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vs Chelsea Reserves: A Match Report


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Thanks to Out By Easter, who travelled to the Bescot tonight to see a Villa reserve team including fall to Chelsea.

Aston Villa reserves 0 - 3 Chelsea reserves

A dissapointing defeat which featured no shortage of effort, and saw one or two of our boys taking steps on the road to recovery against an excellent Chelsea team.

We started with a strong looking line up featuring a good smattering of first teamers, but it’s impossible to tell the story of tonight’s game without concentrating on Chelsea. It was their night and I’ve got to say, as reserves teams go, and for a team with no first team players in it, this is as good as reserve team football gets.

Their goals were largely forgettable, the best of them was their second, but all three were down to defensive lapses.

There’s a game you can play in the reserves where you try to figure out what level players will end up at. The Chelsea starting eleven looked like they were all capable of playing Premiership football.

Ma-Kalamby is enormous and can throw the ball a country mile, the centre halves were very solid, and they had good movement and real ability all over the pitch. Miroslav Stoch impressed me, he reminded me a lot of SWP in some ways, and I’d pick him out as the one to watch.

What a pitch by the way, You forget sometimes how spoilt we are at Villa Park, anyone who went to the Bescot tonight can’t fail to have noticed how good the pitch is at Villa Park.

This had patches of marsh, patches of beach. Essentially it was patchy. Lumpy too.

It didn’t stop them passing it around though. Nor did that stop me taking an instant dislike to one of their number and a lingering dislike to another.

Jonas Elmer is Frank Skinners face on Robbie Savages body and that’s simply not right.

Sergio Tejera Rodriguez is a filthy diving cheat. He went down in a heap for the free kick that lead to their first goal, then leapt over a Shane Lowry tackle with a huge girly yelp five minutes later. I don’t like him. I let him know.

In truth, we were poor in the middle of the park, and that meant we neither created much nor prevented them attacking our back four.

I’ll deal with them first.

Olejnik (5) – I’m a big fan, but this wasn’t his best day, he didn’t command his defence. A more experienced keeper would have had them clearing their lines rather than messing about with it.

Samuel (6) – Did okay and no better. Departing before he’d ever got warmed up.

Having to start the game at right back wouldn’t have helped much I imagine. The injury didn’t look too serious, so hopefully he’ll be back in contention soon.

Lowry (6) – Big, strong, full of heart and aggressive. Defended pretty well, but struggles with that bit of extra ability on the ball he’ll need if he has hopes of making the step up.

Laursen (7) – Looked solid enough, but seemed a little bit away from full sharpness. In flashes you could see how good he is, but he seemed to struggle to adapt to the players around him. Still seemed to have the ability to step it up whenever he felt like it though. 90 minutes under the belt, and he doesn’t look too far from ready.

Stephen O’Halloran (4) – Nothing wrong with his attitude, he’s determined, a good tackler, diligent and a good talker. Unfortunately, this boy couldn’t find a pass on Mastermind. Awful on the ball, his night climaxed when he played a simple four-yard ball straight to Chelsea’s number nine to poke home from the edge of the six-yard box. I haven’t written him off yet, but he needs to learn when to play it and when to get rid of it. He seemed to get every single decision wrong tonight.

Christopher Herd – (7) – Moved from midfield (where he was ineffectual) to right back where I thought he was our best player on the night. Won more than his fair share of balls, defended solidly and showed a fair degree of promise going forwards.

In midfield, we really struggled.

Marc Albrighton (6) – The best of our midfielders I thought, looked reasonably bright down the right hand side, but struggled to get away from the pace of Elmer.

Isaiah Osbourne (6) – Taken off at half time. Ozzy does some good things, and always kept Chelsea occupied, we missed him in the second half.

Zoltan Steiber (4) – Just doesn’t look ready for football at this level yet. I guess it’s an endorsement of his talent that he’s being picked. Looked like a boy against men at times and never really got into it.

Jonathon Hogg (5) – Another like O’Halloran and Lowry who didn’t lack commitment but couldn’t quite produce the quality on the ball that goes with it.

Yago Bellon (5) – At half time he warmed up with a ball, and looked like he could have got it to go and fetch the paper for him. Mesmeric control, a fantastic touch and wonderful technique were displayed. He didn’t seem to be able to bring them into the second half that followed.

And so to the stars;

Patrick Berger (7) – I’m thoroughly enjoying watching Patrick play reserve team football, he’s so much better than a lot of what else is on display and at times you could be fooled into thinking you were watching Zidane. (At least until you realise that those two players he’s just baffled are two 17 year olds without a first team appearance between them.) No end product tonight though, and that’s what counts.

Luke Moore (5) – Thrives on through balls, and didn’t really get any, seemed to lose the heart for this one towards the end. Still it was good to see him back, and he’ll feel a bit more comfortable with his shoulder after it survived a mighty whack from young Harry Worley. Looks a long way from match fitness.

Tobias Mikaelsson (5) – I said I couldn’t quite figure him out after our last game. Tonight I offer you this clue to his make up: Two parts Tore Andre Flo; two parts Jarvis Cocker. Somewhere in there there’s a player, I’m just not sure what sort of player it is.

So, a disappointing evening, and as the 646 in attendance trudged off to their cars, without even the joy of Barry Bannan to ease the gloom, I spotted Jlloyd Samuel in the passenger seat of a Porsche 4x4. He was expecting a lift from Martin Laursen.

If Martin can keep building his fitness and stay healthy, then I think I might be too.

Next up Fulham: Back at the Bescot a week tomorrow. Tuesday 6th February 19:00.

BOF : Result added

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Laursen looked the bollocks he was pushing himself about and looked secure(but just not quite ready yet!) dammmmmm!!!

Luke Moore looked very poor will not be starting against Newcastle!

j,loyld was playing right back and went off very easy, not bad injury!

Berger played very well , he left pitch & it went down hill!

Same with Osbourne he looked very strong. When him and berger went off ,it was no match after that!

Special mention Albrighton decent on the right and weirdly Herd was very good at full back as he is right midfield (that lad has a nack)?!!!

Steiber was great up front but was shit in the centre of midfield(second half) apart from the mullet he looks like he could do business!

O'Halloran' mistake was rough! Does need to work on passing!

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Did i read the entire piece without getting informed of the result?

Almost :)

Their goals were largely forgettable, the best of them was their second, but all three were down to defensive lapses.

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