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What's Up With Villa's Attack?


I was just having a wonder as to why our attack has been as toothless as a pensionable bear with terminal tooth rot.

If you all remember back only as far as season 2007/08, we scored a phenomenal 71 goals - an average 1.87 per game. This season to date we have scored only 37, at an average 1.37 per game.

Take out those two 5-goal hauls against burnley & Bolton, and that drops to a tame 1.08 in 25 games :/

What puzzles me the most is that, fundamentally, we have the same attack as we did back then.

Ashley, Carew, Agbonlahor and Petrov were our strike force (Petrov was then playing on the right wing). So the question that must be asked is why, with a very similar personnel, can we not hit a crows backside?

So, here's a few stats: Agbonlahor: 07/08 season - played 37, scored 11 08/09 season - played 36, scored 12 09/10 STD - played 26, scored 11 As we can see, Agbonlahor is playing his part nicely, with a good season on season improvement. surely he isn't the reason for our lack of goals. He does seem to be improving season on season, and proving his critics wrong. John Carew has hardly featured this season for us in the league apart from as a substitute . (11 goals in 29 games in all competitions seems like a decent enough return to me from someone who is basically a sub!), and as such, only has 4 league goals to his name.

This brings me to Heskey..

Heskey currently has a grand total of 5 goals in 33 games. (3 in the league) For those of you who don't know, Heskey also plays for villa - he plays upfront though I wouldn't call him a striker. Clearly, he is one reason why we're misfiring upfront. Oops, I also forgot - he has an assist too. Sorry, for me, a premier league striker needs to bring more than 4 goals (3 and 1 assist) to the table after 27 games. He just does not contribute to our strike force, sorry to say. To be fair, it's not all Heskey's fault.

Ashley (though still playing well) hasn't been as on-fire this season as he was last season, although he has still contributed 4 goals and 6 assists (10 goals to the team cause in 25 games). I also believe tactics too could be improved. For eg, when Ashley has the ball at his feet with 1 defender to beat, you can bet your bottom dollar that he'll go the the byline and cross, whereas sometimes it would be nice to see him beat his man and cut inside and either shoot at goal, or lay it off.

So there you have it. to sum up, it's all Heskey's fault!!! :o) Only kidding, but with a very similar lineup to the team that couldn't stop scoring in 07/08, it does make you wonder!

