The bad mood continues and I think those that remained in SJP until the final whistle vs Spurs and then slumped out of the Leazes End and down past the back of the East Stand had a very dejected look about them and they were bloody entitled to feel that way too.
Firstly, let’s quickly nail a couple of things. It’s not all 1 person’s fault that we look a very poor side at the moment. Yes, Mike Ashley could have signed a few cheques to maybe tempt a Grenier, a Gomis or a Cabella but that didn’t happen (possibly for a number of reasons, 1 of them being the fact that we involved Joe Kinnear in these matters), but, that doesn’t mean players like Santon can perform the way he has been, or that Sissoko can turn in some absolutely, shit performances, or that Krul can flap the ball 3 times straight to the opponents toe, I’m afraid the players need to be asking some serious questions of themselves for their efforts recently. And then there’s manager and coaching operation too. It’s their job to prepare and motivate players and select the right players in the right systems to win matches, they’re failing in areas under their remit too, currently. Pardew isn’t helping his own credibility by lumping blame on players who only came on when we were already 0-2 down. His treatment of Sylvain Marveaux is fucking pathetic.
I’ll be honest, initially, I wanted fuck all to do with Pardew, but having heard a few of his talk ins and watched us play and I thought, actually, I’ll cut him some slack and started to warm to him, but I last season damaged his reputation, only some of his excuses packed weight, the rest were hot air. But we appointed Kinnear as DoF, I couldn’t help but fear, the next move was to reinstall JFK into the dug out, and that was an absolute no-go. Now he’s gone and I’d say I’v now settled to a position on Pardew where, honestly, I just couldn’t give a fuck about him. If he stays, so be it, if he left tomorrow, then so be it. I don’t envisage Ashley appointing a suitable successor, not least because I suspect he has neither the nous nor the clout to attract one and also, I seriously doubt whether any manager who wasn’t totally desperate would want the job anyway if he did approach them.
But Pardew does need to get a response from the players before it appears he’s taken this lot as far as he can, whether ostracising talent or mismanaging Ben Arfa, whilst Santon can be shit for 18 months and never get dropped or Sissoko can be shit in all bar a handful of games and be made captain, is entirely the right way to go about it, well, errrm, Im not so sure.
But, home to a Villa side 4 points off the relegation places is a genuine opportunity to get back to winning ways. Villa’s January transfer activity was also, solely concentrated on the loans market with Grant Holt and Ryan Bertrand incoming.
Their away form is actually better than their home form, with 4 wins (Arsenal 3-1, Norwich 1-0, Southampton 3-2 & Mackems 1-0), 5 draws (Hull 0-0, West Ham 0-0, WBA 2-2, Liverpool 2-2 & Cardiff 0-0) and just 4 defeats (Everton 2-1, Stoke 2-1, Fulham 2-0 and Chelsea 2-1)
Benteke leads their goal scoring charts with 8. Last ‘away’ time out, they went with a 4-4-2 system. Guzan has established himself as their no.1. Youth and inexperience tends to make up their back 4, Vlaar seems a 1st choice centre half but the rest seem randomly selected to me. Delph and Westwood seem omnipresent in their midfield but the others can vary and up top, Benteke and Abonlahor are their main strike duo.
Loic Remy’s suspension is over, rumour has it that Tiote and Coloccini will return to the squad although I’d expect the skipper may not come straight back into the team.
Krul, despite being on a run where goals just keep going past him, it’s unlikely we’ll see Elliot displace the Dutchman.
Debuchy should return to right back, although in what frame of mind is open to debate. As for left back, if I never seen Santon in a black and white shirt ever again, then that would suit me fine, but Pardew can’t seem to drop him. Haidara is much better in my opinion. Maybe he’ll end up in midfield again? Taylor, Williamson and Yanga-Mbiwa are available for centre back, Pardew needs to find a combination that can stop the goals raining in.
Tiote should be back to partner Anita however, just who the 3rd centre midfield man should be is a matter for debate. Sissoko is weak as piss, despite being built like a brick shithouse, Gosling is inept, Bigirimana is injured and has regressed. Ben Arfa and Marveaux have guile and technique but maybe lack the temperament for the middle of the park? It appears Padrew fancies neither. Quite how we replace the play making talent of Cabaye really should have been bottomed out before we sold him to PSG.
