Date:Sunday May 6 2012
Has McLeish gone yet? I`m pretty worried by all these quotes that are coming out from him at all these post-match interviews for all the various media outlets. Most journalists after the Bolton game seemed convinced that he was going to go, but they`ve gone a little bit quiet now. Apparently he`s also been talking about plans already being in place next season and signings being made soon after the season ends?
Taking everything into consideration, I genuinely thought that a point was a good result today. The steward I spoke to on the way into the ground said that he thought we could realistically lose by 5 goals, so I hope he`s happy! I know we were under the cosh for most of the game, but Tottenham have played some of the best football in the league this season I think so this is by no means a shambles of a result.
The home form this season however has been a shambles. 4 wins at home all season is just not good enough for a club like Aston Villa, as if we didn`t know that already, but this makes any decision to retain McLeish even more perplexing. Take Swansea and Norwich as an example. I don`t mean to be disrespectful to either of those clubs but both of them have a playing that is arguably poorer than the one McLeish has had here this season, yet their managers have been far more positive and attained far better points totals, relative to the expectations at each club of course.
It`s true to say that injuries have played a huge part in our season going pear shaped, and how many clubs in English football history have lost their captain to a battle against leukaemia at such a crucial stage of the season? But, even with all this being considered, McLeish has not helped himself by playing a system that just doesn`t suit the players that we have. This is probably because he doesn`t know how to play any other way, which shows up his limitations horribly, and subsequently why he shouldn`t be Villa manager. All we can hope for now is that Randy`s pocket has taken enough of a hitting for him to realise that there is no alternative than to get rid of him at this point.
Just before I get onto talking about the game, I`d just like to say a quick thank you to Carlos Cuellar. He`s been much maligned by some and adored by others but, after all but confirming via Facebook and Twitter that he`s leaving the club after the Norwich game, it seems right to commend the hard-work and commitment he`s shown in the 4 years he`s been here. It`s been badly absent from the performances of some other players.
I thought we started brightly, but I know I`ve said that quite a few times over the course of the season! The earliest opportunity we had to get ourselves in front fell to Super Emile after a lovely through ball by Supporters` Player of the Year Stephen Ireland. Unfortunately Kaboul smashed into him to stop him taking the chance, if only it had fallen to Gabby.
After a decent amount of Spurs play, we took the lead with a heavily deflected shot by Ciaran Clark that I think cannoned off Gallas` shiny bonce. It left Friedel powerless to stop the shot and it nestled into the corner to make the relegation battle look a lot better indeed.
At least it wasn`t like the Bolton game for how quickly we conceded, but it could have been very similar as a ChimpFace effort forced Given into a great reaction save, and van der Vaart had a shot go wide too.
Fast forwarding to the start of the second half, and Spurs could have scored through Arsenal reject Adebayor but things went really sour for them when the young full back Danny Rose was deservedly sent off for what appeared to be a lunge at Alan Hutton.
I`d hoped that that might relieve some of the pressure from Villa but to be fair to Spurs you couldn`t really tell which team had gone down to ten men and an equaliser began to look increasingly likely.
It did come, but it wasn`t through Spurs` play, it was more down to a stupid and clumsy challenge by one of the more experienced players in this Villa team, Richard Dunne. Adebayor duly dispatched the penalty and the game was at level pegging once again.
That was the last major action of the game as a further mounting of Spurs pressure once again failed to produce a goal from open play. What followed, although I wasn`t there to see it, was allegedly a damp squib of a lap of honour with more abuse directed at McLeish.
Barring events unheard of in top-level professional leagues aside from where match fixing occurs, Villa are now safe from relegation and can relax a little for the final game of the season. I`ve really enjoyed doing these match reports once again this season. To all those who have read them and/or left kind comments, I`d like to say thank you, it means a lot. I hope those of you that are going to Norwich next week have a great time and I hope you all have a good summer. Up The Villa!
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Date:Sunday May 6 2012
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