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Thoughts and Feelings on the Inter Game.


JohnCresswell
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It’s too late for a match report now, so I’ll trot out one of these instead. Yes, Inter didn’t play their tip top best team, and yes it was just a pre-season friendly – but to beat any Inter side surely cheers up even the biggest of critics.

I’ll own up. I bought the tickets hoping to see some debuts. I thought we’d show off at least one signing which made the football world sit up and go “Blimey, they mean business!â€. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, but I relented as not only did it give me a chance to go out and purchase one of those splendid black training tops, but the chance of seeing top class players such as Figo, Matterazzi, (an overweight) Adriaano and Ibrahimovic. The latter put in a performance that was anything but world class, and I can’t imagine it’ll be a performance he’ll be telling his family and friends of.

So, it’s back in the seat and back at VP. First impressions? Well, the new electronic advertisment boards aren’t up yet, but the new signage with the new badge is, along with the new badge on the top of the Trinity. Oh, and the lettering on one of the stands has disappeared. You’ll never guess which one, but it’s the only one that had it’s name written on it from the inside of the stadium.

Today’s game gave me the boost that personally, I needed. I’ve had thoughts which have been confirmed to me, thoughts I’m not not too sure of and thoughts which I now think were probably wrong. Allow me to explain…

I think the team as it stands is still weak defensively. For me it’s the biggest worry as I feel a fair few positions need filling. This may sound absolutely silly, considering we’ve just kept a clean sheet against the Italian champions, but I don’t feel safe with Stuart Taylor in goal. He fails to hold onto the ball too often for me – it’s often pushed away or patted into the ground before being held. It doesn’t instill me full of confidence and I do wonder about the defenders in fron of him.

Speaking of which, out of all the talent out on that pitch today, Martin Laursen was probably the defender that really shone. He won everything, and deserved his goal which will hopefully be the first of many. Villa look so much better with him at the back, and whilst I hate to use the phrase, he is pure ‘top class’ pedigree. One of the most important things for Villa this season will be keeping him fit.

Our right back problems aren’t exactly a secret, so it’s probably worth mentoning that Gary Cahill (who played the game despite being ill) and Craig Gardner both filled in well. Naturally, they didn’t look as comfortable as we may have expected from their ‘normal’ positions – Gardener looks shaky in the air whilst Gary’s crossing is the crossing you’d expect from a centre back. Both managed 45 minutes on the pitch – but it was enough time for Cahill to nearly score with a carbon copy of his goal against small heath.

I think if ever you needed to demonstrate our defensive frailties, then all you need to look towards is the end of the match, when three of the back four were actually midfielders – including Isiah Osbourne who came on and one minute later was booked for being fooled by an Inter striker (not a bad thing when you consider their talent) and brought him down.

Villa’s one big signing this season came in midfield, in the shape of Nigel Reo-Coker. He put out a tremendous high energy performance, much better than whenever I have seen him before and he really looked the part. He was playing a fantastic ‘linking’ role between defence and attack, and he may only be new, and may only be 22 but it now looks like Mr Krulak may have a rival to the title of ‘General’ – I look forward to seeing more displays from him where, against the lesser talented teams, I can imagine he’ll totally run the game. Good to see him start a fight with Dacourt too. There’s fire in the belly of that one.

I’ve read a fair bit of praise for Ashley Young since I’ve sat down on my trusty imac to write this. Whilst I can see where it is coming from – he looked good with the ball at his feet and opened the game with a thunderous run and shot from outside the area, I still am a little worried with the lack of an end product from his runs. Still, people said that of Cristiano Ronaldo, and he didn’t turn out too bad.

Up front, well Carew didn’t play again today, and whilst it’s since been explained by O’Neill as a groin injury, the way he said it didn’t sound too convincing – it was just the typical O’Neil stuttering speak, which ended up with him searching for the words “he’s got an injuryâ€, and had to be probed further for him to release more details. It’s probably nothing, but even my girlfriend said “he’s lying†to that one. Harewood came on momentarily, but I’ve never been a big fan of us and other than get the ball stuck underneath his feet whilst trying to turn in the box, he did very little. Nothing to be embarrassed about when Inter are the opponents.

Luke Moore was busy but failed to put away the half chances he had, and Gabby suffered from the same problem as Ashley – the end product just wasn’t there. Won a penalty though.

The penalty was put away well too. The ‘keeper nearly got to it, but not enough. I’m still not a fan of Barry’s penalties – the ones that go in are often nearly saved and he has missed a few. Still, he’s got the guts to take them. It’s kind of funny that in a game between Villa and the Italian champions, the two best players on the pitch were both Villans – Barry and Laursen.

Inter deserve a mentione too. There were periods of the game where they looked good, very good, but failed to stick the ball away. You could tell their class – some of the flicks, space finding techniques were sublime. Ibrahamovic managed to lose all four defenders in one move, only to let himself down with a fantastically lame shot. A big shout out to the physio of Inter, who in stereotypical fashion was wearing a well fitted sharpe suit, despite the fact he was required to run on and off the pitch throughout the game.

I suppose I better mention the referee, too. I think somebody had told him it was on television, as Uriah Rennie managed to put on one of those ‘Rennie show’ performances. Other than Mark Halsey, there is no other referee who would manage to lose control of a friendly – with three or four ‘blow ups’ that could have lead to fights and five ( I think) yellow cards in not a nasty game. And does anyone else get annoyed when they see him giving a particular player a stern telling off, but runs over to the other player involved and tells them something whilst laughing, joking and slapping his back. Naturally he does this to the bigger name players.

So, it was a game that helped me regain a bit of the faith, really. The nucleus of a decent side is there, but the defence still needs that overhaul it’s needed since May. Get that sorted, and even I may begin to get a bit optimistic. In the meanwhile, I’ll be going to the Liverpool game with the same thoughts as today, and hoping for a similar outcome.

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I’ve had thoughts which have been confirmed to me, thoughts I’m not not too sure of and thoughts which I now think were probably wrong

Can you clarify which are which from this post?

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You dont get why its weird reading 'It’s' instead of it's? The entire piece looks weird. Am i missing a codec?

Edit: Ah yes, you obviously dont see what i see. Maybe it reads it's to you, to me it reads funky ass strange letters.

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