Villa v Bolton (Sort of) Report + RIP Bolton Fan
Attendance: 34 665
First off... RIP to the Bolton fan who - if I have my facts straight - travelled down on one of the Bolton fan coaches and sadly had a heart attack around 30 mins before kick off, he was rushed to hospital but unfortunately passed away later in the day.
Now for the game.
Chris Mann from Bolton site Burnden Aces said in a quick post match chat with me:
'Good game today. Would have taken a point before the game but apart from the first 25-30 minutes, your boys seemed off the boil. Only 2 shots on target against a goalkeeper with 1 Premier League match under his belt. I wasn't sure about the Chungy penalty. It did look a decent shout, but he'd knocked the ball about 30 yards away by the time he went down. The one on Elmander looked more likely to me but us Bolton fans (all 20 of us) didn't have the best angle to see it so hopefully MOTD will help us out.'
Adding, 'I suppose the bright side for you is you got a point without really getting into second gear and in the end, it's us that are a little disappointed not to have got all three after that last 20 minutes.'
So there you go. Looking on the bright side, Villa got a point without getting out of second gear.
The key for us is do we have a first gear? Hopefully Gerard Houllier will be able to answer that for us in the coming weeks along with his New Backroom Team.
Put simply, our football has got to improve if we stand a chance of getting the fans back on the terraces, well bums on seat but you know what I mean. We've played less long ball since Big Mac has taken charge and they have at least tried to play some of the football on the ground but truth be told, we are still not really looking that much of a threat or when we do threaten, the front players fluff the chances. We have to be more clinical, we all know that - including the players.
I find it difficult these days doing match reports because the games sort of merge into one and there are only so many times you can say 'what the f*** was the referee doing' although yesterdays was truly awful stopping the game at every turn!
We lose the battle so often in midfield and there lies the key, maybe Gary McAllister and Sid Cowans can get that sorted and hopefully Ashley Young will return to the wing?
I digress.. mainly because I am finding it difficult to come up with the highlights. There were chances both ways, towards the end I - along with many thousand I'm sure - feared a 'Stoke' ie a late winner after we'd taken the lead. The goal - from a well earnt free kick - was taken beautifully by Ashley Young. Must admit I was probably the only one in the ground fuming, I'd had £20 (from the spend £10 and get £20 free bet deal we at VF emailed out) on Downing being the first scorer. I'd already 'spent' my £295 winnings... note to self, that is why you don't bet !
So 1-0 and time to press for another right?
As per usual, that was us almost done and dusted. Stephen Ireland had the only other real chance of note that I can remember (with that said, my brain ache savaged memory isn't the best!) when he ran through the defence and shot (trying to place the ball) just wide. That would have been a lovely goal, much more to come from him I am quite sure.
So, a point earnt or 2 points lost? Well, at home, we needed all three points against opponents like that. Next up, Blackburn Rovers in the cup with a new manager. All hail the next new era... all prayers and hopes go to the new man to do what no other has been able to do since 96 ... get us back to winning silverware.