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Match Report: Aston Villa 1 – 1 Middlesbrough


JohnCresswell
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Aston Villa 1 Middlesbrough 1

Villa Park

Saturday 25th November 2006

FA Barclays Premiership.

Sometimes it’s really hard to work a game out. Today’s game was one such game for me. Personally, I felt Villa had the better of the game, and had created enough chances to win it – and would have if luck had been with us and the referee appointed for the game was good enough.

Unfortunately, we had neither.

One of the biggest blows Villa had to deal with today was the news that Chris Sutton could be out injured for up to three weeks. With this news, Martin O’Neill was again forced to change his side and formation.

I know some people can get a little sensitive when criticism is aimed at Villa’s manager, so, I’ll now add the usual disclaimer that I support the manager 100% and am very, very happy he is manager….however – he made two errors today that had a major impact on the game.

This first was the team that started – or rather the formation. With Sutton out, O’Neill opted for a 4-5-1 formation. Rather than the one which we saw at the start of the season, this was much more midfield based, with the five keeping a strict line. This left Angel up front, on his own and unable to hold the ball up.

Villa struggled to create anything of note, and it was not until O’Neill pushed Agbonlahor up front until anything of real note was created. Highlight of the first half, except the goals, had to be Wilfred Bouma’s powerful left foot shot that was only just turned around by ‘Boro’s Aussie ‘keeper.

All the real action happened in a five minute spell before the end of the first half. Middlesbrough came to Villa Park for a draw, and were often found wasting time and throwing themselves on the floor in a bid to win a free kick. Unfortunately the referee, a Mr Walton, fell for such tricks.

Mr Walton wasn’t helped by his linesmen, who both had nightmare performances tonight, which ultimately effected the result of the game. ‘Boro scored from a quick break, following a mistake by Gavin McCann in midfield. The ball found itself to Malcolm Christie, who couldn’t believe his luck as despite being what looked to be about 70 miles offside was allowed to slot past Sorensen and put ‘Boro 1-0 up.

I once told that if a controversial decision had been made during the game, then it would not be replayed on the big screens. This goal wasn’t shown.

It didn’t last for long, and Villa were soon level. Deep, deep into injury time in the first half, some neat football on the edge of the box and a great through ball to Petrov left him one on one with the goalkeeper. Petrov was forced out wide, and everyone in Villa Park knew he’d play for the penalty. Petrov was brought down, the penalty given, and Barry slotted it away.

I believe Gareth Southgate isn’t too happy at the penalty decision, so a bit of advice, Gareth. If your players hadn’t have been diving all over the floor, and wasting so much time on goal kicks, free kicks and throw ins then the added time in which we scored in wouldn’t have been added. I’d also remind Southgate that they were one the end of several decisions which they really shouldn’t have had given.

It was always going to be one of those days. The referee, a man who is fairly new to the Premiership clearly wanted to be in on the action. Rather than leaving the ball for the footballers, he’d only be too keen to get a touch on it whenever he had stopped play, and when the ball hit him and knocked him flat in the first half, his smile could have been seen from most of the ground, happy that he’d now be remembered.

Villa had two goals disallowed – one by Juan Pablo Angel that was clearly offside and one decision that the officials managed to get right, but the second, which would have put Villa ahead, but Huth put up his hand to appeal and he wouldn’t lie, would he? Oh no, Mr Linesman.

Second mistake by O’Neill was his double substitution during the second half. Villa we using the wings well, getting in some dangerous crosses and looking for that winner. However, off came Angel and on came Baros – so we now had two strikers up front who need the ball played to their feet and not to their head as we had been today, and continued to do so after the substitution.

Any ball hoofed up immediately found it’s way back into our half – Baros and Agbonlahor aren’t going to beat Woodgate and Huth in the air.

One final moan – the referee let Emanuel Pogatetz assault Thomas Sorensen. There is no other word than assault for it. With Sorensen having safely picked a ball out of the air, Pogatetz continued to jump straight into Sorensen, bundling him into the net. It was a sickening, foul challenge which had it happened to be against a team such as Chelsea or Manchester United would be replayed and shown again and again with the accused being called all sorts of names. The thug will get away with it this time, as it was ‘only’ against Villa. The challenge left Sorensen injured and unable to kick a ball cleanly, which meant that Stuart Taylor had to replace him.

We did enough to win, and wanted the win more than Southgate’s Middlesbrough, so it’s disappointing that we didn’t. I was rather disappointed that Southgate had sent out his side to dive, cheat and play for the draw as I hadn’t expected that from him. I was even more disappointed that Southgate was happy that his team did dive, cheat and foul their way around the pitch – clapping each time they got away with it. Perhaps it’s just because they are an inferior team, in which case I guess it’s understandable.

Personally, I think it’s because he looks like a horse.

John Cresswell

editor@villatalk.com

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A very accurate summation ,but if its of any consolation John, watching it from New Zealand ,it is not any easier to take and probably even more frustrating as you only have the tv to scream at & the neighbours do'nt apppreciate football fans sceaming at their TV's that early in the morning.

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every team we play has the referee in their back pocket, whether home or away, is this a hangover from Deadly Doug or just the media convincing everyone that Aston Villa F.C. is not really big enough to be be in the premier division (For God's sake WHUFC are far bigger than us aren't they !) We have to work hard to get back the respect of rest of the football world & the media that we are in the top 5 of the greatest clubs in English football, which we truely are.

Villa forever

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Aston Villa 1 Middlesbrough 1

Villa Park

Saturday 25th November 2006

FA Barclays Premiership.

