Post-mortem: Two points lost against Manchester City or a point made?

As the title suggests, I'm undecided on last night. When I saw the team Martin O'Neill picked I said we wouldn't win the game and I was ultimately not surprised that we didn't but John Carew did well, pretty much playing in a role that actually he isn't that good at and we defended extremely well.

Don't get me wrong, he worked as hard, if not harder than anyone else on the pitch and was asked to do something that isn't natural for him, but he wasn't the first and he won't be the last. O'Neill has a habit of playing players out of position and instead of dropping Carew that is what he did.

But, it was a decent game and after a decent game it is hard to be critical, but O'Neill got it wrong again last night and if you disagree, look at how many points we got and at what we could have, no, should have got.

You can say anything you want but we only got one point last night when we could have had three, we are still out of the top six and well, all the fight and determination in the world might not get us top six.

What The Papers Say

Henry Winter,
If the visitors were indebted to another wholehearted performance by Bellamy, and for his well-taken equaliser, Villa can take pride from a string of good displays, from Dunne and James Collins at the back, Stiliyan Petrov in midfield and Gabby Agbonlahor in attack.

I normally do more papers but that sums it up for me. Defensively we were excellent, James Collins is very quickly becoming my star man, Petrov had a good game and Gabby needs, for me anyway, to be playing up there by himself, but he was very involved and for most of last night, he did play as if he was up by himself.

The Manager

Martin O'Neill
I thought the pace was unrelenting. It was almost without break. I didn't want half-time to come because we were playing very strongly. We needed that second goal but it just wasn't to be. We were disappointed with the result, but certainly not the performance.

We played very well. Man City are a really good team. Will they threaten the top four? Absolutely. They have strength in depth and I think they are capable of pushing on. They are dangerous and they are a really good team. I am sure during the course of the season they will go on to prove it.

The Players and Ratings from The Sun

Friedel 6, Cuellar 7, Dunne 8, Collins 7, Warnock 7, Milner 7, Petrov 7, Sidwell 6, Ashley Young 7 (Reo-Coker 5), Agbonlahor 6, Carew 7 (Heskey 6). Subs not used: Guzan, Delph, Shorey, Beye, Gardner. Booked: Petrov.

Some Stats

I like this part of the post as it means I have to do some digging and it is nice to see what actually happened, away from all the opinion.

Well, last night we made 276 passes in 90 minutes and 217 were successful. That is a few more than the Blackburn match but still not close to the Liverpool and Fulham matches where we did so well.

We also had 12 shots. Six of those were off target and five were blocked. Shay Given didn't have to make a save in 90 minutes.

Man of the Match

Unsurprisingly this goes to Richard Dunne with 60.9% of the vote. James Collins comes in second and Gabby is third. Overall I think that is spot on and you can't argue with it.


I'm happy we didn't lose but I'm also disappointed that we didn't win as we should have. On our day we can beat anyone and if it was our day we would have won but it wasn't and that came down to Martin O'Neill, but he didn't lose and for that, you have to be slightly happy.

Gareth Barry had his normal game and the £50 note is getting quite a bit of coverage today, as did the Judas shirt and banner that I've read about but he isn't going to get any better despite the players around him and we had the best of him; he peaked a few years ago.

That is about it for now as I'm struggling with a headache and I have work to do but it was a point and well, a point is better than none.