Are we allowing Saturday’s result to gloss over the facts?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m as happy as any other fan about the result against Man City.
As I said in my thoughts thread, it was a cracking result and a bonus three points that the vast majority of us never expected.
And while part of me expected us to lose, I expected us to have put up a better overall effort.

It’s a bit difficult to describe what I’m trying to get at, as ultimately we won, which is all that matters at the end of the day and indeed it makes my argument look weak.

So I’ll have to cut to the chase.
How poor did we look in the first half?
Did we have a single shot on target or even create a chance? Not from what I recall.
And that’s worrying, when you’re at home.

Ok, us being unable to open up teams at Villa Park is an ongoing problem.
Before saturday, I think we’d taken something like 11 points from 42 at VP.
That’s simply not good enough and indeed is relegation form at best.

In fairness, we turned it around somewhat in the second half and looked better, but the truth is we were being well and truly battered all over the pitch.
And no-one can deny that we were lucky, can they?

Here’s an opinion I read on a Man City site. It’s obviously a bit one-eyed but there is a line that immediately surprised me, but makes sense;

“for 85 minutes this was a routine victory against the worst side we have faced this season. Villa were laboured, poor in possession and were swamped by our movement in attack. Yet they somehow came away with the win. Typical City is alive and well…”

Yes, an outsider’s view and maybe a bit of sour grapes, but I don’t ever remember us being called the worst side they’ve played on any website, anywhere (I often read the opposition’s fans opinions, for what it’s worth; it gives me alternate views and keeps me more balanced).
And it’s not as though they’ve played all the top teams before us.
We’re talking Newcastle, Cardiff, Hull and Stoke (although Utd are in that list too).
So yet another new low, in my experience.

Of course, we have the excuses that we were missing top players and are bringing new young players through etc and they’re valid points.

But my point is that saturday’s result should not gloss over the fact that we’re really not very good in many areas and we shouldn’t get carried away.
We’re very much a work in progress, I mean.

As Johnny Storm of the fantastic 4 would say, “flame on”, I suppose.

Would you really prefer that I come out and say everything is rosey and we’re going to qualify for the Champions League though?

Look at it more that I’m playing devil’s advocate, please.


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  1. RW
    RW September 30, 2013 at 8:20 pm .

    Does the league table lie? Yes after 6 games because you haven’t played the rest of the teams and your fixtures may not be representative of the whole league. So who has had a hard start? Here’s a crude analysis. “Big 5” teams (MU, MC, A, TH, C) are a difficulty factor of 4. Liverpool and Everton are worth 3, the promoted teams are worth 1 and all other teams 2. If you play a team from a band above you, away, then add an extra point for difficulty.

    This doesn’t give you a new league table, but does tell you how hard your games have been and an idea of how realistic your league position is so far.

    And the results….

    Average difficulty is 14

    Man U who claim to have had a hard start = 16
    Cardiff 17
    Hull 18
    Villa 21

    So my point is…. 9th is a good start.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath September 30, 2013 at 8:44 pm .

      It’s not how you start it’s how you finish. Arsenal started poorly against us look at them now. Lets see where we are after 12 games iv a feeling it won’t be as high as 9th

  2. badger123
    badger123 September 30, 2013 at 11:39 pm .

    Tbh, I expected a right slating re this post.
    Thanks for going easy on me.
    The truth is, I’m a fair bit more upbeat than the post indicated.
    But it’s all about debate and I read some good points here.

    Yes, City did and should have battered us with their quality, but they didn’t get the result.

    This was a freak result though to me and we really shouldn’t read too much into it in that sense.
    What will define our season is how we perform against our peers: the likes of Stoke etc
    It’s a bit sad to rate us so low, but there you go.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath October 1, 2013 at 10:09 am .

      Spot on badger all this result did was paper over the cracks of how poor we really are at home.

  3. Terry Jones
    Terry Jones October 1, 2013 at 7:56 am .

    Good morning one and all have just got back from a fishing trip to Adinkerke Belgium so what a surprise we SHIT on SHITTY now bring on Hull another three points seems everytime i am away we win.So come on lads another win please as i am in Ireland fishing this weekend.

    1. B6
      B6 October 1, 2013 at 8:44 am .

      Lets hope you don’t (mean do) fall in and get eaten by a man eating carp.

