Writer: J P Fear
Date:Saturday October 22 2005
Oh dear. Outclassed by a newly promoted team. They beat us to virtually everything today, including the lions share (pun intended) of possession. Villa, at home, only getting 49% possession. Something at Villa is very wrong.
LEADERSHIP. We know about the issue at the top. But what about leadership and direction elsewhere? Does DOL offer leadership? Doesn't look like it does it? Yes, we have an awful injury run, but how many of the Wigan players would you swap for our starting line up? Not many on paper, virtually all of them on the balance of play. How about leadership ON the field? Well, it was very noticeable today that the Wigan players play as a team, they gee each other up and they all take their turn in leading. The Villa players have no leadership at all. Not one vocal player. Now that is a worry.
It isn't as if any of our players performed really badly today, it was just the fact that none of the players performed really well either. The manager can't legislate for the hatful of chances our strikers missed. Both Moore and Phillips were guilty of missing some extremely good chances. In fact Moore and Phillips - two players who I rate very highly - seemed to have a competition going to see who could make the most jaw dropping miss. I think Moore just about edged it with a close range shot that he blazed over the cross bar. I'm sure he is still blushing from that one, it isn't as if these players want to miss like that and sometimes days just go like that.
What does worry me though, is the total lack of buzz. DOL tells us at great length that he plays high tempo football, and yet it was Wigan who ripped apart our team today and broke behind the defence on several occasions. We could have scored a fair few in the first half, but in fairness, they also had a couple of excellent chances. We only seem able to play in front of defences, we rarely get behind them, and yet Wigan cut through ours with great ease at times.
Their first goal was scored courtesy of Hughes. No real fault lies with the player because if he hadn't knocked it in, Jason Roberts was right behind to slot it home. This all from a counter move with Camara using his pace. Camara, if he had looked up and passed could have sealed the game in the second half, all he had to do was pass it to an unmarked Kavanagh and it would have all been over. Luckily for Camara and unfortunately for Villa, a second goal did come and it was a great goal! Any real football fan amongst the Villans just had to applaud, they broke Villa again with good pace, speed and zip. Everything that we don't display, they had in abundance. From back to front in seconds, ball to Mahon and a pearl of a shot from 25 yards. Goodnight Villa.
This was a better performance than Villa displayed against Boro but we were still outmanoeuvred at home. Yes, we missed a few guilt edged chances, but then again, that is part of the game. If you don't put the ball in the net, you don't win. Wigan did exactly what they needed to do and march on up the league. Villa meanwhile, look every bit a team without spirit, direction and shape.
At the start of the season DOL said to the Wigan boss Paul Jewell 'I hope you stay up'. Hmmm, I'm not sure it is Wigan that needs to be worrying.
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Date:Saturday October 22 2005
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