Aston Villa 0 Wigan 2: Same old football from Aston Villa

We will be doing the post match analysis tomorrow and we might also have something from Doc later, but for now, the news is we were beaten and while there is no scientific reason for getting beaten, I have a couple of suggestions, because for me, it was quite clear today.

First, when you play against five in midfield, you will lose the battle if you only play with four unless you have four very very good midfielders. The alternative is to play long ball football, which we did quite a bit of last season and it looks like we are going to do our fair share this one too, because that was what we did today.


It doesn´t look like O´Neill is going to change and it looks like Heskey is the preferred choice over Carew, who was named as a substitute but soon after was withdrawn. I´m sure he just picked up a knock or something during the warm up, but without Carew I can´t see us scoring if we are going to continue playing this type of football.

Bottom line, we were beaten by a better footballing team today. Wigan soaked up the pressure in the first fifteen minutes of the first half and then punished us and while the goal was quite special, the football they played was also better.

In the second half, they soaked up our ten minutes of pressure and then punished us again.

After that, we did try and we did push on, but it wasn´t enough as our midfielders were always overrun in the middle.

On the bright side, Fabian Delph made his debut, before getting subbed for Sidwell, which if I´m honest did surprise me because Delph actually did okay, no worse than anyone else. I´m not sure what that will do for his confidence also.

In my opinion, it was the formation that was wrong and O´Neill has to figure this out fairly soon. He also has to talk to his players about passing and he has to send James Milner off to practise free kicks, if he is going to take them. He had two today, in excellent positions, both went over.

While on the subject of talking to players, someone has to speak to Ashley Young. He just seemed to run down dark alleys today and he needs to, when the ball comes to his feet, think about it for a split second, before acting instead of just running into trouble.

He could probably do with a bit of extra time on the training pitch when it comes to his crossing too. Two or three today went too far and to nobody - not really good enough at this level when opportunities are as scarce as they were today.

I´m sure it will get better and O´Neill will get the players up for it and we will get enough results to see us challenge for European football, but it was a disappointing opening to the season and if we continue playing 4-4-2 them I´m afraid I´m going to change my prediction from 4th to 7th and if that happens then I feel the knives may come out for O´Neill this season.

Still, it was game one of 38, plenty of time for things to change and plenty of time for new players to come in, but the boo boys were heard at the final whistle, which wasn´t nice.