Villa 2-0 Cardiff: positives and negatives, but a win

I have to say from the off that I think Cardiff will be down there in the relegation mix come the end of the season.
Because they’re poor and in my opinion should never be classed in the same league as us.
I don’t dislike them and indeed have nothing against them, but they just shouldn’t be anywhere near on a par with us.
They shouldn’t even be in the English league, but that makes me sound a bit racist, which I’m really not.

I do dislike their owner though and my best estimation of him is that he’s a tool of the highest order.
But that’s by the by.
I’m not here to talk about the opposition.

That said, I feel that it sets a background to what I was expecting today.

For me, nothing other than a win would have been good enough.
The simple fact is we got that win, which makes our position in the table look quite a bit better.

It was a poor first half though, wasn’t it?

Benteke looked sharp and we seemed to be playing a bit wider than we have done of late, which had me thinking that Lambert had done his homework about Cardiff’s wing play.

Tonev did well on the left and dare I say it? Kozak looked better too.
I got the impression that if you give him the proper sort of service, he might actually have something about him, which is contrary to what I’ve seen up to now.

I thought we looked quite bright from the off, but the first half got worse as it went on for me and both sides were very, very average.
The half time possession stats of Villa 40% and Cardiff 60% disappointed me, but didn’t surprise me.

Anyway, I thought we looked a bit better in the second half, but already had another “no goals” type headline in my head for this article.

But then Nedel took out El Ahmedi and conceded a free kick.

What a stormer it was from Bacuna.
Marshall never had a clue and in it went.
Did we deserve it?
On balance, yes, just about, I suppose.

Cardiff then went on the offensive, bringing on another striker and it proved to be at their cost as Kozak scored a somewhat scrappy header to make it 2-0.

The defence looked decent, although not totally convincing, but light years above what we saw last season.

As for Frazer Campbell being pacey, did anyone else notice how Bacuna murdered him when tracking back a couple of minutes before the end?

The final possession statistics were Villa 44% and Cardiff 56%.
That’s disappointing against such poor opposition at home in my opinion.

Still, I’m not taking anything away from anyone.
We play to win and that’s exactly what we did.

So happy days, I guess.

Next up?
A poxy international break.

The only question for me is why do we have to do these friendlies?


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  1. Mark
    Mark November 10, 2013 at 6:15 am . Reply

    1st Jan that should read, although 1st Feb is also important as we will know Lerners ambitions by then in the transfer market

    Good atmosphere today at VP. Still buzzing……..

  2. Bill Pearson.
    Bill Pearson. November 10, 2013 at 8:12 am . Reply

    Mark I’ll give you that I will do the same, couldn’t go yesterday got that f.,’in flue, had the jab and wollop. I’m watching the game again on play back third time, tying to see some fans points of view.Kozac, Tone they just need time for me, they’ve come into the English league and have to find their feet. IMO.

    1. mark
      mark November 10, 2013 at 10:02 am . Reply

      good luck shaking off the flu by the way bill!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Mark
    Mark November 10, 2013 at 10:00 am . Reply

    Bill – Tonev will never be a premier league player. He was awful yesterday. Kozac may make a half decent player as he seemed to up his game a little bit and obviously scored.

    Bacuna and Delph (if fit) to start in central midfield against the baggies.

    Bottom line – We scored twice and kept another clean sheet. Result all round therefore……..Vlaar saved us twice that I counted.

    ooooooh arrrrrrr Ron Vlaar I said……….. (I’ll wait for the abuse!!!)

    1. Bill Pearson.
      Bill Pearson. November 10, 2013 at 11:13 am . Reply

      Thanks for the thought Mark, you might be right about Tonev but I think I see willingness in the player, just have to wait and see , as for Viaar I said from the start he would improve and he has, still things are not perfect yet but one day it will.

    2. BWS
      BWS November 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm . Reply

      Mark you must have been over exposed to much shite for too long cause in the game I watched, Tonev showed glimpses of absolute class,. sorry but I think you been exposed to the mediocrity virus Lerner as infected VP with.