thorpyuk




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The Journalist

Writer: thorpyuk  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 15 2010

Time: 2:42PM

Your Comments

sorry, couldn't resist the image!
The Fear
sorry, couldn't resist the image!
The Fear
One things for sure, if Harewood was playing he would be putting in the effort every game unlike the 3 lazy *****s we currently have representing us up front each week. Just a shame Harewood is not as talented as any of them.
young_jonah
we've been sussed and have no plan B simple !
villan57
we've been sussed and have no plan B simple !
villan57
As well organized as you are defensively, I just wonder where you'd be if you had someone like Louis Saha; top four, for certain!
Teddy_KGB
Lack of movement (running of the ball) is shocking at times. The amount of times I see a huge space and nobody utilising it makes me bang my head against the wall. Plus, some of our passing is shocking.
BKKVILLA
Lack of movement (running of the ball) is shocking at times. The amount of times I see a huge space and nobody utilising it makes me bang my head against the wall. Plus, some of our passing is shocking.
BKKVILLA
Which makes one wonder why Delfounso has not been used. To quote MON "The lad is going to become a real player" But how can that happen when he is not given the chance to learn his trade among the big boys? If we don't score goals we are not going to win anything and the current strikers are not doing the job, Heskey in particular. I know it is argued that Heskey is a good team player hold the ball up and laying it off etc, but whatever he is doing it's not happening for the team. My solution would be to give Ashley or Downing a rest along with Petrov and give Albrighton, Delf and Delph a chance to show what they can do. They would not let us down.
Obediah
Which makes one wonder why Delfounso has not been used. To quote MON "The lad is going to become a real player" But how can that happen when he is not given the chance to learn his trade among the big boys? If we don't score goals we are not going to win anything and the current strikers are not doing the job, Heskey in particular. I know it is argued that Heskey is a good team player hold the ball up and laying it off etc, but whatever he is doing it's not happening for the team. My solution would be to give Ashley or Downing a rest along with Petrov and give Albrighton, Delf and Delph a chance to show what they can do. They would not let us down.
Obediah
Personally, i think Delph would make an awesome left winger - he has pace, can go past players with ease, can shoot and can pass. All he'd need to do is to be able to cross the ball, and i'm sure he would make an awesome partnership with Young :)
thorpyuk
Personally, i think Delph would make an awesome left winger - he has pace, can go past players with ease, can shoot and can pass. All he'd need to do is to be able to cross the ball, and i'm sure he would make an awesome partnership with Young :)
thorpyuk
Obediah, I agree I just don't think O'Neill has the balls to drop the first team for youngsters, Sidwell and Reo-Coker allegedly went off in a strop when Delph started the Wigan game, maybe O'Neill is worried about that becoming more regular if he plays a youngster from the start. Wish O'Neill would be man enough to tell those players he is boss and he will drop people if they aren't pulling their weight, too many of them start no matter what, and they know that.
young_jonah
Obediah, I agree I just don't think O'Neill has the balls to drop the first team for youngsters, Sidwell and Reo-Coker allegedly went off in a strop when Delph started the Wigan game, maybe O'Neill is worried about that becoming more regular if he plays a youngster from the start. Wish O'Neill would be man enough to tell those players he is boss and he will drop people if they aren't pulling their weight, too many of them start no matter what, and they know that.
young_jonah
I think Harewood has a pretty decent Goals to Games ratio for us, doesn't he?! BKKVILLA, your point is spot on, the movement is not good enough, not only from the strikers, but the midfielders too. I was fortunate enough to get a ticket to the final and quite often I have criticised Petrov for his inability to pass anywhere but backwards. After viewing that game live I can see why, there were quite a few occasions when he was screaming at players to move for him, but it wasn't happening. Personally I see us as a poor mans Man U. We try to play a similar style, but our off the ball movement is light years behind theirs. If we can sort this out, through training or signing 1 or 2 players who can offer it to us, then we can really make a good go at the European Cup places next season. The Fonz's movement looks a level ahead of the other 3 in the short amount of match time he has received, he and Delph really need to be given some first team experience ready for next season, even if it's only 10 minutes as a sub every game for the remainder of the season.
Francobaresi13
