Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Another top Italian side? No Fior for Villa!

Another top Italian side? No Fior for Villa!

Sorry about the headline, I think Mr Fear (pardon the pun) is having an affect on my marbles…

A nice sunny day and Italian Champions League side visiting Villa Park; two years ago it was Inter Milan and we won 3-0 in front of a packed crowd. This year it was Fiorentina and again we won, but the stadium was certainly not full. It was around half the capacity - maybe the recession is taking its toll, plus it was a bit earlier in August this time round - but still a decent turn-out of 22,915.

This was the team:
Friedel; Lichaj, Cuellar, Clark, Shorey; Milner, Delph, Gardner, A Young (c); Agbonlahor, Heskey.
Subs: Sidwell, Carew, Davies, Reo-Coker, Delfouneso, Guzan, Albrighton, Lowry.

Within seconds our debutant Delph put in the type of challenge that showed why he picked up 13 bookings last season, but luckily he missed and got away with it! After that he was very impressive in both his attacking and defensive play, in addition to covering a lot of ground, and we controlled the game in the early part.

Agbonlahor looked refreshed and was causing problems for their defenders, Young and Milner were threatening, Delph and Gardner were probing, Heskey grabbed himself a goal and was using his physical attributes well.

The early stages saw us playing some nice football with long-range passes hitting their mark. James Milner had an early effort and Craig Gardner went close twice in the early stages. Around the quarter of an hour mark Milner threaded the ball through to Ashley Young whose cut-back was smashed home from close-range by Emile Heskey.

Easy, this beating Italian teams malarkey! The next fifteen minutes or so was more of the same; us controlling the play, defenders having it fairly easy, generally expecting a second goal to come.

Around the half-hour mark the Italians changed their approach. They pushed on to us a bit more, defended with a slightly higher line and this lead to them having more joy as an attacking unit. In particular, Friedel was called upon to make one very good save that was cleared up with a great tackle by Cuellar.

Of course, the one problem Fiorentina faced by doing this was it meant we could potentially pick them off on the counter, and a good run by Ashley Young almost lead to a second goal a few minutes before half-time.

Half-time substitutions were Brad Guzan, Curtis Davies and Marc Albrighton on for Friedel, Cuellar and Young. The shape remained, with Milner moving over to the left to allow Albrighton to play on the right. Davies took the armband.

Fiorentina continued with the same tactics that they finished the first half with and kept our defenders busy without anything too dangerous happening. At the other end, Marc Albrighton carried on his sparkling form from the Peace Cup and put in some excellent crosses.

On the hour mark, John Carew, Nathan Delfouneso, Steve Sidwell and Nigel Reo-Coker came on. The former two replaced the duo up front, while the latter two took up the central midfield positions, replacing Gardner and Milner. Delph had around fifteen minutes out on the left before being replaced by Shane Lowry, who went left-back and Shorey pushed further forward.

Due to the many substitutions that were being made, the game inevitably became disjointed. Fiorentina did have a chance to get an equaliser when a very harsh penalty was given against Curtis Davies for handball, but Gilardino hit the post.

The game then petered out really, another good save brought out from Guzan but we continued to look good going forward and we eased to the win in the end.

Overall there are some nice problems for MON come the Wigan game. Both Brad`s pulled off very good saves while at the opposite end Delfouneso and Heskey both did enough to put some pressure on the probable front two of Carew and Agbonlahor (the latter of which looked like he appreciated his break as he looked more like the Agbonlahor that worries defenders).

Meanwhile in midfield, Marc Albrighton has certainly done plenty this summer to give MON food for thought in terms of the normally automatic selections of Milner and Young - when Downing is fit, that gives us four very good players to cover them two positions. As for the more central positions, Fabian Delph was very good in the first half and quite possibly did enough to play his way into the Wigan game - I don`t want to wax lyrical about him too early but I have a good feeling about this one. He looks like a real proper player. Add to that the potential return of Petrov, plus the competition from NRC, Sidwell and Gardner, it will be interesting to see how MON decides to full his midfield.

Then, there is the back four… Eric Lichaj has probably done enough to suggest that Habib Beye may not walk straight into the team. Nicky Shorey did okay yesterday but still makes too many silly mistakes for my liking. I for one am hoping Bouma can come back and be the Bouma of old. But in the middle… well, we may have a new signing by Saturday but at the minute Cuellar and Davies is absolutely the way to go. Ciaran Clark did okay but there was one particular incident in the first half where we struggled physically to deal with a situation and while he generally looked decent enough, that type of thing makes you realise that this season is probably too soon for him. As far as I can see we still need two central defenders and while I am all for signing the like of Sneijder (can you imagine?!) the defence needs sorting, and time is nearly up.

I don`t want to end on a negative though. It was another good win - four wins in eleven days against some very good sides with contributions from the young lads is a nice way to set up the new season. Obviously that will all be forgotten if we lose to Wigan, but I for definitely hopeful we can end our Villa Park hoodoo against the Latics.

