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O'Neill Defends Ash


Martin O'Neill has hit back at the recent criticism of Ashley Young, describing him as one of the best wingers in Europe.

Speaking on the official site O'Neill was reacting to media reports accusing Ash of a dip in form.

'Sometimes people need to realise how tough it is. He tracks back to help his full-back, he's covered 40 or 50 yards and the next thing you know, the midfielder gives him the ball back and he looks up and he's got 90 yards to go and about 15 players to beat.'

Never let it be said Monny doesn't exaggerate for effect.

'You have to please the crowd every single time by beating two or three players. You will lose it once or twice and you will misplace the odd pass and cross.'

Now to be fair this a bit of a non issue. Ash's form has dipped, everybody knows it.

His crossfield, diagonal ball to Milly recently was probably the best 'cross' of the season from the lad. Other than that he's been very hit and miss, he's been going down a lot and he's just not been as effective as you would expect.

In his defence yes, our main tactic is give him the ball regardless of his starting position which doesn't help. He's being double and triple marked and instead of taking advantage of the space we still give him the ball and whilst the squad is no doubt stonger in defence, we are not playing the fast flowing football we did when Ash 'made his name'. Let's not forget all players suffer with drops in form, this just happens to be Ash's.

All of this means basically, that brighter things are around the corner.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday October 22 2009

Time: 5:45PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Don't think there can be much argument that his form has dipped, I'm sure he knows it as well, exciting thing is he is young and learning, he'll get back into his stride again and we've been picking up good points whilst he and a few others haven't been totally at the races. It can be seen as a positive?! The England manager obviously has seen the dip and has put milner in ahead of him but he'll get back, again, he is only 23, he will be up and down and MON is probably right, people expect too much, too consistently from those that are still... and I'll say it again (LOL) young!
the fear
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22/10/2009 17:56:00

Don't think there can be much argument that his form has dipped, I'm sure he knows it as well, exciting thing is he is young and learning, he'll get back into his stride again and we've been picking up good points whilst he and a few others haven't been totally at the races. It can be seen as a positive?! The England manager obviously has seen the dip and has put milner in ahead of him but he'll get back, again, he is only 23, he will be up and down and MON is probably right, people expect too much, too consistently from those that are still... and I'll say it again (LOL) young!
the fear
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22/10/2009 17:56:00

his form must have dipped .last year he was world class now he is only one of the best wingers in europe
one match ban
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22/10/2009 18:02:00

his form must have dipped .last year he was world class now he is only one of the best wingers in europe
one match ban
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22/10/2009 18:02:00

I have thought lately he's been playing better. Players do have dips in form but I think he is coming out of his.
johnmurphy3112
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22/10/2009 19:42:00

I have thought lately he's been playing better. Players do have dips in form but I think he is coming out of his.
johnmurphy3112
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22/10/2009 19:42:00

He's been staying on his feet more (but he's been limping a lot) and he does get back to do a lot of defending .
Doug4ever
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22/10/2009 21:32:00

He's been staying on his feet more (but he's been limping a lot) and he does get back to do a lot of defending .
Doug4ever
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22/10/2009 21:32:00

If we are playing this well with Ash off his game then all is good.
Lost_In_Ca
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22/10/2009 21:38:00

If we are playing this well with Ash off his game then all is good.
Lost_In_Ca
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22/10/2009 21:38:00

"... we are not playing the fast flowing football we did when Ash 'made his name ..." What matches have you been watching!!! Everyone is raving about the Villa right now, truly we are the neutrals favourite and the 'fast flowing football' doesn't just depend upon Ash. His crossing hasn't been as consistent as last season but it's coming back. Christ, what a critical set of fans we are!!!
panchovilla
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22/10/2009 23:02:00

"... we are not playing the fast flowing football we did when Ash 'made his name ..." What matches have you been watching!!! Everyone is raving about the Villa right now, truly we are the neutrals favourite and the 'fast flowing football' doesn't just depend upon Ash. His crossing hasn't been as consistent as last season but it's coming back. Christ, what a critical set of fans we are!!!
panchovilla
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22/10/2009 23:02:00

