Aston Villa - Villa 1-2 Bolton - Match Report
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Villa 1 - Bolton 2

Villa Park

24/4/12 19:45

Attendance: 32,263

Villa 1-2 Bolton - Match Report

I just feel totally and completely lost for words after that. For a number of reasons really. Nobody can deny that we completely bossed Bolton for 60 minutes of the game, and the goal, when it came, was totally deserved. From there on we should have just shut up shop, saw out and inevitable backlash and maybe added another.

But this is Alex McLeish`s Aston Villa. A team with no quality on the wings. A team with a midfield that just isn`t up to the physical demands of the Premier League. A team that, now, with no claret and blue rose-tinted glasses on, is in very serious danger of being relegated from the top division since before the Premier League was formed.

I said in a Facebook 'Midlands football banter` page that the real shame in all this is that it`s us, the fans who turn up every week, who suffer. If we go down, then Randy is still rich, so why should he care? If McLeish gets sacked, as I believe he now should, he gets a big pay-off, so why should he care?

Lastly, the players, who would be sold and still earn massive pay packets at other clubs, probably Premier League ones, so why should they care either? This sums up the problems for me at Aston Villa at the moment. We`ve got a group of people right throughout the spine of the club that just don`t stand to lose anything by us suffering relegation, so it doesn`t matter to them.

This can be coupled with the fact that we have no experience of relegation battles, which is why teams around us look so much better prepared than we do. We all know that the manager also has experience of relegation battles but they are not positive so it`s not worth talking about.

I just don`t see how McLeish can get us out of this, and what makes it even harder to take is that most of us predicted this on the day he was appointed but we were ignored by a stubborn rich man who thought he knew best. I`m not sure if I can make the effort to shell out for away games if I`m not going to at least see a desire to win, and I don`t see why I should give the wrong impression by giving money to a regime that has no ambition for Aston Villa. I can take defeats, and I think I could take a relegation although I haven`t experienced it in my lifetime, but that coupled with a clueless owner, manager and chief executive with turgid football and no seemingly desire for improvement nor any ambition? That might be a step too far.

This might all be reactionary rubbish that I`ll regret saying when I wake up in the morning, but isn`t football supposed to be about how the fans feel? Without us, clubs wouldn`t exist after all.

There is one thing I would like to talk about however before I get onto the game, and that is Stephen Warnock. This is a man who has taken a lot of stick for a variety of reasons during his time at Villa but, in a unfamiliar position tonight he gave his all and got what we all thought was going to be an important goal. It probably still was, but for all the wrong reasons in the end. Plus he didn`t play to shabbily either and that`s why I`ve decided to nominate him as my man of the match.

Tonight could have been so different though had Chris Herd scored the headed chance he had in the second minute, and Heskey was unlucky after a brilliant turn, and great performance all round tonight, could only be followed by a shot straight at the goalkeeper.

The claret and blues continued to dominate and arguably should have gone in at half-time at least one goal to the good, particularly after Stephen Warnock`s piledriver pinged off the top of the crossbar and over. Charles N`Zogbia also went close with a free-kick before the interval and most of the Villa faithful on the Holte felt pretty confident going into the second half.

Bolton did come into the game a little more as a Chris Eagles free-kick finally worked Shay Given at the start of the second half but when Warnock scored after some great work down the right wing by N`Zogbia nobody could really deny that Villa deserved the lead.

Not that it lasted, as a clumsy challenge by the normally reliable Carlos Cuellar gave Bolton a penalty that was well struck by Stiliyan`s namesake, before another minute later Villa unbelievably (Jeff) found themselves two goals down after RedScouse figure of ridicule David N`Gog scored a tap in.

When Heskey was replaced by a long-time ineffectual Agbonlahor, you got the feeling that it just wasn`t going to be our day.

So now we find ourselves just three points above the relegation places with three games to play. They do say that it isn`t over until the fat lady sings, but she`s finished warming up and is just about to start. The only thing that can stop her is the gift of three points from our not-so-good neighbours West Brom.

It`s squeaky bum time now, so we can only hope.

Star Player

Stephen Warnock

The Journalist

Writer: Holte139 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday April 25 2012

Time: 12:55AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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We did play well tonight for the most part and deserved the lead, but it's all about what has gone before and that's why we're in this horrible situation. Agree with Warnock, could never fault him for effort and delighted to see him get the goal. As I'm just under 30, I've never experienced this situation before and now it feels pretty real, and the kind of thing fans of other clubs go through annually. I don't have much hope of us picking up any more points this season, so I'm looking to other fixtures instead. And barring some ridiculous results, I think we might just survive. Baggies away has now just become massive.
Stephen Jay Hawkings
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25/04/2012 01:37:00

Spuds did the neighbourly thing in letting QPR win last weekend. Will the Albion do the same for us..... don't think so.
Pride of Lions
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25/04/2012 02:38:00

Beaten by a Bin Dippers reject, story of McLeish's life, just do every one a favour Alex and QUIT!
Green Villan
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25/04/2012 03:22:00

Now I am in no way defending McLeish here but there is more than a little irony if not hypocrasy in the opening paragraph of this article and that's where you lost my interest. If the lads get a goal and then try to hold on to it they are criticised for not attacking more and for inviting other teams to attack, where as in your opening paragraph you are criticising for them not doing that. Give them a break, they can't do both!
villan of the north
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25/04/2012 04:18:00

votn is totally right, "shutting up shop" is something this team is incapable of, even against the poorer sides. Surely they have proved that time and again this season.
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25/04/2012 07:40:00

life is pretty grim as a Spurs fan at this time, but in my darkest moments, I console myself that I am not a Villa fan, and I dont mean that in a ***** take way.
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25/04/2012 09:10:00

I shouldn't worry oxfordspur im pretty sure alot of fans console themselves with the thought "at least we arent Villa fans." I too have never experienced relegation and never even comprehended the thought that we might be - although I didnt want eck and said it was a ridiculous appointment i still didnt genuinely believe we might be relegated. I have watched many other teams fall from this division and even laughed at others despair (Blues, Baggies, Coventry) safe in the knowledge that We are Aston Villa and we dont have to worry about such things as we belong in the top flight of football. I fear that may come back to bite me come the end of the season. Theres nothing the baggies would like more than to put a nail in our coffin. Lets hope Lady Luck smiles on us at some point in the final 3 games.
Lion Heart
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25/04/2012 10:08:00

...And all us Villa fans are now vile for finally waking up and letting our voices be heard. You couldn't make up the press that's always defending McLoser. I just don't understand it. The players we have are worth more than they're getting at the moment, they need to be led by a PROPER man manager and tactician. Vital has had it's knockers (oo-er missus!!!) Over towing the Villa party line, but I'm glad to see honest, fair, critical and practical assesments of the mess we're in. I will be so happy the day McLeish goes. He's had his big payday and sure won't get another one, and that's why he's clinging on for dear life. At least Kean has shown bottle at B'Burn.
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25/04/2012 10:22:00

guys - you have to check the picture out here made me nearly wet myself laughing lol!
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25/04/2012 10:52:00

Are you sure Oxfordspur you were on the Bolton website yesterday wishing them good luck and saying you hoped they would win.?
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25/04/2012 12:19:00

Guys - poll on mcleish here - get voting:
Report Abuse
25/04/2012 14:33:00

Just to clarify guys, by shut up shop I didn't mean sitting back and defending, I meant keeping our heads, keeping possession of the ball and seeing the game out. I think you can do that without necessarily being defensive.
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25/04/2012 14:49:00


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