      1. Terry Jones
        Terry Jones October 1, 2013 at 9:10 am .

        Mate don;t know of any carp in the river Shannon but will keep me eye out for

  4. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson October 1, 2013 at 9:25 am .

    Some nice bream Terry but mainly Trout mate, (Belterpits ) 13 nice pubs.

  5. Bill Pearson
    Bill Pearson October 1, 2013 at 9:28 am .

    And don’t forget the soadabread….. with a Guinness Terry.

  6. Naughtius Maximus
    Naughtius Maximus October 1, 2013 at 11:09 am .

    I think we set up for the game the only way we could and it worked, if we’d have tried any other way city would have run away with it, there was an element of luck but anyone remember last season at city and their 2 disgraceful pen decisions that went against us?
    at half time though I really couldn’t see us scoring and with tekkers and gabby out really what else could we expect.
    just prior to the equaliser Lambert was just about to bring Albrighton and Tonev on so looks like we were going to go 4-4-2 for the last half hour which shows we were going to give it a go to get something and roll the dice.
    it was a brave performance and well played tactically.
    we still have big problems obviously but there is a good team spirit at the club which you can see on the pitch never more evident than on Saturday.
    personally when the fixtures came out I wouldn’t have been at all surprised at seeing us in the bottom 3 with 3 or less point by the end of sept and that would’ve been realistic.

  7. markdrapernumber8
    markdrapernumber8 October 3, 2013 at 8:52 am .

    I think you’re bang on with this post badger mate. It’s what I was trying to get at in another post recently after the game. We were extremely lucky and that tripled with determination & effort is what saw us through. Not good football, balanced play, fair share of possession or any other these types of things. We were battered and totally outplayed for the majority of the game. Kompany against Manure was the scariest 90 inutes I’ve seen from a defender in a long while, he didn’t do not one thing wrong for the entire match. We were very lucky for our winner as on any other day this season you will not see Citeh defend like that.

    I believe we’re playing worse football now than our run-in last season from January and arguably beofre, yes, even considering our batterings over Christmas. Out possession game which I was very impressed with last term seems to have gone out the window and we are now just a counter attacking team, very one dimentional. We are playing a worrying alount of long ball (mostly from Guzan) which wasn’t happening last season. Our midfield look somewhat flaky despite all their efforts, (which I won’t fault). The midfield 3 always looks to have too many gaps and at times the Tour”s and Lampards of the world have a good 10 yards space to play which is too much. They are stretched very easily. At this very moment I think our midfiled is the weakest area.

    There are some positives though, it’s not all doom and gloom. Main positive for me is we look like a team, everyone putting in a shift for each other which I’m really delighted to see, every lad on the filed seems to bleed claret and blue at the moment, the group hug after our 3rd against Citeh and particularly Lunas celebration was full of passion and pride for the badge, and I think genuinely as well. Defence looks a little tighter which I thought I would never be saying, they are really doing the simple things well at the moment, Vlaar looks a different player and Clarke looks 10x better because he’s not trying to be Ronaldo and take on the Tevez’s of the world. Luna is a nice upgrade from Bennet and Bacuna and lowton give us great rotation at RB.

    Anyway won’t bang on and on. UTV

    1. Foxy
      Foxy October 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm .

      Steer seems to prefer to put the ball out to defenders rather than hoof it up to Benteke. Guzan’s ball to Wiemann for the third City goal was a cracker but unless there’s a possible break on (and what a great move by Wiemann too, he makes a lot of these runs and often no one picks them up or choses to go with them) it shouldn’t be the default setting.

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath October 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm .

      Agree mark all the last 2 results have done is paper over the cracks. It’s inky a matter if time before we get a hammering. Beat in mind the first goal was offside the second goal was an exception rather than the rule and the third goal was villaesque defending by city. Lamberk said it was vision from Guzan but us was just a long punt from Guzan which 99 out of a 100 times leads to nothing. I think city grossly underestimated us. And bear in mind city have not been a good away side all year and still not won away yet. They are not as good as we all think as proven by Bayern last night

      1. Foxy
        Foxy October 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm .

        Bollocks, the goals were great, especially the third where Guzan looked up, saw Wiemann on the run and Kozak up with him, Kozak did enough to make it look like he was getting the ball although he either didn’t connect or let it run, and the defenders and Hart didn’t have a chance. Cracking opportunist goal and about the only time I can think of where a long ball from Guzan has led direct to a goal.

