Another Draw For Villa (v Everton)
Attendance: 38 729
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?
Brad Friedel 5
Stephen Warnock 6
Richard Dunne 6
James Collins 6
Ashley Young 8
James Milner 6
Stewart Downing 5
Stiliyan Petrov 6
John Carew 5
Gabby Agbonlahor 7
Nathan Delfouneso 6