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Odense BK 2 - Aston Villa 2



Attendance: 11,393

Villa Scrape Draw In Poor Display

Villa started their European odyssey (ahem, cough cough) with a tired and rather shambolic 2-2 draw away to Odense BK.

It was obvious, as an early season game, that the team were short on match fitness and despite getting off to a bright start and a well taken goal from John Carew taking advantage of a saved shot by Ashley Young, Odense were soon back in it with an unfortunate own goal by new boy Steve Sidwell.

From thereon in, Odense were by far and away the better team and it has to be noted with their season set to start soon, they were more match ready. Villa went 2-1 up following yet another fearless header by captain Martin Laursen but couldn't hold on and again conceded in the dying minutes.

The performance as a whole was sloppy but then, it is important to remember that we now have two away goals and surely Odense will struggle to come to Villa Park and replicate the performance they put in tonight? We should also, hopefully, be fitter and who knows, we might FINALLY have bought a few more players.

The shape and sharpness was certainly not there and although it gets repetitive, you have to ask why we've not got a right-back, we've been without one for over a year and although Craig Gardner did well - and actually cleared by a header a ball off the line - he was caught out of position and for pace a few times, not helped I'm sure by the fact he is only just back from a groin strain.

Martin O'Neill has allowed players to leave and the squad is decimated and he now HAS to act. It was unsettling to hear former Villa hero and commentator for Setanta question the pot of gold that Randy Lerner has, saying he has seen little evidence, when it is in fact the manager all eyes should be on. We were left woefully exposed today, if Gardner hadn't been fit to start who would have played at right back? If Stuart Taylor had picked up an injury we'd have had a kid in goal. Intertoto might not be the most respected of tournaments BUT it is a way into Europe and that is crucial to our quest to get back the glory days of the past.

It was strange to see Nigel Hokey-Cokey out on the right, what did we buy Wayne Routledge for, I thought he was a winger, NRC is not. Also, as Deano said in commentary, Gabby and Carew don't seem to work together, they rarely put each other in and to be fair tonight, the supply to them was negligible. Also towards the end you would think that Marlon Harewood would have been given a run out, he is an impact player and with Carew and Gabby both not fully fit - and Carew was limping towards the end - surely a fresh pair of legs would have been a sensible plan?

So, not a time to panic but certainly not the sort of display we'd all like to have seen. Controversial thing to say or not, this will do little to convince players that Villa are serious contenders for Europe and certainly won't have Gareth Barry regretting his desire to leave for the Champions League. The manager MUST ACT now to bring in players. Ever the optimist, he will.... won't he?

All in all Odense were fairly unlucky not to have got the victory but at least Villa ground out a result that gives us the advantage with all to play for next weekend.

VILLA: Taylor, Gardner, Bouma, Laursen, Knight, Reo-Coker, Sidwell (off on 82), Young, Petrov, Agbonlahor, Carew. Subs: Parish, Harewood, Salifou, Routledge (Sidwell 82), Osbourne, Maloney, Baker.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday July 19 2008