Pancho the same as you, but obviously with a fresher perspective. Sorry and all, but the first two years of Monny's Villa, compared to the last 2 years. Sorry fast flowing, exciting, football definitely can't apply to the latter. Unless of course you fall for the media BS that now surrounds us. I agree what a set of fans we are.....some of us watch matches, some of us read the tabloids.
mike_field
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22/10/2009 23:17:00

Pancho the same as you, but obviously with a fresher perspective. Sorry and all, but the first two years of Monny's Villa, compared to the last 2 years. Sorry fast flowing, exciting, football definitely can't apply to the latter. Unless of course you fall for the media BS that now surrounds us. I agree what a set of fans we are.....some of us watch matches, some of us read the tabloids.
mike_field
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22/10/2009 23:17:00

In some ways if Young has a luke warm season this year I won't be at all upset. Some of the biggest clubs in the world were starting to make goo-goo eyes in his direction, and I think if he had another stormer this year we might get too much attention for us to hold onto him in the summer. Let him cool his ego a little and take a bit of a breather, let us continue to push on quietly, and then hopefully next time he hits his straps we can genuinely expect to be pushing hard for a seat at the top table, and possibly a real challenge for one of the cups.
YatesyVillain
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23/10/2009 02:17:00

In some ways if Young has a luke warm season this year I won't be at all upset. Some of the biggest clubs in the world were starting to make goo-goo eyes in his direction, and I think if he had another stormer this year we might get too much attention for us to hold onto him in the summer. Let him cool his ego a little and take a bit of a breather, let us continue to push on quietly, and then hopefully next time he hits his straps we can genuinely expect to be pushing hard for a seat at the top table, and possibly a real challenge for one of the cups.
YatesyVillain
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23/10/2009 02:17:00

I think this is a classic example of St Martins skills of man managing.Maybe tacitly he is saying that Ash is lacking a bit of confidence and by praising him in the press in this way is going to make him feel ten feet tall .
sirdennis
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23/10/2009 09:48:00

I think this is a classic example of St Martins skills of man managing.Maybe tacitly he is saying that Ash is lacking a bit of confidence and by praising him in the press in this way is going to make him feel ten feet tall .
sirdennis
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23/10/2009 09:48:00

Id rather have a **** Young than not at all, he does track back and his work rate is phenomonal. And besides, he still terrifies the hell out of the opposition defence even when hes a bit off!!! UTV
GUMBOAVFC
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23/10/2009 11:24:00

Id rather have a **** Young than not at all, he does track back and his work rate is phenomonal. And besides, he still terrifies the hell out of the opposition defence even when hes a bit off!!! UTV
GUMBOAVFC
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23/10/2009 11:24:00

He set up 2 goals from corners at the weekend FFS. He also creates space for others by having 2 or 3 opposition players marking him!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Villan444
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23/10/2009 13:06:00

He set up 2 goals from corners at the weekend FFS. He also creates space for others by having 2 or 3 opposition players marking him!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Villan444
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23/10/2009 13:06:00

Against Chelski, for the first time that I can remember, Ashley never once went down injured or dived when he should have stayed on his feet. Hopefully this tendency in his game has been identified and acted on. However I feel we do not get the best out of him in the 442 formation. His skill has never been in beating 2 or 3 men. His best football has been when he has had a midfielder (Barry) working with him as part of a 3 man midfield. I do not think it is any coincidence that his best spell was as part of the 433 formation that served us so well. That said, his work rate is phenomenal. His dead ball delivery is excellent. But on occassions this season I would have took him out of the firing line for the last 20 minutes, put Milner on the left and given Albrighton a run on the right.
voiceoftheholte
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23/10/2009 13:23:00

Against Chelski, for the first time that I can remember, Ashley never once went down injured or dived when he should have stayed on his feet. Hopefully this tendency in his game has been identified and acted on. However I feel we do not get the best out of him in the 442 formation. His skill has never been in beating 2 or 3 men. His best football has been when he has had a midfielder (Barry) working with him as part of a 3 man midfield. I do not think it is any coincidence that his best spell was as part of the 433 formation that served us so well. That said, his work rate is phenomenal. His dead ball delivery is excellent. But on occassions this season I would have took him out of the firing line for the last 20 minutes, put Milner on the left and given Albrighton a run on the right.
voiceoftheholte
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23/10/2009 13:23:00

 

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