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Vs Manchester Utd Away Report


JohnCresswell
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By Blandy

I'm at somewhat of a loss (much like Villa again) as to how to approach this "report".

Should I merely state what I saw? Should I try to analyse the thinking and reasons for what I saw, or I should I instead go for a deeper analysis as to the state of the club?

I'll maybe try and do a little of each.

Right.

The first half was THE most inept, listless, beaten before we went on the pitch, wrong team selection, utter letdown disgrace of a performance for a long time. It was worse than much of O'Leary's drivel. It was that bad, it really was.

Before the game kicked off, things hadn't initially started well, what with all the pubs we tried being shut, for some unknown Mancunian reason. So we went for a cup of tea. Fortunately after our cuppa, we found the Peveril had opened it's doors, and Jon, Pants and myself were able to take a number of pre-match refreshments. Fine work fellas. Thanks.

After the Tram ride up to the ground, a greasebomb burger (with onions and brown sauce, natch) I was able to hear the team announcements. Olly back in, Aaron hughes in midfield and Steven Davis on the bench, along with Lee, JPA, JLloyd and a spare keeper (not sure which one). Tommy was back in goal and Ozzy kept his place, with Stan injured.

I thought we must be going 3 at the back, but no, it seemed like 4-4-1-1 with Gabby wide and behind Milan Baros. What the heck was Aaron Hughes doing in the middle of midfield? Beats me. Needless to say he looked lost.

But things got worse. Villa were sloppy, tired, listless, second to the ball, poor of passing, ideas and movement. Shocking. By the time United scored, from a Cahill mistake - a mishit, rushed, clearance straight to Pak Ji Sung (or whatever his name is) United had had several good chances. Tommy had made one excellent save.

It didn't take long for them to get another, Carrick this time, from more sloppy play by Villa. Marking? Closing down? Nah, feck it, can't be arsed.

A third came, Gav giving the ball away stupidly, a cross and Ronaldo headed in. Utter tripe from Villa.

I've heard the phrase "United didn't need to get out of second gear" in many reports in the past. Frankly they didn't need to get out of first gear. We hadn't got out of bed. We were absolutely shocking. All the things we have come to expect from Villa were absent. Work-rate, closing down, battling, any quality of distribution.

Villa fans sulked and tried to rouse ourselves by taunting the silent Mancs. "your support is flipping poor" being the gist of it. Kindly enough they didn't bother to respond and point out that our team is "flipping poor".

Anyway, half time came. Subs were made. Bouma went off, JLloyd came on, with Barry dropping to left back and Jlloyd into left midfield. Aaron Hughes went off and Steven Davis came on, but went out right.

Villa were better, though it would have been impossible to be worse. I would imagine that the Old Trafford decorators will have to re-paint the paint back on to the walls of the away dressing room. I would guess that MO'N might also have apologised for a stupid team selection. He should have. He got it badly wrong.

Anyway, Baros looked a bit more energised, Davis added a bit of energy, and the team got stuck in a bit more. The passing was still wayward, Ozzy in particular, being guilty.

Nevertheless Baros wriggled down the right excellently and crossed from the corner of the dead-ball line and the box to the feet of Gabby who couldn't miss. Well done Milan.

Lee Hendrie was warming up in front of us, with JPA, to much acclaim, and being Lee was also "bantering" with some friendly Mancs. Some things don't change.

United had more chances, we had the odd one or two.

Rooney got himself booked, eventually. Earlier Barry had been booked by a pretty poor ref. Howard Webb was it?. Jon (2) next to me called him an "Establishment fascist Lackey", which whilst maybe not strictly true, summed up his performance.

Someone put their studs through Olly's thigh and got told off. Barry fairly and equally challenged Neville, and Barry got booked.

We lost 3-1 and I went home.

Now for some attempts at explaining/reasoning.

The team selection - no, sorry, can't think of anything. How does Aaron Hughes suddenly become a midfielder? How do either Lee Hendrie or Steven Davis get left out for him?

The listless performance in the first half - well, last week we gave a monumental effort, and got beat in the last minute. "we gave it our utmost and failed, therefore we will not beat them" seemed to be the attitude, if only subconciously.

