Author Topic: Aston Villa 4 Newcastel United 1 - Saturday 9th Feb  (Read 1705 times)

Offline trophy4toon

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Aston Villa 4 Newcastel United 1 - Saturday 9th Feb
« on: February 10, 2008, 10:41:13 am »
A tale of two managers !!
It took the astute Martin O’Neil precisely 45 minutes to work out the frailties of this Newcastle team. At half time he brought on Marlon Harewood and then with John Carew ordered his Villa team to attack Newcastle at the heart of their defence i.e. straight down the middle. He also realised the goal threat was minimal and replaced the defensively solid Melberg with the creative Gardner. Within 5 minutes of the re-start the match was won.
There was a reasonable period at 2-1 where Newcastle stabilised yet Keegan strangely chose to make no tactical substitutions. On the bench he had muscle man Faye who could have replaced Capaca and really help Taylor get hold of Carew and Harewood. He also had Viduka who could perhaps have kept Michael Owen company up front. Yet he chose to bring on Emre for Barton which was not really where the problems were.
What do you do with Alan Smith, playing as a target man up front against the towering Larsson was hopeless. As a striker yesterday he holds the ball up well if it’s played to his feet but that’s it. The whole Newcastle attack lacked pace and penetration. Duff busied about but never beat a man, Milner dribbled well down the right but never delivered a telling cross. Owen showed sheer class near the end on one of the few occasions he got a pass by outstripping the Villa defence down the right and blasting a shot into the side netting.
There was no creativity in the midfield at any time, Butt won possession well but wasted so many passes. Barton, like Duff, busied himself without really making a telling contribution. Emre when he appeared second half showed that at least he is capable of making a telling pass, but by the time he came on the game was lost.
On the optimistic side there does seem to be a good collective spirit amongst the players, particularly in the first half when Newcastle were pretty much in control. So against the lesser lights of the Premier league the current team failings will be less obvious.
Problem being of course, we have already played most of our fixtures against the bottom half teams and it’s hard to see where the next win is coming from.

Given – still a class act, unfortunately slipped for the deflected goal
Harper – an able deputy for Given, even the fine save he made from Gardner’s blast which hit him full in the face
Beye – steady, solid full back
Taylor – badly needs some experienced help around him
Capaca – not a Premiership standard centre back, he’s been found out now, he’s easy to muscle off the ball. Villa centre forward Carew got a hatrick, what more could you say
Carr – probably the most right footed player ever to play left back, but effort was high
Milner – needs to deliver more crosses
Barton – busy doing what ??
Butt – overrated, lacked the engine of Reo Coker and always gives the ball away
Duff – see Barton
Smith – too small, can’t pass, can’t score, no pace. Hence struggling at centre forward
Owen – first touch and distribution needs to be better, but worked hard and always looks likely to score. Currently ‘a Billy no mates’ up front
Emre – he has to start when fit, there is no one else who can pass the ball