Post-mortem: Always look on the bright side of Aston Villa

In the league, we are unbeaten in 2010. Webcam looks like he has been practising his crossing. Mathematically, fourth place is still possible. We play Chelsea on Saturday and we always play better against teams that come at us and we really could get something out of this game.

Those are the positives and what some are going to need to hold on to today. There is also another list and it is growing all the time and I'm not going to list them as we all know them. I will touch on some of them later, only because it will be part of the analysis, but for now, to the papers.

What the Papers Say

Sandy Macaskill,
Billed as a decisive game in Aston Villa’s bid for fourth place, this match neither tolled the death knoll of their challenge nor offered any real indication that they have what it takes to qualify for the Champions League.

Welcome to the party Sandy.

Stuart James,
Aston Villa remain unbeaten in the Premier League this year but scratch beneath the surface and that record is not quite as impressive as it looks. Villa have now drawn seven of those 10 fixtures, with their latest failure to collect three points at home representing a major setback to their hopes of finishing in the top four. The frustration at Villa Park was tangible at the final whistle and Manchester City's defeat merely added to the feeling that this was yet another opportunity missed.

Welcome to the party Stuart.

Phil Shaw,
Aston Villa remain the Premier League's only unbeaten side in 2010, but a seventh stalemate in 10 matches since the New Year did little to convince their followers that they can finish in fourth place and so claim the chance to qualify for the Champions League.

Welcome to the party Phil.

The Manager

Martin O'Neill,
While we've been unbeaten for a considerable time, you'd be hoping that with two consecutive home games we'd have taken four points.

Invite in the post Martin.

Opposition Manager

Steve Bruce,
We were well worthy. It wasn't as if we were hanging on at any time - we've taken the game to them and there were some wonderful performances.

The Players and Some Stats

Big Brad, King Carlos, Ricardo Dunne, The Ginger One, Stephen Warnock, Webcam, Stiliyan Petrov, Milly, Stewart Downing, Emile Heskey and John Carew all started but Heskey was replaced early by The Fonz, which is why he was added in the poll.

Sidwell made his appearance around 75 minutes. I'm not looking it up, I just know it was about then and he nearly scored. He nearly scored in the last game too. He is good at attacking the box from midfield.

So, to the shooting stats and we had 16 in total. One goal, three more on target, nine off target and three blocked. Sunderland on the other hand had ten shots, one goal, two on target, five off target and two blocked.

I'm not looking at the passing stats because I am not seeing the football get better. Last night was very much like Wolves, Wigan and Stoke. End to end for a bit, but after it settled down, the football won in the end.

Man of the Match

I pout this up quite late last night and needed to be reminded, so the numbers are not as big as they usually are but the vote went to Webcam with over 50% of the vote so it stays with him and it's probably right. His crossing looked better last night and he was definitely fired up.

Final Analysis

Martin O'Neill sort of summed it up when he said "you'd be hoping that with two consecutive home games we'd have taken four points". Quite a few were hoping for six points against the likes of Sunderland and Wolves - I wonder which game he was thinking we would draw?

But I'm not going into this today as it has been said a thousand times and it doesn't need repeating. The league table doesn't lie and Everton are coming good, three points behind us.

Video of the Day

I think this is very appropriate today and it is thanks to someone who mentioned something about this this morning. {rokbox title=|Aston Villa Blog Video of the Day :: Always look on the bright side of Aston Villa| text=|Click here to watch.|size=|640 505| album=|demo|}{/rokbox} I'm off for coffee and whistle this tune for the rest of the day.