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Devestation Is The Verdict

Martin O'Neill has admitted he is devestated at conceeding two goals in the final minutes of todays prioritised Stoke City match.

It's a good job he's devestated to be honest, after the previous week most fans are apopolectic at the result.

Speaking on the official site after the match O'Neill has stated he believes that we should have had more than enough about us to see out the final minutes of the game without conceeding two childish and amateurish equilisers in short succession.

Ok he didn't childish or amateurish himself, that was me.
He also doesn't criticise the forward players for being unable to cross today or shoot accurately, which is more ironic considering we scored two goals but frankly should've walked away with at least four.

'We were devastated in the dressing room. We were in total control of the game - 2-0 up - with not many minutes left.

'We should have been able to see it through. It didn't materialise and we dropped two points.'

So they should be aswell, I thought the whole idea of the CSKA debacle was to rest players, yet we played 3 of the 4 current first choice defenders, but we ran out of steam in the final 10 minutes did we?

Oh well, this can be another blip and we'll no doubt bounce back like we hear after every stupid result we manage to contrive for ourselves.

'We were absolutely brilliant in that first half and thoroughly deserved the goal. Stoke came and sat in - which isn't a problem - and we had to face that and find ways around it.

'I thought we were terrific and some of the movement was excellent. We thoroughly deserved the half-time lead - for a 45 minutes it's probably as good as we have done in my time here.'

Yes we did, we also deserved a lead far greater than we carved out but how many chances do you want to miss and wonder why you fail to take all 3 points, or how many rested crosses were a waste of rested space, going nowhere near one of our players.

'I thought we started sloppily in the second half. We didn't really get into a rhythm and Stoke probably took a bit of heart from that, although they didn't really press us.

'Then we got the second and we were in complete control of the game.

'Obviously at that stage with nothing to lose Stoke put the ball in the box - which is absolutely fine - but we haven't been able to deal with it. It's as simple as that. The truth is we didn't deal with it.'

Sometimes when your team is under the cosh as a manager you do something to break up their rhythm. Plenty of sides do it to us with a succession of substitutions, some teams even play the ball into the corners when they have an opportunity. We still don't seem capable of, or have learnt this simple schoolboy tactic to protect leads.

How many leads to we need to throw before this particular nugget seems a sensible option to take?

'It was galling because for most parts of the game we were excellent. At 2-0 up we should have seen it through.'

But we didn't. With results going our way the dropping of 2 points isn't as major as it could've been. That said it was the perfect opportunity to increase the gap between ourselves and Arsenal, and close the gap on Liverpool and Chelsea.

We have by no means an easy 11 matches coming up, especially as we can't hold onto a two goal lead against Stoke so how much will these 2 dropped points come back to bite us on our Arsenals over the course of the next few weeks?




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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday March 1 2009

