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North Sound Off - Bolton Away Report


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Not a great game today at the Reebok. it was a case of one team pretty much aiming at getting a point, to ensure they live to fight another year, and the other team, Villa, sort of not wanting to lose, but not being good enough, or motivated enough, or coherent enough to win. So a fair result in the end.

It's a far cry from the earlier season away games, where a vibrantly attacking Villa side with pace and power were on such a roll. Today was pretty evenly matched, no one standing out, no one looking that good, or that bad, though a few didn't impress.

It seems Villa have settled for the fact that they won't get in the top 4, Europa League is all but assured, so there's really only the fear of a rollocking from MO'N and from the fans to play for.

We missed some pace today - with JC and Emille being Boltonesque in their styles both sides had a similar approach in many ways. Sure we had wingers in Ash and Jimmy, but neither lit the game up. Cahill for Bolton, Zat for Villa mainly did the heading away and clearing and the other players fought for some kind of ascendancy, with none really mastering it for long. Petrov for a while, GB, too for a (different) while looked classy, but then Bolton would have a spell.

At the back Curtis was a mixture of good play and skittishness - the confidence isn't really there at the moment. Nicky Shorey looked comfortable, despite Bolton's tactic of putting Davies up against him, aerially. Brad was fine, Emille disappointed - not seeming quite sure as to what his role was supposed to be - playing behind Carew, he seemed a bit out of place. In the first half I felt he worked intelligently, but as the game wore on, he became a bit ragged in his play.

So basically it wasn't a great game. We scored just before half time, a cross from Ashley Young possibly just touched by Carew, but more likely just avoiding all efforts to touch it, and creeping in at the far post, down the far end.

The second half saw Villa start brighter, a tad more confidence in their veins, but then a poor challenge for a header from a free kick, and an unmarked Trotter on the penalty spot lashed through Friedel.

Half chances and efforts at both ends, much labour, some occasionally fussy refereeing and linesmanship, though the ref was OK and may well turn out to be a good 'un loger term - he looked new to me.

Villa fans were there in good number, Bolton fans weren't. The sun shone, then it rained, then the sun shone again.

Nearly over now. It's like everyone's just waiting for it to stop.

Some marks

Brad - 7 - confident

Carlos at RB - 6 - solid

Zat - 7

Curtis - 5

Nicky Shorey - 6 - fits in now. Comfortable.

Jimmy Milner - 5 - not much end product, but good work-rate (as ever)

Stan - 6

GB - 6

Ash - 6 - end product again, lacking.

Emille - 5 (nathan 5)

JC - 6

MO'N and GB applauded the support at the end, whatever that means. I'm a bit tired. They all seem to be.

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At the back Curtis was a mixture of good play and skittishness ...

Excellent Pete - and nice to know I was at the same game too. No mention of the skittish kitten - you forget?

Look harder Al (though I confess to no kitten references).

And thanks for the lift home. Most appreciated.

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Apr 25, 2009 - 06:39 PM ? - I congratulate you sir!

s'only down the road for me, sled.

The more North west teams in the prem, the better, for me and the other north west based Villans. When home games are a couple of hours or more trek away, the local ones are just fantastic for a day out.

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The more North west teams in the prem, the better, for me

Looks like Small Heath feel this way too Pete as Preston or Burnley could now be joining us next season rather than them. :lol:

Ashley's dead ball delivery seemed poor again yesterday I just don't see how he can be so wayward now having been so accurate so often earlier this season. But, he did find the back of the net yesterday and there is always the hope that a ball hit like that towards the back post may creep in particularly with Big John causing such a distraction to the keeper as he tried to get on the end of it.

Would you have made Zat your MOTM or Brad?

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Would you have made Zat your MOTM or Brad?
Not sure really - Zat, Brad, Stan, GB were the best 4 for us, pick any one of them. Not having seen the TV, I don't know whether it was Zat or Curtis who messed up for their goal - if it wasn't Zat, then yes, him, MoTM.
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