Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday April 11 2010
Attendance: 85 472
Well, sometimes you just can't catch a break can you? The trip down to the game yesterday had four of us in the car all saying we were determined to just enjoy the day and the game and that win or lose, we'll just have fun. So that lasted about 10 minutes! The closer we got to Wembley the more excited we became and the more we just wanted to see Villa 'have it large' to get some revenge for our last trip to the national stadium and also for that 7-1 thumping recently.
And Villa so nearly did have it large. Just got back and watched some of the game that I'd sky+'d as I did think the drink (that to be fair was forced on me all day and most of the night) might eradicate any recall of the match... I was right! lol One of the commentators at half time said Villa had bossed the first half and that was spot on, we did boss it. I could moan about the final ball and the lack of chances but then, I'd just be repeating what we've all noticed for a very long time, we don't have the strikers to convert the chances and our midfielders don't often just shoot. Looking at the stats, we had three shots on target, I can't remember one of them really testing Petr Cech though so despite 'bossing' the game, that is of little use unless you can convert.
Now you could say Villa are miles away having looked like we've stalled in the league, lost the Carling Cup Final and also now having exited from the FA Cup OR you could say that maybe with an addition or two in the summer - of strikers obviously - maybe the whole thing will slot into place. Or you can look and say there is a glass ceiling that we cannot break through with MON or even worse, there is a glass ceiling that we can't break full stop.
I would find it very difficult to criticise any player for yesterday, ok the strikers didn't shoot and their movement compared with the Chelsea forwards isn't the best BUT you also have to say that when your luck runs out, you have no chance against these top teams. Our luck? Well, I'd argue in both cup runs we had our share of it, Cardiff City had a perfectly good goal disallowed for one, Neil Warnocks complaints about the Palace loss also had its merits. MON said at the time that is football and over a season it evens itself out. Well yesterday (and the Carling Cup final) we certainly had that evening out! For one it was a penalty. Everyone knew on the day, I took four or five texts whilst at the game from those viewing at home all saying the repays also showed clearly it was a penalty. Gabby was brought down and that is that. Howard Webb however waved play on.
Now I'm not saying that cost us the game. What I and most of us are saying is it might have. If we'd gone in 1 up at half time no one could have had any complaints. Now Chelsea would have had to react and who knows, they might still have got three goals and beaten us, fine.. at least then there would be no 'what if the ref wasn't so useless' and no sense of injustice.
John Terry? Sorry, the bloke is a thug. I hope someone before the season is out does exactly the same tackle on him that he did on James Milner. If that had been slightly higher, that could have been game over - season over - or career over for Milner and all Terry got was a yellow card. So yes, I hope someone does the same to Terry and that the loathsome toad isn't as lucky in getting away without serious injury. It would make me massively happy to never have to see him in the three lions shirt again.
Chelsea's first goal wasn't a shock, that is what a team like that is capable of, they soaked up the pressure - and to be fair, when I say pressure, I mean possession and nice flowing football but NO real threat in the box and then they struck. Drogba, as top strikers do, was in the right place at the right time. Some said it was lucky. That isn't luck, that is understanding the game and being there ready to slot home the goal. The second goal was a good individual effort after our centre back at right back Carlos Cuellar, who had had a good game to be fair, misjudged the ball. The third really didn't matter and flattered Chelsea. When we went in 0-0 at half time, I thought 1-0 either way and with the ref on their side, that maybe it would be more likely that Chelsea would win. 1-0 is what one of the lads I was with thought the game ended (I'll not name him, he can pop on and say hi if he wishes!) as he popped to the toilet and missed their final two goals!) and that is the score I think would have been fair.... EITHER WAY.
I don't think the manager or players can take much flak for yesterday but the ones that really made the day I think were the Villa fans, we sang from start to finish and even some of the Chelsea fans who came out were saying we had been immense. They on the other hand.... well, shhhhhh!
Unlucky Villa? Nearly men? Going as far as we can? That is what some think. Others that we are building, improving and one day we'll smash through the glass ceiling. As for me, I have no idea....!
Oh and again, National stadium? What a joke. The place is a tip! The pitch is awful, the service frankly amateur, the surrounding area a total doss hole and the infrastructure getting in and out as bad as it ever was. So all in all, well done to the FA.
I don't think I can do any player ratings, I don't think any of the lads let us down apart from the fact no one wanted to have a shot. End of the day, if you don't buy a ticket, you can't win the raffle, so maybe this Wednesday in the crucial six pointer against Everton, they will remember that and just SHOOOOOOOOT.
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Date:Sunday April 11 2010
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