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Aston Villa March On

Aston Villa
2 - 0
Charlton Athletic

Villa Park

23/09/2006

Attendance: 35 513

Referee:

How good is this? Just how good does it feel to be a Villa fan right now? Seriously, the place is buzzing, it is like a different club with Martin O'Neill making a stunning start to his very (very very) long tenure at Villa Park.

Today, put simply, we played Charlton off the park, they were never in the game and I'm sure Thomas Sorenson must have got bored as they gave Villa very little to think about as any minor threat was snuffed out by Ridgewell and Mellberg.

I could honestly stop there (please do they all say!) as there was only one team in it, bit different to the stale 0-0 of last season. These home points are crucial and the fact we've picked up three draws on the road also helps greatly - and to think on chances we really could have had wins at West Ham and Watford as well. There is no reason why we can't expect to be top ten come the end of the season and with these early points - and the fact teams expected to do much better having spent bigger in the summer are doing so badly, we might even push for Europe.

Writing for this site also feels totally different, the anger and what was becoming bitterness - or was it resignation to mediocrity? - is all gone in one go and although it is obvious there is a lot of work to do, us Lions can at least now see promise once again. Aston Villa are back and fighting, the Lions are roaring and this is just the start!

It was also great to see Villa fans behind both goals as the Charlton fans were moved to the Witton lower and Villans filled the North stand lower, would be superb to see that continue, we've always given away fans far too much value, lets look after our own now!

What more do you need to say, this afternoon was a pleasure, great weather, great game, great company (lovely to meet you Kiltie and Ian) and 35 000 happy smiling Villa fans. Lets hope it will be 40 000 next time!

Match stats, including 60% possession: Click Here

Star Player

The whole lot of them, they played like a team and bloody well at that.

Player Ratings


Thomas Sorensen

didn't put a foot wrong but had little to do, never know how to rate keepers when they aren't really tested!

Olof Mellberg - 8

the bearded one is back to his best, solid.

Liam Ridgewell - 7

growing in confidence with every game, silenced the boo boys, long may it continue.

Aaron Hughes - 7

like he has never been away

Gareth Barry - 8

given man-of-the-match by the sponsors, another solid performance, as you expect from the skipper.

Gavin McCann - 8

outstanding today, crunching tackles, good distribution, shame about the shot though!!!!

Steven Davis - 7

good performance and still so much more to come from him.

Stiliyan Petrov - 7

quality touches, good distribution, tackled well and tracked back. Cool!

Luke Moore - 7

did well all game and got the break for a well taken goal, that should do him the world of good, this is the season for Luke to show us fully what he can do and push his credentials.

Gabby Agbonlahor 7.5

great goal, lovely finish, no more than he deserved for another good display, with confidence he might start taking on the opposition players as he'd have run the wingers about far more today if he had.

Juan Pablo Angel - 7

covers a lot of ground, still not sure he'll really succeed isolated up front, but then, I think I'd trust MON over my opinions!

Milan Baros (on for Luke Moore 82)

not on long enough to make much of an impact but must be getting closer to full match fitness, then lets see what he can do. Think the guy is quality, just hope he can translate that into goals.

Manager Rating

Martin O'Neill 10. The Midas touch, and from such a down to earth and decent bloke, he'll be a Villa Park legend, no doubt at all. Spicy cup draw for him as well with a return to his former team Leicester.

Opponent Rating

Ian Dowie. Funny the direct opposite situation to O'Neill. Dowie is trying to fill the boots of a legend and has made an awful start, I hope he is given time to settle in, I'm sure Charlton will allow him time. O'Neill on the other hand is following in the footsteps of ......... no, sorry, forgotten his name, David or something wasn't it?


Writer:J P Fear
Date:Saturday September 23 2006
Time: 8:40PM

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Comments

0
I feel brilliant at the moment. We are winning games and have a manager who oozes charisma and self belief. He also has made the players believe in themselves as well. We also have a new board and owner. We are finally competing and doesn't it feel great? I haven't had this sense of euphoria, regarding Villa, since the early days of the Premiership. Let the good times roll.
still skeggy
23/09/2006 20:50:00
0
Im still in shock at how good things are - and I know - even when we lose one - this wont all go away - because MON can get us through anything!
xfranc
23/09/2006 21:49:00
0
SO SO JEALOUS LIVING IN PORTSMOUTH CANT SEEM TO GET TICKETS.... MARTIN O MON IS GOD!!!!!!!
hampshire villian
23/09/2006 21:52:00
0
Villa are a machine !! Chelsea next at Stamford Bridge - we used to be a bogey team for them, let's do it again :o)
ExpatVillaShirt
24/09/2006 01:44:00
0
Top ten JP? At the very least. A few quality signings in Jan and a bit of luck with injuries, I'm looking to top six and European qualification.
Saurat
24/09/2006 08:40:00
0
How good was it to see nigerian Gabby interviewed on MOD with his broad brummy accent!
tarzan
24/09/2006 10:44:00
0
what a difference a year makes with virtually the same squad, I wish England would of gone after him a bit harder.
dazza71
24/09/2006 20:12:00
0
Always loved being a Villa fan with the history of the club & the fact that not many people really hated our club apart from the noses, but now its amazing & things really only can get better for us all.
TuBBz
25/09/2006 14:41:00
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