Aston Villa 2 – 2 Arsenal

In a very weird and entralling game, we managed to somehow draw with Villa 2-2 having been 2-0 up with half am hour to go. In a starting eleven which saw Clichy, Djourou, Cesc, Eduardo, Walcott, Adebayor, Bendtner, and more unavailable, we started with the following team:

Almunia
Sagna – Toure – Gallas – Silvestre
Eboue – Song - Denilson – Nasri
Diaby
Van Persie

It was a little bit defensive, but not by choice but by the available players. Van Persie was deployed as a lone striker, and Diaby was positioned in the hole in front of a midfield four of Eboue, Song, Denilson and Nasri.

With Clichy rested, Silvestre slotted into left back and was a focal point for the Villa attack. Villa started brightly and the support were behing them in an overwhelming manner. The twelth man was certainly there. Song was deployed in the defensive midfield position and he really had a lot to do in the first 10 minutes. Although we did manage to go forward, Villa looked like the main threat and Agbonlahor and Young looked dangerous, supplemented with the craft of Milner playing on the right wing.

The first half was a tense one and it was more Villa than us in all honesty. But we managed to take the lead through Denilson just before half time, when the Brazilian robbed Reo-Coker and slotted past the keeper to make it 1-0. As soon as the second half kicked off, it was Diaby who managed to score the second after playing a 1-2 with Eboue and duly smashing in the second.

And it looked at that point that we’d go on to win the game and we had chances to score the third. But Villa never gave up and with half an hour to go, Gallas up-ended Agonlahor in the area and the home team were awarded a penalty. Barry duly struck the ball past Almunia and it was 2-1. With the tension mounted and the score poised for an emphatic finish, it was in injury time when Villa equalised through Zak Knight, rifling in a Petrov cross.

Somehow, we’d managed to let a 2-0 lead slip and suddenly it was 2-2 with 0 minutes left.

Time to reflect tomorrow, but for now, let’s just sit back and reflect on what happened today.

——————————————————————————————–

Aston Villa: Friedel, Reo-Coker, Davies, Knight, Luke Young, Milner, Sidwell, Petrov, Barry, Ashley Young, Agbonlahor.
Subs Not Used: Guzan, Harewood, Delfouneso, Salifou, Shorey, Gardner, Osbourne.

Booked: Agbonlahor, Reo-Coker, Petrov, Barry.

Goals: Barry 65 pen, Knight 90.

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Eboue, Toure, Silvestre, Song Billong (Ramsey 43), Denilson, Nasri (Clichy 82), Diaby, Gallas, Van Persie.
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Vela, Wilshere, Bendtner.

Booked: Song Billong, Toure, Diaby, Van Persie.

Goals: Denilson 40, Diaby 49.

Att: 42,585]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    A very exciting game to watch, but the last time I go to Villa – the ground was diabolical to escape from at the end!!

  • Arsene Nose?

    Wenger really has lost the plot.He still believes win can win the league.We are playing for 4th place you muppet

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Has anyone watched the post match press conference ? Wenger was in his bizzare mood. Putting his 'armour' on and not wanting to make much conversation. Wasn't his usual wise, analytical self. Giving one or two-worded replies mostly.

    He also suggested, quite strangely, that for our second goal there were too many defenders back for us ! It was a 4 (us) against 3 (Villans) and yet he feels there were not enough people going forward. Obviously he doesn't mean that, does he ? He's probably trying to not make conversation and not be 'controlled' by the guy who's interviewing him.

    He's also suggested that the referee was influenced at half time by someone from the Villa staff. Which Martin O'Neill somewhat confirms. O'Neill says someone went to the ref to ask him about a decision on Agbonlahor that was not given before Denilson scored. And Wenger wasn't being very direct but he seemed to suggest that he knew that the Villans had played unfairly by influencing the ref.]]>

  • zohaib

    * the second goal that we conceded

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Whatever he was trying to do. I don't think it was a very smart move. Now the media will label him as someone who's beginning to 'loose it', thereby putting more pressure on everyone at the club. He's acting like Bernd Schuster now. Schuster wanted to be sacked and for some reason wouldn't quit himself.

    He should've just agreed that defensively they weren't good enough in the final minutes. Not intelligent enough. It's not like every other club doesn't already know that. They do know that and that's why they play the long balls and have an extra-physical approach when it comes to playing against us. Our opponents already know our weaknesses. So it's too late to try and protect our players or hide our weaknesses Wenger. It's time to get honest so that you have at least the fans on your side.]]>

  • zohaib

    At least give us the feeling that you’re being honest with us and not lieing to us.

  • parsi

    < ![CDATA[So, five league games unbeaten. Not perfect by any means, but certainly better than the two defeats that preceded the change of captaincy. And certainly not bad when the run includes three of the teams currently above us.