The poor passing, lack of movement and the general second to the ball-ness? Well, Fergie, I guess would have told United that an early goal would probably knock Villa right back, that Villa would do what they did last week and so United had to make sure they had good energy and commitment to match Villa. They did. We didn't.

The second half, United just cruised, never expending unnecessary effort, but they were still the better side, due to quality, though we won the half 1-0.

Frankly, we were toilet. It must stop, and stop now.

Marks

Tommy - 6

Olly - 5

Gaz - 5

Ridge - 5

Bouma 5 (Jlloyd 5)

Gav - 5

Ozzy - 3

Aaron Hughes - 1 ( I'm not slating him, he just might as well not have ben on the pitch. He was invisible. Not his fault. He shouldn't have been in midfield. If by some possibility he was supposed to be at right back, Olly spent the whole game there, anyway) (Steve Davis 5)

Gareth Barry - 6

Milan Baros - 6

Gabby - 6

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Iforgot to say that Tommy should perhaps have saved Carricks shot for the second goal. Hard to tell from the angle I was at, but it wasn't the most powerful shot, and it wasn't right into the corner.

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After an afternoon of crap, watching us get stuffed on a barely visible internet stream, it's good to take something from a sad defeat. A well written piece doesn't really compare with some points on the board, but it's better than nothing. So thanks for that, it was good.

One thing I'd add. It seemed to me for the entire first half that they could pass their way through our midfield at will, while every time we got the ball we either passed it directly to them, or else hoofed it 70 yards upfield in the hope that Gabby could somehow gather it, beat the three men who by that time would be on him, and create a wonder goal out of nothing.

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A It seemed to me for the entire first half that they could pass their way through our midfield at will, while every time we got the ball we either passed it directly to them, or else hoofed it 70 yards upfield in the hope that Gabby could somehow gather it, beat the three men who by that time would be on him, and create a wonder goal out of nothing.

thanks.

[i'll shamelessly nick your spot-on analysis for my next report, and claim it as my own :)]

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Iforgot to say that Tommy should perhaps have saved Carricks shot for the second goal. Hard to tell from the angle I was at, but it wasn't the most powerful shot, and it wasn't right into the corner.

As with pretty much all the original article - spot on.

The defending for the goals either side was shite & he couldn't do anything about those, but he should have done better with the second for sure.

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Iforgot to say that Tommy should perhaps have saved Carricks shot for the second goal. Hard to tell from the angle I was at, but it wasn't the most powerful shot, and it wasn't right into the corner.

Radio 5 said he should have saved it , still we all know Tommy is infallible :-)

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its not the result, cus lets face it we know we arent going to beat united, its the way we go about doing it.

we just dont seem arsed anymore.

To be fair I don't think that is true.

All three of their goals come from defensive balls-ups of ridiculous orders, and the biggest problem today was MO'N got it wrong tactically.

Yes, ManUre took their foot off the pedal but the difference in the second half was clear, if nothing else cause Davis helped with our ball retention.

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Iforgot to say that Tommy should perhaps have saved Carricks shot for the second goal. Hard to tell from the angle I was at, but it wasn't the most powerful shot, and it wasn't right into the corner.

Radio 5 said he should have saved it , still we all know Tommy is infallible :-)

We all know you only post to slag him off and ignore anything good he does, handy that.

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We all know you only post to slag him off and ignore anything good he does, handy that.

The question was asked was he at fault for Carricks goal ..so I posted Radio 5's opinion .. I made no other comment so fail to see where the slagging him off from your post comes into it ??

Kiraly got slated for his 1 big mistake in a Villa shirt and everyone scream bring back the Dane he's great ,yet the Dane has made howlers and yet the blinkers stay on and we daren't criticise him.. he's had some great games for Villa but there is no point in earning us a point at Spurs away if he's going to gift the next team we play 3 points . On the whole he doesn't communicate with his back line , his kicking is awful and he can't really deal with crosses ..

For a team that has aspirations of joining the elite the simple fact is that goalkeeper is an area we need to improve on

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I am in total support of Martin O'neill and his task of getting in reinforcements has my sympathy, but his coaching team must start showing us something.

your comment of :

The poor passing, lack of movement and the general second to the ball-ness?

Has been in evidence for too long.......The training ground must show us some improvement. :evil:

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