    3. BWS
      BWS November 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm . Reply

      “Kozac may make a half decent player”
      F**k me are you a Wimbledon fan of yesteryear? He’s Shite and Shite with a capital S, if that’s your idea of a football player then I suggest Rugby Unions the game for you.

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath November 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm . Reply

        Kozac is an awful signing for the money he cost esp as that money coukd if been spent in Barry’s wages Ffs

        1. Andrew
          Andrew November 11, 2013 at 7:16 am . Reply

          AND THEN WE HAVE NO BACK UP STRIKER… I don’t get how hard this is too understand. We have 4 senior midfielders, and a fair few young ones that can play. We have… Bowery backing up Benteke without Kozak. Kozak was a must compared to Barry in terms of Depth.

          1. BWS
            BWS November 11, 2013 at 7:30 am . Reply

            And Helenius was signed for what?
            Barry is a class act and would have made a massive difference imo. We have no one anywhere near his ability, experience or composure on the books at VP.

          2. Andrew
            Andrew November 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm . Reply

            Well the fact Bowery’s still coming on over Helenius, I’m questioning that too. Helenius himself said he wasn’t bought to replace or back up Benteke, but play with him.

            Barry is class, and would have been a wonderful signing, but a striker was needed as back up, as we never, ever, have enough depth up front.

      2. mark
        mark November 10, 2013 at 8:26 pm . Reply

        Tonev missed a load of chances and fell over the fooking ball in the first half ffs!!!! To me he looks Championship class maximum which is where Cardiff will be next season. Everyone has their own view though.

        I’m not saying Kozac is a world-beater but I have seen signs of improvement. No he doesn’t look value for money but neither did crouch. Some foreign players take longer to settle than others. We have him in claret and blue, he’s on the payroll so give the guy some air. He scored yesterday so he’s not a Bosko Balaban.

        He is a tall front man and did he get much service in the air yesterday? nope ……Need Gabby, Andi and Fabien back sharpish as our midfield looked toss until we moved Bacuna forward.

        Roll on the baggies. Let give them a game.

        1. BWS
          BWS November 11, 2013 at 7:36 am . Reply

          He also went past their right back although he wasn’t there in the first half, took that long kick from Guzan down beautifully without breaking stride, put the cross in that led to Kojaks goal and gave us some width for the first time in ages.
          OK he made mistakes but there’s certainly potential there.

          1. Mark
            Mark November 11, 2013 at 10:58 am . Reply

            ok ok ok I’ll lay off him then! lol I’ll give him some space.

            If he is shit against Baggies I’m coming looking for you BWS!! lol

            Let’s agree he is a ‘raw talent’!

        2. BWS
          BWS November 11, 2013 at 12:50 pm . Reply

          Mark I have no idea of the standard in the Bulgarian League but take a look at this;

          If he plays to that standard in the premier league he’ll be some player.

          1. mark
            mark November 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm . Reply

            Your comparing apples and pears mate with respect. Balaban was shit hot in the Belgian league and, well you know the rest, and Belgium is a better league.

            Let’s just wait and see. I hope he works out, of course I do, I’ll always support whoever is on the pitch for the villa wearing our colours

        3. BWS
          BWS November 12, 2013 at 6:18 am . Reply

          Boลกko Balaban oh dear lets not go there but the Bulgarians have produced some quality players, Stoichkov, Berbatov, Martin Petrov and our very own Stan so lets not tar them all with the Balaban brush.

  4. Lionheart
    Lionheart November 10, 2013 at 10:55 am . Reply

    Lads granted the football isn’t great but we are nowhere near the worst teams in the league..

    Vlaar has really grown this season.. last season was awful.. now looks a bargain at 3M.. so maybe there is hope for Tonev and co..

    Bacuna looks a complete snip at 2M.. the lad can take a free kick.. those two goals weren’t flukes.. he gets forward well and defends decent too.. he will only get better..

    Get Delph back into the team and please DO NOT drop Sylla.. our record when he starts is very good..

    If only we can get a play maker in Jan.. with Sylla and Delph behind him would transform our midfield..

