Aston Villa - O'Neill - The Semi Final Excuses
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O'Neill - The Semi Final Excuses

Ok fair enough Monny doesn't write the official site reactions, he just provides the quotes for the verdict but it's very telling the opening line is about the two red cards.

O'Neill describes them as 'incontestable' and I fully agree, the penalty and John Terry's 'tackle' on Milner were straight reds in my mind. It's impossible to say otherwise in reality.

The penalty was as clear cut as you can get, NOBODY in that position would fall when all it takes is a touch for the ball to be in the back of the net, and as for the Terry tackle it matters not if he got a hairs breath on the ball first, what matters is the studs were impossibly high, the follow through was as clear as day and well let's face it, had any of our players done that they'd be done and given an extra ban for dangerous play.

So I agree, Chelsea should've been down to 9 men and I agree we should've been 1-0 up. But I really don't think it matters, Chelsea would've still battered us in the second half because whilst Monny hides behind refereeing decisions yet again at a Wembley appearance, the bottom line is we weren't good enough to win and he wasn't good enough to make changes to help us win.

I don't see any red cards changing that.

'I am sitting here again, six weeks on, and talking about major incidents in the game.'

I'm sitting here 18 months on questioning why we don't have a plan B. Why we don't use the squad Monny has paid good money for. Why we don't make substitutions to attempt to change a game or at the very least provide fresh impetus when it's clear 'the favourites' are as knackered as feck.

I'm sitting here wondering why we are still as predictable as a period.

He follows that line by saying:

'We should have had a penalty - it was clear cut. The referee has chosen to ignore it because of possible consequences.'

I agree...but would it have changed things? Our goal lead against Utd didn't. Because over 90 minutes we weren't good enough. What's different today? Over 90 minutes Chelsea took the best we could give, and then waited till we tired and stuffed us by three.

A penalty wouldn't have made a difference. I doubt a sending off would've. Against the top sides we've already seen how a sending off works in our favour. It doesn't, we are even more inept at breaking down a team who defend with 10 men than we are when there are 11 players on the pitch.

Monny then babbles a bit about Ferguson:

'SirAlexFerguson said a few weeks ago that he couldn't understand how, having been awarded a penalty kick, Vidic managed to stay on the pitch.'

What has that to do with today unless we really want to go down the conspiracy route and totally ignore the fact we weren't good enough?

Where's the honesty? I doubt Collins will even get close to having to remove his Twitter page tonight.

As for the Milner challenge, O'Neill describes it as 'horrendous' again I agree.

'The referee is right beside it and chooses to give him a yellow card. I was a horrendous challenge.'

Absolutely spot on. Maybe it's all you should expect from Terry thesedays with his 'personal issues' and the wider family problems he seems to have who would normally be his 'role models' but again what baring on the result does it really have.

Where are the comments about being 1-0 behind and bringing on the one striker in human history you can guarantee will not score?

Where are the comments about not making subs despite the fact it's clear certain players like normal, have lost their legs and Chelsea were cutting through them - despite their best efforts.

Where is the important stuff, as opposed to the emotional flaring, PR friendly conspiracy BS that in reality has nothing to do with why we lost?

Maybe I expect too much...maybe I just don't fall for it anymore?

This is our best season ever apparently. We haven't had as good a squad in 20 odd years apparently. O'Neill is the best manager we can get apparently.

Flame me, I disagree.

For the rightful Milner ranting and excuses please Click Here.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday April 10 2010

Time: 9:48PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Bloody hell Mike, stop fannying around and say what you really feel will you. ;-)
villan of the north
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10/04/2010 21:58:00

I'm fed up hearing people having a go at Heskey all the time/What's he supposed to do with eight mins to go?Carew is not exactly world class either.I'd love to see the Fonz come on but is our team able to play without any muscle upfront?.We have spent the last 4 years gearing our team towards playing with a big man upfront.Thus far it has worked maybe not as much as some would want,only recently has this tactic been fully exposed (last season losing Laursen and replacing him with Knight had just as much impact as any tactical flaws).If we have some money to spend in the summer and nothing changes next season then it will be time for a change,but to start calling for the managers head after losing a semi final is a bit much imho.Who should replace him?
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10/04/2010 22:09:00

