Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday April 9 2006
Attendance: 33 303
We drew, the one point will do us much more use than the Baggies and that is basically that! You've got to say in the defence of the manager that we had a very inexperienced side out there with our central defence decimated - although you would never think that Gary Cahill was making his full debut (start) as he put Liam Ridgewell to shame. The lack of experience wasn't helped by Lee Hendrie hobbling off after 30 odd minutes after he failed to recover from a horror tackle by Robinson.
So three years on from the departure of Graham Taylor and Villa find themselves in the same position - oh, by the way, if you want a sensible match report, go to the Vital Baggies site, Click Here! Where was I? Oh yes, three years on. Got to thank Ellis for bringing us to our knees, the squad is paper thin and that is testament to Ellis, as was the fact we were nearly 10 000 down on capacity for a local derby. You've got to doff your cap in the direction of O'Leary as well, he's spent so much time misleading and moaning about the fans, that the fans have departed in greater numbers than usual. Basically the frustration is at boiling point and unless something happens in the summer, things aren't going to get better.
If DOL stays, he needs to take lessons in pr and have some media training, if Ellis stays........well, that is too depressing to even consider. The way O'Leary is talking, you can only assume he knows something and if he knows something and is speaking as he is (bear with me, there is a point here somewhere, just taking me some time to think what it is, I know it isn't relating to the price of eggs, or sugarbags for that matter) then my guess is a new group might be coming and they have made some assurances to the current boss. The way the press, pundits and fans have turned, I'd suggest that would be a major mistake, but then again, I'm just a tate and lyle, so what do I know!?
As for the game, most people appear to consider WBA unlucky for not winning. I certainly think they shaded the first have and dominated the second but if they can't put their chances away, they will find themselves in the Championship next season. It certainly seemed harsh that the ref - the ever useless Halsey - was on the side of Villa. I don't know if replays will show otherwise, but if their first claim for a handball and penalty was frail, the second was a cast in iron pen. Sitting right by the benches our lot were laughing and Bryan Robson was going mad. I know who I felt the sorrier for. Maybe O'Leary IS a lucky manager after all, and lets face it, if we put in another tired display next week - especially if some of our injured players don't return - then we have a very tall order to get something out of the more aggressive Small Heath derby.
As I said, most people thought the Baggies were unlucky, the fans I was with thought West Brom deserved the win, Ian Taylor/Tom Ross/Bomber Brown thought they deserved it, Bryan Robson certainly did. Only person who thought totally different that I've heard so far was David O'Leary. He said 'anyone who thought Villa were fortunate is kidding themselves'. So, sugarbags one and all?
This is a mess, it needs to be sorted and for me the end of the season can't come quick enough. I'd like two departures in the summer, Ellis and O'Leary, but would settle very nicely for the one - as long as it is the old man who is soooo over the hill it isn't funny. He needs to see out his days at his lovely apartment in Majorca and leave Villa to people who are capable of doing more with it than letting it drift into mediocrity. DOL? He might get a stay of execution, although there was some scaffolding above the Holte End today, the people around me wondered if it was the gallows poll or whether the manager was going to be made to walk the plank. Can planks walk?
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Date:Sunday April 9 2006
|1.||Pride of Lions||11|
|Aston Villa||2||-||1||Hull City|
|3. Man City||6||3||2||1||5||11|
|6. Aston Villa||6||3||1||2||-3||10|
|7. Man Utd||6||2||2||2||2||8|
|9. Crystal Palace||6||2||2||2||0||8|
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