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Aston Villa 0 - Wigan 2

Villa Park

15/08/2009

Attendance: 35 000 ish

Messiah Out Thought By Ex Swansea Boss

First off, well done to Wigan, they deserved the points and played us off the pitch at times, nice game for their new manager who out thought the Messiah despite being new in ie not in his 4th season and not after 7 transfer windows

Ok, hands up, who feels sick? Who feels gutted? Who feels gob smacked? Who feels shell shocked?

Over reaction?

No, not at all. This was the first game of a new season, it looked like the end of a long and painful campaign.

I'd struggle to think of a worse match, can't think of one worse for years and years, this goes back to the decimated squads we had under Doug Ellis, off the pitch the improvements are there for all to see, on the pitch and most especially today, we are a shambles.

Again, over reaction?

We aren't talking about one game, we are talking about games since last February. The performances barring a few have been relegation form. Still, we are too big to go down, that sort of thing doesn't happen to big clubs, just ask Newcastle and Middlesbrough. Over reaction? Well yes, on that point, maybe slightly, this was the first game and it was against the current champions.

Oh bugger, hang on, no it wasn't against Manchester United, it was against Wigan. They played us off the park at times today, they passed the ball better, they SHOT when they had a chance and they took their goals brilliantly.

Has Martin O'Neill lost the dressing room? Rumours (and they are only rumours, albeit from all sorts of different sources) say that players aren't happy, there are fall outs, even today we have the John Carew situation. An injury or an 'injury' ? The John Carew Situation If today was the performance of a happy team, then ladies and gents, we might be in big trouble this season.

I went down with lowish expectations, with the current squad I've said I think we'll be around 7-8th, I've given up pretending... Also my optimism level in one thread in our forum that asked was 5 - flat. I expect nothing, I'm not confident we will take the cups seriously so am not sure we are competing there and sorry to say squad wise, we aren't competing in the top five, on the performance today we aren't competing in the top 6 or 7.

In all my years of going, I've never known a team booed off at full time, let alone half time in the first game of the season. Take note MON, take note Villa. The attendance at 35 000 was poor, some don't have the faith now, the past 3 years have been average performance wise, results ok, but performance wise? There was never a honeymoon period for this massively rated and hyped (?) manager either, others have come in including John Gregory (slated by many) and David O'Leary (the most hated Villa manager in modern times?) and shot us right up the league in the first season, but MON took two seasons to get 6th and then was lauded as the messiah.

Well on today's performance, he was clueless and the players knew it.

The face of Nigel Reo-Coker when Marc Albrighton was brought on ahead of him was a picture... he was furious. If I was Randy, I'd be furious as well, 8.5m for a player and a kid is brought on ahead of him? Not only that but we put one of the stars of England v Holland - James Milner - to right-back.

The defence is ultra shaky, the midfield were simply out played and our strikers don't shoot. Ashley Young had a lovely free kick that was fantastically saved, our keeper - and I will check when I watch the highlights (highlights...? LOL) - was simply too slow. But then that is what you get when you buy star players right at the end of their careers.

Oh, I could ramble on. I'm gutted. I went with low expectations thinking I'd not have so far to fall if we don't do well this season, but I didn't expect to see that ... it was dire... If anyone has any positives, let me know.

You might well point at Fabian Delph, he was lively and into it, but then he was brought off...!!!!!!!!!

Worrying times, it might be the first game and I'm sure some will flame me for my passionate thoughts, fine, do so. I spent my money, I've spent it for years, and frankly I'm sick to death of Villa being also rans.

I'd like an apology from the manager.... in actual fact, I'd like something else from him but that won't happen... yet. I'd like to think the players could donate this weeks wages to Acorns as they sure as hell didn't earn their money today, they let us down almost to a man... and a statement of intent from the club would also be a great idea as there are many (and I have to say, me NOT included as I do have faith in one area) saying this is just like the Ellis days and that the money is clearly not there.

Never easy as a Villan is it? We had our expectations raised through the roof and now the roof looks like it could well be falling in again.

Oh well, Rapid Vienna, Liverpool and Fulham upcoming, we'll bounce back surely!?

Star Player

Rodallega, great goal. None of ours could be called a star, decent debut from Delph though and Hercules was on form before the game.

Player Ratings


Brad Friedel 5

looked totally responsible for goal two, I'll probably watch the highlights and stand corrected. First goal was a pearl though!

Nicky Shorey 5.5

like Shorey, but today he was a little boy lost

Carlos Cuellar 5

HOW MUCH?