Sometimes it’s really hard to work a game out. Today’s game was one such game for me. Personally, I felt Villa had the better of the game, and had created enough chances to win it – and would have if luck had been with us and the referee appointed for the game was good enough.

Unfortunately, we had neither.

One of the biggest blows Villa had to deal with today was the news that Chris Sutton could be out injured for up to three weeks. With this news, Martin O’Neill was again forced to change his side and formation.

I know some people can get a little sensitive when criticism is aimed at Villa’s manager, so, I’ll now add the usual disclaimer that I support the manager 100% and am very, very happy he is manager….however – he made two errors today that had a major impact on the game.

This first was the team that started – or rather the formation. With Sutton out, O’Neill opted for a 4-5-1 formation. Rather than the one which we saw at the start of the season, this was much more midfield based, with the five keeping a strict line. This left Angel up front, on his own and unable to hold the ball up.

Villa struggled to create anything of note, and it was not until O’Neill pushed Agbonlahor up front until anything of real note was created. Highlight of the first half, except the goals, had to be Wilfred Bouma’s powerful left foot shot that was only just turned around by ‘Boro’s Aussie ‘keeper.

All the real action happened in a five minute spell before the end of the first half. Middlesbrough came to Villa Park for a draw, and were often found wasting time and throwing themselves on the floor in a bid to win a free kick. Unfortunately the referee, a Mr Walton, fell for such tricks.

Mr Walton wasn’t helped by his linesmen, who both had nightmare performances tonight, which ultimately effected the result of the game. ‘Boro scored from a quick break, following a mistake by Gavin McCann in midfield. The ball found itself to Malcolm Christie, who couldn’t believe his luck as despite being what looked to be about 70 miles offside was allowed to slot past Sorensen and put ‘Boro 1-0 up.

I once told that if a controversial decision had been made during the game, then it would not be replayed on the big screens. This goal wasn’t shown.

It didn’t last for long, and Villa were soon level. Deep, deep into injury time in the first half, some neat football on the edge of the box and a great through ball to Petrov left him one on one with the goalkeeper. Petrov was forced out wide, and everyone in Villa Park knew he’d play for the penalty. Petrov was brought down, the penalty given, and Barry slotted it away.

I believe Gareth Southgate isn’t too happy at the penalty decision, so a bit of advice, Gareth. If your players hadn’t have been diving all over the floor, and wasting so much time on goal kicks, free kicks and throw ins then the added time in which we scored in wouldn’t have been added. I’d also remind Southgate that they were one the end of several decisions which they really shouldn’t have had given.

It was always going to be one of those days. The referee, a man who is fairly new to the Premiership clearly wanted to be in on the action. Rather than leaving the ball for the footballers, he’d only be too keen to get a touch on it whenever he had stopped play, and when the ball hit him and knocked him flat in the first half, his smile could have been seen from most of the ground, happy that he’d now be remembered.

Villa had two goals disallowed – one by Juan Pablo Angel that was clearly offside and one decision that the officials managed to get right, but the second, which would have put Villa ahead, but Huth put up his hand to appeal and he wouldn’t lie, would he? Oh no, Mr Linesman.

Second mistake by O’Neill was his double substitution during the second half. Villa we using the wings well, getting in some dangerous crosses and looking for that winner. However, off came Angel and on came Baros – so we now had two strikers up front who need the ball played to their feet and not to their head as we had been today, and continued to do so after the substitution.

Any ball hoofed up immediately found it’s way back into our half – Baros and Agbonlahor aren’t going to beat Woodgate and Huth in the air.

One final moan – the referee let Emanuel Pogatetz assault Thomas Sorensen. There is no other word than assault for it. With Sorensen having safely picked a ball out of the air, Pogatetz continued to jump straight into Sorensen, bundling him into the net. It was a sickening, foul challenge which had it happened to be against a team such as Chelsea or Manchester United would be replayed and shown again and again with the accused being called all sorts of names. The thug will get away with it this time, as it was ‘only’ against Villa. The challenge left Sorensen injured and unable to kick a ball cleanly, which meant that Stuart Taylor had to replace him.

We did enough to win, and wanted the win more than Southgate’s Middlesbrough, so it’s disappointing that we didn’t. I was rather disappointed that Southgate had sent out his side to dive, cheat and play for the draw as I hadn’t expected that from him. I was even more disappointed that Southgate was happy that his team did dive, cheat and foul their way around the pitch – clapping each time they got away with it. Perhaps it’s just because they are an inferior team, in which case I guess it’s understandable.

Personally, I think it’s because he looks like a horse.

John Cresswell

editor@villatalk.com

Good report John

I agree with your comments , regarding playing one up front, albeit i think Baros had to come on as Angel was not working ( he works hard but is not effective).

As for your points about critising the manager.... when people write "I hate the manager" despite it being in jest.... it is bound to evoke response in some quarters.

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dear me must write those lines.

I must not be contentious, especially when idiots are about, I must not be contentious when idiots are about.........

Good report JC spot on criticism of O'Neill too. I'd do the same but it usually guaranties the thread gets closed

Why he doesn't swap to a more aggressive 442 or even 433 with Gabby, Angel and Baros up front when you have Barry, McCann and Petrov in midfield is beyond me.

Well its not really because I appreciate he's too concerned about not losing a goal with the two kids playing CB's and his desire to test out Osborne or Agathe.

Which in turn makes me sure he knows who he can get and when and he's just doing damage limitation whilst we have injuries.

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I know some people can get a little sensitive when criticism is aimed at Villa’s manager, so, I’ll now add the usual disclaimer that I support the manager 100% and am very, very happy he is manager….however

:clap:

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