I think Harewood has a pretty decent Goals to Games ratio for us, doesn't he?! BKKVILLA, your point is spot on, the movement is not good enough, not only from the strikers, but the midfielders too. I was fortunate enough to get a ticket to the final and quite often I have criticised Petrov for his inability to pass anywhere but backwards. After viewing that game live I can see why, there were quite a few occasions when he was screaming at players to move for him, but it wasn't happening. Personally I see us as a poor mans Man U. We try to play a similar style, but our off the ball movement is light years behind theirs. If we can sort this out, through training or signing 1 or 2 players who can offer it to us, then we can really make a good go at the European Cup places next season. The Fonz's movement looks a level ahead of the other 3 in the short amount of match time he has received, he and Delph really need to be given some first team experience ready for next season, even if it's only 10 minutes as a sub every game for the remainder of the season.
Francobaresi13
i think since barry left, our goals dried up...no-one creative enough in the middle to cr8 them
Gruck
i think since barry left, our goals dried up...no-one creative enough in the middle to cr8 them
Gruck
Carew and heskey r old wait a few years and theyll be retired and we can actually try out delfonsuo :) no seriously ive been thinking that maybe we could create a song for delfonsuo and sing tht like we do with john carew and then maybe oneill will be forced to play him and same for delph maybe, i think this would really work, because i cant be bothered to watch our defenders work ther aocks off for the strikers just to stand around doing nothing and obviously delfonsou and delph will work there socks off because they will want to make a good impression, just a thought
Avillian136
I actually think that we were much more of an attacking force when milner played as a winger. I don't think downing is coming up with the goods out wide. His crossing is very poor and he doesn't have the pace to get to the byline and provide a dangerous ball into the middle. Ash is also more of a threat on the left rather than the right - its much easier for him to cut inside and strike with his right foot when playing on the left. I really like the idea of milner in the middle but I think at the moment it might benefit us more if move him out to the right again.
Astriel
I actually think that we were much more of an attacking force when milner played as a winger. I don't think downing is coming up with the goods out wide. His crossing is very poor and he doesn't have the pace to get to the byline and provide a dangerous ball into the middle. Ash is also more of a threat on the left rather than the right - its much easier for him to cut inside and strike with his right foot when playing on the left. I really like the idea of milner in the middle but I think at the moment it might benefit us more if move him out to the right again.
Astriel
We miss Barry and his through balls. His left foot also added a balance to the side. He was quality at retaining possession and rarely went backwards UNLIKE Downing and especially Petrov. We also did't have Cuellar who just gives the ball back to the opposition (regardless of how good he is defensively.) I know that we have conceded less than anyone else BUT this is detrimental to our attack. Heskey is forced into the team in whatever position is free that MON's favourites haven't already proved themselves better than him in. He is playing as a 5th midfielder and he can't even score when he is played last man/goal hanger. It is 3 points for a win so we must go for a win especially against teams in the bottom half. We now have 10 draws which is 20 points lost NOT 10 gained. Agreed that draws against the likes of Spuz and Man City (who are near us) is good but I would rather win 1 and lose 2 than have 3 draws. It's the same gross points total and at least we would be going for it and there would be some excitement rather than settling for a point. Downing shouldn't have come back into the team and started EVERY game since (unless this was a condition of him signing??) especially as others have said, Ashley is better on the left and was our main assistant last year. Albrighton is a natural winger and has to be given more time on the pitch and at least we would have options and not be so predictable. As for the forwards, we should be playing 4-5-1 and Carew comes on with half an hour to go if things aren't going well. Oh yeah and you rest players when the game is won or they look knackered. Much too compicated for MON to comprehend though!!
Villan444
We miss Barry and his through balls. His left foot also added a balance to the side. He was quality at retaining possession and rarely went backwards UNLIKE Downing and especially Petrov. We also did't have Cuellar who just gives the ball back to the opposition (regardless of how good he is defensively.) I know that we have conceded less than anyone else BUT this is detrimental to our attack. Heskey is forced into the team in whatever position is free that MON's favourites haven't already proved themselves better than him in. He is playing as a 5th midfielder and he can't even score when he is played last man/goal hanger. It is 3 points for a win so we must go for a win especially against teams in the bottom half. We now have 10 draws which is 20 points lost NOT 10 gained. Agreed that draws against the likes of Spuz and Man City (who are near us) is good but I would rather win 1 and lose 2 than have 3 draws. It's the same gross points total and at least we would be going for it and there would be some excitement rather than settling for a point. Downing shouldn't have come back into the team and started EVERY game since (unless this was a condition of him signing??) especially as others have said, Ashley is better on the left and was our main assistant last year. Albrighton is a natural winger and has to be given more time on the pitch and at least we would have options and not be so predictable. As for the forwards, we should be playing 4-5-1 and Carew comes on with half an hour to go if things aren't going well. Oh yeah and you rest players when the game is won or they look knackered. Much too compicated for MON to comprehend though!!
