Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday March 5 2006
Attendance: 30 194
I said in my preview that Villa are poor and Portsmouth are poorer. Little did I know just how accurate I'd prove to be. That match was dire. According to my dad, a pundit on the BBC said he had never seen a game like it. The quality was poor, the passion was non existent and until the last ten minutes when Portsmouth remembered they were relegation threatened and put some effort in, there was little or no excitement.
David O'Leary warned the players that they weren't too good to go down before the game. He also said the next eleven games would be like Cup finals. Well, this was no cup final, it was more like a pre-season friendly or reserve game. He also had the temerity to say that the Villa fans are living in the past and should 'get real'. On this evidence, maybe he should 'get lost'?! We have a great many problems with the incumbent in charge, but there is no way our team and squad is worse than Wigan, West Ham, Bolton or Blackburn, so why are they all above us? Blimey, even Everton have rallied, and their squad is very average.
Anyway, the game was far too scrappy to go into any details, instead of getting the ball on the floor and out passing Pompey, we joined in with the head tennis and the game never took shape. As my friend said, neither side were playing like a team, just a group of players running around in groups, there was no shape and no rhythm to the game.
Most important stat though? 3 points to Villa and barring a disaster, safety, especially with Birmingham and West Brom losing. Pompey are without doubt doomed, Harry Redknapp hasn't had the midas touch this time and the final two relegation spots look certain to be between our local rivals Small Heath and the Baggies. COME ON YOU BAGGIES!!
Next up for Villa are away games against Everton and next weekend Blackburn. Not to mention a chance to put right the poor FA Cup performance in a re-play v Man City. Play like we did yesterday and we'll get nothing out of any of those games but as O'Leary likes to tell us, the players do better away from home because the 'fickle' fans get on the players back at home. Hmmm.
We carry on like this next season and we will be going down. We were unconvincing, despite what Roy Aitkin might have said in the post match interview. He might think we got what we deserved, I'd say we won by default as Pompey were truly awful. In fact, back to the original point, Villa were poor, they were poorer.
My summer wish is for David O'Leary to take his self praise and awful tactics and sling his hook and for Ellis to finally move over. If not, the club has to understand they will continue to lose fans at an alarming pace. 30 194 is a sign of things to come, not that we don't have good fans, but there are only so many times you can see such a poor product and pay for the privilege, especially when the manager appears to be so antagonistic against them.
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Date:Sunday March 5 2006
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