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MON - Moscow Talk 'Mind Blowing'

Martin O’Neill was right, no question. Well, according to him anyway! I guess - despite the fact it would be nice for us all to move on - the Moscow 'incident' was bound to crop up on the day of our latest European adventure. Some fans felt throwing away the game last season was excusable and others a disgrace. It has certainly left some questioning whether we will take the Cup games seriously this year and whether it is worth paying the money and turning up to support the team if not?

Martin O'Neill was obviously asked the question, I wish he'd had the presence of mind to say that it is time to move on, the reaction was noted but ultimately the decision on what team to field is his and his alone.

But nope, MON was right! 'I’m too long in the game now and I stand by the decisions I’ve made at the end of it all. For me, so much has been said about it that it’s mind-blowing, it really is mind-blowing that people are looking to that to explain what happened at the end of last season.'

Thing is, it was mind blowing, for me personally I don't think I'd ever felt so low as a Villa fan to think the mighty Villa could go into a game so badly unprepared and seeing silverware as unimportant. For others it was an understandable gamble to make the top four. There was always bound to be lots written and said about it, some will never get over it, others will but it was one of the single biggest managerial decisions made in the history of Villa.... in my ever so humble opinion.... as we surrendered a good chance of actually winning something (and wouldn't his reputation as the messiah just have been cemented with some European glory?)

He told the press including James Nursey at The Mirror that it has been blown out of proportion! 'people started saying that your whole season faded because of it, when in actual fact it was how we were trying to keep the season alive by utilising the players in the best way.'

'People were saying some of the younger players would need a rest and suddenly when you don’t go with the strongest side and you give them a rest then you’re wrong because of that. If we had come back from that Moscow game having put a full side out and let a two-goal lead slip as we did against Stoke City the following game then people would have said that we should have played the young players in Moscow.'

Trouble is we came back and lost, if's and buts I guess but for me it was a shocking thing to have done and I am sure that many of the rested players - remember Gareth Barry saying that week he didn't feel at all tired or jaded - wanted to play and actually win something for themselves, for the fans and for the club.

In The Express he was a bit stronger saying "I’ve never seen anything rumble on so long in my life. I don’t see the logic attached to it. There has been seemingly endless criticism from people who would have been the first to criticise if it had gone the other way."

"Even if I had gone with the strongest side, there was no guarantee we would have won. Much has been made of it and if people can’t see my particular point of view, I can’t do anything about it and I’m not going to even try. I think it was pretty obvious."

Seems a gulf between his thoughts and some Villa fans thoughts, difference is, he is the one that makes the decision. I'm not sure people have any agenda other than seeing Villa win though, so these comments aren't the most helpful really. Certainly not much respect for any of us who paid good money throughout the campaign to support him and the team? Flags one week and much excitement, surrender the next?!

Moving on, hopefully we'll do the deed tonight v Rapid Vienna and we can all... including MON who could at times show a bit of understanding and humility (?)... move on.


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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday August 20 2009