Time: 9:32PM

Your Comments

That was the worst performance of the MoN reign so far,very,very worrying.
JP, I can't say I'm that worried about tonight. Football in July isn't right and if we can manage a 2-2 away that's OK by me. At this time of year it's about a game at a time. We'll be better by this time next week, but I don't think the personnel will be that different. I happen to think that it's more important we get the right players for the next 3 years than for the next 3 weeks. I'll be happy with steady improvement over the next few weeks, a handful of good quality players by the end of August, and top half/still in all comps by Christmas. Life's too short for anyone to get in a complete tizz when the summer hols have only just started!
He didn't look best pleased himself with that perforamance. Next week should be different though. And if we haven't signed a right back by next friday I'm just hoping they pull delaney out of retirement.
I can't believe the Hare didn't get a go. If MON is trying to stop him from going to a team where he gets regular first team football, surely not playing him in a game like this when no one is fully fit won't help? I do however want to take one positive away from this game. The teams that win the premier league are the teams that scrape out results when they are playing their worst. This my friends, was our worst. We scraped out 2 goals away from home against a fitter side in Denmark in our first European game in years. We are well short of fitness, no RB, 1 goalie and no chemistry yet. But we got A result, not the one we wanted but 2 goals away and surely we will see them off at Villa Park.
The performance was dissapointing today, however the result isnt too bad. Its in Villa's hands to dominate at VP now and progress to the next round! I really do hope progree is made on the transfer front before next week.
The only player i thought was any good in the game was Martin Laursen. I am VERY pleased that he was captain in the game.
villa for ever
New signings? Very wishful thinking. If we were going to sign any more players we would have done so before the season started. Let's hope we can sign some players at midnight on January 31st.
Only is the first 10 mins and 5mins either side of Villa's second goal did it seem like the game wasnt flat. Sidwell and Petrov just didnt get into the game and couldnt dominate the CM, must admit i was quite dissapointed Maloney and Routledge didnt get a chance on the right wing. However i understand M'ON's reason for playing NRC on the right wing, defensively he is much better than Routledge, Maloney and Petrov and had the pace to get back and help Gardner when he could.
Astonian Villan
By the end of this season I am sure gardner - will be a much more accomplished right back.
It's difficult to get excited about the coming season based on that performance. However, the benifit of doubt should be given because we have only had two weeks to prepare, and the players can not be fit enough to give optimum performances. Having said that, I thought we showed a lack of quality especially when it came to our passing and ball retention. Gabby, for me is not good enough to take us forward. He has pace but no trickery to beat the last man. I am amazed that we have not been able to buy a right back, but I'm sure this will be addressed soon!!!!
i think we should prepare our selfes for mid table strugglers unless we can get some one in to force transfers of quality players, as we all know MoN has no skill in that department
Astonian Villan
That performance was not exactly an improvement from the Lincon game. I know that the team are still trying to up the fitness level, but if we could not even beat Lincon (no disrespect) what chance would we have in the UEFA cup. VERY DISAPPOINTING LADS.
villa for ever
For God's sake take the positives fellas,we have just got an away draw in Europe plus 2 away goals.I will be very surprised if we don't progress next week and then we will be much fitter I'm sure.People can say all they like about MON's transfer tactics but he has done ok so far so please show some damn faith.I said earlier on another thread if we were to get Miguel and say Milner then we would be doing ok.
I feel sorry for Gardner cause you know if MoN told him to scrub the toilets he'd do the best he could.If he had have been playing in midfield today we would have been better off.
Get Zat Knight out NOW!!!!
Sali Salifooooou
Happyvilla not having a go, but please wake up and smell the coffee!!!!! How can you take positives from that game, did you not see the chances they had to put the ball in down the left, gardner was left exposed time ad time again, its not his fault he is NOT A RIGHT BACK!!! The poor ******** must be thinking he has got another season of playing right back as the manager has not got a full time right back in!!! That was his priority and should have been sorted way before this game. The opposition was practically part time!!! We played poorly and looked deeply average, I would rate Gardner as man of the match as the poor boy had a torrid time at the back and did not deserve that, we get through this and we could draw the likes of Napoli and Stuttgart in the Uefa 3rd Qualifying round, do you think our defence could with stand that kind of attack!!!! Sorry lads to be so negative but that game just put a dampner on the whole season for me and I am not looking forward to the kick off with our current understrength squad!!!! And I really wanted Bentely not Milner, if Milner was that good how come he isnt in the England squad in stead of Bentley, he just hasnt got that extra level or dimension!!!!! Really Upset!!!!!!