Time: 7:46PM

Your Comments

Cuellar isn't good enough and Gabby goes missing in too many games now. very disappointed.
johnmurphy3112
i hope this result doesnt bite us on the arse, no pun intended.
krisvilla
dont worry about your poor form at the minute lads,on wednesday we will give you a helping hand as we always do with teams going through a bad run. we have swp,bellamy,robinho and richards all out so it should be a stroll for you. after wednesday i wish you all the very best for the top 4 as you have been fantastic this season and a joy to watch
bluemooner_mcfc
just make sure you finish above Arsenal!
merlin
GUTTED Gabby couldn't trap a snail at the moment and Gardener is a better full back then Cuellar, luck can go both ways i suppose they had two on target and scored both. UTV
chris the villan
There are nearly 3 months of the season left,there is a very long way to go yet.
Pking
We have to stop giving our opposition goalkeepers basic 'training ground' crossing practice. I've said this before, Gabby's bright green boots sure aint shotin' boots.
claretandbluestu
Thanks bluemooner and merlin for your comments. It is frustrating though when our Villa Park trophy cabinet is gonna be empty again this season and the best we can wish for is a top four position which is not guaranteed with performances like that at home 2-0 up against poor oposition. Gutted! A massive summer for us in the transfer market is needed to buy players who can actually play and play well in THEIR own positions.
holte ender 1969
Dont say 'Transfer Market' Im dreeddddinggg that.
Blitz
Top 4 would make a big deference in who would come to VillaPark.
Blitz
I don't think the Arses run in is that much easier thsn ours. If we can match their results week in week out then who knows. Let's not forget Everton here either. But as Blitz says, a top 4 finish will certainly attract a few new faces all being well.
claretandbluestu
come on villa, dont bottle it now....finish above the scum
ScottDaYid
to many players believe there own hype imo... think that 4th is just a formality....well time to shake things up a bit not knee jerk but i dont think gabby or ashley are showing the right attitudes at the moment,cuellar is poor really poor,luke young great defender looks terrified when hes got the ball...we need to revert back to 4-5-1 now and players with the right attitude like nrc,gardner and maybe even marlon should be given some games
avflell
We bottled it badly today. Our so called "stars" need to start growing bollox and sinking poxy teams like stoke. Im beginning to wonder if we actually want this. A 2 goal advantage at home lost to a championship team?! what a *****in joke. We cant keep wasting opportunities like this and expect things to be alright. We need big Laursen at the back to stop things falling apart, just like they did today. Get quality players in who can kill games off and we'll be alright. Carry on with bottlers and we'll end up blowing everything we've worked for. Mons not to blame in my opinion. Pull your fingers out you bunch of pussies and show us fans what your made of. Gutted
medzy
Not too disapointed,would of taken this at the start of the season,still fourth,arse still same points behind pushing liverpool and chelsea,makes it interesting for rest of the season.Not gonna witter on about small squad, signings, selection, transfer windows, mon the manger ,doin ok so far on the whole ....start of the season everyone said sidwell was a great sigining, now ?petrov? cueller?, its all subjective even tho they get paid stupid money for what they do,(aint there fault id take it) they are all human and prey to form,confidence etc,we have bad games when we play,they are the same, i just figure ,stop the whinging,enjoy where we are, support them,god 3 years ago???? Im just happy to be competing again at long last. 50 years a villa fan
bournvillebloke
Well said bourn!!! I want 4th just as much as anyone, but people seem to think we should automatically have it and when the games don't bring the results people are so content with slagging our team off. Were Everton so quick to attack their players when we beat them 2 - 3????? Fans booing at the end of the game are a disgrace and should be ignored, their views are worthless as booing does not help any manager, including fantastic Mr O'Neil and we saw how disappointed he was. OK, so it was stoke, but Villa have not been the force we were for some years now so why is it so many of our own fans are slating our team when they should know things are not necessarily going to go to plan for a while yet as our team is still being built. If we finish behind arsenal I will be bitterly disappointed, but I will certainly not be complaining about our superb manager (not fans here, but I see a lot of villa fans making ludicrous comments of how rubbish he is on so many other sites), or the squad which is still in development. Let's just pick ourselves up, put in the effort and start pulling in the results again.
jnvillan
excuse me but the gabby you're all criticizing ripped us apart in the game at the Emirates and played quite well at your place and won the penalty. He might be tired or off form, but he is a fine fine player. He's one of the chief reasons why you are where you are. If we actually manage to score against WBA and by any chance win, the pressure will be on your team more than ever. If we don't win the next game, you can all celebrate CL qualification.
G4L
G4L fickle? The same players have us 4th in the league... Time for the manager to read the riot act.