        Is there anything you do like about Villa? I’m not accepting Benteke as an answer, you had a lot to say about him when all the rumours were abound that he was leaving.

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath October 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm .

          I like okore too

        2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath October 3, 2013 at 5:14 pm .

          If we had conceded the third goal we’d all be up in arms saying how shit defence is. But because we took advantage of their error it is suddenly a great goal! Do me a fabour bacuna s goal was the best of a bad bunch of goals for both teams

          1. Foxy
            Foxy October 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm .

            That’s a very royal “we” there. I don’t think we have the greatest defence in the league but then again they’re looking a lot better than last season (what is it, plus 10 goal difference on the same matches last season?) and when they’re pummelled as much as they were by ManC there is an element of exhaustion creeping in. I find it odd that Benteke is being credited as being a great striker but it’s never the opposition’s defence or goalie who is to blame. Why can’t we look at some really nice goals scored against us rather than blame the defenders for not being perfect? People bang on about our defence being shit but ManC have such a strong team they’re going to bang in goals left, right and centre whoever you are. As it was even had we conceded another the defence would have done a great job just limiting it to three. The Sturridge goal against us was a superb bit of work, in much the same way the Wiemann goal was against ManC. We though, in the view of a select few, have a shit defence. ManC have an incredibly expensive and a pretty damn good defence. All defenders make mistakes, sometimes they make a lot of them (ManC again are a good example this season, ManU too). There are some bloody good strikers (and midfielders) scoring some great goals in the PL so on current form and looking at the results so far I think our lot are doing a good job. I started the season wondering why Clark had a new contract (but trusting the manager on that one) and agreeing that Vlaar not having a new and improved contract yet was a good move but I’m now looking at both of them and wondering if by the end of the season Okore is going to be the one struggling to get a starting spot.

            Bacuna’s goal was excellent. ManC seem to have underestimated Villa, become complacent. From that distance Hart didn’t think someone could get the ball over the tall defenders in the wall so he covered the gap. He was wrong. The Wiemann goal came from two defenders being too far forward. They’d been in our half for most of the match and forgot that balls sometimes come out of nowhere. I still don’t know if you have to have the offside part of your body touching the ground for it to be offside as from what I saw KEA was in mid air, with his back foot touching the ground onside. If someone wants to correct me then I’ll concede that he was offside and we were lucky but until then it was a darn fine goal from someone who hasn’t scored in a year but who put himself in the position to get the shot away.

            Three scored from four chances on target. No, we didn’t put on a show, tens of thousands of Villa hearts were in mouths for the last 15 minutes of the match and yet our bunch of academy players, lower league upstarts and cheap to relatively cheap unknown foreign players beat one of the most expensive bunch of players in the EPL who won the title two seasons ago.

            I like the line someone used here after the match: they came, they saw, we conquered.

            1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
              OohAhPaulMcGrath October 3, 2013 at 10:38 pm .

              The defence us not better it’s the teams we have played who have missed loads if chances djeko for example should of had a hatrick plus city only beat us 1.0 last season at home. Chelsea arnt going to beat us 8.0 everytime and under mourinho they are more defensive more likely to win 1,0 than 8.0. Liverpool beat us 2.1 last year and 1.0 this year. Newcastle still beat us 2.1 again. Spurs beat us yet again 4.0 at home, we beat Norwich 2.1 instead of 1.0 last season the 2 results v arsenal and city were better but we beat Liverpool 3.1 away last year and u can bet we won’t beat them this year so arsenal result is in lieu of that. We had a jammy win v Norwich and an even jammier win over city. We will still concede lots of goals as time goes on and we will finish around 6th from bottom and we will all cream ourselves as last season we finished 5th from bottom whoopee. We won’t go down thou especially as palace and Sunderland are as good as down already

          2. Andrew
            Andrew October 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm .

            So if City scored a 3rd, “we” (meaning you claiming for the rest of us as per usual which is usually wrong), would claim our defense is shit? No, not really. Our defense isn’t shit, they’re not great, they’re good, hard working and are getting quite used to each other and learning from each other. Villa conceded 2 goals from set pieces, because City had so many of them, because of Villa’s fine defending. Unlike City yesterday against Bayern who dominated City as City did us, but Bayern took their chances, and won 3-1, which could have been 5-6 to 0, but like City to us. Difference is is that our defense held firm, something that hasn’t happened in years.