Curtis Davis 5.5

Gulp

Habib Beye 5.5

ouch... came off and I can see why, got to have time to settle though obviously

Ashley Young 5

spent too much time on his arse, great great great free kick which nearly went in but some awful distribution

James Milner 6

got stuck in but was lost at right-back when the change was made, wasn't able to get forward much before that let alone after

Fabian Delph 7

good debut, looked like he cared, going to have to watch his late tackles though, had a yellow and won't be allowed in this league to follow through

Stiliyan Petrov 5.5

not great today, not great at all

Emile Heskey 4

the one shot he had was half way between the corner post and goal post, his header went sideways not towards the goal. Never a fans favourite for Villans and he's done nothing to improve that.

Gabby Agbonlahor 4

looked chunky, unfit and not that interested, must do better Gabby, you have the world at your feet, take the chance and don't become a Vassell or Joachim, I implore you

Steve Sidwell 5.5 (60 on for Delph)

didn't notice a great deal but match was pretty much over even with 30 mins to go

Marc Albrighton 5 (67 on for Beye)

not the right match to bloody a youngster in

Nathan Delfouneso (76 on for Agbonlahor)

not on long enough to make an impact

Manager Rating

Not sure if MON thinks he is Brian Clough or that he can do a Cloughie. He isn't and he can't. Times have changed, not sure MON has changed or that he can change and as for his coaches...

Opponent Rating

Looks a bright and capable manager, should keep Wigan nicely safe and pushing upwards this season.

The All Important Pies

Ok, well I warned Alison Plant that the pressure was on before the game, I've always liked our pies and the pie makers have been changed to Pukka Pies... Mine was fine... phew! Job done there at least!




