Writer: J P Fear
Date:Saturday February 4 2006
He may still be only 19 years of age, but today Luke Moore came of age.
The Villa striker is no longer 'potential' he is now an out and out striker and you have to give manager David O'Leary credit for sticking with the player despite having a £9.5million signing - Juan Pablo Angel-warming the bench.
Villa ran rampant today and with Kevin Phillips also chipping in with a goal, made easy work of a Middlesbrough team who are in free fall. So much so that the Riverside faithful - or with another poor attendance you could say not so faithful - were singing for their managers head despite the fact Steve McClaren has only just signed another long term contract. Lets just hope, whether he stays or goes, that the FA don't take him on as England manager! One fan ran towards the bench and threw his season ticket at them before being ejected.
I'm sure David O'Leary will have a smile on his face today having faced a fair amount (mostly justified) of stick this season. It does appear that Villa have turned a corner since Christmas and lets face it, they had a great deal to improve on following an awful start to the season. With an impressive draw against Chelsea and today's fine display, the confidence could well be growing for an even better run in the FA Cup and lets hope not only a lengthening of the gap from the basement strugglers, but maybe a late charge for a European place. That may be a little bit too much to ask for, but at least we are now facing the final third of the season with far more confidence than we could have hoped for.
Villa have now climbed to 12th in the league with 30 points. That is seven wins, nine draws and nine losses. Still a fair way to go but with Newcastle, Charlton, Portsmouth, Blackburn and Everton coming up, confidence of more wins must now be growing within the squad and hopefully the fans. Maybe the faith is slowly being restored. Still some work to do, but lets just enjoy today first!
Match stats: Click Here
Oh, and 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot' for the boys in white.
Hopefully a match report and player ratings will follow when our roving reporters return from their great day out!
Date:Saturday February 4 2006
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