The only thing that worries me at the moment is a player getting injured and not being able to play. John Carew is already missing from the action so in such a case the coach will have to play either one of these 2 players, Marlon Harewood or Nathan Delfouneso. I am not saying that these 2 players should be rejected outright as they have a lot of promise of turning into future stars but it is experience and expertise that is needed by Aston at this point. They have too much at stake to leave anything to chance. Therefore, it won’t be unwise to suggest that they should seriously consider hiring a new forward.
The ouster of Carew due to injury has in some ways proved to be a blessing in disguise. O’Neill has experimented with setting up Barry, Sidwell and Petroy in the central midfield and has also deployed Milner and Young on the flanks.livescore The result has not been disappointing. It makes me wonder if the Norwegian striker will find himself a place on the team when he is fit enough to return.
O’Neill seems to settle quite a score by the Bulgarian Petrov. I also have started to accept him in the team but it is a mystery to me why O’Neill would try so hard to make sure Petrov got a place on the team. No doubt he is showing a lot of improvement this season but then let’s be fair. His passing is at best economical whereas what Aston needs is incisiveness. He lacks competitiveness and is not athletic enough as a midfielder should be. It may sound harsh to some but trust me, after having observed him for the past 2 and a half years I am not able to understand what it is that makes O’Neill so keen on having him on an otherwise splendid team.
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One weakness that I have observed is the weak full-back positions. Reo-Coker provided Arsenal with their 1st goal of the match but that could be merely a one time mistake that anyone could fall prey to. Luke Young is also playing well out of his familiar role although he could do better back where he belonged.
All said Aston Villa seems to be a good contender for a place amongst the top 4. It is phenomenal that from being the team that always found itself right at the bottom of the ranks should suddenly be competing for the top slots. I couldn’t doubt manager O’Neill’s claim that it ought come as no surprise if his side finishes in the top four.