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Glensider Away At Fulham

Fulham
2 - 1
Aston Villa

Craven Cottage

03/02/2008

Attendance: 24 760

Referee:

I suppose that experience and common sense tells you that you are going to experience performances like this throughout the course of a season, but that certainly doesn't make them any easier to come to terms with when they do rear their ugly head. We were dire. Lethargic, lacking inspiration, and seemingly clueless as to how to string three or four passes together, create openings, and ultimately test Antti Niemi in the Fulham goal.

We never looked like scoring, and but for the intervention of old-boy Aaron Hughes, who in attempting to deflect a right wing corner away from Martin Laursen following an Olof Mellberg flick on, sent the ball past his own keeper, we certainly wouldn't have done. We hadn't done anything up to that point to suggest that we deserved to lead with a little over twenty minutes remaining, and despite Martin Laursen having a great opportunity to put us 2-0 ahead, the concern was always there that we weren't in control of the game sufficiently enough to believe that another away win was on the cards. Sure enough, the home side came back to level through Simon Davies, and then win the game thanks to a Jimmy Bullard free kick with just a handful of minutes remaining.

It has to go down as our most inept showing of the campaign to date. We just didn't seem up for it. Fulham, while admittedly re-inforced by the arrival of a few new faces during the transfer window, and with the popular Brian McBride back on the bench, looked there for the taking. That we were unable to ask the necessary questions and heap further misery on their long suffering supporters has to be a concern, because even without Ashley Young, you'd have been entitled to think that we have enough ammunition in our armoury, capable of seeing us register another impressive away performance/result. It was sadly not to be.

Even in previous away games when we haven't actually been at our fluent best, for example Bolton at The Reebok, even Manchester City at The Stadium Of Light, we'd given off the impression that we were hanging in there, capable of getting something or something more out of the game, but today that belief just didn't seem there.

Ironically enough I'd been saying all week that we'd come unstuck here, I just had that feeling, but even so, I think its fair to say that I expected more from us that was actually in evidence.

Once again the Villans journeyed in numbers, made a lot of noise, and created a decent atmosphere in front of what we were told afterwards by a Fulham supporter, was probably one of their biggest home attendances of the season. It was just so difficult to believe though that the team that had turned in such an exciting and entertaining performance two miles up the road at Stamford Bridge just over a month ago, should return to this area of our capital city and serve up such a shocker on this occasion.

There were four of us in the car, so we all voted for each players performance, and here's the average score we came up with:

Player Ratings


Scott Carson 5

Didn't really have much to do. Not at fault for the goals we all agreed, but no saves of note to boost his score.

Olof Mellberg 5

Not at his best, but still did a job.

Martin Laursen 6

Defensively o.k., could/should have put us 2-0 up though.

Curtis Davies 6

Solid enough - shame about that late tackle on Kamara

Wilfred Bouma 5

Caught out a few times. Distribution still leaves something to be desired

Stan Petrov 4

Just didn't get involved enough

Nigel Reo-Coker 5

Got stuck in, but distribution let him down

Gareth Barry 6

Not at his best, but who was?

Shaun Maloney 6

Lively but lacking. Does that make sense?

Gabby 4

Lacking

Big JC 4

Lacking

Marlon Harewood 6

Livened us up a bit, but enjoyed very little support

Craig Gardner and Isaiah Osbourne

neither on long enough to evaluate. (Thought Isaiah had moved on loan to Leicester City? Obviously not)


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Writer:J P Fear
Date:Monday February 4 2008
Time: 9:27AM

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Comments

0
Good report glen, fair scores for the players too. The fans were superb and had to stop myself a few times joining in from the comfort of my sofa. 10/10 for the fans
benham
04/02/2008 09:33:00
0
I genuinely feel our lack of options in the playing staff played a part here. No Ashley for instance meant no creativity in wide areas. Totally disrupted our pattern of play. Stan was poor out wide, but, to be fair to him, out of position. Gabby going off further highlighted our lack of a Plan B. They all looked tired/uninterested too. If only there'd have been a chance during January to bring in some cover. Hang on.....
VillaYamYam
04/02/2008 09:48:00
0
I think that Carson was VERY at fault for the free kick, it was in the fuxiin middle of the goal !!!! I said beforebthe kick that his positioning was ***** and that if it is on target it is going in !!!!
Bearvill
04/02/2008 09:52:00
0
Fulham,ffs,ruined my coupon!:-)
MFC67
04/02/2008 09:57:00
0
We the villa fans were the best players on the day. Without question. It felt like a home match. Maybe that's why we didn't do so well!
evoflash
04/02/2008 09:58:00
0
Got to Agreee with Bearvill. How can you say Carson was not at fault for that free kick. I think if you watch the highlights back you will see that it was hardly in the top corner. Good report though. Oh and there's nothing wrong with singing frim your armchair Benham!
Adam Deuce
04/02/2008 10:37:00
0
Lacking. Says it all about the whole performance for me.
DeanoVilla
04/02/2008 10:43:00
0
Despite being in the very hospitable Eight Bells Pub from 11.30 it was a very bad away day for what was an incredible away support for a Sunday 4.00 kick off live on tele. We were awful all over the field, BUT at 1-0 ahead (not deserved) we SHOULD have won. Fulham had not looked like scoring (neither had we) and I thought poor performance but three good points. That'll do. WHY can we not keep a clean sheet, when we look pretty solid defensively? I hope MON does not rue the sale of Gary Cahill. The only plus point is that we managed to convert four Swedish tourists we met in the Eight Bells to the Villa. They support IFK Gothenberg (or something like that), they loved the singing in the pub, went down to the Cottage and got 4 tickets for the 'neutral' end. One of the lads met them at half time and they joined us, celebrating our goal with as much feeling as the rest of us. Hope that performance hasn't put them off! I wouldn't fault the players effort and committment at all, but at the moment (last three games) we are not playing well enough. No creativity. We NEVER look like scoring from open play and we can't keep clean sheets. Time for a bit of MON magic!
krfeskivilla
04/02/2008 10:55:00
0
Bit of a surprise this one, had a tenner on you lot winning 2-0...funny old game..
Blue is the colour
04/02/2008 11:34:00
0
What a surprise but trust me when i say with your centre forward out and only marleen to help score u boys will just about stay in the top 10.
SHOE HAMMER
04/02/2008 12:00:00
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