Very poor considering how much is up 4 grabs. As long as we get the fitness up we should be fine at villa park. surely MON will pull his finger out now. sidwell needs to up his game to fill GBs boots or we in trouble. Still, not a bad result considering. Roll on nxt sat
I've got loads of point but like MON in the transfer market i can't be bothered to list them. Reo Joker nuff said, Sidwell fill Barry's boots how does a 4.5m playerr fill a 18m players boots? Answer he is not capable of doing it and it showed. How can we still not have a RIGHT BACK i feel like screaming. Zat Knight is the luckiest person on the face of this planet. I just can't see a footballer & i could sat the same about Reo-Joker. We paid 13m for rthen 2 rubbish waste of skins. Finally to have kids from the youth team on the bench just sums the awfull sham of a club up. Mr Laerner have you really got any money? Because you have spent zero on the club since you have arrived but promised the world. It's time to put up or MON & Learner will face a fans backlash.
I don't see how people really think M'ON will go into the season with the players we have got at the moment. Just because he has gone into these ITC games with a few short player, it doesnt mean we will begin the squad with a full sqaud! He will bring them in and the majoroty of them will be in for the start of the season!
We were saying that last sommer & he failed in the transfer market. He had no plan & ended up buying Joker,Harewood & Zat *****ee for 16.5million. I wouldn't give you 16 quid for the lot. Also we were promised a right back last summer but he faild us he then said the player will be available in January & he's worth waiting for again he failed us & now he doesn't even mention a right back or even cover a right back. But he will biod not enough for players to make us think he's trying. Why not bid not enough for Kaka, Gerard, Ronaldo etc Blues West Brom & Walsall could do that. Iwant to see top class signings like we were promised last year because i have still not seen 1. Sell Barry buy Sidwell thats a nice tidy profit for the art Gallery Mr Learner. This is turning out to be a big joke played on us fans by the Billionaire who is making a ***** load of money from our club & spending ***** all.
Hard to blame Gardner. It was our midfield that was appalling offering no comfortable periods of possession football and no closing down - with loads of room for Odense to come forward. I saw Fleetwood against Stenhousemuir last night and it was only Stenny's second game of the season and only a friendly, but they closed down and tackled like their lives depended on it. Different level entirely, and I am not saying Villa's fitness and performance should yet be up to speed. However the attitude should be right - but it wasn't - half-hearted stuff and some players hard to see are good enough to take us to the next level. On the positive side Friedl, a new right back, Laurssen, Davies and Bouma would be the first choice defence sorted. Young and Bentley would be the wide areas sorted. The rest I am far from confident about but maybe Carew, Hokey Cokey and Sidwell will do better with a confident defensive backbone behind them, and Gardner in midfield still has potential to improve. Petrov, Gabby, unlikely to improve is my view. Gabby has got to have more tricks and be go more direct if he ever hopes to become a quality front man. Hope some of the youngsters can step up too.
agree happyvillan, to be fair I said that in my report, lacking match fitness (obviously) as it is early, we;'ll be fitter next week and have two away goals. :o) Still poor to see the guys not able to string a few passes about, as the commentator said, some of the opposition are as good as part timers, either that or he got that wrong as I don;'t know enough about Odense or their league.
The Fear
Jinksy - you need to relax man. Really, just relax.
Villa started their European odyssey ..................................... The above statement is open to debate.
Jinsky - He bid for Bentley didnt he - he is trying, whatever his reasons were for not going back for a second bid we will probably never no. The only department where he has failed in is bringing in a natural RB. Other than that i dont think he has failed us, he has signed the right player who will be commited to Villa. How can you critisize Harewood - he has been an inspiration coming off the bench and changing games around and has been nothing but a model professional. Everything he has done so far has made us a better team, keep in mind when he came, it was a 5 year plan. If at the end of the 5th year we have not progressed as a team, then start critisizing M'ON for not trying, but for now he has done a fantastic job and long may it continue.
