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Aston Villa 1 - West Ham 0

Villa Park


Attendance: 41 202

Can I Start With A Moan?

DeanoVilla to the rescue, I missed the game and so DV has stepped into the breach!

Can I start with a moan? Probably best to get it out of the way, because it's 99% positive from here on. The atmosphere, considering the attendance was awful! If I wanted to sit in silence for 90 minutes I'd go to the theatre, not to Villa Park. The only song people go passionate about was the Upson one! Whatever happened to singing for your own? I just don't enjoy the games as much when the place isn't rocking, so lets sort it out!

On to the match, I thought we started slowly again as at Newcastle but fortunately for us West Ham had nothing to throw at us. A few half chances for either side then in the opening 25 minutes, and then the incident that changed the game for me, Upson going off injured! Until then West Ham seemed to be dealing with our attacks quite comfortably, but after that point they seemed low, and disorganised and it was just a matter of time until the goal came.

When it came it was great stuff. Young played the ball through to Carew once again demonstrating the kind of link up play that would have people believe they have played together for years, not 2 games. Carew used his strength to hold off the defender and put the ball into the corner of the net. 1-0 and 2 of the new signings already off the mark!

The first half dwindled to an end with Villa not really looking to capitalise on a shell shocked Hammers, and the Hammers happy to get to halftime just 1 down.

Villa were much brighter after the break, with Young, Petrov and Barry all going close, but not as close as Gavin McCann who saw his long range effort miss the goal by a whisker with the keeper beaten. Petrov again went close and really should have scored when one on one with Carroll, but with the whole goal to aim at he chose to hit it straight at the West Ham keeper.

With Villa then failing to extend their lead I suppose it was inevitable that West Ham would throw everything at us in the last 5 minutes, and so they did. In the past maybe we would have gone home disappointed but hopefully this is a sign of things to come, a new found resilience in the team. Oh and the brilliance of Tommy S helped too!

Star Player

John Carew

Player Ratings

Sorensen - 8

Very little to do for most the match, but owed us a good performance after Wednesday and duly supplied it when called upon.

Bardsley - 6

Not his best game for Villa. Plenty of sloppy passes and caught out of position a couple of time.

Bouma - 7

Making the left back spot his own. Another solid display.

Melberg - 7

Dealt with everything in his usual no nonsense way.

Cahill - 6

As highly as I rate this kid, I just felt he was caught napping a couple of time today. I'd consider resting him and giving Ridge another run.

Agbonlahor - 7

I still think he's wasted coz we don't play the balls for him to run on to but he did well and got some good crosses in.

Barry - 8

His normal 8 out of 10 performance that has seen him get his recall for England. I dunno how he does it but he always seems to have so much time on the ball.

Petrov - 6

A play lacking confidence at best... a disinterested player at worst. I don't think he should be an automatic choice based on his price tag. Davis must be gutted.

McCann - 7

Did what he is good at, and also played the simple balls and didn't lose possession cheaply. More of the same please Gav Mac.

Young - 8

Well I was hoping his performance against Newcastle wasn't a one off and I was right. This kid is CLASS! Better than Walcott from the little I've seen so far. He has everything.

Carew - 9

Majestic! That's the best word to describe is performance. Defenders will hate playing against him.

By DeanoVilla

With thanks to Vital Villa's very own Deanovilla!

Pre-match poll

Our pre- match poll asked what Villa would do v West Ham, 80% said win, 10% draw and 10% lose. Our latest poll asks for your man of the match vote.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 4 2007

Time: 12:08PM


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