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PL: Wigan h 2009/08/15 Ratings and Reactions


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very concerned now... shocking performance, and there was no one to come off the bench and change it..

delph showed glimpses of his ability, and beye did ok, but apart from that, we were shocking...

our form since february, is relegation standard, and we are a poorer squad than last year...

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Agreed, we need to go 4-5-1 / 4-2-3-1, and do it now. When Gabby isn't interested/capable we might as well pack the midfield with an extra man, preferably NRC. Win the midfield battle and win the game they say, doesn't always happen, but 'surprisingly' often it does.

Also Davies needs a kick up his arse and a long rest, like the one he had after his pub performance. I need to see some developments in this lad's game soon, or even I will join the 'overpriced' choir.

Hate to say it and I usually don't spout crap like this (Lord, have mercy on my soul), but we could do with minor injuries to Davies and Gabby right now, to force some changes to the team/formation.

We need a quick, strong, quality centre back (e.g Distin) coming in this week to form a partnership with Cuellar, and we need 5 across the middle of the park.

Having said that, it's only one game, we still have lots of talented players, we've never beaten Wigan at home, so I won't dig a hole just yet.

Besides I'm a fairly optimistic (albeit naive) guy so I've decided that MON will fix this for us in the next two weeks. If we have money that is.

We'll buy Distin, we'll buy Warnock and if we can get a top quality creative midfielder on top of that (Tuncay will be mostly appreciated if we can't get VDV) then I'll be a happy camper.


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Ordinarily I wouldn't have a problem accepting defeat against Wigan. I could accept it if Wigan were glorious, an irresistible force that completely outclassed us, despite what we tried.

But that was pathetic. Abject performances all around, and a distinct lack of passion or drive across the team. Wigan were decent, but we gifted them that win today.

A terrible start and absolutely unacceptable. Liverpool next...

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Blimey where do you start. A few observations -

After 15 minutes or so we had a bit of a scare and Milner and Petrov got well stuck into Cueller and Davies. Very much out of order as Milner proceeded to lose the ball and Petrov did absolutely nothing all game.

Petrov's passing game even when fit is poor but today he wasnt fit at all. He isnt a captain either.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and a 5 man midfield with NRC and Sidwell holding would have been the answer. If your going in with two wingers you've got to hold the middle.

Singing Carew's name by way of getting at Heskey isnt going to help anyone.

We could end up having a really poor start and when that happens its difficult to get out of it.

Answer: MON address it and pull the stops out for a holding midfielder and CB. Cueller is the problem by the way not Davies.

Up front Heskey tried hard and I dont know what to say about Gabby and Delph is a long way off...buy another striker quick!

Note to Holte End - Please dont sing 'empty seats my lord' - thanks.

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The worst performance since Randy arrived.

Friedel - 5 - Looked baffled.

As a unit I wouldn't trust our back four to defend Mother Theresa on an assault charge. As Individuals:

Shorey - 6 - The best of our back four for me today, at times he reached the dizzy heights of steady.

Cuellar - 4 - Not big enough, not quick enough, not good enough in the air, not a leader and not good enough on the ball. Other than that...

Davies - 4 - A shambles today. Completely unable to judge the flight of a ball or read an opposition player. Dreadful.

Beye - 5 - One or two decent things, but doesn't look the solid defensive full back that this back four needs.

As a group, they received absolutely no cover at all from our midfield, which featured a 19 year old and three players who are really much more suitable for a 4-5-1

Young - 4 - Great with the ball at his feet, today his crossing wasn't good enough and his decision making was poor. That'll come I think as he settles into the season. What was much more worrying was his attitude, this was a player that seemed to think he was better than the game. He was eventually booked for a foul, but Mr Clattenberg would have been entirely justified in writing whingeing, diving, cry baby in the notebook. He's in danger of becoming a player I love, but don't like very much. He needs to catch a look at himself.

Petrov - 4 - not mobile enough for a 4-4-2 in my opinion. Solid on the ball, good passing, but can't follow runners and can't get into the box. Perfectly suited to a 4-5-1.

Delph - 6 - So-so debut, I thought he looked nervous but energetic and he got around the place and got involved. Not a great game to make a debut in, especially at 19.