    Things aren’t great granted BUT when you look at the likes of West Ham and Fulham who have brought experienced on good wages.. Norwich too and all three look ****e compared to us then we aren’t that bad really…

    Obv a few will come on and bang the same old drum about we should be top six blah blah blah.. we all would love that but let’s be sensible.. a manager has a weekly wage budget of about 15K a week on players at the moment.. so that is where we are..

    1. Mark
      Mark November 10, 2013 at 11:52 am . Reply

      I’m a big fan of Sylla. Looks like he’s got the right attitude to succeed. He run his heart out yesterday.

  5. Naughtius Maximus
    Naughtius Maximus November 10, 2013 at 11:03 am . Reply

    no abuse from me on Vlarr this season, he’s been excellent.
    like you guys ive said all along id wait till this jan to give my opinion on lambert.
    the footie hasn’t been great so far this season but the stats and points are good and there have been spells of good football and we are still a team in transition, people say we should be playing the ball more but maybe its more that we are just playing to our strengths, no point in telling players to do this and that if they aren’t very good at it, better to get em to do the things they are good at, that’s just where we are at at the moment, are we the finished article? not by a long chalk but we are moving forward.
    like I said before it took man city 4 years to achieve any degree of success on a literally unlimited budget, lambert has had 18 months and a shoe string. this I feel does put things in perspective to all those who moan week in week out whether we win or loose.
    well done to the lads this weekend, we needed that

    1. Mark
      Mark November 10, 2013 at 11:49 am . Reply

      I’m pleased about Vlaar as well mate. He looked like a square peg in a round hole last season but he is starting to look like a true professional this season. He’s learning the game.

      We are 10th as it stands in the top half of the table, we have played some hard games and had some horrible injuries so far especially okore was a massive blow.

      Lets just get through the international break, get Gabby, Andi and Fabian back fit and I have a sneaky feeling we have not heard the end of N’Zogbia yet. He could be our missing link especially as he is bomb squad material and has a point to prove.

      Come on you villa!!!!!

      1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath November 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm . Reply

        To be fair to vlaar he was awful at arsenal but since then hasn’t done much wrong

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath November 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm . Reply

      Let it be noted I always said what a great player vlaar is lol ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. mark
        mark November 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm . Reply

        Change your name to oohahRonVlaar then ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath November 10, 2013 at 4:07 pm . Reply

          Not quite that good yet but who knows

  6. Bencey83
    Bencey83 November 10, 2013 at 2:16 pm . Reply

    Remember, all these young foreign players need time to settle in. It’s not just about adjusting to a new league, they’ve also got to make a lot of adjustments in their personal life, getting used to a new culture.

    I think Bacuna, Tonev and even Luna and Kozak (yes, he’s slow, but I think he will score goals) will come good given time. Vlaar is starting to show us that with a bit of time and patience, these players can reach their potential.

    Still don’t always agree with Lambert’s tactical decisions, but have to say that the coaching staff seem to have worked hard to address the abysmal defensive lapses of last season.

    Still a lot of work to be done yet, mainly in other areas of the team!

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath November 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm . Reply

      To be fair a centre half usually takes a season to settle down I remember everyone slagging Mcnaught of when he joined us but after a year he started to perform. Though midfielders and strikers should settle in a lot quicker

  7. andrew111
    andrew111 November 10, 2013 at 4:02 pm . Reply

    “Benteke looked sharp”

    Is this a joke? i really think the villa fans are blinded, benteke has been so poor since his injury, im not here to slag him off but i really think he was brought back to fast, he has come out himself and said he still isnt 100%. And we have only ourselves to blame, we have proved we are a good team and dont NEED benteke to win and score goals. Man City is a prime example of that.

