Post-mortem: Not exactly vintage or hopeful Aston Villa

You know, the last couple of months, we have tried to pass the ball more and we have kept on to the ball more. I'm still not looking at the numbers for this, because I know it. I don't need to look at numbers to have what I know confirmed.

But, we are lacking quality. We have the workers and they work but Downing isn't a right winger and we are missing something in the middle and we are missing something up front.

Defensively, we have no issues and after a process of illumination (yes, I did mean to write that), we have found a preferred back four and that preferred back four are exactly what the manager wants. Hell, they are exactly what every manager would want and it is nice to watch.

What the Papers Say

Sandy Macaskill, The Telegraph
So Aston Villa’s season ended as it begun, with a back-slapping showcase of highlights on the Villa Park big screen followed by a lacklustre performance and defeat to inferior opposition. The only thing that didn’t fit the pattern was that it was Richard Dunne, the players’ Player of the Year, who was responsible, rounding off what has been an excellent season, individually speaking, with an own goal.
Stuart James, The Guardian
A season that started for Aston Villa with a dismal home defeat against Wigan ended in the same disappointing fashion as Richard Dunne's own-goal, six minutes from time gave, Blackburn a rare away victory. Liverpool's failure to win at Hull City meant that Villa secured sixth place for a third successive year but this felt like an unsatisfactory way to finish a campaign that had promised so much. It ended up a story of ifs, buts and maybes.
Phil Shaw, The Independent
For Villa, who won only two of their nine Premier League home matches after the turn of the year, it was an anticlimactic end to another season of unfulfilled promise. Having trailed in six points behind the final Champions' League place, they will doubtless reflect that it might have been different had they not started and finished with home defeats by Wigan and Blackburn respectively.

The Manager

Martin O'Neill, Club Site
It was a disappointing result but if you'd said this morning that we'd lose the game but still keep our sixth position - which is vital for us really - I would have accepted that.

The Players and no stats

A very retro 4-4-2 yesterday and mostly all season saw us play Big Brad, King Carlos, The Ginger One, Ricardo Dunne, Stephen Warnock (L Young, 41); Webcam, Stiliyan Petrov, James Milner, Stewart Downing, John Carew (Heskey, 76) and Gabby Agbonlahor (Delfouneso, 78). Subs not used yesterday and players that might all leave in one way or another were Guzan, Sidwell, Reo-Coker and Beye.

Man of the Match

James Milner won it with 42.1% of the vote yesterday and tomorrow we are going to tally up the man of the match votes from every league game and we are going to announce the winner. You might not be surprised by the result but we think it is better than just doing a one off vote - we are sort of taking it from the entire season.

Final Analysis

The transfer window is open. Everyone knows what we need. We need a better midfield and a better strike force. Defensively we are okay and the reason I am not talking about the match yesterday is because the match yesterday doesn't matter - it doesn't come down to one match.

Yes, where we finished in the league did come down to one match, much like Chelsea winning yesterday came down to one match. But if we start to look at this as about one match we will never really progress.

What it comes down to is Randy Lerner. Martin O'Neill has told us he wants to stay and Martin O'Neill has as good as said it comes down to money. It doesn't just come down money but Martin O'Neill has demonstrated that if you throw enough at a particular department you can make it better.

Nobody has any complaints about how much he has spent on the back four, so now all he needs is the owner to throw more at midfield and up front or he starts to trust some of the younger players.

The season is over. None of us are really surprised at where we finished and none of us are really disappointed. All of us know what is needed and what it comes down to is Randy Lerner. Does Randy Lerner want it to happen or maybe the better question is, can Randy Lerner make it happen?

We will find out over the next few weeks if he can and we will also find out if he wants it to happen with O'Neill. A lot of questions will be answered over the next few weeks so now all we have to do is sit back and wait for story to play out but for those that will throw up similar arguments for Martin O'Neill, remember this; had Hull Liverpool scored yesterday, we would have finished seventh.