Post-mortem: West Ham deserved the point, Sunday speculation and a video of Martin O'Neill

You can say what you want about yesterday, about how we were unlucky, about how we just failed to hold on to the game in the last few minutes and in hindsight it is easy. I'm looking ahead and we have Bolton away next and I honestly can not see us getting anything but a point out of that match.

Want to know why? You know why, I even wrote it the preview post in the sixth paragraph, so I'm not going to bring it up again, instead, we're going to look at one or two papers, we're not doing player ratings today, instead I thought what we would do is just release the votes each player got for the man of the match and I have a video for you below.

So, I'm basically mixing it up a little and when I say in the title I'm going to look at some Sunday speculation, none of it is to do with Aston Villa, but it is all sort of relevant, so I'll hit those first.

The rumours include (taken from the BBC gossip page) 'Chelsea have had a £44m bid for David Villa rejected' and 'Javier Pastores, 19, has turned down an £8.8m move to Manchester United'. Now I know you're going to say I'm over reacting and that these are only rumours but we know Manchester United like to do deals early and my point is, we need to be reading these and not 'Martin O'Neill will only pay half of what he has been quoted for Steven Defour'.

If we want to make the step up to the big playground we have to start acting like one of the big boys. We also have to be getting deals done, pretty much now and baulking at a price, while it is only speculation, is not what I want to be reading. I know it sounds strange but what I actually want to be reading is 'Standard Leige turn down £7mn. offer from Aston Villa for Steven Defour'.

When I read the other headline, it feels like it's a planted story to make us think things are happening and I know that sounds mad and paranoid but it's how the club have got me thinking because it is one huge PR machine now. What was it General Krulak used to say, or whoever it is, 'actions speak louder than words' - well, after all his words, literally thousands and thousands, the only action I've seen is a planted Aston Villa scarf on Tom Hanks.

Okay, I know I'm over reacting a little here but this summer is the summer for no words, just actions. We've had the talk, now it's time to see Aston Villa Football Club walk in the big playground and not just think about it.

Okay, we can not compete for Kaka like Chelsea or Manchester United can, but that isn't about money, it's about club and stature, a place we are not at right now, but we have been led to believe money is available and there can be absolutely no other excuses for not bringing in quality this summer and if that means having to spend over the odds, then it is a gamble Doug Ellis is going to have to finally make.

Right, rant over, to the match and I'll make this very quick and painless today, mostly because I think everything was said above and in the post from yesterday.

What The Papers Say

Brian Glanville, The Sunday Times
But for the last 10 minutes, when West Ham staged their unexpected and incisive rally, it looked as if this windswept game would end with a whimper — and a 1-0 win for Aston Villa.
Jeremy Butler, News of the World
They took an early lead through Emile Heskey but fluffed numerous chances to kill the game off early on with Gareth Barry and Ashley Young going close.

You don't need to be a genius to figure out what all the papers are saying today, so I'm leaving it with those two. If anyone has anything that isn't the above, please post a link in the comments section.

The Goals

Heskey (11) 1-0; Tristan (85) 1-1

Man of the Match

Click here for the poll results and in essence the player ratings, although not really. Basically, Stan Petrov is man of the match and I don't think anyone can say anyone else deserved it.

Up Next: Bolton Away

We have to change things. I know some will say we are getting better and I accept that the team may need time to adjust again, but 4-4-2 is out of date in the modern game; just look at the top four if you want evidence.

At the end of the day, Bolton is going to be tough, it will be for most teams and it is going to take a very good performance for us to get three points out of this game, but we need to eventually win one or two otherwise we might not hold on to fifth.

Final Analysis

What can I say? Not much really. As Martin O'Neill says, it is a results business and while I'd love to start pointing the finger of blame, that isn't going to happen yet, instead I'm going to start pointing the finger of responsibility.

The responsibility rests with our owner to make funds available and to instruct the manager to spend those funds to bring in the quality and the numbers to get us top four or better next season. Rest assured that is exactly what Manchester City will be doing and Spurs also, so if we do not do that, we will get caught up and we might be lucky to qualify for the Europa LDV tournament.

If our owner doesn't do that, then what are us fans to do, just accept it, roll over and believe more of the same PR with a different level of spin? There really is only one thing our owner can do this summer and that is make real funds available, like we were led to believe and not just funds from within the business.

So, that is it. I'm sorry for this post going all over the place, but yesterday summed it up for me. We played a West Ham team missing a few key players and we couldn't even beat them at home. We are top six side and while I've finally accepted that for this season, I have so much hope for the summer, because without that, what else is there?