Up front, Remy returns, Gouffran is an option for a wide slot and Pardew has now decided he fancies Sammy Ameobi. Shola is offering little, Cisse, well, fuck knows what’s going on there and De Jong, well, it’s too early to christen him Rob McDonald II, but I’m having dabs on that description in case I decide it’s ideal for him at the end of the season
R Taylor – Knee – out for the season
Bigirimana – Knee
Possible Team (4-2-3-1)
1.Krul: 2. Debuchy, 5. Williamson, 6. Steven Taylor, 3. Dummett: 4. Santon, 8. Tiote: 7. Sissoko, 10. Anita, 11. Gouffran: 9.Remy:
Elliot, Coloccini, Yanga-Mbiwa, Sammy Ameobi, De Jong, Shola Ameobi, Cisse
Referee: Martin Atkinson
History vs Villa at SJP
1984/85 Won 3-0. Top of the league after 3 successive wins. A brace from Chris Waddle and one for Peter Beardsley. Attendance, 31,591
1985/86: Won 2-1. United were closing out the season in a safe mid table position, Gascoigne and Billy Whitehurst on target for us, with Tony Daley and Steve Hunt netting for the visitors. Attendance, 20,435
1986/87: Won 2-1. With both sides threatened by relegation it was United who took the 3 points. A slick finish by Tony Cunningham and a cracking strike from Peter Beardsley were enought to seal the win. Attendance, 21,224
1988/89: Lost 2-1. Roles reversed this time as we tumbled out of the top flight whilst Villa escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth. O’Brien’ with a consolation goal, but we would not win another game for the rest of the season. Attendance, 20,329
1993/94: Won 5-1. Trailblazing our way into the UEFA cup, we battered Villa with a balst of 5 goals after Stefan Beinlech had the nerve to put them in front. Andy Cole scored goal number 40 for the season, but he’d better that later. Attendance, 32,216
1994/95: Won 3-1 Villa twatted again. Pedro inspirational with a trademark, mazy dribble. but a wicked goal for Barry Venison too. No Europe this time, the Cole Sale knocking that right up. Attendance, 34,637.
Beardsley’s goals here 7 mins 30 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz3cLW8ippw
1995/96: Won 1-0 Sir Les kept the title dream going for another week at least with a close range header. Attendance, 36,546
1996/97: Won 4-3. An absolute classic. Yorke with a hat trick for 10 men, Villa. Shearer, Ferdinand with two and Steve Howey with our goals. This is really a snap shot of Keegan’s style, “We’ll score more than you.” Attendance, 36,400
1997/98: Won 1-0 Johnny Beresford was on a hot streak of 3 goals in 2 games. He got the winner here with a cracking strike. Attendance, 36,783
1998/99: Lost 1-0 A trip to Wembley in the FA cup was on the horizon, but in the league, we would finish lower-mid table. Shearer ended a league goal drought with a sweet header. The Georgian radge with the winner. Attendance, 36,766
Shearer’s goal 6 mins 30 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqkfzH7A8Ow
1999/00: Lost 1-0. The day Uriah Renne lost the plot. Sent Alan Shearer off for fuck all. Julian Joachim struck with the winner. Attendance, 36,376
2000/01: Won 3-0 Season was rounded off with a 3-0 win and mid table secured. Stephen Glass, Carl Cort and an OG accounted for our goals although Gary Speed and Ian taylor were both sent off late on. The day was best remembered for David Ginola, being heckled throughout, being subbed and jeered before half time. Attendance, 51,506
2001/02: Won 3-0 Remembered for Shearer’s top corner volley past red nose. Bellamy got 2 as well. Attendance, 51,057
Shearer’s goal on 12 mins 12 secs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqkfzH7A8Ow
Bellamy 41 seconds http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kWQwRzhFO0
2002/03 Drew 1-1 In our penultimate home game of the season, Nobby Solano’s sweet free kick was cancelled out by Dion Dublin’s header. Attendance, 52,015
Nobby’s goal on 5 mins 21 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiDQmUDudRY
2003/04: Drew 1-1 Dublin again for the visitors but Laurent Robert on target for us.Goblin-faced, cunt, Gavin McCann saw red. Attendance, 51,975
Robert’s goal here on 2 mins 32 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfyty0_9Iyo
2004/05: Lost 0-3. Grim day this. Firstly, we’d fallen behind to an early Juan Pablo Angel goal. Now, seeing as he scored about as often as I did on a Saturday night (I am far from prolific) then you get the picture, Steven Taylor was dismissed for deliberate handball and Gareth Barry who scored from the spot. He scored another pen to make it 3-0 before Dyer and Bowyer had a scrap. Thankfully, Villa packed in and we went home cheesed off. Attendance, 52,306
2005/06: Drew 1-1 Shearer’s pen was wiped out by McCann and Barry fluffed a penalty this time. Attendance, 52,267
2006/07: Won 3-1 Roeder would guide us to mid-table and a 3-1 win over Villa would help that. Milner and Dyer hit early goals before Ashley Young pulled one back. Sibierski settled it late on Attendance, 49,201
2007/08: Drew 0-0. Fat Sam’s era of science Attendance, 51,411
2008/09: Won 2-0. A mini spell of happiness in a season that would end in relegation at Villa Park. Attendance, 44.567
2010/11: Won 6-0. Revenge for the Villa park humiliation with a 6-0 spanking at SJP.A hat trick for Andy Carroll, 2 for Nolan and 1 for Barton. Carew missed a penalty. Attendance, 43,546
2011/12: Won 2-1 Cisse’s debut and he hit the winner with a sweat left goot shot. Ba had put us in front only for Keane to equalise. Attendance, 48,569
2012/13: Drew 1-1. It took a Hatem Ben Arfa rocket to spare our blushes as a young Villa side looked like taking all 3 points. Attendance, 48,245
Aston Villa Fanzines
In a forum style format, we have @Heroes and Villains’ http://www.heroesandvillains.info/forumv3/
More online dealies here at Vital Villa http://www.astonvilla.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=506786
Benteke and Abohlahor
0-2. Can’t see us scoring at the minute. Love to be proved wrong and win 3-0 but I can’t see it.