Aston Villa - Another Draw For Villa (v Everton)
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Aston Villa 2 - Everton 2

Villa Park


Attendance: 38 729

Another Draw For Villa (v Everton)

Ok, I'm getting old and grouchy I think.

I sat there last night and just thought, after so much hype and messiah level hopes (from pretty much all of us, lets be honest) that we'd be looking SO much better than we do. In fact I got a few texts from others at the game ranging from 'pathetic' 'boooorrrrriiiinnnnggg' to the totally peed off. The only thing that shocked me last night was that Everton when ahead started time wasting instead of going for the juggler, I had the feeling if they hadn't bottled it - and that is what they did - that we were there for the taking.

I was also surprised to see Martin O'Neill celebrate the draw leaping up and down, fists in the air, jumping up and down on the pitch as if we'd just won something. We hadn't just won something and frankly, last night, after plenty of money spent and four seasons to get some shape in the team, was awful.

Yes, I know, best manager we've had in a million years etc and also think the players have to take some responsibility, but the buck stops with the boss and his coaches who haven't brought us on and tire out the players with their tactics of hitting the ball up and running like hell to catch it.

Now fair enough, the game started off quite brightly really, the first half was an end to end game with incidents and believe it or not, even some shots from Villa. However..........

Some seem satisfied with what is on display but I'd say there are more now (?) getting tired. Not all angry miserable people, not all people who want to see a manager merry go round etc. Just good, long standing fans, swept away on a wave of optimism when MON came in only to be slightly surprised to realise he was a long ball manager stuck in the 90's with no rotation and very few substitutions.

Sorry, why not shake things up? The one thing needed for modern day players is modern day coaches, not the two we have under MON. Wenger, Fergie and the like shake up their backroom staff every now and then. MON won't. How do I know he won't? Well, he won't even change a player during a game, so he won't get rid of his mates.

I can't go into the game in great detail because frankly I've lost interest. I had a laugh last night as I always do but the football has become secondary. Yes, there were goals, we had the spirit to come from behind twice but the two goals we let in were unbelievably sloppy and there are players within our team who were nothing more than passengers.

Put simply, I'm fed up. I'm not sure if this is a glass ceiling, an over hyped manager (best season in years I'm told, but the spectacle is awful much of the time and is it that great a season, surely you can only describe a season as great when you are winning things?) 4th has now gone, no chance on that, 3rd season in a row we've faded at the most crucial time. When you start badly people are quick to tell you this is a marathon not a sprint. Ok, I agree with that, shame we weren't prepared for the whole race really.

The answer? No idea, not my job to sort that one out. I do think the talk of fractures in the dressing room are pretty obvious on the pitch and on the bench though and with the hecklers starting to get louder and the talk at half time surrounding anger and frustration, something will need to be done.

Frankly, this 'match report' is as shoddy as much of what was on display last night, maybe it is catching. Just fed up at the moment, so many appear to me to be just feeling totally flat and there is certainly little to no surprise when the teams are announced or the way we play. As said, if I was an Everton fan, I'd be really annoyed by my team last night because if they hadn't started running down the clock, they could have come away with three points and really pushed us for 6th - 7th.

Sorry this is a bit grumpy, I think I've done well this season to try to be balanced and positive, just right now I don't feel either of those. Some say there is no plan b? I am not sure there is much of a plan a.

Some season ticket holders are going to take a bit of convincing to re-new from the comments I was hearing around me last night. Not only that but how - with this sort of football - do you look to attract new ones?

Star Player

Ashley Young for getting stuck in

Player Ratings

Brad Friedel 5

not seen the replays but their goals looked so easy for Everton

Stephen Warnock 6

ok, no more

Richard Dunne 6

ok, no more

James Collins 6

ok, no more

Carlos Cuellar

refuse to rate a non right back when played as a right back! 9.5m?

