him, Blackburn's defenders were nearly at panic levels at times and its no wonder, put two men on Ashley you have to worry about Milner, do the same there and you have Gabby, and he scores goals, even disallowed ones and that frightens teams.

Improvement all around in a match many in the pre-match forecast had us down for a fall and for me confidence was the key. That and a superb Gabby Agbonlahor.


Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday February 9 2009

Time: 3:15PM

Your Comments

And that confidence puts pressure on other teams.... Chelsea down to 4th and now Scolari gets the sack! Panic stations!! Now is the time to push on. UTV!
Well said 48, Gabby even looks like up when he runs now and the close control has improved 10 fold. Same improvement can be seen in Zat and think your'e onto something about this confidence, it seems contagious. UTV
"James Milner seems to have taken the headlines, especially amongst most Villa fans, probably the need to justify O'Neill's price paid partly to blame." To blame for what? I've just re-read and re-read that and I'm still not sure what it actually means. Are you seriously suggesting that Milner's performance was only thought good amongst Villa fans because MON paid too high a price? I seriously think you need to get some help for your obvious personal issue with MON. It ain't healthy - you'll be stalking him next!
I agree Bob, i didn't know which way to take this article it seem like praise but having a slight pop at the same time. I love Milner he's great and at his age he is well worth the money, just think we could have had bently at what 15 mil.
chris the villan
12M for a 22/23 year old is peanuts these days, especially for a player with such an awesome workrate. Hard to come by. MONs mother didnt raise no fool
If we get into the champions league no one will give a hoot about how much money we have paid for any player which , by the way, is a fraction of what Spurs have outlayed on players to be where?
Ignore it gentlemen, it was only put into a good article to get a rise. Most amount of caps for and present Captain of England's U21s and soon to get his full honours.
What annoys me most about these posts is the complete lack of balance. When things have not gone our way for a game or two, one name comes up for blame: Martin O'Neill. No problem - he's the manager. But it is surely no accident that his name is not even mentioned above when avfc is handing out (faint?) praise? You really are as transparent as a wet tee-shirt, avfc, and it's not even amusing any more.
Sorry lads just trying to praise the teams performance, my mistake.
Nobody cares what you are trying to do mr 48
our attacking is scary at times. and yea, i do agree that if you double up on any 1 of our players, u will have to take the risk of our other players schredding the crap out of the defence. cant waid for carew to be back to full fitness. heskey is good no doubt, but i miss the way carew ran at defenders. opposition do not doubleup on Carew, they sent the whole team to do that!
Gentlemen - calm down (oh crap, I've turned into a Scouser ... help!). 48 has his own agenda, we all know that. Just don't give him the Oxygen he needs to fuel his strange crusade - attention. If we all just agree with everything he says for a few months I guarantee he'll go away. We played well. Milner was always worth 12m. MON obviously knows more about football than all of us put together. That's the truth and nothing 48 says can change it.
No you weren't, avfc, you were having yet another backhanded dig at the team in the only way you can while we are doing this well. Is your name really Wormtongue?
Vote Now! Steve McClaren for mext Chelsea manager!
Vote Now! David O'Leary for next Portsmouth manager!
David O'Leary isnt good enough for plymouth let alone portsmouth. Ill be very amused if it happens, but gutted for pompey fans
As ever I read a '48 post and come out of it thinking, is he being positive or negative? Did he just slag monny off? or did he praise him? he doesnt agree with 12 million fee for Milner, but he has done well....i'm confused, HELP!!??
Am i the only one who thought 48 was actually trying to be positive...i've read a lot worse from him. Perhaps we should cut the guy some slack, i thought it was a good read and said much the same things that i think. Of course MON is god in my eyes, and therefore we have a disagreement, but other than that, it was positive.
kris its called edging your bets... team fall at the final hurdle he can stand on the mountain and say "I told you so" team are successful he can continue supporting them, but not too much anyway..
Bit harsh fellas - good article I thought. A lot of people thought 12m was too much for Jimmy - myself included at the time. Similar to when we forked out 9m for Webcam - i'm sure not many of us back then would have thought that a particularly shrewd buy for a largely unproven player. Yet again, in hindsight though it's proving to be an absolute bargain....the boss seems to know what he's doing doesn't he lads?
I thought it was as pretty positive article as well, really nice. Too much hype around you 48, your name goes before you.
A good read, and positive on the whole, after all you can't please all of the people all of the time! praise is still praise, even when a little swipe is involved : ) Barry was full of drive and determination, Zat played a blinder, and the Little simile raised a smile, a very brave comparison with the high regard Sir Brian of Little is held in, but I must say 48, well spotted and I agree entirely.
Thanks to those who read the article and not the poster, much appreciated. What i can never understand is that by suggesting say Milner cost too much and that he's not a player who makes things happen, like Bentley, SWP or our own Young, some immediately pigeon hole my views as a Milner hater, even though time and again, I have said like Sidwell, he has shown how good and effective he can be, but how often he isn't. As someone, maybe even the first who said we were on target for 3rd or higher while some, Col, were still expecting us to lose to Everton and so on, I find it even more amazing that I am edging my bets. If we don't qualify for Europe it will be down to one thing, the lack of squad players, all season long I have suggested the first 13 are good enough Still, exciting times, and only one man deserves the credit, the man who replaced Doug Ellis and manages O'Neill so well.
sorry avfc48 but i think the article is, although positive, a little boring. and it is a dig at MON you take. speaking of MON, i thought his quote on sky after the game was priceless!! "the players feel as though they're developing into a reasonable team". its classic MON - funny and very smart. we're lucky to have this guy at the club. he's not far off the best on the globe.
Bentley makes things happen??????
avfc48 . If you are suggesting that Bentley or SWP are more effective/influential/better than Milner you have been watching different games to me.
sirdennis, where did I say, suggest, intimate that. Show me All I said was they are both like Gabby and Ashley players, who make things happen, nothing more nothing less. They, by the style of play attack forwards into the penalty area and throw in the odd cross. Milner rarely gets past the first man, rarely crosses from wide accurately, but is remarkably good at a high work rate and of popping up at the right time to make influential passes. Where he has always failed for me, is his consistency, he doesn't do it often enough but has shown Saturday and on his Birthday he can be very effective. I like the bloke always have although I maintain he used to be a one trick pony and he cost too much. That doesn't mean I hate him, don't rate him, or am having a knock at O'Neill, sorry.
A bit harsh? I don't think so. I often disagree with posters on here but this guy is the only one I actually dislike. The man clearly hates MON and it taints everything he posts. This is why he has to modify everything he says, in case it looks like MON is being "successful". From minute one of MON's time at Villa he has criticised the man, his style, his purchases (without offering any alternatives), and has never, to my knowledge, acknowledged him for one jot of the success we are enjoying. I just wish avfc would simply come out and admit that he hates MON, so that we can all read his articles in that knowledge. But he won't.
"Milner rarely gets past the first man, rarely crosses from wide accurately, but is remarkably good at a high work rate and of popping up at the right time to make influential passes."

