Stats: Aston Villa v Arsenal 26/12/08 17:15
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Aston Villa 2 - Arsenal 2

Premier League

Villa Park

26/12/08 17:15

Attendance: 42,585

Referee: Lee Mason

Aston Villa
2 - 2
Barry (pen) 65 Knight 90
Denilson 40 Diaby 49
Venue: Villa Park
Attendance: 42,585
The Teams
va Persie
Game Statistics
Goal Attempts
On Target
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
We've had to get used to Jekyll and Hyde performances in matches this season and this was just one such event. Despite claims to the contrary there is a lot of quality in this team but not enough experience. Song's departure from midfield was costly as his replacement Ramsey gave the ball away a good deal more than Song did. Denilson on the other hand gave a man of the match performance passing more frequently and accurately than any other midfielder, won the ball more often and came up with a goal too. The much maligned Eboue is also worth a mention. With 47 passes 79% completion, 1 assist, 2 assist attempts, 4 balls won and a shot on goal the contention that he isn't worth a place in Arsenal's squad isn't based on any realistic evaluation of fundamentals. This was a keenly fought midfield contest and passing accuracy was below the levels we normally see from an Arsenal side but there was plenty of combativity as well as quality on show. Though our 30 tackles didn't match the 39 of Villa we at least had as much success with them. There is some encouragement to be taken from the game not least because without Cesc and Ade we seemed to have dropped our over use of the long ball. Play the ball along the ground a little more and we look much more confident. Just a little more confidence and we might have come away with all the points today.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 26 2008

Time: 8:20PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Ramsey also gave the ball away in dangerous positions on the pitch. There's a thin line between complacency and safe play, and I thought he should just have booted it upfield a few times. Denilson puts in the same amount of effort every game, something that I've come to expect from him. Song was always living a bit dangerously, having been booked early. Diaby had a decent game, RvP & Nasri were largely anonymous. Eboue had a good game, and he makes Sagna look a lot better.
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26/12/2008 20:25:00

I would say that he (Eboue) allows Sagna to play better, rather than making him look good. I think Walcott, on the other hand, makes him play worse.
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26/12/2008 20:33:00

I thought RvP put in a really good stint as a lone striker. When we got the ball forward he was always looking to try to make things happen and worked hard to win the ball back. Quite were he he gets this 'lack of team player' tag from I really don't understand. Nasri faded quite markedly in the 2nd half - not quite fit maybe?
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26/12/2008 20:40:00

Ramsey did give the ball away a couple of times but Song also misplaced or overhit passes. I thought Ramsey did very well and I noted his immense desire to track back and help his defence out. I think he's going to be outstanding for us in the future, I really do. What we missed what Song's muscle. I also thought van Persie did well considering he was up by himself. But why is it that teams seem to be able to attack against us so easily?
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26/12/2008 21:25:00

I think he is a great team player. Just never striker a direct partnership with the other striker. But thats not only his fault.
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26/12/2008 21:27:00

Wenger has said on a post-match interview on the bbc wesbite that he isn't likely to make a move in the transfer window at the moment....great!
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26/12/2008 21:30:00

It is great news. Wenger always lies. Read what he says and tike the entirely opposite view on it. The rule of thumb.
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26/12/2008 21:33:00

Song passed with 85% accuracy and Ramsey with 74%.
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26/12/2008 21:40:00

a good day for the top 4!!
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26/12/2008 22:17:00

I thought we looked a lot better with Ramsey on the field. His passing accuracy stat may look worse than Song's because he was being more ambitious and creative with his passing. Song got some very simple passes wrong in the first half. RvP played as well as could be expected considering the little support he recieved.
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27/12/2008 00:14:00

The only reason that Ramsey is being given some more latitude at the moment is because we haven't seen enough of him for him to fail yet. It seems our best players are always the ones that don't play so often.
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27/12/2008 01:16:00

Two assist attempts? Is that not two failed passes? I went to the game tonight, and i've had more than a few beers. But seriously, you need more songs. It was like continuous 'We love you Arsenal ,we do bla bla bla' and 'We're by far the greatest team bla bla bla' over and over and over and over again. But to be fair, you did give us almost an entire verse of 'Champions League, you're having a laugh' a few seconds before Zat Knight shut you up. Hope the drive home didn't take too long, but then alot of you do live round the corner lol
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27/12/2008 01:17:00

An assist attempt is a successful pass that wasn't converted. You're right about the songs though. They are pretty banal. Not sure I heard anything terribly inventive from the Villa crowd though.
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27/12/2008 01:22:00