Is this the short, sharp shockthat col8 was looking for in his excellent article? I do hope so because if this performance does not scare the management witless nothing will. We need to get in some good new blood, now, not vague promises to the future.
Woeful. Hardly the kind of performance that'll encourage Gareth to stay, others to aspire to greatness at Villa, or let everyone know we mean business. Then again, early doors, bit rusty and all that, home advantage for the return leg. More signings please Mr O'Neill. NOW.
Jinksy - the same players you're complaining about that we bought for 16 mil are the same players that got us 6th in the league. Want to complain more? Let MON due his job and stop jumping to ridiculous conclusions. Everton and even Man U are losing to conference teams.
Can't really criticise MON to date, but I have to worry about things as they stand. And, believe me, I'm not just saying that because of tonight. We have so many good players playing out of position as there are no other options. This is Aston Villa, a top English club. If it continues this way it's only a matter of time before ML, AY, JC want out. Although I'd like to say **** him, it's going to take a lot to replace GB. If we cannot attract the likes of Bentley (whether he's worth the money or not) then we should be worrying. Sort it out Martin!
i have to admit to being a tad worried about are prospects next season,mon has promiesd signings have to ask where are they.he knew almost from day 1 we needed a rb still no sign of 1, zat knight is definatly not some1 any of the top 6 sides would look at .petrov can anybody tell me he was there tonight he was on teamsheet but never showed,gabby looked so of the pace it was scarey has his head been turned.honestly think that tem out there tonight will struggle to get anywhere near a top 6 finish next season and if mon dosen,t get signings in who knows what could happen ,few bad results and we will struggle apart from laursen you tell me who else will put there head in where it hurts.martn were short of numbers and leaders on the pitch please sort this out
super lionel martin
Bouma and Laursen were the best performers. Saw glimpses on Young and Carew, and NRC did well considering he was playin on the right wing! True about Petrov, dont recall seeing much of him or Sidwell once he scored the OG.
Do away goals count in this tie?
yes, why wouldn't they?
I understand aswell why he played NRC at right wing. He is more likely to provide better cover for Gardner as he did at times, but his positional play at times did let him down.. mainly because he's not a natural winger and he has the mindset of a central midfielder. I'd expect to see Routledge or Maloney (more likely Routledge though) to start in the home leg as we look to take the game to them. Fully expect us to qualify and add a few more players to the squad. Mon should take his time and not rush into buying players for the sake of it. Lots of clubs aren't spending at the moment. it is better to sign someone you want.. not just someone for the sake of it! If he signs a bum.. we'll only condem that player wont we??? Lets be patient for the right players at the right price!
JOHN CAREW>CAREW Bouma and Laursen were the best performers. your statement says it all dude, our best two players conceded 2 goals, scored 1.
We need to sign that lad Djemba-Djemba. Best player on the park bar none. Get your cheque book out Randy.
Mr Carews Crew Yes he did bid for Bentley but not enough. Like i say West Brom, Blues, Kidderminster Harriers could bid not enough for players. NOT ENOUGH is not good enough & Harewood is not a top class signing fact. I want MON to prove me wrong & come 31st August we'll all know MON & Learners true ambitions. Are we making money for Mr Laerner or are we a serious club tring to crack the top 4??? If you want Champions Leage Football you don't do it with players like Coker,Knight,Harewood,Salifu,Osbourne,Routledge,Playing your best yound midfielder at right back i could go on. So in reality we are about 14 players short of the correct numbers but about 18 players short of the right quiality & that is a fact.
nice and poetic though wasn't it col8? Thought it was quite good for me!
The Fear
yeah thatd be right. now go thr ***** out there and buy some bloody players, good ones. jesus christ
spot on about decimating the squad. people like hughes, cahill, davis etc etc are the type of squad fillers we need and there was no real need to sell any of them. i'd put money on it that on 1st September we'll have the same amount of numbers as we did last year and were going to hear the same old comments all over again. Although we want to improve on quality i think MON has been negligent in his overall squad building....or dismantling.
I am absolutely sick to the back teeth with all the negativity on this site. So many people on here just seem to want to have a pop at the manager, the chairman or both. FFS, do you not see how much the club has moved forward in the last two years. I agree it is unsettling to see the lack of depth in the squad but if we do not beat Odense at home I will eat my hat. We didn't play well but still created plenty of chances and their GK made some good saves. I'm not blinkered and know that we need to improve our squad but I'm sure MON also knows this. None of us know what is going on behind the scenes at Villa Park but many seem to think they know what is happening. You're all entitled to your opinion but I'm not going to post anything on this site again until the Premier League season starts because you're all just a bunch of whinging """"""s. Maybe O'Leary was right when he said we're fickle because we now have an excellent manager and great Chairman but you still moan about everything. Ok RANT over.