Villan444
Agree with your point Astriel about downing - i dont think he's been anything special YET, although he is still bedding down into the side. I'd like to see downing in the middle maybe with milner. Delph on the wing :>
thorpyuk
Agree with your point Astriel about downing - i dont think he's been anything special YET, although he is still bedding down into the side. I'd like to see downing in the middle maybe with milner. Delph on the wing :>
thorpyuk
Totally agree with you Villian444 - I would rather forego the great defensive record and have a modern right back that can distribute the ball effectively. I also think we're better with 3 in the middle - it's gives us better options as we have better midfield players than we have strikers
KDK11
Agbonlahor cant hardly ever finish Heskey is useless Carew only plays when he feels like it Harewood is more useless then heskey When we attack there is like 3 players past the half way line so we make hardly any chances Answer the question?
p.villa
Totally agree with you Villian444 - I would rather forego the great defensive record and have a modern right back that can distribute the ball effectively. I also think we're better with 3 in the middle - it's gives us better options as we have better midfield players than we have strikers
KDK11
Agbonlahor cant hardly ever finish Heskey is useless Carew only plays when he feels like it Harewood is more useless then heskey When we attack there is like 3 players past the half way line so we make hardly any chances Answer the question?
p.villa
no-one listens to me do they, guess it was a rubbish idea then ahh well neva mind
Avillian136
no-one listens to me do they, guess it was a rubbish idea then ahh well neva mind
Avillian136
Is it just me, or does everybody just bypass those really lon posts?
General Disarray
Is it just me, or does everybody just bypass those really lon posts?
General Disarray
Tried to shorten my post by removing the "g" from long
General Disarray
Tried to shorten my post by removing the "g" from long
General Disarray
They aren't that bad, not as good as some but better than others. Look at the league top scorers and we couldn't afford any of them. It's the midfield that needs to chip in.
General Disarray
They aren't that bad, not as good as some but better than others. Look at the league top scorers and we couldn't afford any of them. It's the midfield that needs to chip in.
General Disarray
Basically why we aren't scoring enough is our players aren't good enough consistently to do so. They have proved it. End of. The Fonz scoring rate has been missed off the analysis but I think would compare well in terms of minutes on the pitch and goals scored. And yes, he has hardly been given a chance and would improve. As would Delph, Albrighton and Ciaran Clark. They all deserve a better crack of the whip. Delph and the Fonz just have to be better than what we have got. They can control a ball for starters, in a continental superior way to some of our current top players. Unfortunately the arrogance, illogicality and downright intransigence of MON in continuing with the select few and stifling opportinities to progress will possibly cost us 4th place this year. That is not to say he should not have the credit for all the good things he has done. But come on - its stark staring bonkers obvious that we need more potency, and it is stark staring bonkers obvious that the current selections will not do it. Here is hoping for a goal from the Fonz at Wigan tomorrow - or failing that a squeaked win courtesy of one of those games when it does run for us. We should be confidently expecting to score after all the money we have spent - not just defend and hope!
stennyvilla
Are we having a good season or not? Reading these posts I can't tell anymore
General Disarray
Are we having a good season or not? Reading these posts I can't tell anymore
General Disarray
Avillain136 - problem is 'delphonseo' doesn't exactly roll off the tongue! I think we should shell out the 18m it would likely now cost us for Darren Bent in the summer - at least we would then posess a proven finisher.
thorpyuk
Avillain136 - problem is 'delphonseo' doesn't exactly roll off the tongue! I think we should shell out the 18m it would likely now cost us for Darren Bent in the summer - at least we would then posess a proven finisher.
thorpyuk
Avillian136...I totally agree...
MASON_PARKER
Avillian136...I totally agree...
MASON_PARKER
gabby works really hard but lacks a clinical finish - that will come though, he still is learning.... the other two - well, what can you say? Delfonz should be played, give the guy half an hour if things look tired. why not? same goes with Delph and Albrighton....this is truly the one thing driving me nuts about MON....we are loooking a bit stale, change it up.....
leftfoot
