Writer: J P Fear
Date:Saturday January 20 2007
Attendance: 35 892
Hey, lets not kid ourselves, that was a terrible game! You know what? After a run of 12 games with no wins, I'm not sure I particularly care. It was never going to be pretty against a struggling side like Watford and the conditions, albeit not as bad as they could have been, didn't really help either.
You could skip through the first half, very little to say, we had the majority of possession but no penetration (that phrase is used nearly every game) and to be fair although Watford were huffing and puffing, they possibly had the two best chances. Without seeing the replays I'm not sure if Sorensen tipped the one long range shot over or if it was just too high. Ho hum, half time, 0-0 and young George who sat next to me basically wanted to go home but his evil dad Paul wouldn't let him go. NO, when you come to the Villa, you take your punishment like a man young George, the rest of us have to suffer, so you have to as well.
The players went in to the sound of boo's, I'm sure that will have helped ease their nerves, nice bit of support that.
The second half was much the same, we made a few chances but there was no one there to convert them, I got a text from a mate who lives in South Africa, he wanted me to let him know the final score, so on the 50th minute I sent him a text saying 0-0. Oh yea of little faith.
Angel, who was hopeless, was taken off and of all people, Patrik Berger came on. Oh no, not Patrik Berger? Well, yes actually and he all but changed the shape of the game. Despite having had a dire run of injuries and not really getting his chance, he showed clearly why Villa do need to go out and buy quality, because his touches today were sublime, just shows form is temporary, class is permanent. With his first touch he sent a world class pass through to Baros, the sort of pass I've been banging on about that we don't provide to the Czech striker, you know the sort that if we supply him he'll take the chances in his sleep? Yeah, well he didn't, he once again fluffed his lines after missing a couple of other gilt edged chances and was eventually taken off and replaced by Jlloyd Samuel.
We basically took both 'star' strikers off. Bad move? Nope, Gabriel Agbonlahor went into the centre where he once again proved he is far better off and Villa started to get forward even more.
The first goal was a shot - off target - by McCann that took a wicked deflection, hey when your luck is out like the doomed Watford (even with Villa at sixes and sevens they could do nothing about it) it is really out. We then got a second via Gabby who took his chance brilliantly from a nice through ball, Baros, that was what you were meant to do, I guess your time now really could be up.
Lets not pretend all was rosy in the garden, the coaching staff are not stupid, they know we are woefully short all over the park and to be fair the score line flattered us. We should be able to play with a bit more shape, composure and skill, we really didn't have to try to match Watford and play the ball up in the air, but hey ho, alls well that ends well and the only thing that really matters today is the 3 points.
Villa, on the 13th time of asking, got a win. This was a must win game and the boys, despite looking very 'edgy' as Martin O'Neill said, got the win. If we played like that this time next year, I'd be worried, but we won't so I'll just enjoy the win, the three points and the fact we can worry slightly less about being sucked into the relegation battle for now.
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Date:Saturday January 20 2007
|3.||Pride of Lions||716|
|Leicester City||1||-||0||Aston Villa|
|Aston Villa||0||-||0||Crystal Palace|
|Aston Villa||1||-||1||Man Utd|
|13. Crystal Palace||22||5||8||9||-8||23|
|15. Aston Villa||22||5||7||10||-14||22|
|18. Hull City||22||4||7||11||-10||19|
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