Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday March 15 2007
Attendance: 39 968
Ok, so I had a little whinge last night, much like Arsene Whinger, saying 'Arsenal, on their day, are a site to behold, they stroke the ball about like nobody's business, they have skill and athleticism to burn, so why why why do they have to resort to time wasting, diving and faking injuries? This is not what any of us want to see in the British leagues and the quicker it is stamped out the better.'
With all that said, I was proud of the lads, I thought they played pretty much to the best of their abilities. That does raise the question, is their best good enough? Yes, for mid table, no for Europe and onwards is my opinion.
To say our team is mixed is an understatement and this is purely because Martin O'Neill hasn't had time to make the team his own. We seem to be neither fish nor fowl in many ways, ie we aren't a thoroughbred passing side but also aren't a hit and hoof or physical team. To get the shape and mould the team will take time.
Martin O'Neill lamented the lack of luck and he was right, there should have been a red card shown to the last Arsenal defender when Carew was in a clear scoring position, we had a good call for a handball (two actually) although to be fair, I've not seen the replays so can't say anything other than what I saw on the night. However, luck or not, Arsenal players are by and large a different class. There is just that 25% difference and that is what we have to aim for. We have some very good players, we have very few great players and I'm sure the board of Aston Villa, let alone our manager realise that.
Again - time. Starting in the summer I'm sure with some more major signings due and possibly a good few exits of the slightly more average amongst the squad.
A lot of the Arsenal fans were expecting a tough game and possibly a draw, I think a draw was the least we deserved BUT that doesn't now count for anything now, we didn't get the all important goal and that is the difference. Arsenal got a slice of luck with a deflected goal against the run of play and when you play a quality team like that, you can't afford a bad break and in fact we had two, that 'lucky' goal (they all count) and the woeful ref.
A mate of a mate was in the Holte End last night, he is a total neutral and he said 'Villa were robbed'. Robbed or not, that is another game without points, shame because the endeavour deserved at least one. Thems the breaks I guess, we deserved something out of that game tonight but at least the players and fans can walk away with pride. The Arsenal on the other hand walk away with 3 points but as usual lacked sportsmanship and dignity.
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Date:Thursday March 15 2007
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