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27/12/2008 01:39:00

Only banter gooners;) If it's any conselation though, i'd rather knock the Scouse ****s out of the top4, even if only to shut up that smeg head John Doe. Good luck for the rest of the season lads.
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27/12/2008 01:43:00

I dunno VIC, I thought the rendition of "2 shots, we've only had 2 shots, we've ony had 2 shots!" was quite funny. But people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones .... the ony Villa chant I heard sung with any gusto was "Villa, Villa, Villa, Villa!" How creative!!! :P
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27/12/2008 03:02:00

Amos: "An assist attempt is a successful pass that wasn't converted." Thanks for clearing that up, I always had the suspicion that it was a bull***** stat, and now I'm sure. But I need a bit more clarification- is it like wanting to conceive a child and having sex with your wife but it doesn't take, or that you want to conceive and can't get it up? No offence meant Amos, but it's a meaningless stat. American baseball has stats for everything but they don't have a stat for 'almost home runs'. It either goes over the wall and is a home run, or it doesn't. It is either an assist, meaning it led to a goal, or it didn't, meaning nothing. You may as well have a stat for good intentions.
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27/12/2008 06:10:00

Thanks Amos, sometimes the stats do tell us it's not as bad as we felt eh? I had a feeling that we probably used our heads a lot more against Villa than in any other game this season. Gallas was trying to be that main header of the ball at the back, but we know he's no Zat Knight. I just wonder if we did (or were forced to) use our heads to clear the ball more often in this game?
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27/12/2008 06:54:00

Baseball has stats like 'runs created' doesn't it? An assist attempt isn't the most helpful of stats because it covers so much but it isn't entirely meaningless any more than 'assists' themselves. It is one measure of effective contribution but like all stats they can have a greater meaning when taken into consideration with everything else. Usually stats are meaningless when they don't support your opinion.
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27/12/2008 08:24:00

i had a dream last night....i saw jimmy bullard wearing our number 23.
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27/12/2008 09:10:00

Its not often I moan about a penalty but if that was a penalty I'll eat my hat. Gallas was first to the ball and the rest deserved an Oscar.
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27/12/2008 09:37:00

a fair result the end....... Villa were very unlucky not to score a few times early on.......
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27/12/2008 09:53:00

watch our performance drop when adebayor plays on sunday
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27/12/2008 11:17:00

2-2 was fair given Villa's chances. Had we won Wenger might have felt vindicated in his 'the team is alright' idea. We are soft everywhere but I thought Denilson was awesome. He's growing into a leader.
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27/12/2008 11:46:00

I think the assist attempt stat is a good one. If Denilson is getting 7 assist attempts per game and we aren't scoring any goals then you know the strikers are getting service but not putting the chances away. If there are no assist attempts then you know the strikers are getting no service .... it helps show who's putting in a good shift to those who haven't seen the game imo!!
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27/12/2008 12:43:00

Actually Rocky, when you put it that way it sort of makes sense!
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27/12/2008 13:28:00

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27/12/2008 14:03:00

Perhaps, alwaysgunner, you can put the recording of your eating your hat up on "youtube"? Seriously, I think the best Arsenal deserved was a draw - and lest you think I'm wearing my claret and blue spectacles, I am also on record as saying Villa were fortunate (thanks to the mighty Brad) to leave Upton Park last week with all three points when our performance really only merited one.
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27/12/2008 14:40:00

Was it a penalty? I'll leave you to judge. Was Gallas himself blocked before he challenged? Seems to me Anbongobore veered into Billy and then fell in a heap. If that's all it takes to get a penalty I say let's start getting our lads practicising on their technique.
Wyn Mills
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27/12/2008 17:43:00

Also look at the final Villa goal. Almunia looks like he can't be bothered to even make the effort. My 14 year old son could have saved that. A shocking goal for a keeper to concede, even allowing for the other defensive failings.
Wyn Mills
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27/12/2008 17:50:00

The problem is Almunia is too busy thinking about giving his defenders a telling off rather than concentrating on making the save. That's why its a very bad idea to make your keeper the captain.
Wyn Mills
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27/12/2008 17:53:00

There was no way Almunia could have saved that goal, Wyn. That shot was hit into the corner with force. Criticise him for not coming off his line fast enough on occassion, and that would be valid. But to blame him for the goals conceded is harsh.
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28/12/2008 10:26:00

Prits, go to this link ( and look at the last clip under the game highlights. Look closely at Zak Knights goal and tell me that was an unsaveable shot. Corner of the goal my arse! That was barely 6 inches from Alumunia when it went over the line and I don't believe he was unsighted. He didn't even dive for it. You and I know plenty of goalkeepers who would have made a decent fist of saving that!
Wyn Mills
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28/12/2008 11:02:00


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