They obviously can’t be bothered, so neither can I. It was a positive line-up, but Utd never needed to get out of 1st gear. McLeish must be giving out his instructions in Russian or something because he’s managed to make some very capable players look like they haven’t the first clue what they’re doing.
Worryingly, Shay Given was carried off after his hamstring went shortly before half time. Brad Guzan didn’t have much to do, not really, but we’ll probably get
One of the bigger talking points has been the return of Ashley Young. James Milner showed class by not celebrating at Eastlands recently, expect Ashley Young to do exactly the same today, but preferably because he hasn’t scored.
Either way, it’s a tough game ahead and I suspect there will be a bigger interest in the manner McLeish approaches the game than any real expectation in getting much from it.
The two managers go way back of course, here’s how they are
I’ve taken my sweet time with this one on purpose. I generally have a pretty good idea what the headline numbers look like by the final whistle and I know the more technical statistics almost immediately after the game has finished these days. If taken in isolation, these stats wouldn’t make encouraging reading, but that only serves to prove why we should take time look at these things as a whole and recognise that nothing can be “proven”
Wow! What can you say about that? I’m still trying to catch my breath.
Honestly, when I saw the teamsheets confirm the early whisper that Ciaran Clark was out, replaced by Jonathon Hogg, and Ireland too would be missing, Chris Herd and Shane Lowry taking their places on the bench, I feared a mauling. Especially when I saw that Utd weren’t as weakened as I hoped.
In fairness, it was a slightly timid start, not unexpectedly, and Utd opened up
Full starting line-ups and benches for Aston Villa vs Man Utd. Clark injured, possibly ill, Hogg starts. Stephen Ireland has flu I believe. The weakest bench we’ve ever assembled for a game like this?
Edwin van der Sar
Man Utd come to Villa Park on Saturday for the early kick off game. For all the talk of being a point off of 5th place, we’re a full eight points behind Utd and they’re a point worse off than they were after 12 games last season. At that same point, we were just four points behind with 21 to their 25 points.
The league record against Utd at Villa Park makes sobering reading, the 1-1 and 0-0 draws
When Aston Villa won the 1957 FA Cup we became the first team to win it 7 times, a feat now matched or surpassed by Liverpool (7), Tottenham (8), Arsenal (10) and Man Utd (11). Small wonder really, we’ve made it to the final just once since; the 1-0 loss to Chelsea in 2000. You’ve got to be in it to win it after all.
The game has changed a wee bit since 1957 though. Martin O’Neill was just
The first thing I notice when I create the average position maps is whether our players were deeper or more advanced in comparison to the previous match; in this case the game against Tottenham. This is most noticeable among the back four and I was encouraged to note that they were considerably more advanced on average during this game, especially Carlos Cuellar.
I sang Fabian Delph’s praises on Twitter during the game, I sang them again in the first review
This started off so brightly with Martin O’Neill handing Fabian Delph a rare start in place of the injured Emile Heskey and the home side lined up in my favourite 4-2-3-1 formation with Delph and Petrov providing the solid platform for the front four to work from.
Villa enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges and Carlos Cueller deservedly put us into the lead just before the 20th minute with a looping header that left van der Sar flapping in the