The thing is, that is just your opinion, not fact. We all see things differently, that's the nature of football. Are you saying we should have a team full of Ashley Youngs? Do you not think that would make us a bit one dimensional? The stats show that Milner is not far behind Ashley on assists and goals. MON rates him. Capello rates him. Why should your opinion be any more valid than theirs?

This site is brilliant if you want to see how a player is doing

You will see that only one of his passes from wide did not reach a Villa player, where as 3 of Youngs were unsuccessful. Bearing in mind that Milner had more of the ball, then it would lead me to suggest that your assessment of him is wrong.
"one trick pony" and you say that you rate him??? You are very confusing
I do not hate O'Neill anyone that suggests I do obviously cannot accept anyone who finds fault with him, At the moment he's doing great and I've said so, Is it impossible for anyone to change their views as they see things? Secondly, when have I ever suggested my views are the right views or the only views that should be accepted ? I have an opinion which change, and I express them. Just because they do not fit into the 'approved view' why should I stop expressing them, show me where I'm wrong. As to Milner I said when he joined that although he had improved on returning to Newcastle, he still remained a one trick pony, but I expected that to change. It has and he is a betetr player now than when he joined. He is not an impact player, one who makes things happen, and he can, he's good enough. So why is that confusing. Is it the rule on fan sites that once you have an opinion you have to stick with it, regardless of the passage of time and how events change matters? Id so God help us. What it really is is that I ahve been shown to be right on so many occasions, those Happy Clappers who have been so wrong over O'Neill, now with us 3rd feel they have enough chance to shout their mouth off. Typical cowards reaction.
What i don't under stand is why your aloud to post articles i think this will be last time i will comment on one it ain't worth me wasting my time.
chris the villan
I only judge the team on results, as its a results game. So far Martin your one of the best managers I have ever known in the game of football.
Might I suggest that you read your articles and posts very carefully before posting? I only say this because the way you express yourself is sometimes ambiguous, and this would avoid alot of confusion. A quick proof read might prevent all this. Whatever you think of what you have written many people are misinterpreting it, which, as the publisher, is your responsibility. Hope this helps.
Just an example

"Milner rarely gets past the first man, rarely crosses from wide accurately, ....."

