"People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defences, or the problems of modern society." -Vince Lombardi
Even if we didn't win last night that quote says it all. When you pull together, work together and play together you'll get the rewards.
Aston Villa proved to themselves, their fans and press that their defensive frailties had been sorted as they faced their biggest set piece test in the Premier League. A Villa fans' Boxing Day horror movie marathon could have been played in high definition at many different angles on Sky if the gaffer hadn't have done something about it.
Yet when Marc Wilson, of Stoke, crashed a thundering header against the underside of the crossbar it was a heart and fist in mouth moment. Luckily, speed demon Gabby Agbonlahor was well placed on the post to save Aston Villa from another set piece disaster.
"The players have been much maligned recently but they were up for all their individual battles. Agbonlahor cleared the ball with great composure but to be fair it would have been a travesty if we had lost." McLeish exclaimed.
|Stepping up to the Mark.|
With a mixed bag of individual performances, Aston Villa pulled through with very little scares. The problem of keeping goals out may have been solved yet down the other end, goals being scored are scarce. With the big man Darren Bent sidelined for the third consecutive match, we once against missed that one guy to get some part of his body on the end of crosses. With Charles N'Zogbia showing good form and looking settled on the wing, crosses have been coming into box just waiting for someone to strike. His skill on the ball is perfect on the eye but when there is no final product it all goes to waste.
Too many diagonal heavy balls are being played, especially from James Collins, and when up against a tall set of Stoke players it wasn't a very good tactic. When Delfouneso came on for an injured Emile Heskey, we should have put the ball down and played some pretty football. With our pace thanks to the likes of Gabby, Charles, Marc and Nathan we should have taken full advantage.