666 - The Number Of The Beastly?
Attendance: 41 799
I wasn't going to do a match report, most of the players were on holiday yesterday v Blackburn so I decided I'd do the same, but truth be told, I wanted to thank all the readers for putting up with my rants and raves through this season with the home reports - which to be fair I've struggled with more this season than any time in the 10 years or so I've been running a Villa site. I'm quite quite bored with our home showing as were many thousands yesterday who left before the lap of honour.
Oh, and another reason for doing the report? I quite like the title! 6 6 6 is obviously our last three season's table finishes and I'm a fan of Iron Maiden. So there you go. The football doesn't move me to do a match report but a silly title does.
OK, this will be brief, I've got to go into a first class quiet zone carriage and make some noise later like one of our players who was showing the sort of respect I'd expect after a no show on the pitch, he certainly made up for it on his way to the Capital.... I digress!
The first half wasn't 'that' bad, we had a few chances and Paul Robinson did pull off a few ok saves but blimey, we were playing for 5th and trying to stave off 7th. There was no way at all that Liverpool wouldn't score at Hull surely? OK, there was, but we only know that from hindsight and how would we have felt if we'd strolled around as we did and Man City had lost?
All too often this campaign we've messed up at home, only 8 wins is a disgrace really. I know the talk through the year was the moaning fans and the few boo's, a great deal was made of it in fact but it hasn't been the crowd's fault the lack of consistency, the lack of entertainment or the lack of a cutting edge. Has it?
James Collins had a decent pop early on which was parried, Gabby wasn't able to get to the ball and that was that. James Milner pulled a decent save from a free kick that was 'earnt' by Ashley Young. Then there was a controversial moment when fatty ex blue nose was brought down and watching the replay, he was brought down. Breaks your heart really doesn't it?!?! All of a sudden the ref was a popular bloke. Then again, John Carew was also brought down in the pen box and nothing was given. Strange thing is Dunne was booked for diving and yet Carew wasn't. Hey ho!
That was about that, seriously the second half the flow of football in my opinion was mostly Blackburn Rovers, then again I was cold and cheesed off by then so spent more time talking with the great people who sit around me as to how the Anfield crowd would love this sort of football...! Their goal was a decent build up, they did what we were meant to do and hit us on the break. Now it has gone down as a Dunne own goal but to be fair, if he hadn't touched it in Hoilett would have so no real blunder.
We started the season with a home loss, we finished the season with a home loss and I saw very little evidence in between that the manager had any real tactical knowledge as to how to change things, how to do different tactics and formations and how to best use the squad. That is why we'll lose the likes of Nigel Hokey-Cokey and Luke Young in the summer, hold your breath that we don't lose a few first team regulars as well. 90's football is not what they signed up for and sadly I left - having clapped the team - flat.
The one thing that won't have gone down well with he who should not be in any way criticised was the constant cheers for Luke Young when he came on and then every time he got on the ball.
So MON out? No, just MON change. For goodness sake, all that greatness, all the knowledge, all the money that has been at his disposal, all the players who have come and yet I could predict who we will play and at what time a change will be made... and I'm an idiot!
Thanks to all for the season's company, I know some love and some loathe the boss, as for me, I've just tried to enjoy the ride, I have to admit I've struggled in the home games and felt yesterday this is probably my least favourite period in years. My problem, not yours, just a honest assessment as to the constant promise of improvement and the constant lack of delivery at Villa Park. We should have smashed Blackburn Rovers out the park yesterday and sent the fans home with good reason to renew/take up a season ticket. We didn't and I feel for the ticket sales and marketing people, every time we fill the place we play like we don't have an interest. Shame.
Flame away. This wasn't meant to be negative but sometimes you just have to look at the definition of madness - which is to do the same thing again and expect a different outcome.
And on that note, I thank you. Don't worry, I'll try to get someone else to do home match reports next season, I think my time has come to stop the fingers doing the talking, they are as bored as the rest of me.
(Still renewed, still have the opti in me saying all will be different next season.... UP THE VILLA)
There might be a theme to these marks by the way!
Brad Friedel 6
Stephen Warnock 6
Richard Dunne 6
James Collins 6
Carlos Cuellar 6
James Milner 6
Stiliyan Petrov 6
Stewart Downing 6
Ashley Young 6
Gabby Agbonlahor 6
Emile Heskey 6
Nathan Delfouneso 6
Luke Young 6