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Are The Wheels Falling Off The Wagon? Citeh Match Report


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Aston Villa 1 Manchester Citeh 3


Wednesday 29th November 2006

Villa Park

Oh deary me, and this season started off so promising, huh? It’s very easy to start panicking, and there is certainly no reason to do that, but it’s now the third game in a row which Villa have now put out a poor performance and failed to bring home all three points.

Arguably, the team put out to face Citeh was the best O’Neill had available to him. However, at no stage of that first half did Martin O’Neill’s team look anything but second best. I think the main problem was the stagnant attack, which really did not manage to hold up, or threaten getting anywhere near the Citeh goal, which is a shame considering they had a cripple in between the sticks.

Talking of goalkeepers, that horrendous challenge on Sorensen on Saturday hit the team hard again, with Stuart Taylor deputising and failing to impress – once again failing to hold onto the ball preferring just to push it out of the way whenever possible.

Two first half goals killed the game off before the break and whilst Villa endeavoured to get back into the game defensive frailties and the push for an equaliser led to the game being put out of their reach.

The first Citeh goal was another case of giving players too much time and space. Vassell slotted home a shot past Taylor.

The second however, was a defensive mix up which really, really should not have happened. First the ball was played through the defence to Sameras, in acres and acres of space – and with Bouma initially gone missing a pass was given to Barton, who hit a shot at Taylor’s near post, which crept in. Poor defending, and a shot which you would have been hoping could have been saved.

Petrov rattled the crossbar just before halftime, with a fantastic free kick, but that was all Villa could offer up.

I imagine that wasn’t the only thing rattling – I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall for O’Neill’s half time talk – he looked fuming and imagine it was the first time the players were on the receiving end of an O’Neill ‘telling off’.

The players looked much more energised and well, determined to put things right in the second half. For the first twenty minutes, Villa pushed forwards – asking questions – and whilst both Angel and Baros were doing their best, on this occasion, their best wasn’t good enough. Villa did manage a goal, a 30 yard power shot by Gavin McCann, but only minutes later, it was game over.

By now Villa had changed to a 3-4-1-2 formation – three at the back, Petrov behind the front two. However, this was becoming more and more like two at the back as Mellberg continued to pour forward – he had plenty of space and ball, but his crossing was what you’d expect from a central defender, so chances went as quickly as they came.

With Citeh breaking forward and Mellberg left in attack alongside Cahill, Liam Ridgewell was left to defend against the break. Luckily, it was only distain – a player not know for his attacking skill, or speed. Oh dear. He breezed past Ridgewell and struck a firm shot past Taylor – it wasn’t a well placed one, mind, and again, Taylor should have done better.

It was a shame for Taylor as he had previously made two very good saves to keep the draw achievable.

And that was it, game over. One thing is for sure – I’m glad I don’t have to choose a man of the match!

John Cresswell


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Sorry but we were second best throughout with little positive to take from this game. City looked so much bigger, stronger and quicker to the ball than VILLA and our lack of width and few options took their toll. Here's hoping we are actually better away from home at the moment otherwise December might be a struggle.

If anyone can sort it out its MON.

Keep the faith.

Up the VILLA!

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i dont blame taylor, the defence was shockingly bad. idont think even sorensen could have prevented them goals the way teh defence was.

they better impress against pompey or they could say bye bye as MON will replace them. times ahve cahnged lads you cant play this awful every week and get away with it. no-more ellis so now if you play poorly ona vregular basis your out!

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i dont blame taylor, the defence was shockingly bad. idont think even sorensen could have prevented them goals the way teh defence was.

they better impress against pompey or they could say bye bye as MON will replace them. times ahve cahnged lads you cant play this awful every week and get away with it. no-more ellis so now if you play poorly on a regular basis your out!

Totally agree Demitri,

Taylor was not that poor and the defence was shocking, non existant a lot of the time. The time and space they allowed City was awful.

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The way i saw the game last night is that pearce saw Bouma as our weak link, Every time they had three players on our left hand side, all going past him almost everytime.

Taylor comin in never worries me but keepers need games to become confident & the one thing i think Taylor lacks is the ability to command the area, shout for balls ect.

But they saw Bouma as our weak link, Ill say it once & ill say it again hes not a leftback, hes a centre half. He played there for Feynoord & he played on the left of three centre halfs for Holland.

I know you keep the same team if things are going well but putting Mellberg at right back again when Hughes is fit was a mistake in my eyes. Olof is our best centre half by a mile & yet is still being played there, its starting to annoy me.

In the 1st half we were second to every ball & never picking up any second balls & the passing wowful. Even a goal kick by Taylor was summing up the game. It was just one of thoses nights for us.

On my view of the team besdies Gabby we lack any real pace throughout the team, I dont count Baros because hes like a headless chicken, Ill touch on that soon.

I Want Gabby playing up top & i want us to get a proper winger, Gabby cuts in way to much & his final balls are hit & miss. But again he is a forward being played wide. I think him & angel or sutton would be our best option.

As for Baros he has to go. He to the by line last night, two unmarked players & he doesnt look up its just a punt into the box which got cut out by ben t. We need a fliar forward & i hope to god the robbie keane links are true.

As much as i like ridgewell & Cahill & its great our youth players are playing Distan prushed passed liam, outpaced him and finished off teh move. For me olof needs an experience centre half along side him. I see Katzer forn rapid has been linked & hes as spoken himself about us wanting him. Hes a good player & better they liam & Gary. Sorry if that upsets people but i pay my money & thats my view.

Its 2 loses out of 14 games so its not bad going, Its just how we lost last night which was ashame.

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A few thoughts on the match

I think the lack of depth in our squad is beginning to bit us in the backside.

We were missing our first choice goal keeper, and Although they are talented and future prospects both of our central defenders Cahill and Ridgewell lack experience and i think that the opposition were aware of this and took advantage particularily Vassel who is used to playing alongside ridgwell.

We're down to two Strikers. Angel and particularily Baros are not setting the world alight this season.

Thank goodness January is near.

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