Season 2011-12
The Mail Bag

Normal Service Resumes

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You can be on top in a game as much as you like yet without the steel to see out the game, to see the opposition off, the superior score line will not translate itself to the pitch and you'll be as vulnerable to conceding a goal than if you were 5-0 down.

Five points needlessly dropped at home now and I start to think of all those seasons where we were nine or ten points from qualifying for the Champions League. Its not so much what Moyes has done that gets to people, its falling short of what he is/ should be capable and today's story had its all to familiar ending.

Shoddy defending for both Villa goals and its not difficult to see what was wrong. You never give up, you never relax, you never take a breather in the Premiership. At least that's the difference between the best teams and the rest. And I am not happy at being the rest.

In the lead, all square or behind, its all the same. I don't know what the answer is, but someone needs to step up, not just be a leader, but show what it means to win. I only hope Moyes isn't giving it the 'well done' treatment in the dressing room because these dropped points will probably hurt us at the crunch.

Nick Entwistle, London     Posted 10/09/2011 at 16:57:13

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Brian Waring
1   Posted 10/09/2011 at 18:11:32

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Agree Nick. It was a good performance today, and obvioulsly still early days, but as you point out, its 5pts dropped at home from 2 games.
Pat Finegan
2   Posted 10/09/2011 at 18:16:54

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I always expect the worst at the beginning of the season. The last few years have set quite a precedent. A 2-2 draw against a team that hasn't lost yet this season isn't too bad. Let's face it, we never get a good to start the season but this is less bad than usual.
Ian McDowell
3   Posted 10/09/2011 at 18:26:38

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Despite the fact we played quite well today I was desperately disappointed by the defending.

Neville in the holding midfielder role for me could be the answer.
Wayne McNee
4   Posted 10/09/2011 at 18:24:54

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No recognised striker in the starting line up, late & pointless substitutions... Where have I seen this before?!
Velios should have started FFS. Every other premiership manager makes his subs at the same time as Moyes... Only difference is that it's to waste time or kill off the pace when they are WINNING!
Two words I guarantee you'll never hear used together under this management "Inspired" & "Substitution".
John Gilfoyle
5   Posted 10/09/2011 at 18:26:17

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Feeling more optimistic after today than the Blackburn game plenty of positives. Its a funny old game and the score doesn't always reflect the performance, however i'd say well done to the lads today and if we perform in a similiar fashion most weeks we'll have a good season. Think Rodwell and Fellaini will blossom and Drenthe, Barkley, Vellios looked bright there is genuine competition for places and plenty to be positive about. I'm sure Blue Bill is feeling happy with todays events with performance and fans reaction to him on screen, glad in a way like the guy although he is a p**s poor chairman.
Kevin Hudson
6   Posted 10/09/2011 at 19:00:41

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Let's face it Moyes is damned either way.

If he started with Velios, and the experienced & fresh Dunne had him in his pocket, people like Wayne Mcnee could easily find fault with that too.

I thought Moyes did well with his subs today, as they injected some energy into our attack. If Given had palmed Velios' shot into his own net, inspired it would have been. Velios needs to learn how to walk before he can run.
Peter Cummo
7   Posted 10/09/2011 at 19:06:10

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Another frustrating afternoon and another two points lost, almost a repeat of the Villa Park game last season when we dominated from start to finish and still lost, where was Howard when they equalised at the far post??,all the good work was undone (yet again) by poor defending and Howards inability to control the area,but I guess we can't complain after the Blackburn game when we were the under the cosh for most of the game, there were a few positive signs today and the overall performance was encouraging but we MUST turn our dominance into points and stop making 'keepers look great.
Derek Thomas
8   Posted 10/09/2011 at 23:12:46

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I go can go back a long while and I have seen dozens and dozens of players arrive at clubs and not just this one, how shall we say it? a little short of condition for one reason or another.

The majority of time the manager puts them in from the start, lets them run on adrenaline and the occasion and again in the majority of cases pull them off after an hour or so, totally knackered but job done and a hard 70mins workout of the type you can't get on the training ground or gym under their belt.

But not our Davy.

Now in FM world, bearing in mind all of the above, In would go Drethe, Strac and Vellios in a 4-4-2. But with only 3 subs maybe not in the real world and deffo not 4-4-2 from our boy Davy.

It's all abit TOO avante garde for Davy, but to be that far the otherway is just taking the piss.

Setting Big Eck or any other manager problems to keep him awake at night he isn't.

Just how many Villa fans turned up? At 33k it looks like 10% have already voted with their feet.

And no fuckin wonder.

As to the on going defensive frailty, I have always maintained that the game is both won and lost in the midfield, individual cockups and slips not withstanding. A leaky defence is due to a lack of protection in front of it... hmm, maybe that's why Davy plays all these holders, 4-5-1 or 4-6-0.

I just think that a change in emphasis and attacking intent might help solve all, well some, of our problems.
Derek Thomas
9   Posted 11/09/2011 at 00:05:42

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I hear that Arsenal fielded 5, FIVE!! deadline day signings. One of them had only arrived 2 days prior to the KO.

So what if thet 'only' got a scrappy 1-0 win from a mistake.

It was a win and all the debutants had a run under their belts.
Rob Hollis
10   Posted 11/09/2011 at 00:55:50

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How much better we looked on the right with Hibbert there. How much better we looked as a team without Neville.

Everton were very good today, trying to play on the floor. Also noted Vellios did more in ten minutes than Anichibe in his career, so much more mobile.

I was quite cheered up by today's game.
Thomas Williams
11   Posted 11/09/2011 at 01:48:31

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Only problem today was who we played!!

How many times now in the last 4-5 years have we mullered Villa, yet end up drawing or losing, they are by far the most poxy team we have to play.

Thomas Williams
12   Posted 11/09/2011 at 01:51:49

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The one thing I did spot today was how much quicker we moved the ball about, without Arteta passing sideways and back as well, just need Fellaini back up to full fitness and things will start to roll.

Still not convinced we should have kept Jagielka he is all over the place, and is putting too much onto Distin to cover for him. I felt we had too much space between defence and midfield in the 2nd half, maybe we should have put Neville in their to shore up.

Bily needs to be shipped out in January just not good enough imo.

Dick Fearon
13   Posted 11/09/2011 at 11:52:18

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For a bit of light relief I nipped over to RAWK and guess what, the RS are having a go at the referee. The target of their venom is no other than a certain Mark Clattenberg accusing him of being biased.
Norman Merrill
14   Posted 11/09/2011 at 15:09:22

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After the very knowledgable king Kenny spouts that they are not getting the rub of the green via referees, and especially mr clattenburg, he also suffers from the same problem as all followers of our red neighbours, that of short memories.
They have benefitted from refs, since the 70's
And before, just to name one, a certain welsh prick called Thomas.
It will be interesting to see if the authorities take action, but don't hold your breath.

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