Villa were great today,dominated a world class club side for most of the game.the carling cup final performance was crap,this was different.People need to realise we are no where near chelseas level talent wise,the quality and experience in their squad is ******** ridiculous not to mention they have a top level manager. Chelsea won because they are world class and we are not. Not too dissapointed today,we finally passed the ball for the majority of the game which led to a much better quality of performance.
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10/04/2010 22:12:00

Ive just got back and i thought we played excellent, should have had the penalty and it could have changed things, chelsea certainly wasnt at their best today and they were lucky we didnt capatalise on our good first half performance, second half was still good, we definately didnt get outplayed and whoever thinks we did are deluded and need their eyes testing. I disagree with the article about chelsea would have battered us with 9 men? they hardly did with 11 today, nothing like the 7-1 battering they gave us before, the score was very flattering, id be happy with the spuds to go on and win it now.
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10/04/2010 22:17:00

Pking I think you missed the point with the Heskey comment. And did I call for his head? I just said, as I have done for months he's not capable of more. Olof I still think they'd have won. Alba you're talking out your backside mate, grabbing a shirt does not 'offset' being dragged down in the box. Nothing different to Vidic....get back to normal, don't try and find excuses to be reasonable lol
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10/04/2010 22:20:00

Chelsea are world class. We are trying to compete - with far less money and for mosyt of the game we DID. I say our lads were brave, skilful but lacked that last bit of guile. Having a go at MoN is extraordinary considering how far we've come. A final, a semi final, competing high in the league after playing more games than ever is testament to the man himself. YES we do need a striker but so does every other team just above us and below us, not to mention the other teams in Europe! Cuellar was outstanding against Chelsea. We were cancelled out by Chelsea's dogged determination - not skill or flair and to be fair, their obvious class showed but did not overshadow. I smproud of MoN and agree that this coming transfer window buys are critical as to whether he stays or not. Slaters may say he has spent alot but he has recouped a bit too. Newcastle spent alot, so did Middlesboro and look where it got them! Let's be honest and say: IT COULD BE ALOT WORSE. We're still improving despite spending less than most of our nearest rivals.
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10/04/2010 22:21:00

p.villa Chelsea basically sat back until 60 mins lol I agree it would've been more difficult had we took the lead but the first half was ours, we were nowhere to be seen in the second in reality. Aimless balls into the box do not equal 'chances'. The score wasn't flattering, it was expected and the only person who couldn't see it coming was the manager apparently. Unless I'm that good and really omened us by commenting there's long enough left for the to get the second.....just enough for the 3rd.
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10/04/2010 22:23:00

Surely being outplayed just means that they were better tha us overall and as such they deserved to win. As we didn't get a shot on goal this is surely the case. No one is saying we were played off the pitch.
villan of the north
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10/04/2010 22:26:00

Cech didn't make a save, this is football, it is not a good performance if the opposition goalkeeper is a spectator, hello, hello, is any of this making sense. We had the ball a lot, but as soon as we tired they won at a canter.
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10/04/2010 22:39:00

All hail p.villa, common sense.
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10/04/2010 22:44:00

ant1ant1, your simple analysis is spot on, and I for one don't believe this makes you a glory-hunter.
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10/04/2010 22:48:00

he's not a glory hunter,but people aren't saying much other than we are not good enough.Why are we?
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10/04/2010 22:51:00

pking, no to your question, and 4 years ago we were run by a terrible administration, i felt sorry for all the managers operating under Ellis, now we are being ran great, apart from the lack of ability to create goalscoring opportunities, which is sort of essential to winning games, we are not easy to beat, but we find it very hard to win, and not just this game, a loss to Chelsea is understandable, it is the home draws I am sick of, but the reason for those home draws and lack of shots today is down to the same reason and it is getting tiresome, sides just sit back against us now, the poor sides get a draw, the good sides just take us apart later on
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10/04/2010 23:00:00

