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Tough Afternoon - The Verdict

Martin O'Neill has hailed the display of our defence as they nullified Stoke's aerial threat - to be fair Stoke did that themselves by failing to hit the target but hey ho.

It was however a typical Villa match now, pointless upfront, with heroic never say die defending as we slowly watch everyone on the pitch drained of energy which no tactical change other than Carew MUST leave the pitch if he starts the match.

Bored of it now. The boos returned although no doubt fans were attacking Gabby again (DOH!) and the few positive comments - and let's face it a draw against Stokie is not an entire disaster - but it seems most are fed up of watching the same dross, the same tactics, the same changes, the same predictability and it's just one draw too many, and one idiotic performance too far.

It's quite funny actually, before the match I'd have certainly taken a point but everything else gets in the way of that mild pleasure.

Speaking on the Official Site following the match O'Neill described it as (another) tough afternoon and was obviously full of praise for our defensive performance.

That is the only real plus, the lads at the back are putting their bodies on the line in order to give us a shot of winning games but surely they must be fed up of seeing us get into the 6 yd box at least 5 times and nobody with a position defining name of 'striker' getting on the end of it or even it seems trying to.

Stoke had the chances to win this game, but let's face facts so did we. We probably had the clearer cut chances as well but again Carew was at half speed and I don't think I even saw Heskey in the box when the balls were flying in from the wing.

I shudder at the thought that our defence will be too old to carry on by the time we actually sign a striker who can do the job.

Anyway, let's have some positive spin and remember we are a team full of youngsters who play quick, counter attacking football that are a delight to watch every single time they play.

'We defended stoutly indeed. The game didn't have that many clear cut chances. I think a draw was probably a fair result.'

As ever Monny is delighted with the cleansheet and comments:

'I think when you have not conceded from one of them (big balls from throw ins etc etc wibble) you can say it has been a satisfactory afternoon.'

Right he is to, now if only we could find a striker who turns up and scores we'd be laughing. Then again as we are usually down to at least 9 men for the final 20 minutes as sheer tiredness hits people, it wouldn't be too bad if we could find some youthful exuberance on the bench but sadly we have no options do we.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday March 13 2010

Time: 7:57PM

Your Comments

50k a week, no game since Reading, train for 3 or so hours a day. Tired? Your havin a laff.
PiperUK
50k a week, no game since Reading, train for 3 or so hours a day. Tired? Your havin a laff.
PiperUK
there is a lot of focus on the defence always from MON.... rather than address the issues of kicking goals, he praises the defence....i am a fan of our defensive unit, but the picture ain't complete until we find the missing piece on the forward line...until then, a champs league place is a harder ask.... go villa....
leftfoot
My take is that's a bit harsh. Stoke on their home patch is always going to be a tricky one. But you're right in that we look devoid of scoring. Heskey is the problem, simple. Why MON persists with him is beyond me.
badger0-0
Oh and before we go down the usual line of "Cuellar is crap at RB" argument, how many goals have come from our right? Cuellar right defence or Warnock left defence? No contest, imo.
badger0-0
The Heskey thing is beyond you, as you are obviously not a trained 'professional', I'm told that once you are you can clearly see what he brings and it is very exciting, alas, I also am a simple lay person and it seems to me his contribution is naff all
ant1ant1
The Heskey thing is beyond you, as you are obviously not a trained 'professional', I'm told that once you are you can clearly see what he brings and it is very exciting, alas, I also am a simple lay person and it seems to me his contribution is naff all
ant1ant1
I thought Carew did ok and put himself about a bit. Far more of a threat than Heskey.
Rawlie
MON is very overrated,one sub again when changes are needed is a joke,all that money spent wasted on the bench.
ASPINALL
MON is very overrated,one sub again when changes are needed is a joke,all that money spent wasted on the bench.
ASPINALL
If MoN is supposed to be so good at man management, what does he say to Luke Young week in week out when the message clearly is 'You may be fast going forward and back, be able to put in a tackle and deliver a half decent cross, but you're not as good as a lumbering centre back who can't pass the ball in the opposition's half of the pitch and gives it away in midfield'? Or the Fonz: 'I know when I play you I only give you 5 minutes, and although you look the part and are keen and enthusiastic, you're not as good as a frightened bloke who can't stand up or a lazy bloke who looks like he couldn't care and only turns up one match in 20.' This must play havoc with confidence (Young) and hold back or snuff out careers (the Fonz at the moment, but he nearly managed it with a bunch of others who got out in time). In what sense is this good man (or any other sort of) management? Plus we play boring backs-to-the-wall football, or it seems, totally by accident we get a hatful. MoN clearly isn't stupid, but he seems stubborn as a mule. To me we don't look as good as Spurs or Man City and 4th place looks a long way off. I don't want us to win at all costs. We could and should be better than this.
144wittonlane
Dear Lord, what is with all the moaning, we have appeared in a cup final, in the fa cup semi final and still in a shout for 4th, Marin is doing a great job, agaist stoke we needed the best headers of the ball,we have a great defence, very good midfield and a good attack, really we are only 2 players away a top forward and central midfield player, so stop moaning we are still moving forward be patient and enjoy the ride.
astonsteve
Dear Lord, what is with all the moaning, we have appeared in a cup final, in the fa cup semi final and still in a shout for 4th, Marin is doing a great job, agaist stoke we needed the best headers of the ball,we have a great defence, very good midfield and a good attack, really we are only 2 players away a top forward and central midfield player, so stop moaning we are still moving forward be patient and enjoy the ride.
astonsteve
Not a bad point, won against opponents who can make life very difficult for you, particularly on their own patch. The extremely blustery conditions hardly helped the good football cause, but we kept our unbeaten run going, and kept ourselves in the hunt for a possible top four finish.
glensider
Not a bad point, won against opponents who can make life very difficult for you, particularly on their own patch. The extremely blustery conditions hardly helped the good football cause, but we kept our unbeaten run going, and kept ourselves in the hunt for a possible top four finish.
glensider
 

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