Time: 9:08AM

Your Comments

come on Villa, 20-0 tonight will heal all!
The Fear
come on Villa, 20-0 tonight will heal all!
The Fear
I agree with MON; why can't we get over this? Despite what some Villa fans think about him in general, the Moscow incident was a tactical decision that didn't come off. I felt it was the right decision and was pleased that MON was focusing on the league. People can go on about marquee signings, but this will be incredibly difficult until we're in the CL. IMHO our primary aim must be CL qualification and thus MON made the right decision.
RoyalVilla
I agree with MON; why can't we get over this? Despite what some Villa fans think about him in general, the Moscow incident was a tactical decision that didn't come off. I felt it was the right decision and was pleased that MON was focusing on the league. People can go on about marquee signings, but this will be incredibly difficult until we're in the CL. IMHO our primary aim must be CL qualification and thus MON made the right decision.
RoyalVilla
I can understand MON completely, if he had of pulled it off, he'd be a hero... thats just the risk he took..
footy_fans
I can understand MON completely, if he had of pulled it off, he'd be a hero... thats just the risk he took..
footy_fans
But he didn't pull it off...hence he faced the opposite consequences.
olofthegreat
But he didn't pull it off...hence he faced the opposite consequences.
olofthegreat
I never took much issue over this. Well, I was genuinely upset at the lack of going for it - although people forget that it was the senior pros, not the youngsters, that let us down on the night - but it was the Stoke capitualation that was the turning point, not this. Football is 95% down to opinion and people are entitled to theirs but I have read so much about Moscow and never once have I read a word that convinced me otherwise. He played four in midfield against Chelsea & Spurs in the home defeat, mistake both times. We - and the players have to take as much blame as, if not more than, the manager on this one - blew it big time against Stoke. That, combined with the insistance of 4-4-2 and the injury to Laursen (mixed in with a great run from Arsenal and Hiddink sorting out Chelsea) is why we blew the CL. Not f'n Moscow!
Sheriff Kimbo
I never took much issue over this. Well, I was genuinely upset at the lack of going for it - although people forget that it was the senior pros, not the youngsters, that let us down on the night - but it was the Stoke capitualation that was the turning point, not this. Football is 95% down to opinion and people are entitled to theirs but I have read so much about Moscow and never once have I read a word that convinced me otherwise. He played four in midfield against Chelsea & Spurs in the home defeat, mistake both times. We - and the players have to take as much blame as, if not more than, the manager on this one - blew it big time against Stoke. That, combined with the insistance of 4-4-2 and the injury to Laursen (mixed in with a great run from Arsenal and Hiddink sorting out Chelsea) is why we blew the CL. Not f'n Moscow!
Sheriff Kimbo
I tend to agree with MON for once, it was a gamble. If it had paid off then everyone would have been praising him. Same case with delph against wigan, had the lad come on and had a stonker everyone would be calling it a brilliant decision. Sometimes gambles are necessary but of course they dont always work out.
goodb_2
I tend to agree with MON for once, it was a gamble. If it had paid off then everyone would have been praising him. Same case with delph against wigan, had the lad come on and had a stonker everyone would be calling it a brilliant decision. Sometimes gambles are necessary but of course they dont always work out.
goodb_2
thing is Royal, why can't he? He could just say that we've all moved on. Amazing game though isn't it? I find it fascinating how we all want the same thing but all see things so differently. This incident for me (which I was trying to get past and not mention by the way!) was the first time I've really considered giving up (a personal opinion, so flame all you want). Obviously thinking and doing it are two very different things though! lol.
The Fear
thing is Royal, why can't he? He could just say that we've all moved on. Amazing game though isn't it? I find it fascinating how we all want the same thing but all see things so differently. This incident for me (which I was trying to get past and not mention by the way!) was the first time I've really considered giving up (a personal opinion, so flame all you want). Obviously thinking and doing it are two very different things though! lol.
The Fear
I am o`neills biggest supporter but how the ***** was it mind blowing?It is obviouslogic,We were confident and had a good rythm going,After the rape in russia it all went to tits.He may be right about what he was tying to do but it is harly mind blowing to say that *****ed up our season,because lets face it,it did.
lerneravfc
I am o`neills biggest supporter but how the ***** was it mind blowing?It is obviouslogic,We were confident and had a good rythm going,After the rape in russia it all went to tits.He may be right about what he was tying to do but it is harly mind blowing to say that *****ed up our season,because lets face it,it did.
lerneravfc
lerneravfc, with respect mate, it comes down to opinions because as I said earlier, I strongly disagree that it did. I have been very critical of MON recently but this is something I just agree with him on, I am really bored of hearing about Moscow now and think it has been blown out of all proportion to the point of just plain silly.
Sheriff Kimbo
lerneravfc, with respect mate, it comes down to opinions because as I said earlier, I strongly disagree that it did. I have been very critical of MON recently but this is something I just agree with him on, I am really bored of hearing about Moscow now and think it has been blown out of all proportion to the point of just plain silly.
Sheriff Kimbo
Fair play sheriff,It was last season and does not matter a jot now.
lerneravfc
Fair play sheriff,It was last season and does not matter a jot now.
lerneravfc
