Friday, 14 October 2011

Return to domestic football at the etihad

Tomorrow aston villa face the first "hard" match of the season against one of 3 other unbeaten clubs, Manchester citys money men.

The obvious prediction is that the claret and blue army are going to face an unsuccessful journey upto the etihad stadium. but im tryin to stay optimistic.

In recent years yes we have struggled for performances at the city of Manchester stadium but under mcleish we have tightened up at the back a lot. i know we havent faced anyone of Manchester citys calibre but still i feel we can frustrate them and with a bit of luck come away with at least a point. fingers crossed

it will all come down to one part of the pitch, the midfield. i believe we need some steel in there i would replace Delph with Heskey as we don't really have anyone else. i would like to see bannan play as he can create something out of nothing and as we would only be playing the counter attack he could make that moment of magic for gabby and bent to latch onto.

one man who will have it all to prove tomorrow. a certain Mr shay given. no doubt he will once again show what a great keeper he has been this season and what a mistake from man city for letting him go. he could be the difference between us keeping our unbeaten run or not

one thing that has to happen what ever the result is this is just one away game against a team challenging for the PL and if we get anything out of it its a bonus. next weeks home game against the baggies is a lot more essential to get a result from so the mcleish haters need to stay in their box after the final whistle

my prediction

man city 0 - 0 aston villa

Sunday, 2 October 2011

After seven games...

At the beginning of the season when he fixture list was announced we all looked at them and decided not to judge the team until after the first seven (winnable) games. Now we have reached that milestone. And what have we learnt? Its time to evaluate the start of the season.

First 7 Results
Fulham 0 - 0 Aston Villa
Aston Villa 3-1 Blackburn
Aston Villa 0 - 0 Wolves
Everton 2 -2 Aston Villa
Aston Villa 1 - 1 Newcastle
QPR 1 - 1 Aston Villa
Aston Villa 2 - 0 Wigan

League Table
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  • 16:56 01stOctober 2011
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What are the positives and negatives from these results, What have we learnt and what can we take from our current sixth position in the league?

Our defense is certainly back to its best after an indifferent season last year. only conceding 4 goals in seven games whilst scoring 8 giving us a nice + goal difference. Shay Given is proving what a fantastic keeper he is and gives the defense confidence that he has their back in defensive play. 

Our midfield. Well lets just say its a work in progress. Its definately our one weakness at the moment how we don't have that machine in the middle who stops everything and makes something out of nothing. One positive is a certain Barry Bannan being given a chance and provign why he deserves that chance with every game he has played being one of our consistently best players. Its also good to see Stephen Ireland finally getting a few games to. And slowly he is starting to fit in and strating to play some of the play we know he is capable of. With a few more games under his belt then he could possibly be back to his best. (fingers crossed) Also I feel there has been  much improved consistent performances from our captain Stilyan Petrov. And certainly has his shooting boots on this season after the fantastic goal against Everton had another great long range chance yesterday against Wigan only to be denyed by a great save from the Wigan GK.

One positive that definately has to be taken from the season so far. A certain Gabby Agbonlahor. He has provided the team with passion and copious amounts of skill and great goals and assists, His performance yesterday was one of a guy in fantastic form. The goal he scored in my opinion was as good as his goal against Rovers in our only other win this season back in August. And that brings me nicely onto the negatives from the season. Yes, we are unbeaten but we  are certainly not winning enough games at the moment. Hopefully that will come with time. But if the draws keep totting up then the negative Villa fans, you know who you are. Will be out in masses again against the team and more importantly the manager. He needs to be given time. He is trying to build something and even if we lose our unbeaten run against Man City in a couple of weeks. We need to get behind the team and give them the time for them to adapt to this new style of play. No one expect a classic against man city neither. Who wouldnt take a point from the Etihad? I know i certainly would, that would be a good result with the form they are in. But if we get a draw you can see what the Negs will say, oh look another draw, im sorry buy its all relative a draw against big spending citeh is a great result if thats the way it plays out.

One thing i would like to see is that against the "lesser" teams that we attack a lot more just like in the second half against QPR and the whole game yesterday. 

But for now, we go into the international break on a high, one of only 4 clubs unbeaten, Gabby on form and clean sheets a plenty. So lets basque in this for the next two weeks and look forward to the city game in a couple of weeks with optimism.