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American English - Liverpool Away Post Match Thoughts.


blandy
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Aston Villa, so long a by-word for instability and plotting and internal politics is now ultra stable. Liverpool, England's most successful club, and for so long so stable is now anything but. Who'd a thunk it? They have my sympathies.

This is, by the way, not so much a match report, as a bunch of random thoughts.

The first of several things that struck me on the way to the game last night was that of the role reversal that is taking place.

In recent years, for far too many years, it has been us Villans unhappy with the way our club was run, in a ferment as we railed against what many saw as an owner more with his own interests at heart, than those of our club. Joyously that sad situation is now well and truly in the past, both Mr Ellis and the fans have moved on, to hopefully happier futures - certainly more optimistic from the fans perspective, at least.

Our new-ish American owner is quite rightly hugely appreciated. He says very little, publicly, preferring to let the manager do the talking, and to let Martin O'Neill run the playing side of the club exactly how he sees fit. He preserves and cherishes the traditions of our club, and is building upon them.

Quite remarkably, it's now Liverpool with the angry fans, protest, unpopular owner(s) prone to saying things that they really should keep to themselves.

Their manager is blatantly undermined, though he's also been "playing games" himself, complaining about the owners, lack of money and so on. It's all so eerily familiar. Some of their players speak codedly about how things are not right at the club, others say nothing. There are grand plans announced, and then they seem to fade away to nothing. Deja vu, for us lot. A new and unpleasant shock for the scousers.

Another contrast is that of the records of the two clubs. Not such a big contrast admittedly, as we both have the same number of points, but Liverpool draw far too many home games to have any chance of winning, or even challenging to win, the league. Villa on the other hand, as this was an away game for us, have now gone almost 12 months with just a single away defeat - exactly the sort of form which, if built upon, could lead to "getting up there" in the not too distant future.

That there is much building to be done is apparent when looking at the squad size and depth of the two clubs. Villa missing Gareth Barry and the on-loan Scott Carson had to recall a raw but promising young player with just a handful of games, back from loan to sit on the bench. Liverpool, as is their wont, change their team every week, picking at random from a profusion of internationals.

The way I see it, then, is that their expectations and hopes are not anywhere near being met, ours are for the most part, more than being met.

The game itself was one in which Liverpool could and perhaps should have gone more than one goal up, had their finishing been half decent. But it wasn't. They did though certainly have much the better of things for all of the first half, and the start of the second half. Sami Hyppia, though ponderous in comparison to Gabby, was able to nip in time and time again, to take the ball before Gabby could get away. He matched Carew in the air, and with both teams' passing at times being very careless, the forwards were not getting much to feed on anyway, particularly our two. We certainly missed GB. The counter point to the absence of Gareth was that Nigel Reo-Coker really raised his game. His tackling, closing down, blocking and intercepting was high class, as we know he's capable of. Giving the skipper's armband to him seemed to lift his performance. If only he could, on occasion release the ball, simply, a little sooner, and pass with a bit more penetration, he'd be the complete player. What I do feel though is that he is improving. He's less careless with the ball now that he was earlier in the season. Nigel had, a very good game.

Our other players who get talked about in terms of being called up for England weren't nearly so effective. Ashley Young was frankly poor last night and also unluckily seemed to pick up an injury to foot or leg that hampered him. Gabby, as already mentioned was well marshalled and had little service. His pace was still there, of course, and but for a failure to pass at the right time, a break could well have led to a 3-1 lead for Villa.

Along with NRC, I was again really impressed with Curtis Davies. He seems to get better every game. He was our best defender by a distance, and also late on also made one storming run through the centre in support of a fast break, not a common sight for any team. Sadly no pass was forthcoming, but the intent and will was there.

Of the rest of our team, there were decent performances from Stuart Taylor, Olly, Freddie Bouma, Craig Gardner and but for 1 mistake, Martin Laursen.

Our passing and ball retention wasn't up to greal deal, but there was a bundle of energy, application, desire, resilience and so on. These things are all intangibles, but they don't appear by luck.