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday August 15 2009

Time: 7:13PM

Your Comments

shaky at the back, lightweight in midfield and non existant up front - bout sums up our performance today, be afraid villa fans be very afraid
goodb_2
well, the weather was nice and the pies were good, the rest of it though.... :o(
The Fear
Nice rant Fear, but to give delph that rating is daft. He went to ground too often, never broke up play, got booked, never made a pass let alone a telling pass and was generally swamped by more experienced opposition. He should never have played, but did well considering, and is probably the only one able to hold his head high after a dismal and hugely humiliating performance. I felt pity for the kid, but such a rating is a fallacy. They were all poor, they looked like a newly promoted side completely over awed by a well organised experienced PL side who like us have lost several of their best players. The difference is their manager is an up and coming starlet, ours looked a tired and defeated man
avfc48
Its not even that avfc, its just so damb predictable. we have had the backbone ripped from our squad in barry and laursen. we have all been brainwashed to underestimate this. and the few quality players we do have are just marked out of the game because the rest are not up to it. take ashley yound today 3 players on him at times and the rest of our team still didnt make a whisper. people can say its the first game all they want but after being a villa fan for so long its just the same old ***** time after time.
goodb_2
I asked earlier if this was MON's last chance in the transfer window, the vast majority said NO, I feel vidicated after that performance, and hell yes this should be is last chance
eltoro
I expected something along these lines but its so disheartening to see it happen. Feels like the Ellis days all over again. A manager that can't run the team. We can't even field a full team & bench for a match without including a number of youth players FFS... All we need to do is take a hit, spend 70 to 100 million get a full squad of quality players... Then every year you buy 1/2 players and bring in youth that rely excels... Thats how you run a team, not this half-assed joke that this club is...
Astriel
yeah, just trying to find something positive avfc48 to be totally honest, as a debut for a kid, he did well so thought a nice 7 would be good! he has a lot to learn but then at 19 we all know that including him! MON does look a spent force, obviously I sit right by him and he had no zip at all about him, neither did his coaches, apart from the one who can really only shout and swear, must really inspire the players tweedle dee and tweedle dum as coaches.
the fear
You defo should have played, or was that you with Cuellar on the back
ant1ant1
But we won the Peace Cup
Villan Of The North
A couple of weeks ago, if pushed, I would have predicted that we would finish in the top half, just about. This was before the euphoria of the Peace Cup. And I imagine I would have been slated for my negativity. I must confess to being surprised that we lost to Wigan today. Predictions that they would be fighting a relegation battle this season seemed perfectly reasonable to me, even before they lost Cattermole to Sunderland. And yet we've managed to lose to them, and in pretty comprehensive fashion. The Carew issue is extremely worrying. The low attendance today is also worrying. Everything I hear is very worrying! I already knew that O'Neill was pretty clueless, but even I hadn't expected such a huge mess. The worst thing is that O'Neill will not be sacked by Lerner. We're stuck with him until he resigns, but I'm not convinced that is a realistic possibility.
Albarnista
that's right ant1, blame me!!!!! Hey mate, I'm not THAT BAD!!!!! :o))
The Fear
That was easily EASILY the worst Villa performance I've ever seen. Absolutely abysmal. My word, you've been generous with your ratings! Shorey 5.5??? Try 2 at best. Davies 5.5??!!! 3, at best...he was attrocious. And you give Sidwell the same rating? He came on, put tackles in, passed the ball around and generally looked like he gave a ***** and you give him the same as Davies and Shorey???? I digress, sorry...I'm in a stinking mood, especially after having to stand up all the way back to London thanks to West Ham hooligans taking over 4 carriages....we are in big big trouble.
olofthegreat
Things may accelerate very quickly, a poor performance against Rapid and then off to Liverpool where we lost 5-0 last season, we could find ourselves out of Europe and bottom of Prem, with an awful goal difference, in just a matter of days from now, still no new signings, resignations will not seem so far fetched then
ant1ant1
Can I just say that Gabby looking 'chunky' might actually mean that he has been on the weights? How is he supposed to do something on the pitch when the service to him was non existant? Too harsh.
PiperUK
Derek Pringle.
gibbo16
Even wigans physio was faster than ours!
RiF
The only thing that cought Wigan out today was the water hose that put a sub off at half time!
RiF
lol RiF... very droll!
The Fear
Good job they we've got platic season tickets - not that easy to tear up
RiF
The comment about getting it right off the pitch is correct. I travel on a official bus ans today we got a police escort from the ground (following the away fans coaches but hay ho). Big improvement to sitting in the traffic.
I'm not sure about the pies but I reckon we could do something with the cheeseburgers. I would expect better burgers from Randy with his US connections.
RiF
Moscow was a career defining moment for MON. Stoke City@ Villa Park was a career defining moment for all the Villa players involved. Martinez, Bilic, N.Clough, even D.Moyes (despite the heavy loss to Arsenal) are the future of football management. As you said Mr Fear, MON isn't B.Clough. This isn't the late seventies, early eighties. If Ash wants to leave, let him leave. Lescott seems to have unsettled the toffees. Don't let Ash unsettle the Villa. If Villa want to salvage the season at this early stage, then it means realising English footie is more than 4-4-2, blood 'n' guts and motivation. It's about intelligence, guile, and genuine talent (not lower league desparado's). Boniak (?) and Juvenus knocked the Villa (defending champions) out of the old European Cup. If one of British footballs great clubs want to get back there, it means doing more than tarting up Villa Park and good PR.
VillaWillRiseAgain
pathetic transfer window, pathetic first game. If MON doesn't get off his arse in the transfer wondow over the next 2 weeks we are in BIG trouble. I'm still angry at how terrible he was in the January window, there really are no excuses and no more time. If he doesn't improve the team this window and get us back to winning ways then it has to be the end of the road. Fortunately these are not the Ellis days. We are a big club and if MON goes we will attract a good manager. I still have a lot of faith in the board
UTV
Pitch looked Great
Lost_In_Ca
we need to build from the back and two centre backs are a must. i've never seen two slower flat footed centre backs in the same team than cuellar and davies. cant understand why he plays a kid from leage one in the opening game of the season when sidwell and nrc have done so well in pre season. nothing against delph but we needed some experience. heskey is everyones fall guy but we dont help him tactically by just firing ramdom balls at his head. yesterday was like waking up in April again but slightly worse.
themightyatom
thing is, after what, 7 transfer windows and 3 seasons, we shouldn't be 'building' we should be all but built! But he brings in rubbish and sells/loses our good players... Mellberg for instance. Even some of his own signings are then benched or sold on!
The Fear
we sold Zat Knight and bought beye!!!!!! Argghh i was one of those that so wanted badly wanted MON to become manager, but for god sakes Saturday was shocking and sunday was worse cause all my friends made me remeber the day b4. WTF was all i cud think
Pablo1978
think the vast majority did want him Pablo, had to be way over 90% I'd say... when he arrived at Villa Park it amazed him, you could see how taken aback he was at the excitement the fans were feeling, I'd never seen fans turn up as a reception party like that before... so certainly one of the most popular appointments ever, if not THE most popular... also one of the biggest disappointments imho.
The Fear
 

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