The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Aston Villa’s Wembley Triumph



There has, understandably, been some focus on Mario Balotelli’s late goal which was ruled out, incorrectly, for offside and which would have surely taken the game into extra-time. However, to place too much emphasis on this would be to overlook the fact that both teams got precisely what they deserved at Wembley.

Sometimes you get the luck that you merit – Villa were the better side by a pretty terrific margin throughout the game and even without the claret-and-blue-tinted glasses it would have been a travesty had they not emerged victorious. If Balotelli’s disallowed goal gives Liverpool fans something to cling on to then so be it, but in fairness, the vast majority of reaction I have seen from them has been an admission of being bested in every department.

Let’s just give Brendan Rodgers’ post-match nonsense the column inches it deserves, shall we? He claimed after the game that Liverpool’s defeat was at least in part a result of them ‘wanting to win too much’. Sorry, what? In that case, I guess it’s lucky that Villa’s players held only a lukewarm desire to reach the final of English football’s biggest domestic competition, otherwise we’d have been in trouble.

As post-match drivel goes, that’s up there with the greatest. It also conveniently overlooks the fact that at no point in the game did Liverpool look interested in – or, to be quite frank, capable of – winning the game. Another gem was his assertion that Steven Gerrard was excellent. I’m all for standing by your captain, but if Gerrard was excellent then Delph was Michel Platini.




The worst thing I can think to say about Sunday is that we won’t have as good a day as that until, well, Saturday 30 May. Arsenal will be a different kettle of fish to Liverpool but there is absolutely no reason – particularly based on the two sides’ respective semi-final performances – that this Villa cannot do what no Villa side has done since 1957.

The biggest genuine issue is the latest in a long line of defensive injuries – Nathan Baker’s season is over, by Sherwood’s own admission, after falling heavily in the first half. With Baker joining Ciaran Clark on the sidelines until the summer and with Ron ‘Concrete’ Vlaar actually having been more Ron ‘Porcelain’ Vlaar for most of this campaign, Villa are horribly light on the ground at the back.

I’ve heard rumours that Philippe Senderos still exists (he played for the Villa U-21’s Monday night), but even so, Sherwood needs to get the cotton wool and bubblewrap out for the next few weeks. UTV

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  1. Balotelli’s “offside goal????” Hmmmmm Imagine if the assistant’s flag didn’t go up. Would Vlaar and Okore have given up? as they did when they heard the whistle. OK Given tried to stop it but that’s goalkeepers for you, they never like to be beaten. It was incorrectly given offside but what are the chances of him beating two defenders and the goalkeeper on his present form?

  2. A great performance by all connected to AVFC
    I too am concerned about the amount of injuries to our defenders, only two fit CB’s for the rest of the season is a worry. Sendros has little time to get match fit so we need Vlarr and Okore to stay out of trouble but still be 100% committed in the challenge until we are safe. Be nice if we could secure our safety with a couple of games to go, just to give Tim some breathing space with team selection !

  3. “Tim Sherwood got his tactics spot on” .. except for when he took on nzogbia and grealish and let liverpool back in the game 😛

  4. cleverly and westwood were very good,, and along with sanchez we have a good midfield which is effective against many sides if we play well
    it could be better though, we still need more goals and more assists from them all
    they all work very hard and all have some good aspects to their game
    gardner i still hope will emerge ,,, possibly as cleverlys replacement should he go,,,
    but i still think we have room for a sigurdson type player

    and the whole team should be better next season, if we keep all the key players

    but its players like gil winegum kozac cole who probably may be surplus,,,, although kozac and gil
    may yet feature when fit and if sherwood feels he can improve them

    and with the kids still out on loan its fair to say its going to be an interesting summer transfer wise

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