Well the only thing it could affect - as does some of the other European games from last season - is whether or not people will travel to them. Thankfully he has taken a good squad for tonight. But then it makes not a jot of difference to me, I can't afford bloomin' Liverpool on Monday, let alone Vienna! ha!
Sheriff Kimbo
Well the only thing it could affect - as does some of the other European games from last season - is whether or not people will travel to them. Thankfully he has taken a good squad for tonight. But then it makes not a jot of difference to me, I can't afford bloomin' Liverpool on Monday, let alone Vienna! ha!
Sheriff Kimbo
Moscow was a huge decision. It led to the farcical collapse against Stoke which demoralized the side. Up until Moscow and the arrival of Heskey Villa were flying with 4-5-1. Moscow was the difference. Btw, ,reports today linking liverpool with Rafael van der vaart for ten-million pounds. The Reds might be getting VdV, of R. Madrid (formerly of Ajax and Hamburg), Dutch national side regular, for ten-mill. Villa get S. Downing, crocked winger from Boro, and England part-timer for twelve-mill. Van der Vaart and Vermaelen would have been perfect for Villa and achievable. Quality replacements for Barry and Laursen (neither of whom have still been replaced) .
VillaWillRiseAgain
Moscow was a huge decision. It led to the farcical collapse against Stoke which demoralized the side. Up until Moscow and the arrival of Heskey Villa were flying with 4-5-1. Moscow was the difference. Btw, ,reports today linking liverpool with Rafael van der vaart for ten-million pounds. The Reds might be getting VdV, of R. Madrid (formerly of Ajax and Hamburg), Dutch national side regular, for ten-mill. Villa get S. Downing, crocked winger from Boro, and England part-timer for twelve-mill. Van der Vaart and Vermaelen would have been perfect for Villa and achievable. Quality replacements for Barry and Laursen (neither of whom have still been replaced) .
VillaWillRiseAgain
Sherrif Kimbo, you're earlier comments about Stoke are interesting. However, can you explain why Villa were so poor after that? Man Citeh away and Spurs at home were winnable games. Victories in those games would have still kept Villa well clear of Arsenal, whose confidence was surely bolstered by Villa's subsequent relegation form. CL football was still achievable after the Potters. Any of the "big four" would have recovered immediately from that abberation. The fact that Villa didn't lends weight to those who believe MON had lost the dressing room after Moscow. If so he probably hasn't recovered it.
VillaWillRiseAgain
Sherrif Kimbo, you're earlier comments about Stoke are interesting. However, can you explain why Villa were so poor after that? Man Citeh away and Spurs at home were winnable games. Victories in those games would have still kept Villa well clear of Arsenal, whose confidence was surely bolstered by Villa's subsequent relegation form. CL football was still achievable after the Potters. Any of the "big four" would have recovered immediately from that abberation. The fact that Villa didn't lends weight to those who believe MON had lost the dressing room after Moscow. If so he probably hasn't recovered it.
VillaWillRiseAgain
Well I absolutely blame 4-4-2. I have been doing for ages. It's tactical; the team didn't defend as well without Laursen and needed more protection. But they were provided with less, which ultimately leads to dropping deeper, and leads to more space for the midfield to cover (which, given the pace of Petrov and Barry made it even harder) and consequently leaves the forwards more isolated. 4-4-2 can work with a solid defence that doesn't drop deep, but even then - and we'll take ManUre as an example - the second striker should be a Cantona/Sheringham/Yorke/Rooney, meaning it is still virtually 4-5-1. Maybe MON has lost the dressing room, maybe he has. That would 100% genuinely hold no surprise for me. But the tactics mean we could have Steven Gerrard and Roy Keane at his peak in the central midfield positions and we'd still struggle.
Sheriff Kimbo
Well I absolutely blame 4-4-2. I have been doing for ages. It's tactical; the team didn't defend as well without Laursen and needed more protection. But they were provided with less, which ultimately leads to dropping deeper, and leads to more space for the midfield to cover (which, given the pace of Petrov and Barry made it even harder) and consequently leaves the forwards more isolated. 4-4-2 can work with a solid defence that doesn't drop deep, but even then - and we'll take ManUre as an example - the second striker should be a Cantona/Sheringham/Yorke/Rooney, meaning it is still virtually 4-5-1. Maybe MON has lost the dressing room, maybe he has. That would 100% genuinely hold no surprise for me. But the tactics mean we could have Steven Gerrard and Roy Keane at his peak in the central midfield positions and we'd still struggle.
Sheriff Kimbo
100% agree with you about 4-4-2. Has MON ever made any public comments about using this formation as opposed to 4-5-1? Also the comments about a second striker are correct. Carew, Heskey and Agbonlahor are orthodox "number 9" cente-forwards. Villa do need a Bergkamp or a Rooney, the type of striker the Dutch call a "shadow striker" or the Italians a "nine-and-a-half.
VillaWillRiseAgain
100% agree with you about 4-4-2. Has MON ever made any public comments about using this formation as opposed to 4-5-1? Also the comments about a second striker are correct. Carew, Heskey and Agbonlahor are orthodox "number 9" cente-forwards. Villa do need a Bergkamp or a Rooney, the type of striker the Dutch call a "shadow striker" or the Italians a "nine-and-a-half.
VillaWillRiseAgain
I've never heard him, no. I'd be intrigued as to what he'd have to say in all honesty.
Sheriff Kimbo
I've never heard him, no. I'd be intrigued as to what he'd have to say in all honesty.
Sheriff Kimbo
I think the real problem is that he forced himself into having to make this choice by not having a squad large enough or strong enough at that point last season.
etouffee
I think the real problem is that he forced himself into having to make this choice by not having a squad large enough or strong enough at that point last season.
etouffee
etouffee absolutely spot on dude.
col8
etouffee absolutely spot on dude.
col8
 

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