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Carling Cup Match Report from ATL, GA


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Pride of midlands is right! Delighted with the effort of the players and fans. A quick match report from my seat in the brewhouse pub in Atlanta.

Prepping for this match was tough, Normally I would be at home in South Carolina beer in hand watching the match, but this weekend I was in Atlanta, GA coaching. The logistics involved, meant that when I got my schedule which was favorable enough, trying to find a pub that was showing the match. Thankfully I found a pub about 20 minutes from where my game was being played and jumped in the motor arrived in time to watch Landon Donovan miss a sitter that Phil Dowd may have been able to score. So me and the missus in full Villa gear settled in with a cup of tea and bacon and sausage butty for the game.

The place was full of mancs who were all (shock) of course not from Manchester. One American bird in particular wanted to be the center of attention with shouts an swear words throughout the whole match, one in particular had everyone looking a bit funny "Get in his face Berba!" as Berbatov was standing in front of Friedel, Yes luv, that well renowned hard man Dimi Berbatov.

Anyway on to the game.

We of course all know about the first five minutes, but lets recap. Gabby does Vidic, Vidic fouls him in penalty box, Red card and peno surely. Even the mancs knew it. But Dowdy decides to not even issue a yellow card. Watching the Chelski highlights last night and seeing Barrys Pen and Belletti's sending off, i still really, honestly cant figure out why there was no card of any sort. Astonishing. Well Jimmy slotted the peno and i would love to know what the celebration as about. Good banter im sure in the dressing room. The delight and belief on the lads faces was breathtaking, could we do it!?

Dunne was pressured amicably by Berbatov and gifted the Bulgarian a direct run at goal, he made a great last ditch tackle to make up for the error, but then the Michael Owen of 1998 turned up and calmly placed a cultured shot into the bottom corner of an outstretched Big Brad. Shortly after Owen in front of a watching Capello did the other thing he does best. Got injured. Now this wasn't as good as Rafael getting hurt and Neville was on(btw, thought we could have done more to run at the old *****) unfortunately for us, Wayne Rooney entered the fray. How many of you had a sneaky feeling he would be the difference in this hotly contested match? The game was back and forth the whole half, with them stronger in the last few mins culminating in Park hitting the post. 1-1 at half and an intriguing look at the skills of the two managers in terms of tweaking the game plans after seeing 45 mins of action.

So on to the second half and more of the same really. Quite an interesting battle, with some sub plots of nicely developing individual tests. , Young Vs Evra, Heskey Vs Evans and Petrov Vs Carrick were added to Gabby Vs Vidic and Dunne and Collins Vs Rooney. I think its critical at this point to tell you what I think Villa miss in our side. We miss a forward who can turn and run at defenders in the central part of the pitch, who can take a man on with skill, guile and verve, who can create a yard of space off the dribble centrally and shoot (Gabby was/is a great and willing runner into space behind-but there wasn't much of that after the first 5 mins yesterday-even though he did great. Heskey played well as the big target man up top.) Now were not the only team that needs this and apart from that I think MON has built a fine squad.And yes I know these players don't grow on trees!

So for all our possession, and we were going toe to toe with them for the whole match, i just think we were a little one dimensional, in just trying to attack from out wide. I always tell my players lets mix it up a little bit, even if you see a weakness out wide, you have to come inside occasionally otherwise it becomes too predictable. I think the players and coaches had a game plan and did a fantastic job out there executing it, but i do feel we played a little one dimensional. After Rooneys goal, i was hoping for Heskey off for Carew and Delph for Downing, playing Delph well ahead of Petrov to pick up second balls and drive at the United back four, committing there big oaks at center back and slipping either Carew or Gabby or a slashing Young/Milner coming off the wing. Alas After Rooney was left just a smidgen too open in the box from Valencias cross, i felt we wouldn't get back into it unless we had some luck, that evaporated when Heskeys ( I thought it looked goal bound) header clipped the top of the bar from a Vidic deflection.

In Summary i thought the boys, fans, and club did everyone proud, we have a lot to be positive about and genuinely think now MON has built a fine balanced squad that one world class player of his liking would take us to the next level.

Apologies for inaccuracies and leaving out key parts, I wrote this in my planning period ;)

Cheers and UTV


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Nice report, well done Winker ;-)

But ye should have got yer missus to slap that tart in the pub

Cheers Rob,

Hopefully there is another Villan who was in there on here to post what an annoying bint she was.

Typical manc fans!

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