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Poor Game, Great Result

Aston Villa
2 - 0
Everton

Villa Park

23/09/2007

Attendance: 38 235

Referee:

Atrocious game, outstanding result.

Is that a bit too strong? Not sure, with still only being at half mast thanks to this continuing bug, maybe it was just me feeling lethargic, but as far as I could see Everton were poor and Villa strolled it without actually excelling themselves.

No doubt we'll get the usual line from the Everton camp that the European football left them tired but if I was a Blue scouse I'd be worried with that performance, or lack of performance as they really offered nothing and apart from a fairly quick start, offered little to no threat throughout the game.

Villa didn't exactly excel, I think we played better against Manchester City last week but this weekend our strikers had their shooting boots on and that is what made all the difference, John Carew - who later limped off with what could be a nasty knee injury - put pay to all the talk of being tired and got his first goal of the season and in the second half Gabby Agbonlahor was quick off the mark from a Scott Carson kick and left the Everton defenders for dead finishing with aplomb. That's a point, is the plum season over now? Moyes said that the Everton defence stopped playing as they thought Gabby was off side, oh well, how sad, never mind, he took the ball down well brilliant and didn't flinch when it came to putting it away.

Not sure there is a great deal more to say, not many totally stand out performances and Martin Laursen really let himself down as he missed one header out of about a hundred, tut tut!!!! What a player, he really is our rock. And Gareth Barry as usual got totally stuck in. I guess the game was so scrappy with much of it being played up in the air that it was difficult of our guys to really get the game by the scruff of the neck, that said we never really looked under threat from the Toffee's and that surprised me. If they have European hopes this season they'll have to improve ten fold on that showing - as if I care!

So all in all, Villa did all they had to do and got all three points, who can say fairer than that?

Oh and no doubt the media will blow up the incident at the end with Marlon Harewood (I can still not believe a player of that quality is in the Villa shirt) arguing with Gabby Agbonlahor. Gabby went on a run and instead of looking up and passing to Harewood (and I think the Hokey Cokey was also in the box) he shot himself. Well, at the end of the day, he is a striker who had already scored one great goal so whether he should have passed or not is questionable. Top goalscorers in their prime, like Shearer, Owen, Henry, Fowler etc rarely look to pass when is sight of goal, so not sure Gabby should have. Whatever Harewood said, it obviously upset Gabby but I'm sure all will be sweet again tomorrow, these things happen.

3 points, job done, Leicester City up next in the cup and then onto an easy three points at the stuttering Spurs down at White Hart Lane!

Can't see the point in player ratings today, especially as I've had no lunch and with the lack of a good women I've got to go and cook my own tea (scampi, rice and peas if you really want to know!

Star Player

For me man of the match could only be between Martin Laursen and Gareth Barry.

Manager Rating

O'Neill, here to get points not necessarily worry about entertaining. Job done.

Opponent Rating

David Moyes, I'd be worried with that performance if I was him but I'm not so phew, I'll just worry about my bills then!


Writer:J P Fear
Date:Sunday September 23 2007
Time: 5:58PM

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Comments

0
The Everton report pretty much agrees with all that. They must be REALLY miserable heading up the M6 in the rain.
AC
23/09/2007 18:01:00
0
6 games without a win? believe me im worried
EvertonMike
23/09/2007 18:03:00
0
Solid, professional perfomance - I'd have taken 2-0 beforehand though I thought Everton were there for the taking after the 2nd goal. We're still clearly very much a work in progress and it's more than a slight concern that we're simply not getting nearly enough shots on or off target. Everton close down space very well though and made it hard for us to create chances. Having said that, there was more evidence that Ashley Young is shaping up to be the most exciting attacking player we've had since Dwight Yorke was at his best and the touch Gabby showed to control that high ball before slotting home was absolutely top drawer and significant in my mind as it demonstrates that he is working on and improving the technical side of his game that has often been his shortfall. However, one major disappointment today was the thousands (no exaggeration) of empty seats for virtually the last 10 mins of the game. It may not have been the most exciting spectacle, but its gotta be a fairly soul-destroying sight for the players to see so many packing up and going home early. Some matches you win with free-flowing football, some require you to battle and scrap for every inch. Today was the latter and the effort was there for all to see. Is there something so special that requires such an urgent exit from the ground? I hope so because it makes for an appalling sight. Just as our players need our support when they're losing and chasing for an equaliser, equally they need our support to validate their efforts when they win. We've played 4 matches at Villa Park now this season and won three of them. Without playing to our full potential, there's a real confidence starting to emerge about the way we play, particularly at home, so we could genuinely turn the stadium into something of a fortress now this season and believe me, it'll be a helluva lot more impressive when the supporters actually stay in the ground until the end.
Alec
23/09/2007 18:12:00
0
It wasn't the lack of a win, it was the lack of any spirit that surprised me for you Everton Mike. We always have a good record v you at home but you usually at least battle. Another yo-yo season? Seems to be one season up one season right down for you guys?
The Fear
23/09/2007 18:12:00
0
Agree Alec, to try to up the tempo and improve the quality of the game against opponents such as today would be nearly impossible, but they did the job, got the points and that is all that matters. Nice to see us in the top half as well, lets stay there!
The Fear
23/09/2007 18:17:00
0
I had hoped we would be able to at least finish in the UEFA cup places this year, maybe i was being too optimistic asking for a cup aswell? i worry for us now untill we get cahill or arteta back, or at the very least gravesen! Our midfield has no depth and that is being tested
EvertonMike
23/09/2007 18:21:00
0
A win is a win no matter how bad/well we as fans think we played. I felt that at 25mins we kinda feel asleep for 5mins and that let AJ get close twice it was only then that our midfield started to move around again. We realy need to sort out that down time after we score, when we score..... Good win though and into the 8 spot . UTV
Mutt_Man
23/09/2007 20:44:00
0
We never really got out of 3rd gear.You could say it was a professional containing performance.We scored, they would have to come at us, and we could counter.We were a little to stagnant at times, but heh. 2 goals from 2 chances, and a clean sheet against Everton.Onwards and upwards..
OneloveVilla
23/09/2007 20:57:00
0
i guess harewood makes up for the lack of ability with his passion and enthusiasm. theres nothing wrong with that
fullygrownman
23/09/2007 22:01:00
0
Should point out that Everton were without their two best players - Arteta and Cahill and their first choice goalie. Must have made a difference. But we can only play the team put in front of us.
Saurat
23/09/2007 22:05:00
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