Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Glensider Away At Stoke

3 - 2
Aston Villa

Britannia Stadium


Attendance: 27 500


Good to have the away-days back upon us, the real pleasure of watching Aston Villa I always think, and just in time too. We'd almost forgotten the joys of stopping and starting on the M6 motorway, a regular occurrence as we head out of Brum journeying north towards various premier league destinations, but rest assured, this brief jaunt to The Potteries soon reminded us of what lays ahead over the next nine months or so.

Outside the stadium the atmosphere was electric, red and white striped replica shirts everywhere. No doubt about it, The Stokies were well and truly up for their return to the big-time. Not to be outdone though, the travelling Villans were in good voice too, vocal chords no doubt lubricated by a pint or two of the local brew, certainly the case with yours truly and his three regular companions. Inside the stadium, a cauldron of noise. The Potters are back!

Its been almost ten years since we kicked off the premier league season with two successive victories. Surely about time we put that to rights.

A not surprisingly unchanged team from the line-up that saw off Manchester City last Sunday, but early doors saw us definitely struggling to get a grip on the game. Out-muscled in midfield, with no real opportunity or ideas as to how to assert ourselves. The long throws of Rory Delap causing concern if not problems, and providing the home lot with an additional if unconventional weapon. Stoke made a very committed start to the game, their up and at 'em direct approach, very much in evidence.

Now we turn to a case of two penalties, both on the thirty minute mark. First Gabby went down in the Stoke box but was denied a penalty, when it clearly looked as if he'd been bundled to the ground, play went straight to the other end and the hosts were awarded a spot-kick when Laursen was adjudged to have left his foot in to take down Delap (no complaints from me - but again, I'm going by what I saw, or think I saw, not from any tv replays etc). Brave attempt by Brad to keep the spot-kick out, but Lawrence had placed his kick perfectly. 1-0 to The Potters, and a need for our lads to really step up to the plate now. We'd created nothing, giving Tommy Sorensen a very easy ride so far.

We were struggling, no doubt about it. This wasn't in the script. A scrappy game overall, but Stoke had definitely shown more appetite for the fight, in a game that really had the feel of a cup-tie.

We were very disappointing going forward throughout the first forty-five, completely lacking ideas and invention.

Right on half-time Stoke almost doubled their lead. Fuller getting onto the end of another Rory Delap long throw, Brad never even made an attempt to get there, and fortunately the ball went just wide.

Sort 'em out Mart! Stoke in the first half had surely offered nothing that we didn't expect, but for some reason we just hadn't come to terms with the game.

The second forty-five got underway, and we certainly began brighter, looking more up for it, and pushing Stoke onto the back foot.

Gareth put in a right footed curler, clever idea, but nowhere near good enough to bring us level.

Ash completely wasted a free kick, guiding it into Sorensen's waiting hands, and while you had to admit that Stoke's defence was handling everything we threw at them, in truth you also had to admit that we weren't actually throwing too much their way. We were just short on ideas. Nothing happening for us.

Then, totally out of keeping with all that had gone before from the good guys, a superb flowing move saw Big JC finish with aplomb in front of the travelling Brummies. 1-1, cue celebrations, and our first away-day hug-in/love fest of the new campaign.

Suddenly we looked a different team, with my good buddy making the worrying comment, 'There's only going to be one winner now'. Famous last words. I know, he's uttered them so many times before!

For once, our set-pieces were leaving a lot to be desired. Not often we can say that, but annoyingly frustrating all the same.

Our first change of the afternoon, Wayne Routledge on for Nicky Shorey. Martin was certainly going for it.

The second half had certainly seen Gareth and Stan the Man grab a hold of midfield, the latter certainly continuing in his recent vein of fine form.

We looked on course for at least a point, in control, comfortable, but isn't that when you're at your most vulnerable?

Sure is! We went to sleep. Gareth gave the ball away needlessly, and Fuller put the ball past Brad to send the home fans into ecstasy. 'You're not singing anymore' they taunted us with.

And we weren't (singing anymore that is).

But...we soon were, and in louder voice than before! The Great Dane!! What was I prematurely saying about our dead ball delivery?

Ashley's deflected free-kick falls to Martin Laursen, and in the blink of an eye, Stoke's lead is no more. 2-2.

Oh no. Four minutes of injury time were indicated, and knowing how we love to concede late goals, that had to be a concern for us.

Sure enough, a late, late throw by Rory Delap, something we had struggled to come to terms with all afternoon, and there we are, 3-2 down, and with no time left to hit back.

These late, late goals kill us. Am I the only person who believes that this failing should have been eradicated by now? Lack of concentration, whatever, they hit us all too frequently for the problem to be dismissed as 'just one of those things'.

Over the ninety minutes though, we weren't good enough, and just didn't do enough to get anything out of the game. Certainly during the first forty-five we didn't play anywhere near to our capabilities, but overall its hard to say that we actually didn't deserve at least a point, despite the below par showing.

Maybe the lads thought that all they had to do was turn up, although our improved second half showing indicated that Martin had got it through their heads in the dressing room at half-time that that certainly wasn't the case.

Five goals conceded in two games has to be of concern, and with a certain strike duo of Robbie Fowler and Fernando Torres in town next weekend, its clear where our priorities will lie on the training ground this coming week.