    And even more so not bad when you remember that the heart of our team has been ripped out of us either by wreckless insanity, a kick around on international “duty”, insane yellow cards and the inevitable sheer bad luck. Eduardo, Rosicky, Walcott, Fabregas, Adebayor, Clichy - these are the people who make a champsionship winning team and none could start against Aston “if you go down and they’ve got the ball, hold your head” Villa. Take out the young up and coming players like Djourou and Song, and you can see how far back we are being pushed.

    Two things occurred to me last night as I thought over this. I happened to glance at the Championship league table, and saw Charlton preparing themselves for the drop into League One. That reminded me of the time when Charlton were punching way above their weight, challenging in the top half of the EPL. But after the club failed to get into the Champions League, after challenging for a place, the muttering started. The common phrase was “Curbishley has taken us as far as he can - time for someone new.”

    Curbishley eventually had enough, left the club, and they went into freefall - and now look where they are.

    The other thought arose from reading “Arsenal: The Official Biography” which I was given for Christmas. It made me think, following all those endless “best 50 goals” type DVDs, just how easy it is to forget. Somehow the past is an eternal Unbeaten Season, in which Henry scores a wonder goal in every game, and Pires gets a tap in.

    But just read the ups and downs of 1999/2000, as an example, and you’ll see what I mean. It was not all wonderful - it had its ups and downs - but ultimately Wenger delivered everything he promised and more.

    There is a danger. a danger that the mumbling and muttering of discontent will eventually make Wenger think, “I’ve had enough” and go on to take any one of the million other jobs he could walk into. It would give me no pleasure to watch the subsequent decline.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Granted we had ups and downs with the Invincibles, but you're forgetting that then we had a psychological factor. We had the fear factor about us. We had an advantage there. Sometimes we had already won the battle in the tunnel.

    Do we have that now ? The team we have now is not even half of the team we had then. But it's not Charlton either. We're Arsenal. You're getting a little too worried thinking we'll have the same sort of fortune.

    Your comment started off well. But towards the end it took a strange route. Wenger leaving is hardly a problem and is certainly the least of our concerns right now. The board will be able to get someone just as good to replace him. It's not that he's some sort of angel who can't be replaced. There are managers who are just as good out there.

    The problem is not our future. In fact Wenger's built a team for the future if anything. Our present is the price we're having to pay though. That is the real problem.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[

    But towards the end it took a strange route. Wenger leaving is hardly a problem and is certainly the least of our concerns right now. The board will be able to get someone just as good to replace him. It’s not that he’s some sort of angel who can’t be replaced. There are managers who are just as good out there.

    *sound of plates smashing and open mouthed gasps*

    Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.]]>

  • zohaib

    Over-reaction oh dear oh dear oh dear

  • debs

    Gosh you too! Lol

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't he also an unknown when he came to the club ?

    We all like to think we're such geniuses. But in reality, everyone knows something we don't. So instead of trying to make fun of someone, maybe we should pay a little more attention and respect for someone else's opinions ?]]>

  • zohaib

    Game, Set, Match Zohaib :) LOL

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Name me more than one manager (Alex Furguson) who has either been at their club in top level football for more than 12 years or been there for at least 8 and qualified for the champions league in every year.

    Whoever you name is a good candidate for Arsenal.

    Either way you are forgetting that the man with vision that bought Arsene Wenger to the club is David Dean and he left. I'm not sure anybody in the Arsenal board is capable of getting a manager of the calibre as Arsene Wenger.

    So whilst I respect your opinion.... i still think your batshit crazy! Oh and I also think its offensive to suggest the manager who has done so much for us should just be sacked because we've gone 5 games unbeaten.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Let's wait till someone stays with their club for at least 8 years and gets his club into the champions league every year, and then we could ask him to join Arsenal. Sure it might mean we'd have to be without a manager for a few decades, after Wenger leaves, but since that is the requirement in your eyes, lets try that. It couldn't be any worse than the position we are in now and Wenger's still here - we're aiming to finish below a champions league place btw, if that wasn't clear enough already.

    And anyway, now the managing atmosphere has changed. You'll probably never find a manager being given that much time to stay at one club - to answer your silly, pointless question.

    And also by your logic, all the Harry Redknapp's, the Jose Murinho's, the Rafael Benitez's, the Phil Scolari's, the Martin O'Neill's, the Marcelo Lippi's, the Fabio Capello's, the Luciano Spalleti's, the Carlo Ancelotti's, the Marco Van Basten's, the Frank Rijkaard's, and many other great coaches I've missed were only just getting a tan really. Surely they weren't managing a football team exceptionally well.

    And by that same logic, every other manager except for Arsene Wenger and Alex Ferguson is a lousy manager. Why do the others even bother managing. They should just find another job.

    And David Dean was probably just trying to save money either for the club or for his pockets, knowing Wenger was a miser. More recently he'd recently joined Alisher Usmanov and we all know the sort of black money that man has and we don't want any of it. I thought we were pretty clear on that. It's bizzare how some of you fans apply your silly theories of blind faith without caring about applying any logic.