Glory hunter, Jees, I just want us to play anything but this mind numbing, hard working lack of creativity style, if we went for it a bit more and lost I would be much happier, at home to West Ham we had 4 defenders marking their one attcker the whole game, they had no intention of attacking, just wanted a draw, but we changed nothing, and ended up with a draw, as we had 6 players trying to break down 9 for 90 tedious minutes, the lack of ability the change from plan A is ridiculous
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10/04/2010 23:07:00

I'm not having a go at MON...I'm really not because I'm a huge fan of his. However, my patience is worn thin as well. I think we owe a LOT to Martin O'Neill. We contested a final, a semi final, and are still fighting for a top 6 finish....however, I think that is about as good as he can get. He doesn't have the tactical ability to win big games or to change a game. A GREAT manager has the ability to know when to change a game and how to do it. What we owe Martin for is for making decent players, really good with his motivation. Now that they are really good - let's get someone who can make them great and win us trophies.
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10/04/2010 23:11:00

I do agree, as much as i love o'neil and think he is great, we do need a plan B and i dont think he can give that tactical side of the game to villa. Our football isnt that bad its just that we are gettin nowhere attacking and if nothin changes next year we may need someone to take us to the next level. but in the meantime, all hail o'neil!
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10/04/2010 23:17:00

I think it's make or brake for Villa fans now. You are either with MON or against him. I've made my choice and I'm with him. Yes, I don't agree with certain things but I've got to back him - this team isn't an 'end product' it's only 50% of what is needed. MON's developing the team,we are still going through the 'long term plan'. Yes I was gutted, but now I can see the light. Ok he spent 80 mill but how much was Chelsea's team? 150 mill?
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10/04/2010 23:22:00

Made me laugh tonight though Pking, if I went down the local and told them all I was becoming a Man U fan they would call the police, they'd think i'd been kidnapped and replaced by an imposter, I go for anyone who tries to have a go about Villa, you made me realise I do moan a lot on here, I think it is because we are all Villa fans, I can moan and bitch, but if anyone who is not a Villa fan has a go I am very protective. I'm happy with everything apart from the lack of tactics to change things, sides have worked us out and I'm moaning because it has to change or we will stand still
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10/04/2010 23:28:00

144wittonlane, the players worked their socks off today - which is what they usually do. Credit to them for that. We couldn't as fans ask for any more passion and commitment from them, and on that score, we can take some pride. As for the Champions League question, any English team who qualifies for that competition and fails to make is to the last 16 has seriously cocked up. If we were in it, I think we'd make the last 16 (unless we got an incredibly tough draw, and no, Lyon and Fiorentina doesn't count Liverpool fans!). Just look at what Fulham did to Wolfsburg. They completely dominated that tie, home and away, and on the evidence of what I saw, Wolfsburg would be in a relegation battle if they were a Premiership team. I take the point that our style of play is primitive and simplistic, and not what you'd consider conducive to European football, but even so, there's no reason on earth why we shouldn't get the better of most German and Italian CL teams, nevermind the dreck that makes up the rest of the competition.
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10/04/2010 23:47:00

No worries Pking, I think essentially we all want the same thing, and the debate on here is great, I'm actually pleased, made me think about how when I'm not on here I bore everyone silly about how wonderful everything Villa is and yet on here I come across as negative, I think I post when I'm p#ssed off as a way of venting and then don't bother coming on when I'm in a good mood, gonna try and even it out a bit more in future
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10/04/2010 23:53:00

Fans of teams outside the big 4 are in a bit of a hopeless position nowadays.Good banter though.
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11/04/2010 00:03:00

i didn't expect a win....not through any negative or weird ideas about where we are at, but simply because we are not as good as chelsea. we are predictable, we lack fire power....bringing Heskey, or anyone, on at 82mins is hardly a groundbreaking tactic....thought their first goal was Dunnes error by the way....
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11/04/2010 00:14:00