Ashley Young 8

gets slated by some but he never stops running and for a little lad, he didn't half get the tackles in

James Milner 6

plenty of effort, not much in the way of end balls

Stewart Downing 5

not good that is it?

Stiliyan Petrov 6

ok but again, no real end ball

John Carew 5

give up John, go do your ballet or whatever, pathetic really for a big man. Yakubu (and later Saha) looked twice the man Carew is. He should be a world beater but only turns it on against the likes of Reading. Drives me mad.

Gabby Agbonlahor 7

SO needed that goal. Keep expecting him to go 'beep beep' when running, like Road Runner used to. Blimey he is fast!

Nathan Delfouneso 6

Looked lively and willing to run

The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 15 2010

Time: 8:52AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
This game the straw that broke the camels back Fear? Think we all need to get behind the team and manager for the last few games now, hopefully finish top 6 and in europe then see what the summer brings. Another case of so near and yet so far
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15/04/2010 09:03:00

Just looked at your ratings "no end ball for milner" bit harsh that, set up the first goal, the chance for cuellar that howard made a great save from and pretty much most of our chances. Apart from that fully agree.Im in a deflated mood so just picking holes
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15/04/2010 09:06:00

I enjoyed the first half, we played some football for a change, but the second half we were back to our usual selves, despite scoring 2 (well 1 goal and an OG). Thought Ashley, Gabby and Warnock played well, it was actually one of Cuellar's better performances too IMO. Delfouneso was really up for it despite being out of position on the right, a better option from the bench than Heskey. As good as the first half was in my view the second half was dire. And O'Neill waved at every stand before heading off down the tunnel, make of that what you will.
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15/04/2010 09:25:00

I thought up until they scored we played some really good football.Howard made 2 brilliant saves and one good one but Cuellar and Carew should have scored .Why when Howard parried Downings shot early on was there no one there for the rebound.Thats where we need a natural goalscorer. Its a bit worrying that we seemed to lose belief after they scored but I suppose its a combination of low confideance and Everton being able to stifle the game.
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15/04/2010 09:39:00

I was pleased with the way we battled back after going behind, especially after the cup semi final dissapointment at the weekend. They showed great character, one thing to say about this team, they dont lie down and take defeat
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15/04/2010 09:42:00

was a bit dissapointed with last nights result, but didn't find it totally unexpected. Everton usually do well at Villa Park and after Saturdays deflating result, along with tired legs, i can't say i'm surprised the way the game panned out. Just a quick one; If Liverpool win Europa league and finish above us, does that create another place???
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15/04/2010 09:48:00

Always disappointing to not win at home, but when put in perspective, probably a good result. Everton are one of the leagues best teams and in blistering form. They were fresh with 10 days rest. Conversley, Villa have played lot of games recently and have had it tough psychologically with some bad decisions. We started brightly and were unfortunate to lose the first goal. I was impressed with our determination to get back into it, Milner was awesome. Villa have certainly improve their mental strength from last season. All things being equal wed have lost this game last year, and that is a clear positive. On the downside, we shouldnt be conceding 2 goals from set pieces, though in fairness, Bainses delivery is excellent.
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15/04/2010 10:47:00

Who's ratings are these? Not offical VV ones I hope! Carew's is the only one I'd agree with!
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15/04/2010 10:50:00

Also, think Cuellar gets too much criticism. Hes not a proper fullback and hes never going to whip in world class deliveries in the final third of the pitch thats just not his game. Having said that, I think wed have less points if Luke Young had played all season. Not because I dont like LY, I think hes great! However, I think with playing 2 wingers and 2 progressive midfielders (esp considering Petrovs mobility) in a 442, wed be too weak defensively. CC has defended immensely at times this season (including last night) and adds extra defensive stability from set pieces (not so good last night). With a proper defensive midfielder (NRC injured) or 5 in midfield, Id play LY. As we play now Id play CC. Just my opinion
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15/04/2010 10:57:00

yup, just a bit down in the mouth to be honest pauled177, kept as positive a vibe as I could this season but .... TOTALLY agree during games though, nothing but 100% support, always do and so do most of us I think?