col8
that was rubbish. as MON says, no decent team would throw away a 2 goal lead at home to stoke in the last 5 mins of a game. i truly believe those 2 points may well come back to haunt us in the coming weeks. 8 points over 6 is a MASSIVE difference.....plus the impact of that result on both our dressing room and Arsenal's shouldn't be underestimated. We have to start taking advantage when these other teams slip up, as we're not good enough to just stay there treading water.....
YatesyVillain
I`m devastated that he plays Cuellar and in turn L.Young out of position every week, crazy that he`ll rest players which costs us UEFA/Cup matches yet won`t make substitutions when players are tired in games ? Gardner,Carew and Shorey have all did ok recently yet they are on the bench.
ASPINALL
'Tis now the morning after.......and I still feel sick!!!!!
claretandbluestu
Cuellar lost his head yesterday, at the risk of his confidence suffering even further, and being played out of position week in week out oneill should have done the responsible thing and substituted him. Shorey, Coker, and Gardener on the bench, enough choice to replace Cuellar with, and balance up the defence - Knight couldnt do two players jobs yesterday, as Davies was shakey aswell! Moreover, enough choice to tighten up the midfield with and bring off a useless Agbonlahor who I am afraid couldnt have hit a cows a.rse with a banjo, let alone take a decent touch. The manager is equally as responsible as the players yesterday for his completely baffling inability to make substitutions. A guy who sits behind me joked that Carew was coming onto play right back! Enough said. I love Oneill but this week has been the worst in his reign for 3 years, we sacrificed a win able tie in the UEFA Cup for what? To draw at home to Stoke with a fully rested first team squad? NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
Stig
Petrov was just pure class yesterday though, and knight was brilliant considering cuellar and davies didnt know what day of the week it is.
Stig
a lot of the blame has to go on o'neill for yesterday. were still continuing to play sqaure pegs in round holes and he's destroyed cuellars confidence with it. despite mon's reservations (probably defensively) why was shorey not playing against a team with no attacking ambition and young on the right? constantly our play breaks up down both flanks as one full back hasnt got a left foot and the ball comes inside every time instead of in to the channels for gabby to run and the other has worse passing ability than NRC. Why did o'neill not use his remaining two subs to break up the rythm in the last 2 or 3 minutes after there first goal? Its total gamesmanship but it works as it did against us when CSKA did it last week. of course its the players on the pitch who have a responsibility but the manager has too.
themightyatom
I don't know what to say!!!!! Thought it was won and the boys went to sleep. Hindsight is a great thing, and you wonder what could have been done differently with subs and stuff, but we must move on. The Gooners aren't in good form, Everton are but they've lost their best player. All the remaining home games are winable, so we need to make sure of points when we have them in the bag, I'll settle for six 1-0 wins at this stage cos that will do fine, what we get away is a bonus with Manure and the Scousers on the radar. Its not over yet but i'm a very disappointed villian today.
Madirish
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but these odd and perplexing decisions, or indecisions are made every single week. I am getting peed off with it to be honest. Especially over the past week when, for me, O’Neill has crossed the line into the choppy waters of personal accountability - he has made his bed, so to speak.
Stig
Hindsight ? Everyones pointers to yesterday has been discussed for months, MON has become too worried about opposition, no reason to play Cuellar yesterday or against Chelsea and it`s cost us.
ASPINALL
Fickle *****s.
lerneravfc
I say Sh*t happens, i wanted to win as badly as any of you guys, but i dont think this result is th end of the world, i think the players will play twice as hard against Man City a 50 Euro wager on them to win.
Pablo1978
Stoke a team that Liverpool couldn' beat home & away - a Stoke team that had Chelski in a panic until deep into injury time, so not a Championship team at all (Medzy). As someone said s**T happens - we did the same to Everton (last kick of the game). As said Match Arsenal (and Everton) results wise and we'll be ok. Not gutted (as I used to be in the past) as I know the future is bright regardless of this season.
nazvfc
A team 3rd from bottom and obviously goin back down.
medzy
Fickle f**ckers!! how dare you lerneravfc !! only DOL can say that to me.
chris the villan
Don't worry Chris, that is the full extent of any arguement learnerfc has. One day he will name the perfectly good managers over the history of the Club that the fans have pushed out. A strange statement for him to make but one he can't follow up with facts.
Hoss The Villain
I have to say that I think lerneravfc has a point. Every time we had a manager who went through a 'struggling' phase - as they all did because Doug wouldn't buy - we called for their heads rather than the chairman's. We have had some decent managers (along with some dogs) but we as fans called for all of their heads before Deadly finally went.
BobTheBuilder
 

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