What a RELIEF, an AWAY win but mixed game and bigger tests to come

We needed that and badly but the sending off of Young could be a massive blow for the big game next Sunday.

Getting through to the 4th round is very important for confidence and at least gets us a win before Blues but a totally mixed bag of a game. Some very good play especially midway through the first half but nearly spoiled by a poor second half and yet more defensive woes at times and no clean sheet.

You have to question why Pires started but the first half performance of the team justified Houllier’s decision to do that and at times the front three of Albrighton, Young and Gabby tore Sheff U apart. Real positive start (for once) when Kyle Walker made a great run (helped by the defence backing off) but showed great composure to slot in the goal and show he is a right good talent and one we MUST buy. Then we had some pressure, defence at times all over the place BUT albrighton’s goal was close from a Young cross and we dominated then until half time.

Second Half was different, from the start Sheffield pressurised us and got what was a debatable penalty and from then on we were under pressure. Young got booked for two stupid yellows and sent off and that is going to hurt us (more in a sec). However more great work from Walker and PEtrov socred a great goal to ease us through.

MOTM – Easy, Walker, a goal and a very good assist

Lets not go OTT, celebrate the win of course but the second half showed the frail confidence and we have to build upon that. the problem being that the next game is just a small little one eh ? and every time Ash misses a game we suffer from it.

Small steps to recovery, bigger ones to take.

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70 comments on “What a RELIEF, an AWAY win but mixed game and bigger tests to come

  1. I thought the new RB looked like he could be good for us. Bridge might be a step up at LB given warnocks continued poor form. If we can stop giving away needless free kicks out wide it’s got to help the CBs. It seems clear that GH has identified the weak areas in the team (OK we all knew them but they hadn’t been dealt with). He is clearly trying to get a real DM in to ease pressure on the defence, and knows we are weak attack wise. LB, DM and a goalscorer and we’re on the way! Not much to ask is it?

  2. Can anyone tell me why he persists with Gabby on the left wing? We didn’t have a front man today!!!

    If we played the players in the rightfull positions like the 2nd goal, Ash out wide, great cross to Albi, I am sure we’d climb the table. Or is it too like MON’s team then for GH??

    Happy with the win, flattering scoreline but hopefully we can put a run together now starting at the Sty. Petrov’s finish was great after his 1 on 1 miss. Well done Stan🙂


    • gabby is naturally RW and a LW, so can kind of make sense. Houlier wants him to regain the pace he had before the bulk up, so precious experience could enforce that need for pace and for generaly for gabby to use his head a bit more rather than him running onto balls for him actually to make vital decisions being a cross or cutting into the box through ball or attempt at goal could really help him. being in the situation were in it’s too much of a risk him being played in that position without having a strike force that can score gabby HAS to play CF (for now). I can see houleirs attempt to help gabby but not at this crutial part of the season should this type of risk be taken.


    • Don’t forget when the formation is played correctly it is SUPPOSED to be dynamic, 4-5-1 when defending, 4-3-3 when attacking. Albrighton is doing a great job of getting into the box at the far post, and Downing started the season doing it very well. Now if we could train Ash or tame Ireland to be the player sweeping up clearances on the edge of the box we’d be smashing them in. Unfortunately we are still seeing too many decent crosses into the box without Villa players in the key areas. It may take this entire year to break the rigid 4-4-2 still affecting the decision process of every MON signing (not bad just not right for the system).

      • houlier has planned to take the position of AMC when or if young decides to leave. this may suit him better downing will cover defensively along with bannan/petrov/nrc/makoun(?), albrighton working with ireland and the two cf’s to connect, once houlier “sews his oats” the formation he’d most likely play is a diamond (tactical and attack effective) but is left with an “un-confident, weak” defense so it’s purely down to the succession of the rest of this season and houlier intergrating himself as he plans to, to provide villa with the succesion as planed.

  3. Tabingz, you been on the pop?
    MON had Cuellar at RB, L Young at LB, (with Shorey on the bench) he even dabbled with Hokey Cokey at RB at Anfield…that went well…
    He played Gabby wide a lot too.

  4. Ash has begged publically to play ‘in the hole’ and if you want to keep him you give him the chance. Gabby is better facing the goal than to his back to it so play him doing it why the f-not, he ain’t banging them in yet. Snodgrass (left on right wing) did terrible today huh???? Same with swapping albrighton and downing… just because we’re starting to do it 15-20 years after it’s come into the english game doesn’t make it wrong. It just means we’re playing catch up.

    We navigated a tricky tie, got some confidence back, played some enterprising football…

    But no you lot are right it’s just terrible.

    • Aaron, well said.
      Listening to Radio WM this afternoon, with Villa 2-0 up at the time there was some so-called “Villa fan” texting Paul Franks that he hoped we lost today so that GH would get fired! The rally sad part is that these people probably really do think of themselves as “supporters”… with fans like that, who needs the Bluenoses?

