Date:Saturday December 3 2005
A VILLA FAN ANSWERS OUR QUESTIONS:
Big game tomorrow for both clubs, who do you see coming out the winner?
I can't see where the next three points are coming from for Villa although Newcastle seem to be the same, totally at sixes and sevens. If Michael Owen players, I'd have thought he would have a field day, if he is still injured then our defence might just about cope. Following the embarrassing defeat to Doncaster Rovers in the Carling Cup, it will be interesting to see if the team are able to bounce back, either that or their confidence will have been shattered and if that is the case, it is going to be a long hard season.
Both managers are under pressure, which one do you think is the closest to the dreaded axe?
Personally I think O'Leary is under more pressure, out of 14 games we have only won 4, drawn the 3, the rest are losses. It is our worst league start for over three decades and after the capitulation to Doncaster, I wouldn't think it will be long before Doug pounces. I don't really think he has ever done anything to ingratiate himself with the Villa faithful and judging by the poll on the Vital Villa site, 93% want to see him sacked. There is a report in the Express today saying one more loss and O'Leary will be gone. I think it is only the 'supposed' takeover that has kept him in his job because you would have to ask which manager would be daft enough to come in knowing a new group might take the helm and bring their own man in.
That said, from the outside, it appears the Newcastle fans have never really taken to Souness, and as your season isn't far off being as bad as ours, I'm sure Shepherd will also be looking for a swift improvement or a swift replacement!
Do you want to see your manager leave?
In a totally contradicting answer, I'd say I have had enough of the manager merry go round at Aston Villa, Doug has got through 12 managers in his time, with O'Leary being his 13th BUT yes, I'd like to see O'Leary leave. I think he has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that his 'success' at Leeds was done on the back of the foundations George Graham built and he looks a defeated man to me. In fact in the Carling Cup match his expression reminded me of a rabbit caught in the headlights (not that I go looking at rabbits in headlights very often - or at all - you understand!!! Not a rabbit fetish here, ooooh no). Many fans have simply had enough of his negative interviews and non existent tactics. He's often been linked with the Newcastle job, maybe you'll take him for us?!
Who has been your most outstanding player so far this season?
In fits and starts, there have been a few. One is a rumoured target for Souness! Gareth Barry. He is a quality player but does tend to drift a bit, especially in a team that is struggling. However last Tuesday night against Donny, he was the only player that really looked up for it. Baros will be great if we can provide the service, and your own James Milner has played well - although obviously he won't feature against his own club! The one that is causing the most attention seems to be Steven Davis, now he has added goals to his game, he is a great prospect. The one doubt about him - and we have to bear in mind he is still only young and learning - is that he gets muscled out by strong midfielders. Still got some great touches though, it is no wonder Sir Alex Ferguson is keeping an eye on him.
Who is the teams weakest link?
For us at the moment it has to be Juan Pablo Angel. He had one electrifying season, the rest of the time he has struggled with either injuries or form. In fairness to him, Villa just don't play to his strengths, we appear to be hoofing the ball forward way too much and that makes the opponents defenders lives very easy and makes it very hard for any of our strikers - who are all small in stature - to hold the ball up, let alone get a chance to score.
So what is your prediction for tomorrow?
I don't really like to back against my team, but our away form is woeful and has been for a few seasons and after the defeat this week, I just think the team's confidence has been shattered. They may shock the Villa faithful and come out all guns blazing, certainly if you give Baros space he could score but; if Owen is playing I'd say a home win, if he isn't, maybe Villa will scrape a draw. It will be fascinating to see if our team can bounce back, they often talk a good game, now we want to see them repay the fans and play a good game!
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