            Not sure why the look of our goals matter… Most goals come from defensive mistakes, that’s why they’re scored. A handful come from the brilliance from the likes of Bacuna and his free kick. It’s simple if you actually understood the game.

            1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
              OohAhPaulMcGrath October 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm .

              Think u misunderstand I meant if we had conceded a goal like city’s 3rd we would all be pissed of and slag the defence. Not every goal is from an error bacunas wasn’t

          3. Andrew
            Andrew October 4, 2013 at 4:04 am .

            Pissed? Hardly, probably would have been annoyed at best.

            And I NEVER claimed every goal, I claimed most goals. “A handful come from the brilliance like Bacuna and his free kick”. Reading helps.

  8. Jay Dee
    Jay Dee October 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm .

    When the great Alex Ferguson joined Manchester Utd his first season was really poor.His second a little better.And so it went on.Man Utd had won trophies before and expected from their new manager who was eventually given time to build a team.Alex Ferguson has ended up the greatest manager of his time and probably that we or the PL will ever see.Im not comparing Lambert and Ferguson together but I am saying a manager needs time to build.Im sick and tired of all this petty crap from supporters who want to see the bad in everything and never the good.Lambert needs seasons 4 or 5 at least then judge him not judge on 1 or 2 seasons.The man wants to do well he’s trying hard and so are the team.Give it a fuckin rest…….UTV

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath October 3, 2013 at 5:09 pm .

      Your having a laugh jay dee. When fergie joined in 1986 they hadn’t won the league for at least 17 years. He took over at a time when managers could take a few years to build but remember if he had lost that forest game in fa cup he was out in his arse. He was also lucky to get 6 exceptional youngsters all come through at the same time. Our youngsters are nowhere near in the class of giggs, scholes etc. And if they were they wouldn’t last long enough at villa for lambert to build around them as they would be off to a sky four team. We are a selling club now and selling clubs are never successful. Benteke would have gone after one season if it wasn’t for the World Cup next year. A classic example is west ham who have always produced good talent if they had held on long enough to Ferdinand, carrick, Parker, cole, Lampard when tevez and masciotino arrived they would have probably won the league. But like us they sold all their best players and are about the same as us now. We are the new west ham I’m afraid.

      1. Jay Dee
        Jay Dee October 3, 2013 at 5:24 pm .

        As I said I wasn’t comparing the two managers but saying and this is a fact as you put it out on his arse but he survived,he built,he conquered.Lambert will see us fine and I actually feel glad that we have a manager who wants to win.Lambert is passionate,positive,hungry and wants to win things.AVFC when Lambert took over you have to admit we were shit mate.I believe in Lambert,I like his passion and the fact he wants it.He is a young manager as managers go but we have beaten 2 of the top 4 already this season.Im sure some would find something to moan about even if he won a trophy.We will have got 12 points if we win on Saturday from 21 and be about 7 or 8 the which will be a good start considering the fixtures…..UTV

        1. BWS
          BWS October 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm .

          Jay Dee Oohah does have a point mate, in this here wonderful EPL you would be raped of all your half decent players if we had the merest hint of success and I think you hit the nail on the head with ” Lambert is passionate,positive,hungry and wants to win things” and that’s the point, if he eventually does ok at VP and then gets a better offer and he’ll be off like a ferret up a drain pipe (imo) in same way he unceremoniously departed from Norwich and Colchester before that.
          If his previous form is anything to go by then it’d be foolish to expect much loyalty.

          1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
            OohAhPaulMcGrath October 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm .

            So true BWS lambert can say what he likes about player loyalty but he will be the first to fuck of when a sky four club come calling. However I really don’t think he will ever be at sky 4 team 3 reasons: 1) tactically inept
            2) can’t handle big players
            3) no charisma

  9. Andrew
    Andrew October 3, 2013 at 2:45 pm .

    Can definitely see some similarities though. Both are stubborn, both take a while to integrate new players, unless already proven. Both will stick with their players despite struggling to see show their character. When at Norwich he played a similar style to United. Both like players with really good work rates and United had a few world class players, but still with a bunch of above average players, got the job done multiple times, Lambert’s on that road now. Will he become Ferguson? Probably not, but there are similarities.

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