This is presented as a statement of fact, not an opinion, and I have shown it to be incorrect. In no way have you addressed this point. I predict one thing - if we fail to get 3rd you will say you were right, and MON should have strengthened the squad - and you will enjoy being right a little bit too much.
"At the moment he's doing great and I've said so". I must have missed the posts where you said MON was 'doing great', avfc. Perhaps you could post links to those where you did so? As for the "happy clappers who have been so wrong about O'Neill", perhaps you could explain what you mean by "so wrong about O'Neill". This sort of guff is a prime example of your double-talk. What does it mean, exactly? Not a single fact in there, just a great big implication that O'Neill is failing somehow. Say what you mean man! And as for people only posting when Villa are doing well, you're really having a laugh aren't you? That's your game to a tee. We saw negative post after negative post during last summer and in the early part of the season. Oh, and of course when Villa had setbacks (which all teams do, of course). We've seen almost nothing from you during the time Villa have been doing so well, presumably because it's hard for you to post positive things without admitting the manager might just know more than you.
"What it really is is that I ahve been shown to be right on so many occasions, those Happy Clappers who have been so wrong over O'Neill, now with us 3rd feel they have enough chance to shout their mouth off. Typical cowards reaction." This is just illiterate garbage which is insulting to your fellow supporters just because you are bitter and twisted. I tried to praise you even though you are a known tool in a post previously on this article but I don't know why I bothered. I suggest that you stay in your own world where you are always right and keep your unhelpful, negative, incorrect, everchanging (to fit your snidey arguments), nonsensical thoughts to yourself rather than annoying the VAST majority who are very positive about us being THIRD in the league.
Just out of interest 444 who on the forum has been most adamant for ages we are in with a chance of 3rd or higher ?
Don't visit the forum mate so its not me. Just a shame that a well written, half decent (positive in the whole)article was tainted with an undercurrent of anti-ONeillness. I'd rather be arguing with a Spuz or Liverpool fan than someone who obviously supports the Villa .........
How about answering my question, avfc?
BTB - no chance mate. I've posted 3 reasonable queries for him to answer in the last few days, and he hasn't answered one. If you present an intelligent argument he just disappears and then writes another article in a few weeks. He only answers when he thinks he's got the upper hand. We all know he's got an agenda - spout as much stuff as possible, one of which will come true so he can crow about it. Most people see through it, so don't worry too much.
over compensation. me thinks

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Something For The Weekend (476) (Friday December 19 2014)

Clark Talks Manchester United & Okore (Friday December 19 2014)

Lambert's Big Manchester United Belief (Friday December 19 2014)

Villa Injury News Pre Manchester United (Friday December 19 2014)

Cissokho Relishing Manchester United (Friday December 19 2014)

If They Won't Sign - Let Them Go! (Friday December 19 2014)

Villa In The NON Rip Off List For Mascots (Thursday December 18 2014)

Archived Aston Villa Articles

List All Vital Villa Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

Vital Members League (view all)

1. Pride of Lions 644
2. The Fear 612
3. ClivetheVillan 571
4. kefkat 241
5. Freeman14 196
6. sirdennis 176
7. Villan57 141
8. Sussex Villan 124
9. DeanoVilla 122
10. mike_field 97

League Results (view all)

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
10. Everton 16 5 6 5 3 21
11. Liverpool 16 6 3 7 -3 21
12. Stoke 16 5 4 7 -3 19
13. Aston Villa 16 5 4 7 -10 19
14. WBA 16 4 5 7 -5 17
15. Sunderland 16 2 10 4 -10 16
16. Crystal Palace 16 3 6 7 -5 15

Breaking League News

Hammers Interested in Fulham Youngster
West Ham : 20/12/2014 11:11:00
Van Gaal Makes Carrick United Vice-Captain
Man Utd : 20/12/2014 10:39:00
They Played for Both (Stoke) - Alan Hudson
Chelsea : 20/12/2014 10:06:00
Name the Starting XI - Stoke (a)
Chelsea : 20/12/2014 09:38:00
11 of the Best for Villa (a)
Man Utd : 20/12/2014 09:27:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Villa v Man Utd will:
Suggested By:  Mystic Mug
Win 49%
Lose 47%
Draw 4%