Post-mortem: We didn't look best of the rest but the league table doesn't lie

We started like we wanted it more and that is usually a good sign or a sign that the manager has had an effective team talk and while we won, the performance was, well we beat Hull 1-0 at home; what do you think the performance was like?

But three points is three points and at the end of the day, I'll take poor performances every week if we win every week, but it was ultimately a poor performance and as someone has said to me this morning; the football hasn't changed since David O'Leary, they just play a little harder.

It took me a minute to think about it but I can see it. The football hasn't really kicked on and we're still playing 4-4-2 when all above us play something else. It would be easy to pick out players to blame but I don't think they are ultimately at fault here because they are working their socks off (although one or two could work on crossing). This isn't the 90's - you need more than effort.

But it is difficult to criticise when we've won, even though I actually think it needs to be said. You can't come out for an entire half and defend and just play long balls - any team higher in the table than Hull would have punished us for that.

The Stats

Aston Villa: Brad Friedel, Luke Young, Nick Shorey, Zat Knight, Curtis Davies, Gareth Barry, Ashley Young, (Craig Gardner, 90), James Milner, Stiliyan Petrov (Nigel Reo-Coker, 90), John Carew (Emile Heskey, 86), Gabriel Agbonlahor

Hull City: Boaz Myhill, Sam Ricketts, Andy Dawson, Kamil Zayatte, Michael Turner, Kevin Kilbane (Goncalves Manucho, 73), Deiberson Geovanni (Nicky Barmby, 46), George Boateng, Ian Ashbee (Dean Marney, 9), Richard Garcia, Daniel Cousin

Goal Attempts (On target): Aston Villa 11 (7), Hull 9 (5)

Goals: Carew (34) 1-0

What The Papers Say

Nick Szczepanik, The Times
Hull were far from disgraced, even if Boaz Myhill, the goalkeeper, had to pull off some memorable saves to keep his team in the game.
Paul Walker, The Independent
The cynics, however, might feel Hull's late resurgence was due more to their opponent's nerves. Martin O'Neill's side came in not having prevailed at Villa Park since January and their anxiety was all too apparent in the closing stages when they suddenly looked alarmingly vulnerable against an outfit they should have put to bed a long time before.

The Manager

They could have got a goal at the end. We should have had the game dead and buried before then. But when we didn't get the second, Hull were obviously going to go for it with nothing to lose. It was up to us to hold out - and we managed it.

Up Next: Fulham away

I had to double check it was Fulham this weekend and when I did, I then went to find out who Everton have, as I reckon Fulham could get something from this match the way we are playing at the moment. Everton have Spurs at home, so there is some hope.

We are guaranteed European football for next season, Fulham are still playing for the chance of it and they've done extremely well at home this season. I fancy we'll need more than luck to beat this team; maybe a change in formation. Sorry, it isn't more positive but it's difficult after last night.

Man of the Match

You voted him and you can't really complain with the results. The man of the match against Hull was John Carew. He got 27.8% of the vote and Stan the Man Petrov came in second with 23.5% while third went to Nick Shorey with 17.4%.

Gareth Barry got 5.2% of the vote and James Milner would have gotten more but people kept missing his button and to think they've been using the keyboard for years! Shocking.

Final Analysis

I don't know what to say that hasn't been said or implied above. We give the ball away too easily, we lack any real idea and while we are probably the hardest working team in the league I'd say we are also in the bottom five of the passing league and if someone somewhere took statistics on failed crosses, I'd fancy we were high on that list since January.

Still, the league table doesn't lie. We won and we are fifth and like I've said, I'll take poor football if it brings the victories, I'd just like to see something different in the fourth season.