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Next up, the Villa 15/09/2006

Posted by Matt Rowson in Uncategorized.

It’s a bit of a shame that David O’Leary got the boot (unless you’re a Villa fan).  In a division not short of thoroughly dislikeable characters, O’Leary managed to stand out.  Given the effect that his porridgey brand of management had had on the Villa team, you’d have fancied us quite strongly to break our duck and gain three points this weekend had he still been in charge.

As it is, Martin O’Neill‘s arrival, along with the drawn-out takeover, has coincided with an upturn in the general ambience around Villa Park, with results and performances following suit.  Admittedly Villa will have to do a little more to comprehensively convince that they’ve turned a corner… two away points from games they might have expected to lose plus two home wins, one rather fortunate (Reading) and another against the bluntest weapon in the top flight (Newcastle) is pretty good to be going along with, but no more than that.  Much has been made of them giving West Ham a hell of a game last weekend, but then we’ve done that also.  Either way, O’Neill’s arrival doesn’t make a win for the ‘orns any less imperative.

Villa’s major pre-deadline capture was that of Stilian Petrov, once a Watford target under GT before he signed for Celtic, but by all accounts a hugely impressive figure last weekend.  Another ex-Celt Didier Agathe has also signed but is likely to be a bit short of match fitness for the moment.  O’Neill has fielded a 4-3-3 thus far with Juan Pablo Angel flanked by Luke Moore and last season’s most anonymous loan signing Gabriel Agbonlahor (insert your own Angel Gabriel pun here), although Milan Baros has returned to fitness and could be suited to one of the wide roles.

For the Hornets, Smudger Smith should make his second home debut, Jordan Stewart is likely to continue in the enforced absence of Chris Powell, and given the pace in Villa’s attack, Jay Demerit could well come back in for Malky Mackay.

We don’t half need a win in this one.  You do kinda feel that if we gain a lead in a game (something we’ve held for roughly a minute so far this season) then we’re still very well equipped to murder teams on the break.  This will happen sooner or later.  Tomorrow would be more than welcome…


1. eddy2508 - 15/09/2006

Talk of the Colombian Juan Pablo Angel reminds me of the time I was staying with a pal in Bogota, Colombia. I wanted to see a match but the season had been cancelled because a ref was shot dead in Medallin. So watch out Mr D’urso and mates!

Ed Messenger

2. martinblanc - 16/09/2006

Well, didn’t happen. The first 45 was quite the worst half of football we’ve played this season, but bless him, Betty didn’t flinch, and hauled off main culprit Doyley and =2nd Doris, and voila, a more characterful and/but characteristic performance…3 near misses to 2 for Villa – so we shaded the half. Big deal. More warm words from the opposition, probably. At least if Man City turn over Blackburn, we might maintain our ‘climb up the table’ for more than 24 hours…

3. Villadan - 30/05/2007

I know I am little late on this but I think your comments towards Gabby Agbonlahor are totally inane he was playing in a very poor Watford side surrounded my mediocrity I do not see how you can justify ripping the kid apart on ” Your gone but not forgotten” column I suggest you look at his performances for Aston Villa for last season??!!!

4. Ian Grant - 30/05/2007

But – to state the bleedin’ obvious for the umpteenth time – we weren’t writing about his performances for Villa last season. We’re a Watford site and so, logically enough, we were writing about his performances for Watford the season before.

Then, regardless of the context, he was mediocrity incarnate: all pace, no purpose. We can justify our comments, because we were there to see it; you weren’t, I imagine. Subsequently, he may well have become God’s gift to English football…but that doesn’t change the fact that he was spectacularly average during his short stay at Watford. We could use hindsight to pretend otherwise, of course…but we’d only be doing so to stem the steady stream of really rather dreary comments from Villa fans….

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