So what you're saying Mike, is that with 9 men Chelsea would've battered us? Fair enough thats your opinion and you're entitled to it. My opinion is that you dont have a clue about football and you have no desire to actually support the Villa due to your 'other interests'. That, in my opinion, renders your opinion void. I resent the fact that you can post an article, for all the world to see, entitled 'the semi final excuses', as some authoritive voice, when you offer nothing to Aston Villa. Frankly, you're about as useful to the club, as Barry Austin. Try chipping in like the rest of us, then maybe we could afford to pay the wages of a manager you actually like.
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11/04/2010 01:06:00

Yeah CDL in the second half when we tired, like we always do, with the lack of subs we always have they would've battered us. What team doesn't? What team hasn't? Now you may want to believe that means I'm saying they'll have still scored 3 but I'm not, what I'm saying is it would've still been backs to the wall and they would've won. Spin it anyway you want to suit your purpose.

Which obviously is because I don't get to many games the club doesn't get much of my money. If that floats your boat so be it, the truth like your thoughts don't necessarily have to match but I'm not one to play the bigger fan and the bigger bank balance fan as it prescribes to being able to hold an opinion. If ignoring the comments made, that's all you can grip to 'mate' so be it. I'm not the one looking daft at the moment, which is a shame because I've always thought we had good debates - especially as you agree with a lot of what I say. But maybe we are both irrelevant now????
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11/04/2010 01:18:00

ps as stupid as it may sound submit your opinion then and it'll be published (pm for an email)with just as much authority (giggle) as mine. And you are ignoring the fact I like Monny, I just don't think he can take us further....why is that such a crime - which is a point nobody addresses on the forum?
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11/04/2010 01:24:00

Just back and disappointed if not remotely surprised. We were so, so predictable. Passing it around is fine if the opposition aren't sure sure how and to whom the passing will go. But they are sure - as sure as night follows day. Get it wide. Get it wide. Get it wide. Then float in the kind of crosses keepers and central defenders find oh so easy. FFS.
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11/04/2010 02:15:00

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11/04/2010 02:42:00

One thing I noticed yet again yesterday is our lack of off the ball movement compared to Chelsea's. Everytime they had the ball 3-4 players are moving into a position where they can receive the ball, with us it seems we are lucky if the player on the ball has 1-2 options to pass to. People keep talking about a 20 goal a season striker being needed, but that isn't gonna bring the quality we need to compete with the big clubs on a consistent basis, we need players with technique and awareness of space, who also happen to know where the net is. We certainly can't argue with the work rate of the boys, and in my 20 years as a Villa fan I haven't always been able to say that, but we really need to take the next step up and maybe break the bank to bring in a couple of skilled players abroad Saying that the Ref bottled it in a massive game, and apparently he is our rep at the World Cup...pathetic.
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11/04/2010 04:37:00

I say give MON a couple more seasons, hey if it gets no worse than 6th place that is something. I've watched to many times where we have an amazing season, followed by struggling. I think at this moment in time it would be a bad idea to bring in a new manager, I don't want to see us go back to the drawing board and wait a few more years for us to start to develop. I keep hearing it from us we just need a couple of world class players, I'm totally behind that, but I am against this being MOL's last season at villa park. When I look at our defence now, it is probably one of the best we have had in sometime. Now if in a couple of years there is no progress, then MOL should go, but all I see is a team that is developing nicely, yes it has some major flaws this season, but I am confident that MOL will bring in the right players. UTV everyone on here are true claret and blue, and I for one appreciate everyones opinions. Again UTV!!!!!
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11/04/2010 06:18:00

Should have been a pen and a red card for Terry in 2nd half i agree but no-one will remember that in a week, you write your own history and again we tire / again we are predictable / again we make one sub / and once again it`s poor management.After the game yesterday i`m starting to think these players deserve better guidance as they couldn`t give any more effort,we were gone after 60 mins and we stopped closing down - get Delph on for christ sake,or try the Fonz instead of donkey`s sooooooo frustrating to see it happen in front of you and the manager does NOTHING.
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11/04/2010 06:34:00

