2 Points Lost But No Villa Park Disaster
Attendance: 35 646
Yesterdays results from those around us:
Everton 2-0 Man City
Stoke 1-1 Liverpool
Tottenham 0-0 Hull
Today was frustrating as hell, we all (most?) know that we need a striker - who doesn't? - and that might well prove to be the last bit of the jigsaw and arguably the hardest one to get.
Walking out - and the confrontation between Martin O'Neill and a fan or two - made it look like the end of the world. It wasn't. We huffed and puffed, all was pretty solid and God bless our defence, it is now solid and has to be as we don't put away enough chances but on balance we were the only team really likely to get something out of the game.
2 points lost? Yes, it was at home v a relegation threatened side (hope not, they are a 'real' club like us I always think) with major injury worries but as we have no doubt seen countless times before, these things happen and football is a funny old game at the best of times, you never can look 'on paper' and really predict a result can you?
That stats on our front page show we have 56% of possession, that sounds about right, we also had 16 corners and 17 odd goal attempts on and off target (although to be fair, their keeper much like ours, didn't have that many saves to really make?)
On another day - here we go for clichť number 876 - it could have been 4 or 5 to us IF we had put the chances away then again, West Ham broke first and fastest with the best chance of the first half, that Nouble guy I had never heard of before looked very handy and liked to have the ball at his feet, luckily for us, he didn't have his shooting boots on after running nearly all the way from the half way line only to blow his chance in front of Friedel. If he'd got that on target it would have been very difficult to save for sure, so despite a draw not being great for us, it could have been worse.
No matter what we tried, things didn't seem to work, even the ever reliable James Milner misplaced the odd pass today as did Stewart Downing who did look to tire - with good reason, he is only just back and runs all over the place - after 70 odd minutes.
The main criticism? The movement of our strikers is frankly pathetic at times and the first touch leaves a massive amount to be desired. I SO want Heskey to succeed, I know some who would gladly drive him anywhere out of Villa Park but if he has the claret and blue shirt on, I just want him to do well and I'm told he is such a nice guy, which to be fair throughout his career might be his problem, you don't really want nice guys on the pitch not ones of his size and strength, you want aggression and attitude, bit like Dion Dublin used to have.
And Gabby? Well, he had a few chances and sadly blew them, the late chance when he turned the defender beautifully only to control the ball badly and give Green plenty of chance to get the ball was just typical of his day. I will repeat and many moan when some of us say this, he is only 23, he isn't the finished article and it isn't his fault that MON never brings him off, sometimes for the last 20 minutes of a game after he's run all over the place surely Delfouneso or ...., no Delfouneso would have to be it really (!) could get a chance to give the opposition defenders something new to think about?
Then again, MON is the boss, as he said to a fan today behind me, 'that is why I am standing here and you are sitting there you twat' .... ok...! End of the day, could have been put better, but he is the boss, he is the one who has to carry our dreams and make them reality, if he doesn't I'm sure some other twat will be only too happy to take over the mantle and try.
Lets beat Blackburn again on Wednesday, smash Brighton & Hove Albion out of the FA Cup, the season is still very much alive.
There and some say I can't be positive! lol
Not sure what was up with the crowd today, the Holte End was virtually silent, shame, we are the 12th man but there is only so much banging of the boards I can do, I might break my nails! :o)
I'm actually looking forward to watching the highlights tonight, see the talking points, their straw haired midfielder should have been sent off for one. Milner shot just wide - did it glance the post? Not sure. The miss by Nouble and so much more that no doubt I've forgotten. Bit of a tame game in some ways, quiet crowd and no goals, but on the other hand, it wasn't for the want of trying on our part was it?
Brad Friedel 7
Stephen Warnock 7
Carlos Cuellar 6
James Collins 7
Richard Dunne 7.5
Ashley Young 7.5
James Milner 6.5
Stiliyan Petrov 6.5
Stewart Downing 6.5
Emile Heskey 6
Gabby Agbonlahor 6
John Carew (on for Heskey 57)
My ratings defined