Post Match View – Aston Villa F.C.

‘From now on until March in this championship the consistent team will get it.’ – Arsene Wenger

Cesc played less than 30 minutes. Nevertheless his quality was clear to see. Two chances, two chances taken. Thank you very much!

Earlier in the year, I called for him to regain proper form, to show consistency. He has done that and more. Unless my count is wrong, he’s on 12 goals and seven assists in 22 appearances so far. His cameo today showed what he means to this team. We might have beaten Villa anyway but Cesc’s contribution ruined Martin O’Neill’s day. For me, that was special.

Beating Villa has sent them a message of intent and perhaps also to those above us. Considering our injury situation, Almunia’s mistakes, Eduardo and Theo being off form, we’ve made a point about our quality. Real consistency however is shown over time so let’s watch and see how things develop.

Abou Diaby has played another good game. The way he shut the door with that excellent run through Villa’s midfield exposed their soft center. I’d be very concerned about how easily that happened if I were a Villa fan. I’d be looking for answers if I were Martin O’Neill, but considering he didn’t mind conceding the last two goals because they “were chasing the game,” maybe he won’t be.

No matter what the score, when a player runs through you like Cesc did against Tottenham earlier this season and how Diaby has done versus Villa, questions must be asked. O’Neill also stated that “even at 1-0 the game could have gone either way.” Maybe! But what he failed to admit is that if Eduardo had taken his chance in the opening minutes, his side would have had a mountain to climb right from the start.

We’ll pay a price for Cesc’s heroics. How long he’s out for is up in the air – a week, ten days, 3 weeks. Given the result, the risk might turn out to be a chance that was well worth taking.

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