Aston Villa - Can I Start With A Moan?
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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.

The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday February 4 2007

Time: 12:08PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
from what ive heard petrov didnt have that bad a game
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04/02/2007 12:19:00

yep, only gripe, at one stage I could hear a song about micheal jackson performing oral on his monkey, did not expect to be able to hear that at Villa Park. but edge of the seat stuff, and the faithfull so full of important match nerves that they failed to defend cohesively allowing the blowing of bubbles to break through at such an important time, I am sure once the crowd get used to each other and have seen a few matches together, they will start to sing together as a unit like we know they can, they will get used to the fact that we have a good team again, UTV
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04/02/2007 12:31:00

I was in the upper holte and i have 2 disagree on ur comments about the atmosphere, it was electric up there we all came bck wiv no voices, and i think Petrov is startin to get bck 2 his old self, i think he didnt play badly at all he jus needs anova goal nd games afta his hamstring problem!
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04/02/2007 12:32:00

Petrov played well from where I was sat. As for the atmosphere that was the most I saw the whole of the Holte sing for a long time.
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04/02/2007 12:35:00

Also in the upper holte and it was bouncing. were you in the doug ellis?
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04/02/2007 12:35:00

Pretty much agree with you Deano, would have given Freddie at least an 8 though. He was more than solid,he is getting a great understanding with Barry down the left now and that's where we are looking most dangerous these days.
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04/02/2007 12:36:00

god knows how you kept West Ham out in those final minutes!
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04/02/2007 12:40:00

You're not the only one Merlin. But they had all their chances in the whole game in a 2 minute period, and, again with the villa we should have been 3 up by then.
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04/02/2007 13:03:00

I was in the upper holte also. Maybe I am expecting too much but I still remember games where the whole of the holte end has sung for 90 minutes solid, now it just seems like a few sections of fans and half the time the left side and right side are even singing different songs.
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04/02/2007 13:30:00

John Ca rew rew rew plays up front with ashley.John Ca rew rew rew almost as good as gabby.
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04/02/2007 14:28:00

Accurate comments, but I have to disagree on the assessment of Stan Petrov's performance. Thought he played well. Cant quite understand what his detractors are looking for, or indeed expecting. Freddie Bouma is improving in leaps and bounds, starting to look like the left full back we thought we were getting. The last few minutes when West Ham had nothing to lose, were totally out of context with the rest of the proceedings. That they had a shot on target was a surprise in itself. A comfortable, comprehensive 1-0 victory. West Ham were a soundly beaten side, despite that late flurry.
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04/02/2007 14:39:00

Very good report Deano, Even down to the bit about Cahill . He did boot the ball into touch a few times early on because he had no left foot . Ridge should be left side as he is left footed . Unbalances the defence with two right side centre backs . All looking well for the future as long as big John stays fit!
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04/02/2007 15:02:00

Were you there Deanovilla? Great crowd and a decent atmosphere yesterday, perhaps you rememer the last 10 mins or so too much when the crowd was understandably nervous due to the importance of the game. Pretty much agree with your assessment, but again must echo other fans as I think Petrov had a decent game & don't understand why some are quick to criticise. Thought Cahill & Bardsley also deserved a 7 as they played their part in an excellent clean sheet, Cahill is a future England player & I thought some of Bardsley's tackling in the 2nd half was fantastic. For me Gabby was the 6 out of 10 - extremely quiet & I think you may see MON giving the lad a well deserved rest in the coming weeks.
Let the Revolution B
Report Abuse
04/02/2007 15:53:00

Always nice to stir up a bit of debate. Dont get me wrong I thought Petrov had his best performance for a while, but still not good enough if you ask me. The one on one with Carrol where he hit the ball straight at him sums up his lack of confidence at the moment. He seems to eager to get rid of the ball whereas someone like Barry wants the ball all the time. Thats a big difference for me.
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04/02/2007 15:59:00

I sit in the Trinity behind the Directors Box after serving for 40+ years in the Holte End so I feel that I'm in a perfect position to comment. Without doubt there was much more noise coming from the West Ham fans yesterday than was coming from the Holte. At one point I suddenly realised that what I thought was a chant of "C'mon you Lions" was actually coming from the Witton End and was "C'mon you Irons". The singing/chanting always sounds louder when you're in the middle of it, as I know from away games, but yesterday the Holte seemed fairly restrained from my half-way position apart from when the "blue nose" was substituted.
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04/02/2007 16:10:00

I was in the Upper Trinity, where we was also singing
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04/02/2007 16:17:00

Why did Sky only rate Barry at a 6? Seems a bit mean to me, especially after his recall?
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04/02/2007 16:27:00

Alan Shearer said he was **** hot
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04/02/2007 16:50:00