gabby works really hard but lacks a clinical finish - that will come though, he still is learning.... the other two - well, what can you say? Delfonz should be played, give the guy half an hour if things look tired. why not? same goes with Delph and Albrighton....this is truly the one thing driving me nuts about MON....we are loooking a bit stale, change it up.....
leftfoot
thorpyuk- i think for 18 million we could get 10 times better player from abroad but then i couldn't see mon risking money on players that arent proven in the prem so bent would seem like the best option even though its a bit over priced, but also wen have we ever spent that much on a player, i reckon we should get ruud van nisteroy because he guarantees goals and is quite cheap to buy but then his wage demands are quite high, get rid of heskey for the money
Avillian136
thorpyuk- i think for 18 million we could get 10 times better player from abroad but then i couldn't see mon risking money on players that arent proven in the prem so bent would seem like the best option even though its a bit over priced, but also wen have we ever spent that much on a player, i reckon we should get ruud van nisteroy because he guarantees goals and is quite cheap to buy but then his wage demands are quite high, get rid of heskey for the money
Avillian136
General Disarray, I agree with both your posts - I skip long ones - and i'm also confused - i thought we were in a semi final, already been to a cup final where we lost against the English champions and are in a great shout for fourth. Many of the comments on here are good food for thought and I welcome the discussion, but find it unbelievable that a few people still have a pop at players left right and centre. So far I've read Gabby is woeful, Carew worse and Heskey is the bottom rung. Plus Downing should be shot, Petrov has no football ability, Cuellar is ruining our game and MON is a moron. We must be having some real luck to be where we are then!!
Longman
General Disarray, I agree with both your posts - I skip long ones - and i'm also confused - i thought we were in a semi final, already been to a cup final where we lost against the English champions and are in a great shout for fourth. Many of the comments on here are good food for thought and I welcome the discussion, but find it unbelievable that a few people still have a pop at players left right and centre. So far I've read Gabby is woeful, Carew worse and Heskey is the bottom rung. Plus Downing should be shot, Petrov has no football ability, Cuellar is ruining our game and MON is a moron. We must be having some real luck to be where we are then!!
Longman
There are no options or alternatives in our locker, no one to provide a goal threat on a consistent basis. We are one-dimensional in our play, and unfortunately, very easy to defend against. We are very difficult to beat, but unfortunately it is goals that turn draws into three point outings, and sadly right now, goals are in very short supply.
glensider
There are no options or alternatives in our locker, no one to provide a goal threat on a consistent basis. We are one-dimensional in our play, and unfortunately, very easy to defend against. We are very difficult to beat, but unfortunately it is goals that turn draws into three point outings, and sadly right now, goals are in very short supply.
glensider
Those stats on Heskey are shocking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HuddersfieldYiddo
Those stats on Heskey are shocking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HuddersfieldYiddo
Lets play the two Brads upfront :-p!
holte ender 1969
Longman I think the issue is that we have a really fantastic 5/6 players. Between Dunne, collins, cuellar, young and milner, we have some players that even a man united would possibly want. The problem is that the heskeys, carews and downings aren't coming up with the goods at the moment. So why not try a albrighton or delph or NRC or nathan? Or try 4-5-1. Or try 4-3-3. Or anything else besides a 60-70 min sub of carew for heskey.
Astriel
Longman I think the issue is that we have a really fantastic 5/6 players. Between Dunne, collins, cuellar, young and milner, we have some players that even a man united would possibly want. The problem is that the heskeys, carews and downings aren't coming up with the goods at the moment. So why not try a albrighton or delph or NRC or nathan? Or try 4-5-1. Or try 4-3-3. Or anything else besides a 60-70 min sub of carew for heskey.
Astriel
Yeah agree General, sorry for long post. I skip them aswell but the constant draws and lack of attack and Heskey playing regardless etc. *****es me off more than anything else. Football is about scoring more than the opposition, NOT making sure you don't concede for 90 mins and hoping to nick one at the other end. MON has a strange loyalty points based system which means that you can't get a game unless you used to play for him at another club or he signed you on a promise or ????.
Villan444
Yeah agree General, sorry for long post. I skip them aswell but the constant draws and lack of attack and Heskey playing regardless etc. *****es me off more than anything else. Football is about scoring more than the opposition, NOT making sure you don't concede for 90 mins and hoping to nick one at the other end. MON has a strange loyalty points based system which means that you can't get a game unless you used to play for him at another club or he signed you on a promise or ????.
Villan444
 

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