I'm not very good when it comes to awarding marks out of ten to individual players, firmly believing that it is, as always, a team game, and that you thrive and shine on the service, assistance, and support, of your team mates, but for what its worth here goes:-

So, a very disappointing result from a below par performance. Just as last weekend's opening victory though, didn't mean we were certainties for a top six finish, this surprising reversal doesn't mean we're a bottom six outfit either.

Yes, there's worrying traits that definitely require urgent attention, but there's also indications of much promise too.

It's early days. The secret is not to get overly carried away when we're winning, and too negative and despondent when results don’t go the way we'd like.

Its been said so often before, the premiership is a marathon, not a sprint.

Here's hoping the rest of your weekend is an improvement on what's gone before. Later.

Player Ratings

Friedel - 6

(unconvincing with his punching)

L.Young - 6

Laursen - 6

Davies - 4

Shorey - 4

NRC - 5

Barry - 5

Young - 6

Agbonlahor - 5

Carew - 6

Routledge (Sub) - 5

Date:Saturday August 23 2008
Time: 7:43PM


Wow first to comment for a change! Well I much prefered your well written apprasal of the game than actually watching it! If Cuellar was watching I should think he was "biting at the bit" with our shakey and disorganised defence and goal keeping. I think you were being kind to give Barry 5 points, and didn't Robbie Fowler move from Liverpool 3 seasons ago?
23/08/2008 20:16:00
23/08/2008 20:30:00
THAT WAS *****E. I AM DISGUSTED RIGHT NOW. and i mean those caps as well. as I saw it: Friedel had a shocker, NRC's primary aim in the game was to run around giving the ball away, Barry looked crap, Gabby was anonymous. To be honest, only A Young, Carew and Davies were about right. everybody else were not worth their wages.
23/08/2008 20:38:00
NRC shockerrrrrrrrrrr
23/08/2008 20:40:00
ouch - that defeat must hurt!
23/08/2008 21:18:00
A Glensider away day match report is like sign .... the changing of the seasons... this report signifies the start of another season on the Aston Villa rollercoaster. Cheers Kev.
23/08/2008 22:01:00
This has ruined my Saturday. Why oh bloody why can't we get this right sided issue sorted out. What a shocker - 5 goals against in two games. Looking back I dont think I gave Olaf the respect he deserved. Oh god, the Red Scum are up next - officially 'The World's Luckiest Team'. We are well and truly up **** creak without a paddle.
23/08/2008 22:07:00
Look at this.. I did say we were gonna gonna keep going on how god we were til we got beat.. I SAID FROM THE START OF THE YEAR.. GIVE ROUTLEDGE A CHANCE ON THE RIGHT!!! He cant be worse than Nigel.. If it doesnt work out, then get someone else in... Why do we have to lose before MON works it out? Playing Nigel Right wing week in-week-out, just wont cut it clearly.. just look.. we cant even beat Stoke!!
23/08/2008 22:08:00
even though we lost today i have to say that i am disappointed with us fans. i agree we should have won today, and our performance was crap we've already started better than some of the other teams rated at toppling the top for (im looking at you spurs). the fact is if we can sort things out at the back we will be a force to be reckoned with. we have conceded 5 but we have also scored 6. I know todays game highlighted our weaknesses, but we can only learn from our mistakes. Lets see where we are in a month or two , and this could well be a distant memory, fuzzy, crappy memory.
23/08/2008 22:31:00
and its all barry's fault ;)
23/08/2008 22:31:00
Page 1/4
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4

Login to post a comment

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Mike Field
Editor email
Steve Wade
no email
no email
Turkish Penguin
no email
no email
Chris Heath
no email
M Calucar
no email
JuanPablo Angel
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Will Villa get promoted?
Suggested By: J P Fear
Yes, automatically33%
Yes, through play offs31%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 14 10 1 3 31 19
2 Brighton 14 8 4 2 28 9
3 Huddersfield 14 9 1 4 28 4
4 Norwich 14 8 3 3 27 7
5 Sheff Wed 14 7 3 4 24 1
6 Bristol City 14 7 2 5 23 6
7 Birmingham 14 6 5 3 23 3
8 Reading 14 6 4 4 22 -3
9 Preston 14 6 2 6 20 1
10 Leeds Utd 14 6 2 6 20 -1
11 Brentford 14 5 4 5 19 5
12 Barnsley 14 6 1 7 19 3
13 Q.P.R. 14 5 4 5 19 -3
14 Fulham 14 4 6 4 18 -2
15 Burton 14 4 5 5 17 0
16 Aston Villa 14 3 8 3 17 0
17 Ipswich 14 4 5 5 17 -2
18 Wolves 14 4 4 6 16 -1
19 Forest 14 4 3 7 15 -3
20 Cardiff 14 4 3 7 15 -9
21 Derby County 14 3 5 6 14 -4
22 Blackburn 14 3 3 8 12 -8
23 Wigan 14 2 5 7 11 -3
24 Rotherham 14 1 3 10 6 -19
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Red Bull family retains Kvyat
Latest Vital Boxing News
Eggington Stops Gavin in Eight Rounds
Vital Football Comment

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Oct 30 2016 12:00PM : Birmingham City (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 5 2016 3:00PM : Blackburn Rovers (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 18 2016 7:45PM : Brighton & Hove Albion (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 26 2016 3:00PM : Cardiff City (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 3 2016 5:30PM : Leeds United (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Wigan Athletic (H)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

1.The Fear528
9.Stephen Jay Hawkings140
Write for Vital Football