A pleasant afternoon and a nice win equals a good afternoon. Now, let us get on with the real thing…

UP THE VILLA!



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

Writer:Sheriff Kimbo
Date:Sunday August 9 2009
Time: 1:32PM

Comments

0
a great game against Fiorentina full of positives but Gardner was a shambles, our weakest link in that game
Astonian Villan
09/08/2009 14:06:00
0
a great game against Fiorentina full of positives but Gardner was a shambles, our weakest link in that game
Astonian Villan
09/08/2009 14:06:00
0
"...to cover them two positions..." No, it's 'those (or these) two positions'. English lesson over. Thanks for the report.
Saurat
09/08/2009 15:02:00
0
"...to cover them two positions..." No, it's 'those (or these) two positions'. English lesson over. Thanks for the report.
Saurat
09/08/2009 15:02:00
0
Good Report !! in many ways which im starting to get my head around, even though we haven't brought in lots and lots of players we now have Lichaj and Albrighton pushing for a first team place, i still would like to see three signings though, a Creative midfielder, striker and a central defender.
Villa 4 Ever
09/08/2009 15:52:00
0
Good Report !! in many ways which im starting to get my head around, even though we haven't brought in lots and lots of players we now have Lichaj and Albrighton pushing for a first team place, i still would like to see three signings though, a Creative midfielder, striker and a central defender.
Villa 4 Ever
09/08/2009 15:52:00
0
agreed Sheriff, lets get down to the real business!
The Fear
09/08/2009 16:09:00
0
agreed Sheriff, lets get down to the real business!
The Fear
09/08/2009 16:09:00
0
dont forget we have bannan in the mix
Gruck
10/08/2009 04:00:00
0
dont forget we have bannan in the mix
Gruck
10/08/2009 04:00:00
Page 1/2
  1. 1
  2. 2

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Something For The Weekend (564)

Shock and awfulness...or the incident of the sob in the night-time.

7 Reasons To Look On The Claret & Blue Bright Side

DJ France has 7 claret and blue (sounds like mostly claret!) reasons to look on the bright side.

Technology For The Championship In 2017/18

On Thursday the Football League confirmed that there was now an agreement in principle for the introduction of goal-line technology from the start of the 2017/18 season.

Officials - Newcastle v Aston Villa (20/2/17)

The Football League have now announced the Match Day officials that will take charge of the game between Newcastle United and Aston Villa this Monday.

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Profile
Mike Field
Editor email
Profile
Steve Wade
no email
Profile
Villa_Grizzly
no email
Profile
Turkish Penguin
no email
Profile
Glensider
no email
Profile
Chris Heath
no email
Profile
M Calucar
no email
Profile
JuanPablo Angel
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Barnsley MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Johnstone13%
Hutton10%
Chester1%
Baker2%
Amavi1%
Adomah11%
Lansbury35%
Hourihane10%
Grealish1%
Hogan1%
Kodjia4%
Sub - Bjarnason5%
Sub - Green4%
Sub - Bacuna2%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Brighton 32 20 8 4 68 28
2 Newcastle 31 21 3 7 66 35
3 Huddersfield 31 19 4 8 61 7
4 Reading 32 18 6 8 60 6
5 Leeds Utd 33 18 4 11 58 11
6 Sheff Wed 32 17 7 8 58 11
7 Norwich 33 15 6 12 51 11
8 Fulham 31 13 10 8 49 15
9 Barnsley 33 14 7 12 49 4
10 Preston 33 13 10 10 49 4
11 Derby County 31 13 8 10 47 7
12 Cardiff 33 13 6 14 45 -2
13 Ipswich 33 10 11 12 41 -7
14 Birmingham 33 10 10 13 40 -14
15 Brentford 31 10 7 14 37 -1
16 Q.P.R. 32 10 7 15 37 -11
17 Aston Villa 31 8 12 11 36 -6
18 Forest 33 10 6 17 36 -12
19 Wolves 31 9 8 14 35 -4
20 Burton 32 9 7 16 34 -13
21 Bristol City 31 9 5 17 32 -4
22 Wigan 32 7 9 16 30 -9
23 Blackburn 31 7 8 16 29 -13
24 Rotherham 33 4 5 24 17 -43
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Hamilton sends warning shot to Bottas
Latest Vital Boxing News
Heavyweight Unification Is the Name of the Game
Write for Vital Football

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Feb 20 2017 8:00PM : Newcastle United (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Feb 25 2017 3:00PM : Derby County (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Feb 28 2017 7:45PM : Bristol City (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 4 2017 3:00PM : Rotherham United (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 7 2017 7:45PM : Huddersfield Town (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Mar 11 2017 3:00PM : Sheffield Wednesday (H)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.The Fear293
2.JuanPabloAngel264
3.sirdennis256
4.Fulford172
5.Silhillvilla153
6.Melon Donkey149
7.villasince67125
8.McParlandTheGreat117
9.kefkat112
10.Stephen Jay Hawkings98
The Vital Football Members League