    To summerise this; bentekes stats have dropped massively, his overall average score on the stats website i use before injury was 132 for 5 games. Its -35 for his last 4 games. Personally i think he needs to be dropped for the start of WBA and allow gabby to play through the middle with kozak and tonev

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath November 10, 2013 at 4:06 pm . Reply

      Agree mate like I said the new heskey lol. Only joking still think he’s good just lost a bit if sharpness and confidence plus defenders have sussed him a bit and are doubling up. I fancy him to bang a couple v WBA though

    2. #HELENIUS
      #HELENIUS November 10, 2013 at 5:54 pm . Reply

      Are you kidding me????? Do you just ball watch??? He made at least 5 lovely runs into the box, all alone and we failed to get the ball to him. If he played in a team with good creativity he’d have had a hatfull!!! That as well as every time he get it to his feet he does something positive with it.
      Defenders aint sussed him at all OOHAH, we cant cant supply him.

      1. BWS
        BWS November 10, 2013 at 6:12 pm . Reply

        Aint they?? What match did you watch? At on point in the second half he received the ball and 4 Cardiff players where straight on him and any player with half a brain would have layed it off taking all 4 of them out the game in the process but no he tried to retain possession and got crowded out.

        1. #HELENIUS
          #HELENIUS November 11, 2013 at 9:41 am . Reply

          Woah, he lost the ball once. Shit, quick – Sub ref..!!!!! You jokers..!!

          1. BWS
            BWS November 11, 2013 at 10:04 am . Reply

            That the best response you can come back with coco? Here’s Bentekes match ratings from the B’ham Mail
            BENTEKE 6
            Mini-goal drought is possibly playing on his mind. Forced a save and missed a couple of headed opportunities.

            Old Mat Kendrick must have been having a pie a pint or a piss when Benteke those 5 lovely runs into the box and f**k me I must have been with him cause I missed them too!

            1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
              OohAhPaulMcGrath November 11, 2013 at 10:14 am . Reply

              Kendrick is a puppet for the club he will always exaggerate the positives and play down the negatives. He us a jobs worth who is scared shitless of being banned from bmh by the club. He has to toe the villa line or he will have no job. Take what he writes with a pinch if salt. IMO of course.

      2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
        OohAhPaulMcGrath November 10, 2013 at 8:10 pm . Reply

        He had a hatful last season without any service remember.

  8. Benno
    Benno November 10, 2013 at 5:01 pm . Reply

    Yeah, this is a good point. Not all player settle in right away. Vlaar seems twice the player he was last year (dont forget he was also out injured for a while too which slowed down his transition)

    Bacuna has adapted very quickly though, seems like he is played in the PL for years. A very good signing. I like Luna too, although just like Lowont he has to work on defensive side of his game. Tonev has potential, and if it doesnt work out, it wasnt a risk at 2.5m. I still cant get my head around us spending 7m on Kozak, but hopefully I’ll be proved wrong.

    Would love to see us splash out on a 8-10m centre mid to partner Delph in Jan, but I cant see it happening.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath November 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm . Reply

      Lambert has been quoted on Ssn as saying there will be no big money signings only young cheap ones that we have now Ffs

      1. Andrew
        Andrew November 11, 2013 at 7:11 am . Reply

        1. Don’t think anyone should have expected a big money signing in January (which is what he was asked about)
        2. He didn’t say cheap, he said no big player signing. Which is quite broad, yes he mentioned young lads like we have, but he was quite broad on what he considers a big money signing or big player signing.

  9. markdrapernumber8
    markdrapernumber8 November 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm . Reply

    So Ireland has scored for Stoke, what an absolute tosser that bloke is. Wasted career

    1. Mark
      Mark November 10, 2013 at 8:48 pm . Reply

      Did he get his superman pants out to celebrate?

      The guy is a grade A wankstain and what’s all this bollocks about he might make an International come back now Keane is assistant manager?
      What an embarrassment to Ireland. They are both from Cork and both have a chip on their shoulder. They both hate the Dublin bias FAI.

      No wonder Dubliners think everyone from elsewhere in Ireland are mental or backwards. I know that is not true as I have been all over Ireland, but these two basket cases don’t paint a rosey picture of Cork.