Early season game, not 100% fit, a bit rusty, Odense season already started they are fit and compact.........2-2 draw there is an excellent result for us.......we will improve next saturday don't you worry........2 away goals is an awsome feat so be positive..........come on you villa boys!!!!!!!
NTDES, we have just drawn with a team of part timers whose season hasn't started either, not only that but we looked shocking. Agreed that the team has moved forward but losing GB and Ollie ( our most experienced players in the prem) and not replacing them going into our most important game in 7 years is bad management. Taylor was good, as was the defence in general bar Zat. Midfield was awful. Without Carew and Young we have got a bottom 6 team!!!!!!!!!!!! You are correct in saying that MON and RL are top guys but the squad (what squad??)gets you the points in the prem not the chairman.
Randy I think you need a little trip down to Fort Knox on your Learjet armed with your pin number for your bank card. We are dangerously sort on personnel and are seriously exposed in all areas. We nees a GK, 3 defenders, 3 midfielders and a proven goal scorer. 1,2,3 or 4 players simply won't do. We seriously need 6, 7 or 8 QUALITY additional players. I have no worries that we will pull through the game at VP but my concern is where our season will go with our squad at present. We simply will not be able to compete on the domestic front & domestics cups as well as a euro campaign. I know MON is urging fans to be patient but i really think he needs to act THIS WEEK or it will be too late. BREAK THE BANK LETS SEE SOME $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$'S BEING SPLASHED. **** THE CREDIT CRUNCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NTDES; its true we dont no what is happening behind the scenes, take the Bentley bid for example - if it wasnt for Ince confirming the bid - we would still be having a pop at M'ON for not bidding for a midfielder who we want at the club, and clearly wants to leave Blackburn! M'ON has already said that bids have been going in, its just a case of teams wanting the best price and having to negotiate!
you shouldn't have bought Sidwell, he's a load of *****e! bad move lads...doesn't have a patch on Barry, no way is Sidwell his replacement, better sort it out. Keep Barry, screw the gooners and those scouse pikeys
NTDES....what kind of hat?
sick note
With all due respect notthedougellisstand, you are going to find on not only this site, but arguably every Villa fan site out there, those who view the current Villa Park scenario through claret and blue tinted glasses, alongside those who are a little bit more sceptical, and question not only MON, Randy and his board, but team selection, signings, tactics etc. etc. One thing that should be remembered though, is that every member on this site, be he young, old, a season ticket holder, an exile, or a couch supporter, has the well being of the club as his number one priority, and the development and continued progress of the club at heart. All members who post on this site are Villans through and through, and its good to peruse and evaluate the many different viewpoints and opinions that those members hold. I agree that negativity is increasing more and more into peoples postings, certainly that has been a trend over the last couple of weeks, and its now got to a point where criticism is being directed at all corners of the club. Is that really surprising though? I myself am a big MON supporter, but if I'm honest, this lack of transfer market activity is starting to scare the crap out of me. What I witnessed at Licoln City the other evening left me even more concerned. I think that what we have to find is a balance between the positives and the negatives. Yes there is much to be delighted about since RL and MON marched through the Villa Park entrance doors, but also there are aspects of their tenure that dont, and indeed shouldn't, meet with every supporters full-blown approval. There are two sides to every story, and it takes a lot of views and conflicting opinions to make a damn good fan web-site. That's what we've got here.
well said I personally feel MON have got it all in hand, but loves to leave things late, therefore raising the excitement and anticipation levels. MON is by no means daft he knows what we need and probably has let Mr Lerner know 6 months ago who, where, what and how much was needed to be spent, I can't deny I feel worried too, but I bet MON doesn't feel it, its all in hand...... I hope.
sounds like a crappy performance from Villa, but all in all a 2-2 result isnt too bad at all. 2 away goals is all important, and I fancy Villa to tie up the 2nd leg far more comfortably withOUT giving away another late goal!!

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