    And there we go again. You've called me 'batshit crazy' without me calling you anything. You've started naming names again. Who's going rabid now mr. genius. And to have the nerve to say that I'm being offensive by suggesting the manager get sacked. Oh dear. When did I ever say that ? You're in dreamland again. Re-read my earlier comment.

    I demand an apology for making false accusations against me and for naming me names.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[

    Sure it might mean we’d have to be without a manager for a few decades, after Wenger leaves, but since that is the requirement in your eyes, lets try that. It couldn’t be any worse than the position we are in now and Wenger’s still here – we’re aiming to finish below a champions league place btw, if that wasn’t clear enough already.

    And anyway, now the managing atmosphere has changed. You’ll probably never find a manager being given that much time to stay at one club – to answer your silly, pointless question.

    I was only trying to highlight to you just how special Wenger is – him and Ferguson are the only managers in the league who have managed their teams for more than 8 successive seasons in the Champions League. Not silly then, or pointless!

    It’s bizzare how some of you fans apply your silly theories of blind faith without caring about applying any logic.

    That’s probably the best thing you’ve ever written! David Dean was instrumental in the transfers of Bergkamp, Henry, Viera etc and probably as important to Arsenal as Arsene Wenger. To just decide that the board which is made up of 60yr+ millionaires could go out and pick a manager of the calibre and vision of Wenger without the shrewd business/football sense of David Dein is lunacy.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    I demand an apology for making false accusations against me and for naming me names.

    No – that’s funnier.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[you clearly don't have the brains to comprehend my comments and it seems you dont have the balls to play fair either. thats funny but its also sad.

    last time we had a shitstorm, i apologised. you should have done the same then. but you didnt. and i thought, to hell with it. this time we have another shitstorm, and its all too clear who started it. and i demand the same of you now as you demanded of me then, and what do i get in return ? more bullshit.

    its obviously fun for you. thats my point. its not that you're getting offended. you're enjoying it.

    Dev - why don't the same rules apply for Kieran, as they did for me back in the last shitstorm ? why is it that you seem to favour this guy more than me. why is there no justice ?]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Because it started by me saying you were right and that Robbie Keane is at last showing signs of consistency along with his talent! Why should I apoligise for agreeing with you?!

    In this particular thread you seem to think there's a dearth of brilliant managers just waiting to take over Arsenal Football Club that will be able to do an equal job to Arsene Wenger. I think you're wrong and its plain crazy to suggest so - I'm not going to apologise for labelling your opinion crazy, because in my opinion it is!

    Arsene Wenger has masterminded a new stadium. Never before, in English Football at least, has a manager been so instrumental in a new stadium move. The fact that he had 17 seperate consultations with designers speaks volumes as to how instrumental he was.

    Arsene Wenger was also instrumental in the new training facilities at Londo Colney.

    Arsene Wenger has the second longest tenure as manager in the premier league.

    Arsen Wenger has presided over one of the longest successive champions league qualification runs.

    Arsene Wenger is widely regarded by all in the game to have revolutionised it. Health, fitness - the lager club at Arsenal disapeared and was replaced by the pasta club. They have piss charts to test how dehydrated they are. Arsenal even invest substantial amounts into research on sporting injuroes, the only club in professional football to do so.

    Zohaib this isn't meant to be offensive but you remind me of a spurs fan from a few seasons ago. They sacked Martin Jol despite the best start to a season they'd had in 5 years because the fans got restless. They ended up with a supposed "big manager" who led them to their worst start since the titanic sank after spending £70m.

    All this is much aside from the fact that the board that hired Arsene Wenger is a monumentally different board that runs Arsenal FC now. The board we've got at the moment I wouldn't trust to hire a cleaner.

    We've got a retired South African who's spent time making American Soccer a huge success (thats a joke by the way, he's not done a very good job there either) negotiating our contracts!

    And yes I do find debating enjoyable. I'm not offended in any way, partially frustrated that you insist on making things personal even when I try to extend the olive branch of friendship, but that's life!]]>

  • zohaib

    in my opinion you were an idiot when i made the comment. why should i have apologized if it, too, was just an opinion ?

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[you're comparing me to a spurs fan. and i find that offensive.

    i demand an apology]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    :D

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Just thinking aloud -

    boy have i been slaughtering someone in terms of 'comebacks' or what. though it couldn't have been possible without that special someone throwing their brain in the washing machine. how full of shit people can be at times. i can see right through you and i think you realize that too, which is why you're scared out of your pants. i've got you replying to my every comment. its like i control you. hahaha. this is fun. thanks for playing puppet.

    And i find it offensive that you suggest i was being offensive.
    you're just a sad ladyboy/girlyman (pick whichever one you like)]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net Kieran Delaney

    :)

  • zohaib

    what happened to your blog ?

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kieran delaney

    Nothing it’s still there, but I’m at my parents house for new year so didn’t type everything into the comments form the same.