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Aston Villa 1 - Portsmouth 0

Villa Park

04/03/2006

Attendance: 30 194

The Poor v The Poorer

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.

Star Player

Gareth Barry. Honestly think without him this season, we may well have gone down.

Player Ratings


Sorenson 7.

Made a few important saves to get us the full points.

Bouma 6.

Straight back from injury and didn't let us down.

Samuel 5.

If he had a virus, why was he played at right-back (a position he doesn't like) only to have to come off in the first 30 minutes? Especially when we had a right back on the bench. And some still say O'Leary is good at tactics?!

Hughes 6.

Like Bouma, back from injury and didn't let us down.

Ridgewell 6.

Looked solid, think he has a good future if he learns from the mistakes this season, could even be a future captain.

Barry 8.

He has shone this year in a side that has been average. Behind most good moves.

Milner 7.

Class free kicks, some of the early season determination, so he hasn't been totally de-motivated from the comments by his manager saying Villa can't afford him.

McCann 6.5

Quiet in the first half but sprang to life and got totally stuck in during the second. First to most balls in midfield and tackled and pestered when he hadn't got the ball.

Davis 6.

Ok, could have distributed the ball better, it wasn't as if the Pompey midfield were putting much of a fight up.

Phillips 7.

Quality, nearly scored a class goal, chipping the goalie only to hit the outside of the post. On another day, could have had a brace.

Baros 6.

Was quiet, but did what he is meant to, scored. Well floated free kick from Milner, Baros unmarked, headed the ball precisely - job done. Looked very upset being taken off and didn't look at the manager as he walked towards the tunnel.

DLC 5.

(for Jlloyd on 23) Fairly average.

Moore 6.

(for Baros 58) Got stuck in, had a couple of chances and was a pest to their defenders.

Manager Rating

Hope his end of season review leads to him leaving.

Opponent Rating

Arry, the boys are doomed, no midas touch this time.




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday March 5 2006

Time: 12:05PM

Your Comments

Match ratings gents?!?
The Fear
Match ratings gents?!?
The Fear
A fair reflection of the game i suppose, although I couldve summed all that up with one word: "lethargic". If we'd played like we'd done against Charlton the week before we wouldve won by a cricket score. On that showing I dont fancy us to get much out of Birmingham or west brom next month.
andrew144
A fair reflection of the game i suppose, although I couldve summed all that up with one word: "lethargic". If we'd played like we'd done against Charlton the week before we wouldve won by a cricket score. On that showing I dont fancy us to get much out of Birmingham or west brom next month.
andrew144
It says a lot about our current situation, that supporters left the ground celebrating a 1-0 victory against a very poor outfit, who will definitely be scrapping it out in the lower leagues next season. Talk of winning our remaining home matches to help secure a mid table position is I believe somewhat optimistic. Birmingham and West Brom will really be up for the derby clashes, while even Fulham, winless away from The Cottage will provide very stiff opposition. No, afraid that performance didnt raise my expectancy level for the remainder of the season.
glensider
It says a lot about our current situation, that supporters left the ground celebrating a 1-0 victory against a very poor outfit, who will definitely be scrapping it out in the lower leagues next season. Talk of winning our remaining home matches to help secure a mid table position is I believe somewhat optimistic. Birmingham and West Brom will really be up for the derby clashes, while even Fulham, winless away from The Cottage will provide very stiff opposition. No, afraid that performance didnt raise my expectancy level for the remainder of the season.
glensider
Obviously a biased report, and one which neglects to mention how the poor tactics led to a superb tactical free kick goal from ateam the writer ahs been bemoaning all season are incapable of such, which when you consider the goals from Ridgewell, Delaney, Phillips, Moore, Davis even McCann, suggests some lack of appreciation of tactics. A team with 4 new defenders again and probably two defenders no where near full fitness managed a clean sheet, even with an ill player said writer was openly criticising as being awful at left back some weeks ago.Strange how opinion changes and how right O'leary is in suggesting SOME fans are very fickle. I don't go down to many matches but those I have have certainly shown me exactly what he talks about, especially when it comes to booing and bemoaning our own players.I'd remind many that until this season, everyones new hero Barry was one such player openly criticised for his displays as was the suggested white hope for fullback DLC a player with how many 2 matches this season. Samuel was the best call in a defence losing Delaney, Mellberg, and with half fit Bouma, and Hughes, especially Hughes who hasn't been the best when fit. O'leary may have upset you personally by his criticisms or lack of monkey antics, without him we'd be racing Sunderland for the Championship
avfc48
Obviously a biased report, and one which neglects to mention how the poor tactics led to a superb tactical free kick goal from ateam the writer ahs been bemoaning all season are incapable of such, which when you consider the goals from Ridgewell, Delaney, Phillips, Moore, Davis even McCann, suggests some lack of appreciation of tactics. A team with 4 new defenders again and probably two defenders no where near full fitness managed a clean sheet, even with an ill player said writer was openly criticising as being awful at left back some weeks ago.Strange how opinion changes and how right O'leary is in suggesting SOME fans are very fickle. I don't go down to many matches but those I have have certainly shown me exactly what he talks about, especially when it comes to booing and bemoaning our own players.I'd remind many that until this season, everyones new hero Barry was one such player openly criticised for his displays as was the suggested white hope for fullback DLC a player with how many 2 matches this season. Samuel was the best call in a defence losing Delaney, Mellberg, and with half fit Bouma, and Hughes, especially Hughes who hasn't been the best when fit. O'leary may have upset you personally by his criticisms or lack of monkey antics, without him we'd be racing Sunderland for the Championship
avfc48
 

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