Milner - 7 - Best of our midfield, so obviously a perfect candidate to go into the back four.

They received no support from a front two of

Heskey - 4 - Gave us a target, but looked as likely to score as Gordon Brown at Flares.

Agbonlahor - 1 - This is the worst performance I've ever seen from Gabby. I'm a big fan and come into this season with high hopes for him, but he'll need to do much, much better than this. Good players impose their personality on the game; there are games that revolve around Carew and his strength, Young and his trickery, even Reo Coker and his energy, good players make the game about the thing they do well. Nothing at all came from Gabby today, he may be capable of a lot more on a football pitch than Michael Gambon, but today either would have been equally effective.

Now, I'm not usually one for rants and I know this is one, but this is truly worrying. All credit to Wigan who performed well and should be comfortably safe from relegation this season, but we looked shambolic.

Disorganised, without a plan, lazy and unmotivated we look like an accident waiting to happen.

A crowd of a little over 35,000 suggests that the lack of enthusiasm on the pitch is reflected across the city. The Randylution has stalled.

Martin O'Neill will need to turn things around very quickly because I get the sense that he is losing the crowd very quickly and I'm not sure he's even noticed.

This is as bad as I've felt about a Villa side for several years.

Totally agree mate

Double that

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NRC - It's really unfathomable how only last week he captained and lifted the Peace Cup after doing well in the CM position he finally got to play, and this week he's dropped to the bench and not even being used.

4th in the pecking order below an unfit Petrov and a 19 year old player from League One? This is just stupid. NRC is our equilivent of Carlos Tevez at Man Utd - treated unfairly.

Defence - Our defence comprises of: relegated LB, relegated CB, relegated RB, and the 2-team SPL CB. Doesn't take a genius to realise why it's a total joke, it's basically a relegation standard defence.

You want quality? Take a look at Laursen (AC Milian), Mellberg (from Spanish League, good enough to play for Juve), Bouma (from PSV, Dutch international). MON should wake his ideas up and see this.

Passing - Not sure what exactly is the problem here. Some say formations, some say technique, some say it's the player movements. Either way we made Wigan look like Arsenal or Barca; they outpassed us as our passing that of a relegation standard team.

It's been years since we've had this problem, lots of players in and out, and we still pass like a Championship side.

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I keep thinking back to yesterdays game, I haven't been that disappointed in years


Certainly ruined my weekend...............I'll have to drink even more now

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NRC has shown he can't play football. Yesterday's performance is the only thing that might give him a game. We were so bad, NRC has that knack of fouling people that might just get him into the side. It'll stop teams just passing it smoothly around us.

So gutted by the performance.

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1. The grit and determination amongst the lads was non-existent which is very sad for an opener. Lack of business a factor? Like they didn't care at all.

2. Atmosphere in the stands was also very low. The fans didn't seem very excited, and after 45 minutes, I can't say I was either. Very strange indeed.

3. MON is obviously not a tactical genius - but somehow all the pundits say stuff like "MON can bring on someone who'll totally change the game".

4. We were tactically beaten by a rookie manager and we were outclassed by a mediocre (at best) side - we rarely gave them a scare at all.

5. Not playing in midweek and then a beaten Liverpool at Anfield - do I smell our worst start to the season ever in the Prem?

Friedel - 6

Some flaps but also a few decent saves

Shorey - 4

Very poor and created their first goal with a stupid backhead with no aim

Cuellar - 5

Didn't seem very comfortable, I was very let down after having high hopes for him in the middle. Like Bambi or a big moose on the freeway

Davies - 5

See the above. He is young and he is going to develop, however, I do not have the same high hopes for him anymore. Hope I am wrong

Beye - 6

Average but sadly amongst our best players on the day

Young - 5

He tried at times and had a lot of the ball, but he looked like he didn't care in the end, wasted a lot of opportunities and missed a sitter

Delph - 5

You can see that he is an awesome talent, he has no fear and does pick out a tackle as well as a pass. However, he should never have started at all.