  10. Richie
    Richie November 10, 2013 at 8:42 pm . Reply

    We won and kept a clean sheet again, only the moaners on this site would draw the negatives from that.
    For what its worth I think Kozak will be a good player for us. He’s a young international forward adapting to a new league and he’s clearly strong and very awkward to mark, exactly the kind of player you need to see out games. The short sighted posters on here don’t like him because he doesn’t have pace, but IMO you can already see his footballing brain and positioning is superior to Weimann and Gabby.
    Tonev is getting a lot of flak too, but his crossing has improved massively already, he needs time and support (similar to Vlaar, Delph, etc in the past and look how they’ve come on).

    1. Mark
      Mark November 10, 2013 at 8:54 pm . Reply

      well said sir…..

      You are right we should back off Tonev. Point taken. His movement just pisses me off a bit, I personally don’t think he’s good enough, but let’s give him a chance.

      1. Bill Pearson.
        Bill Pearson. November 10, 2013 at 9:06 pm . Reply

        Mark got a sneaking suspicion your TJ..:-)

        1. Mark
          Mark November 10, 2013 at 9:19 pm . Reply


          I thought you was alright Billsta!! ๐Ÿ™‚

          I’m not TJ as I can spell and my knuckles don’t drag on the floor when I’m walking!!

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath November 11, 2013 at 10:11 am . Reply

      What you forget is is that this team can never be successful under Lerner. There us NO long term plan except to try and get lower league players in the cheap that if they are crap then we don’t lose much money or hope they will come giid like benteke and flog em to the biggest bidder and then start the process all over again. We are the Crewe of the premier now we will NEVER succeed under Lerner, we will always be a selling club. We are stuck with Lerner for years now so there is absolutely no point anymore until he goes. Yes support the team that goes without saying but let’s be realistic we will never taste success again and that’s a fact.

      1. Mark
        Mark November 11, 2013 at 11:41 am . Reply

        Fack me it’s like the Eastenders Omnibus stuck in a loop on here!

        1. Bill Pearson.
          Bill Pearson. November 11, 2013 at 12:01 pm . Reply

          You mean , ( Get me out of here, I’m a Villa fan) TV show, Eastenders full of cockneys don’t watch that crap TV. Come on Oohah just a little bit longer mate we are on the turn, 4 of the Sky Four got rolled over the league is upside down at the minute. Forgot to say I can see into the future Villa will be back.

          1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
            OohAhPaulMcGrath November 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm . Reply

            One of the sky four lost to another sky team. City’s away form is dire they’ve only won once away and even we beat then at home. We won’t go down in convinced of that though

          2. Bill Pearson.
            Bill Pearson. November 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm . Reply

            Course we won’t, I’ve been watching as many games as I can Sky, BT,what ever games on I’m there, and have to be honest ain’t one now that worries me, don’t like what Adam saying about Lambert still sticking with youngster’s, it might work but will have to see.

      2. billys boots
        billys boots November 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm . Reply

        what players have been sold that didn’t want to go. good riddance to them all.

  11. Bill Pearson.
    Bill Pearson. November 11, 2013 at 6:52 am . Reply

    Good one mate, must be that flu I’ve got, but your one of the old school on here with a change of name maybe,? I’ve just got that feeling. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Mark
      Mark November 11, 2013 at 10:03 am . Reply

      Nah mate, I’m Mark always have been and always will be unless I’m feeling fruity and get a sex change and become Marie!!

      Actually that sounds interesting!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      I’m old school as in I like to think I know what I am talking about and have a sensible head most of the time!!

      I have almost lost my voice from singing on Saturday and am having great difficulty speaking at work today!!! Worth it though!!!

      Oh Birminghaaaaaaaaam is full of fuuuuuuuuuun……………..

  12. Bill Pearson.
    Bill Pearson. November 11, 2013 at 11:05 am . Reply

    OK its me and the f,.’in flu I’ve got Mark, well just did my two minute for the men and women of our great nation. Oohah on form again I see, its better than TV some days on here.

    1. Mark
      Mark November 11, 2013 at 11:51 am . Reply

      Go and get pissed. That always works for me when I have flu!!

      Well said bill about the servicemen and women. Respect to them all especially the fallen hero’s and their families. When you consider what they have to do it makes our petty arguments on here about football look, well, just that petty.

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