Agree with most of that ... I thought Petrov played well although he went missing at times in the second half. I thought that was Bardsley's worst game but even then I'd still give him a 7! He's a real tough-tackling asset but his distribution wasn't always up to his usual high standard yesterday. I was also in the Trinity and have to agree with the "Come on you Irons" comment. They had a good turn out. Did like the exit of Upson though ... must have felt really loved with all those people waving at him on his long walk back to the changing room :o)
Silver Fox
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04/02/2007 17:44:00

Petrov and McCann worked well together as did Wilf and Olaf. It seemed at times to me as if the players had a buddy system backing each other up on the pitch. The team were working as a team for most of the game. OK WHU were poor but 2-0 3-0 would have been a better scoreline. I think the Petrov debate will go on but yeaterday he was a good team player.
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04/02/2007 18:35:00

Good to see after the where is everybody forum over 40,000 and we were only playing west scum
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04/02/2007 19:41:00

On the subject of atmosphere it was ok but I sit on the half way line now . I think a lot of the people who sit in the Holte imagine they make more noise than they actually do but the Holte is so big it doesn't always carry. It's a shame that the loudest chant was about Upson especially with Randy sitting there! I really wish the Holte would come up with some Villa songs rather than venting off about our less illustrious neighbours! or worse still a player who has had the good sense to leave them. It's a new era lets move on eh lads!
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04/02/2007 19:57:00

I had the Petrov discussion with my brother yesterday and with some fans over a few sherbets.I
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04/02/2007 21:27:00 I'll finish. I think as he is a creative player we are expecting goals and assists...defence splitting passes and a vintage Merson performance.When we look at his game he presses and tackles all over the pitch.Not many creative players will put them selves about so he should be judged on his overall game not just attacking play.
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04/02/2007 21:30:00

onelovevilla, yes Petrov does get about a bit and I reckon he could do what Mccann does only with a bit more creative skill. This would allow us to bring in a new Platt or Merson or Taylor , someone who gets in the box with late runs from midfield and scores goals?
Report Abuse
04/02/2007 21:36:00

As for singing I think it must be acoustics. I sit in lower Holte and there was plenty of noise. It would be great to be more vocal but I believe it is very unfair to say the crowd wasn't singing, what do you expect???? Our new signing looked class and again it may be from where people sit we all see a different game. I thought McCann played well and Petrov was very average again. I know for some it is the other way around though. Carew was fantastic and Young looked a very good player who is going to improve us no end. Finallt we look a threat again running in on goal! Overall I really enjoyed the performance, do wish we could have finished them off though as in all honesty they only had that 2 minute spell and we were hanging on. Special mention again for Bouma, playing with his heart this year. You can ask for no more.
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04/02/2007 21:42:00

I do agree with comment from Villan57, I also wish we sang more about our own team than the ***** down the road.
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04/02/2007 21:44:00

I think you will see more of Petrov now. The reason for this is the ball will get held up more upfront and thus creating hole behind the front two. This is where Petrov likes to play - just behind the front two and infront of the midfield. Just watch hime go when his confidence kicks in - Form is temporary and Talent is permanent!
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04/02/2007 22:02:00

Managed to get to see a repeat of the game over here yesterday afternoon (unfortunately I only tuned in when we were 1-0 up). My first thoughts were "bloody hell it's quiet there". But I did also think that for the first time I could see that Petrov is a classy player after all. I thought he had a pretty good game (and from what I've seen of him I was beginning to wonder whether I would ever say that!). Defence still needs sorting out though - they all seem to get dragged out of position when the pressure's on. But, I'll happily take the win and watch them move on to better things. I see a hell a lot of potential in this lot. One or two classy signings in the summer ...
Report Abuse
05/02/2007 04:43:00

I missed the game because I was throwing myself off the Alps on two planks of wood. But my observations from TV was that it was a fair result, although a little hairy at the end. Petrov had a good game. Bouma is coming on leaps and bounds. Having two right hand central defenders makes the defence a little lop sided. JC and AY looked good together but I think that it would provide some variety and give the other team more problems if occasionally AY went out wide and Gabi played alongside JC. Only 1000 empty seats means we are approaching the stage where, hopefully, Villa fans will be turning up on matchdays to find the ground sold out. This in turn means more people will start to buy season tickets or at least more in advance of the game. Atmosphere according to my pal in the top of the Holte was good, however this has been a topic before on how to improve it. Personally I would fill in the sides of the Stand with cladding the same as been done at several grounds such as Ibrox and Bramall Lane, to improve the acoustics. We still need an anthem. Singing needs to involve all sections of the ground not just the Holte. Villa Park consists of nine different sections of supporters, unlike some of the one dimesional bowls that are now being built. So it is important for EVERY section to play its part. Having read the posts on songs for players the one for JC has to be to the tune of Vindaloo. John Carew, John Carew, John Carew, John Carew NA NA. John Carew, John Carew, John Carew, John Carew NA NA, John Carew, John Caarrreeewwww. Oh we all Love John Carew. He's gonna score one more than you. CAREW (repeat). The missus has also been instructed not to book my lads week away to clash with home games. UTV
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05/02/2007 12:26:00


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