Parts of the game were good but things just aren't right and I was shocked to see Everton do so much time wasting when they looked good when they went at us. Hey ho!
The Fear
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15/04/2010 11:23:00

oh, was great to see Gabby get a goal. Had said to the chap behind me how much he needed one as it must have been around 10 (?) games since his last league goal? He was so quick last night and it was good to see him get his name back on the score sheet.
The Fear
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15/04/2010 11:24:00

meyouldy (and others) what are your player ratings? Always so subjective, love seeing other fans ratings and how far out/how close I am! lol
The Fear
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15/04/2010 11:24:00

Felt disappointed after the performance. That is one home win in the league this year. The other way of looking at stats is to say only one league defeat this year. But that pretty much sums up everything with the Villa at the moment. For every positive stat, there is a negative one. If we win 4 of the last 5 matches and get a draw at Man City that should be enough to get 4th, when you look at the games the other teams have to play. Alternatively, City may beat Manure this week and we could draw at Pompey and it is all over. Getting to Wembley twice was brilliant, but the only reason we got there is because the most difficult cup draw in both competitions was Sunderland away. We have lost less games than everybody except Man City and Chelsea, but we have drawn more home games than we have won. We beat the B-lose as per usual, but couldn't beat Wolves in 2 attempts. We lost at home to Wigan, but won away to Redscouse and Manure. I think it is the frustration of being 'nearly there' that is getting to people. The press are creaming their pants over Spuds beating the Arse, but Spuds couldn't score at home against Stoke, Wolves and Hull. The top 3 are consistent, the next 5 are only consistent with their inconsistency. Until we learn to rotate playing staff, use people in areas where they are most effective, and stop persisting with this dammed 442 that is running Petrov and Milner into the ground then we will suffer more of the same. Two wide men and two in the middle is leaving Petrov and Milner to much to do, it provides no cover for the back four and actually stifles creativity going forward. At least last night he changed the formation and went three at the back and put an extra body in midfield to change the pattern of the play when Bluescouse scored their second goal. We have the personnel, although improvements (especially a goalscorer) would be welcome, M'ON needs to learn how to utilise all the tools at his disposal.
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15/04/2010 11:42:00

Everton have played a game more than us this season and didn't spend any where near the money we did and don't look tired at all . Ashley Young looked good except for his "running into the opposition dives" i dont know what he expects to get out of them cos i think refs are getting wise to him now and ourhabit of passing the ball straight to the keeper .. Sometimes the opposition keeper looks more like a sweeper , picking off our crosses all day . Thought we had some brilliant passing moves up until they scored then the rest of the first half we were ok but looked pretty uninspired in the 2nd .The Delfouneso for Warnock sub was different and could have worked .. something a bit different anyway . Excuse me if i am going off the point sometimes but am highly medicated .
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15/04/2010 11:55:00

think you are right voice, the frustration of being 'nearly there' again is starting to take its toll. Also agree doug4ever, Everton looked sharp last night, still did baffle me their time wasting though?
The Fear
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15/04/2010 12:13:00

Everton will have been kicking themselves all the way back home. While I dont think that they played to their capabilities, for long spells of the game they looked by far the superior team, and the three points were there for the taking. Having said that, we had chances to have won, but once again the failure to put away the chances came back to haunt us. We desperately need a brace of top quality strikers who can work in tandem, a la Peter Withe and Gary Shaw. Carew won some aerial duals last night, but nobody reads the knock downs or flick on's. Delfouneso was an improvement on the usual Heskey introduction, but I'm sorry, I still need to be convinced that this kid isn't just another Luke Moore. Disappointing, but it was a point that for long stages of the game I never thought we'd get, so I suppose I should be in a cheerier frame of mind.
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15/04/2010 13:14:00


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