Luck did play a part in our second goal. Both the goals came midway through the second half, within a couple of minutes of each other - first a Marlon overhead kick from a nice knock down by Martin Laursen and then a ball actually handled into his own net by a Liverpool defender, deflecting an "Olly Volley" over and past the goalkeeper and defenders.

Marlon's goal came after he'd only been on the pitch for 5 minutes, and he'd already caused on scare for Liverpool, beating a fullback and pulling the ball back across goal, whereupon Carew took it away from the onrushing Petrov (attended by a defender) and then turned and shot weakly at the keeper.

To show how little i know about things, I was only just done bemoaning that Craig Gardner had been subbed for Marlon - I'd thought Craig was doing fine, and wondered whether Marlon would hold the ball up that well. He did. He was, in his short spell on the pitch, excellent.

A final thought for the supporters. The tickets were £36 each. The match was

on the telly, away, on pretty grim monday evening. And 3000 Villans sold out

our part of the ground. Which by my judgement is not only a damn good effort from all concerned, but an indication of the faith we have in our team, our club and our manager and owner.

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Brilliant article Pete, thanks for that. And I actually share your sympathies for them too :? If only the instability could befall Chelsea instead.

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Thought Barry was a massive miss last night. Without him to glue the side together, we resorted to the long-ball far to often.

I too was bemoaning the introduction of Harewood and couldn't be happier that he proved me a mug. If he can reproduce that level of performance on a regular basis he is going to be a good asset.

Great resilience from the boys. The mark of a good team is to grind out results even when you don't play at your best and that's exactly what we did.

Now bring on the signings!

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A final thought for the supporters. The tickets were £36 each. The match was on the telly, away, on pretty grim monday evening. And 3000 Villans sold out our part of the ground. Which by my judgement is not only a damn good effort from all concerned, but an indication of the faith we have in our team, our club and our manager and owner.

This is one of the most impressive indications of what Villa fans think of life under RAL, MON and the rest. Nice one. :lol:

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I have no sympathies for the scousers. They were so desperate for a cash influx that they didn't seem to care about the credentials of the people they sought to court. They would have had Siniwatra had he managed to sort out his bid in time. Now they are desperate for the Arab consortium to come and buy the club off the Americans. Anybody know anything about their intentions? They got what they desreved, and will continue to do so.

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It was great fun to be the side that got a point whilst playing awful - we always used to lose games like last nights and now we never do.

Great fun to hear the lack of Benitez songs once we scored.

Great fun listening to the phone in as one after another praised benitiz while complaining of his team selections.

Great to see- again - that big money (year in and year out ) is no match for having the best manager, and yet more proof its what you get out of players that counts not how many you have or how much you spent.

One downer, having been consistently in praise of Petrov and the player he can be, I finally started to think last night that the pace and power is too much for him without Barry nearby. Thinking afterwards tho' he was up against Gerrard and a £17 million rated (!) argentinian, so maybe I needn't worry after all.

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No sympathy to the American-Scousers. They're so bandwagon gloryhunting over here it aint funny. I have said it over and over so many times on this site and I'm going to say it again...they think choosing Liverplop is cool because the Irish Ex-Pats in USA pull for them, and us "americans" love the Irish Pubs over here...and they think Manchester United are the NYYankees and so pulling for Liverpool is close to pulling for an "underdog".

No sympathy what-so-ever.

Nice report I guess, I'll give it a 6.5 8)

After all, there was a severe lacking of a culinary discussion and topographic details of the country I've only ever been able to visit the once :winkold:

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I have no sympathies for the scousers. They were so desperate for a cash influx that they didn't seem to care about the credentials of the people they sought to court. They would have had Siniwatra had he managed to sort out his bid in time. Now they are desperate for the Arab consortium to come and buy the club off the Americans. Anybody know anything about their intentions? They got what they desreved, and will continue to do so.

Bra-vo, my friend. Bra-muthaf*-vo. I echo 3_penny_opera's sentiments as well. I actually think I dislike Liverpool more than United or Arsenal at this point. At least those two clubs progress. I watched the match in a pub loaded full of Irish ex-pats cheering for Liverpool. There were three of us. Three happy little Villans.

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