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Villa vs USA

Not a great opener by any stretch of the imagination, but at least it's not just Villa keepers who have howlers on the big occasions!

1-1 as a final result is probably fair in the grand scheme of things but as far as the Villa connections go we saw the best and worst of Heskey.

With players around him prepared to run and move his quality as a target man shines through. He won nigh on everything in the air tonight, and a good 70% of the flicks went to a team mate or even better still, he brought it under control and played it off.

He also has the first England assist of the World Cup to his name. A good 79 minutes, and by rights he should never have been taken off, one of the genius pairing of Lampard and Gerrard should've been sacrificed so we could go 3 upfront. The quality of the crosses coming in, especially from Johnson needed two target men, and to be honest given their useful involvement in the match I don't think we'd have seriously missed either of the hyped ones in the middle of the park come the end of the match. (yes ok Gerrard scored, but outside of that nothing of note)

The less said about Emile's shooting the better though.

As for the PFA Young Player of the Year James Milner. Very disappointing.

Whether he was taken off after 30 minutes because he wasn't quite fit enough, was deemed to be struggling after missing a few days of training with a virus or given he had already racked up two reckless and silly challenges and earned himself the first booking in the match is open for debate.

What isn't is he didn't produce the kind of performance expected from him. He did in his defence look short of sharpness but I struggle to defend rash challenges regardless of who makes them.

Be interesting to see if he gets a second chance in the next match, SWP in my opinion has proved himself thoroughly unable to perform at this level - yes he runs, tries to dink and dazzle - but the end product is never worth the wait. A wingers job is to cross the ball, he and Lennon should look at Glen Johnson for a few pointers.

Milner's competition is Joe Cole and I'd guess Joe fancies his chances of starting the next one, at Milly's expense.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday June 12 2010

Time: 9:40PM

Your Comments

Arguably a fair result in the end, although either side could have clinched it, with the USA going the closest when Altidore saw his effort pushed against the post. Lets hope that that performance was a one-off from our lot, although there's clearly a huge improvement needed if we are going to progess deep into the tournament. Its easy to blame Robert Green for our failure to clinch an opening game victory, but whose to say that David James wouldn't have dropped a similar howler, after all, he's prone to committing the odd error or two when you least expect it. Starting Milly was obviously a mistake, he didn't look up to speed from the off, while King's failure to last the full ninety minutes has to be a concern. We deserved a point at best, so no complaints from me.
glensider
Oh and Heskey, good lad. I'd consider starting him for Villa if he continued playing like that, haha
Callum_ws
If I had to choose a single word to describe FIFA's higher officials, I'd say 'arrogant'. They certainly don't listen to football fans. In fact, they don't listen to anybody but the TV companies and the hospitality industry. I'm by no means a football purist - I like to see exciting games and occasional rule-tweaks can add to the excitement - but these guys are making a mockery of the beautiful game, and all for money.
BobTheBuilder
Poor old Heskey! Great game from him, and a brilliant contribution to Gerrard's goal, but he will be remembered for missing a 1v1 with Howard. I'm not a huge fan of his, but he's not as bad as he is being portrayed by the (Tottenham biased) national media.
Madirish
Well said about Heskey, Reza. I thought he played really well apart from the obvious miss. At least he kept it on target - how many top class players have we seen so far who've skied it or hit the corner flag with that damned ball? Everything England chucked up to him stuck to his feet, and I don't remember him misplacing a pass, even though he was under pressure all the time. He doesn't play well for Villa, but we ought to be big enough to recognise when he does the job he is put into the England team to do. Striker is the wrong word in Heskey's place (I know, lol!) but he's so good at linking play up, which is why the pros all pick him.
BobTheBuilder
Spot on Bob.....Heskey's England game is very different. When Rooney says he plays better with Heskey you know he's talking the truth. Lampard and Barry have also gone on to say that he is very easy to pick out and Hesks did do well. As a Villa fan i had to sit there and listen to all the England fans give him stick each time he touched the ball with some even using abusive language towards him. There was a Villa fan close by whom i didnt know who hailed everything Heskey did only to be given a barrage of abuse by others and eventually some guys had a go at this kid before i intervened and had to warn the yobs that this was South Africa where we dont take things lightly either. I must admit i was wound up each time Heskey was abused......so i was somewhat "vigilant" so to speak
reza
 

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