Petrov - 5

Didn't really look good at all. He is the kind of player who looks good when his partner is good (Barry) but lacks when he has to do more stuff alone

Milner - 6

Same old, average Milner story. Not really much happening in terms of attacking contribution but at least he "tries"

Heskey - 5

He wins headers and he fights on the pitch, but that is never going to be enough for me. A very limited player whom I'm never going to want in the team that starts a game. I mean, if you can't create anything at home to Wigan then when are you? Limited passing and no creative braincells.

Agbonlahor - 3

I seldom give out anything under 4, because it's just stupid to do such a thing. However, Gabby looked overweight, tired and disoriented. How did he get a start MON? Oh that's right, we don't really have much to pick from.


Sidwell - 6

Some drive and a little bit more punch to it all.

Delfouneso - 5

Didn't see him

Albrighton - 5

See the above

We OBVIOUSLY should have done a 451. Friedel - Shorey - Davies - Cuellar - Beye - Young - Delph - Sidwell - Petrov - Milner - Heskey given the injury on L. Young (for left back) and Carew. We are so relient on lack of injuries it's sick... imagine an injury on the defenders, who would cover in the middle? It would be suicide to field Baker or whatever they are called.

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good summary Rocafella, have to agree. very very disappointed with our performance. we created nothing and looked vulnerable to every attack....and with due respect, it was wigan FFS. my "big 4" mates (bandwagoners) have been winding me up since the game finished (it was 2am here in Australia and that didn't stop them.....).

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Shocking performance so thought i'd leave a little time to have a say having calmed a bit. Definitely the worst performance overall since O'Neill came in and looked worryingly similar to some of what was served up under O'Leary in his last season. Ratings:

Friedel: 5- Not at fault in any way for either goal but I just don't get any sense of confidence with him in goal. He doesn't organize the defence well enough IMO and at times, I feel that he creates a sense of panic across the entire defence. Guzan will take his place this season for me.

Shorey: 2- Simply not a good enough player for Villa and where we want to be. Hardly ever put in a good performance and if Bouma is still way off fitness a left back is needed.

Cuellar: 6- Had about as good a game as could be expected in a poor defensive performance in general. A few good challenges but was trying to do the work for four defenders on his own. Could be a good season for Carlos I think.

Davies: 3- Another useless performance which many became used to seeing in the second half of last season. If it is because of his lack of fitness then get it sorted but I fear that it was only the immense performances of Laursen that ever made him look that good. Poor positioning and disorganised.

Beye: 5- Saved from too bad a rating because it is hard to blame him for not knowing what he was supposed to be doing when he was shoved in after being at the club only a few days in a bizarre MON decision for me. Looked composed on the ball but defensively he had a game to forget.

Young: 7 Hard to criticise a player who created the best chance of the game with the cross for the header in the first half and also came closest to scoring with a great free kick. Can't do it all on his own though. Cut out the diving and cut out the excessive use of 'tricks'.

Petrov: 2- Simply not good enough. Slow, weak, non-existent. Rated highly simply because of how poor he was first season. Should be well behind Reo-Coker in the starting order for me. Did nothing in this entire game as he does in many games but simply because he isn't as crap as he once was he gets credit from many.

Delph: 5- What was he supposed to do really though? Was pretty much him on his own in the centre of the park against 3 Wigan players.

Milner: 6- Decent performance from Jimmy and one he can build on over the season.

Gabby: 0- That about sums up the amount of input Gabby had on the game. I went into the season thinking Gabby was going to be in for a good season and was just left disappointed yesterday. Had very much the look of Luke Moore about him. Thinks he's made it big now but he needs strong words about his effort and commitment because he was largely at fault for Villa offering little going forward.

Heskey: 8(MOTM)- This is the type of performance Heskey should be able to put in more often for Villa. Chased everything, won most of what was hit at him in the air and in general looked the biggest threat we posed. Was in the box a lot more than last season and with better delivery from wide positions could have had a few chances. Good skill to beat Bramble early on but poor shot although it was by no means an easy chance. Also created the chance for Young in the dying minutes. Keep it up Emile!

Subs didn't really have long enough on the pitch. Albrighton did look quite bright and I thought Sidwell showed desire to do well but should have scored with his free header.

Transfers needed big time. Petrov should never be captain of the club and Gabby needs a kick up the backside.

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