Exactly what I was trying to say, aspinall. BTW, someone call an ambulance for stulinney. He's had some sort of terrible delusional attack.
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11/04/2010 07:51:00

Mike, everyone can see you hate MON and whatever he would do or say is wrong! You are embarassing yourself.... just leave it! Everyone can see we are at a far different level to Chelsea, but we gave as good as weve got, and who is too say if we wouldnt have won if we got the lead and Chelsea went down to 9 men. We defended a 1-0 lead at Old Trafford, and went on to win, or have you forgotten that? I agree with LernerFC, we gave a great performance yesterday and we should be proud of our team. Stop being so negative and try to think of the positives...... take as step back and look at yourself.... before you embarrase yourself further!
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11/04/2010 09:35:00

cheers witton, just waiting for a couple of the lads to wake up from their over indulgenes last night first! The pen was clear from a mile off I thought but reallywasn't surprised when we didn't get it. That is the modern refs for you. Just hate the fact there is another contentious issue, would rather win or lost 'properly'. Then again, I guess that is just football, sometimes goes your way, other times doesn't.
The Fear
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11/04/2010 10:15:00

must say the villa fans were outstanding and even some Chelsea on the way out were saying it. We sang from start to finish, the Chelsea lot were so quiet until they scored and still we were louder!
The Fear
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11/04/2010 10:16:00

Lol... I can't believe that people still support MON. Even John Terry has more of a clue about our strengths and weaknesses. We are a tired team, its impossible to play the same players week in and week out in three competitions. Its impossible to compete over a quick tempo game if you don't make any substitutions. Its impossible to gain a tactical edge over another team when you run the same tactics over the entire season. John Carew sat on the bench for most of the season while Heskey played week in week out. Carew is 9 from 11 games at the moment - thats more than Heskey has scored in his ENTIRE Villa career. Why did it take MON so long to realise that. I love the villa team, its young, pacy and super talented. I'm even going to put my balls on the chopping block and say with this squad we are underperforming! If our form from the first half of the season was carried through to the second half of the season we would be walking 4th position. The reason that we aren't is MON and his ridiculous policies. We have the team, now we just need the manager.
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11/04/2010 10:58:00

I firmly believe you are maybe one big strong midfield general short of being able to win games like this. Having seen your two Wembley games I am left believing you lose because you are too nice. Plain and simple. You don't have the mean streak that the big 4 have. Arsenal play pretty football but they still have a couple of players who put their studs in. Pity you don't have Carroll because I could see him performing well for you.
SFC Forever
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11/04/2010 11:07:00

I've come to a conclusion ........ we have some of the most pathetic so called 'fans' around. Our club is doing great, I get dissapointed on occasion, but still support through the good and the bad. Whats wrong with people ?? want want want, top six for the next 20 years and some good cup runs would be better than getting into the CL once and getting hammered in the Camp Nou, Bernabau, San Siro, Stadio Olympico etc......we don't have the fan base, income, merchandising etc.... to ever sustain this dream you losers have in your heads ....if we get 5th this year .... it will be a an improvement from the last two seasons .... our wage bill is pushing us to the edge as it is .... won't any of you be happy until we are bust, relegated and turned into a club that no one worth their salt wants to manage ????? Fickle doesn't even cover it !! support and enjoy the fact we are a good side who can mix it with the best. Trophies will come, just get your heads out the clouds and enjoy. The fickle crew weren't at Wembley yesterday, I saw a group of supporters who we having fun and singing their hearts out for the club they love. UTV
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11/04/2010 11:41:00

It's not your club godzvilla. However you define the word 'supporter' 444, it surely must include being dissatisfied. My post was a reply to all those who were saying the only 'real' supporters keep on saying everything is great regardless. I turn up regardless and watch regardless and cheer the team regardless, but I won't slavishly cheer on a manager who could learn something from the Fergies of this world and seems to come to the end of his ability. And i have never booed at the Villa either. I suppose you think that MoN is being a good loser? BTW, stef, whose title is 'purely designed to stir **** or have I missed something?
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11/04/2010 14:11:00