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Aston Villa FC Buzz, ian robathan. ian robathan said: We needed that and badly but the sending off of Young could be a massive blow for the big game next Sunday. Getti… http://wp.me/ptkZo-28Q […]

  6. We were awful today, beating a team that could go down from the championship does not hid how shit we are.


  7. Haha, yes. Stevenage are beating Newcastle 2-0 in the second half. They look good actually. The second goal was a screamer into the bottom corner off the inside of the post and in.

    Glad we took care of business today. They might as well continue through this window and into the summer just unloading as much of these MON guys as we can. The better players on the team are the young players anyway. I mean, we signed a RB on loan who was playing in the Championship and he waltzed right into the starting 11 and scored within 10 minutes of his debut. We will surely need to have some discussions with Spurs about him. You want Ashley Young do you now? Well if full ownership of Walker is not transferred over to us then there will be no discussions about Ashley Young.

  8. Glad we dug that out today, after Sunderland the lads must have been really fed up. Shame Ash got the Red, stupid of him following Heskey in the week. Both should apologise for being bell ends.

  9. oh wait a minute it’s just occurred to me. Walker scored yes but he DID NOT make an ASSIST.

    Petrov was over with Albrighton i think in the outside left position.

    Albrighton scored after Ash crossed it.

    Therefore unless we scored a fourth your article is incorrect.

  10. Who was it that’s been saying for weeks Petrov is awful? Did you see his link up with Albrighton and Gabby to wrap it up? And that finish too. Although it was Sheff Utd that was our best movement of the season and a great way to finish them off.

    • was it really better than the Albrighton goal against MU ?

      • Petrov is usually a spent force by 60 minutes and I don’t mean a bit tired, I mean he is running through treacle.

        Against Sunderland, he had gone by 20 minutes!! He has been useless all season.

        Today he came on, looked fresh and for the first time in ages actually influenced the game. Credit where credit is due it was a great move and a great finish.

      • Hmmm, that’s a thought. Ok, those are the top 2 haha. Good to have a debate on somethings good Villa are doing though, now we need to kick on a graft and battle again at Blues to get 3 points. Even a point would be good to stop them pulling away because with our fixture list soon we have such an easy run!

    • I think Petrov is a grafter and not a flare player, if he has a bad game for some unknown reason we are all over him and we fail to spot the good ones, i admit i am guillty of this and have always moaned about him, but hey i am a Villa fan its in the job description to have a pointless rant

      • totally agree on you on the first bit, people said Milner did his work but would argue without Petrov being solid Milner would not have been a success.

        stats never tell the full story but as a DM they stand up there

        fact is if you have noticed he is given miore licence to go forward now

        • Maybe I should change the we to I am

        • Sorry Ian, can’t agree on that! I think Milner did more than stop Stan disappearing up his own ass, he also protected the back 4…. In fact we massively miss him (although him going has shown up Warnock / Dunne / Collins for what they really are!!)

    • I’ve said Petrov is woeful and I stand by it! He is lazy, nearly always out of position and gets done / out muscled easily! In fact the only thing he does well is win free kicks!

      1 swallow doesn’t make a summer and more importantly you can’t polish a turd! Petrov shouldn’t be Villa captain

      • I agree he shouldn’t be captain, we need someone in the side who is vocal and a real leader to be captain. Someone in the Carragher, Terry, Gerrard and Roy Keane role, a real leader for the Villa, we’re really missing that! But Petrov played well today and I don’t think he’s poor, he’s a good player and I’m glad he’s still here. Great move, great finish!

      • Stevo – I don’t see Petrov is as bad as some make out, but agree he’s never seemed the right choice as captain – for a start he was always seen [right or wrong..] as MON’s pet for the first couple of seasons at VP. Trouble is that there doesn’t seem to be a natural leader on the pitch in the entire squad since Millner and Barry followed the money. NRC may have the ‘fight’ but basically isn’t good enough to qualify as an automatic starter each game anyway; Webcam is just too immature and into himself; Dunne is struggling with his own form; Friedel might be a possibility. Realistically, who else is there today?

        • I think he was!! And that’s the problem, DV says it all above he normally looks totally battered within the hour! 2-3 seasons ago he was sharp, probably one of the best readers of the game / interceptors but now he is a liability! Didn’t go to the game today and sounds like he did great but it’s too few and too far between for me

        • Can’t be Friedel, dislike goalies being captain, too far out of play to influence it (Captains lead by example and goalies struggle to do that)!

          Also, said this a bit before but I also think he is shot (too old, his reactions are too slow)… Time for a replacement

          • Not sure that gk’s make good captains either, although didn’t Schmeichal manage it at Manure during their pomp? But still begs the question, just WHO in the squad today can show any leadership and pride in wearing the badge?

          • I am not sure if i agree with it happening but i think Dwoning is being lined up as the next captain, just the way he has played, got on with it and not moaned about anything

          • Downing!!!

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