Date:Sunday March 15 2009
Following today's loss to Spurs one of our users said it was 'clueless'. The answer from stennyvilla I thought worthy of publication. He said:
It was not clueless. The commitment was there, the play in many aspects was Villa back on form. MON has done so much right and all the credit is his. However, he has lost it in the run-in so far. All his hard work continues to be thrown away by his late substitutions and sticking to a losing team.
Gabby is NEVER a striker and you cannot expect to win games with no penetration up front. It is not fair on Gabby, playing him there when he is not up to it. It is not fair on Ashley having to run round forever with no end product.
It is not fair on Carew. It is not fair on the Fonz. Bringing Carew, Gardner and the Fonz were all good calls, but all good calls too late.
Gabby should never have started and should be one of 3 wide players along with Ash and Milner sharing the match between them.
Leave striking for strikers who have some idea where the goal is. Gabby will come good and will score a few from out wide and on the break, but if we want to salvage our efforts for 4th this season we need the same tweaks to the team we've needed for the last two months. Without them unfortunately it means it is our top man MON throwing all his own good work away.
No one knows, including me whether we would still be 6 or 8 points clear with Carew and the Fonz given more and earlier opportunities. But it might have been so. Almost every Villa fan I speak to or read the comments of thinks the lack of penetration is key.
MON has made only 41 substitutions before today - fewer than any other team by far, and many of those far too late to change things. Villa have also fielded 15 unchanged teams - more than anyone else. That is a strength in many ways, and togetherness is a big plus.
But you don't keep playing the same team when what is wrong is staring you in the face. It is not too late to change things. With the attitude and effort of today and the right couple of tweaks (so much remains right and all credit to Villa for that) we can actually win at Anfield. With no penetration up front we will end up below Everton.
Date:Sunday March 15 2009
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