"How could we be worse off?" I'll tell you how we could be worse off, Astriel. Do you remember Newcastle last season? New manager, a fortune to spend on new players, and they were relegated. And do you remember Portsmouth last season? They spent a fortune on players and won (that's right, WON) the FA Cup. And they are also relegated. We've been in a final and a semi-final, have finished 11th, 6th and 6th and are sitting two points behind Liverpool with two games in hand. How could it be worse? Have a little think and answer that one yourself.
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11/04/2010 21:00:00

Sorry Bob but are you kidding? Lets look at the history of MON in charge. 2007/08 season, May we are the 14th worst performing side. March was even better 18th worst performing side. 2008/2009 was great. April we were the 16th worst performing side. March we were the 17th. February the 12th. 2009/2010 - March the 10th worst performing side. February we were the 13th worst team. Notice a pattern? How about when the majority of our goals have been conceeded. 2007/2008, oh between 71-90 minutes we conceed the most goals. 2008/09 shock its 71-90 minutes we conceed the most goals. 2009/10 guess what between 71-90 minutes we conceed the most goals. This is an on-going problem. Year after year the same mistakes are made and you want me to ignore the problem? If you look at our first half of the season form we are a top 4 side. The form for the second half of the season puts us in the bottom half of the table. All I'm saying is that we have a top 4 side if the team were run properly. At present it isn't.
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11/04/2010 22:25:00

BobTheBuilder - your last comment is something I have been saying for a while. Too many fans are keen to say "get rid of MON" with their response to who should replace him being something along the lines of "anyone is better than that idiot." WHO can we get who is going to do a better job, realistically??? Unless The Special One decides he wants a bit more of a challenge there is no one...Hughes - average. Megson, Brown...maybe we could go the Burnley route and bring in Brian Laws???
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12/04/2010 03:29:00

I don't know, Juergen Klinsmann - if he would come. Won 60% of the games he was in charge of. Avram Grant is also up there with about 60% and he at least managed to get his team to the FA Cup finals. Considering MON is at a 40% win rate for Villa, half the premier league managers have a better win rate. Give me David Moyes, I'm sure Villa would be a step up for him. Or is there no one better than MON who would come to Villa? Honestly I think MON has taken us as far as he can - his faults, which everyone can see, are holding us back. The fact that he does not manage his squad sufficiently is resulting in us dropping a number of points in the second half of the season. And he has had a number of years to create his own squad the issue that there is insufficient quality on the bench is a direct result of his transfer deals. So besides him getting us to 6th with a first 11 that should be getting us 4th, what has MON done for us?
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12/04/2010 12:39:00

Brilliantly put Astriel, i reckon David Moyes or Roy Hodgson would take us to where we should be.
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12/04/2010 18:34:00

Chelsea were better than us in the end, but they are not "on a completely different level" as some people say. We beat them at Villa Park. We also beat Man U and Liverpool at their own grounds. Any team that can do that in one season is clearly a good one; when we play well, we're as good as anyone. The problem - as many have stated - seems to be the fact that the lads are knackered having played virtually every game. MON has to pick the best side, that's his job, but doing so shows that we still don't have the strength in depth of the teams above and around us. Everyone has their opinion on who should come off the bench or what the rotation policy should be, but I don't think we even have a rotation policy. We can't have. We need strikers who can score goals more often but as much as anything we need to be able to rest key players safely, which means they're replaced for a game or two by someone equally as good. We just can't do that in a lot of positions right now. If we ditch Heskey and Carew this summer (as lots of us seem to think will happen) they probably won't be the only ones, and we need to bring in twice as many GOOD players this season to replace those leaving. If we don't, we'll lose ground to Citeh, Spuds and Everton never mind the CL regulars.
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13/04/2010 14:56:00


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