A valuable point away in Wales? Or a frustrating two points dropped due to wasteful finishing? It all depends upon how full (or empty) your glass is.
Perhaps a hybrid of both views will suffice; “a frustrating point”.
In ordinary circumstances we would be content with rolling back to the Midlands, our point tucked up safely.
But these are not ordinary times. We really needed all three, Cardiff were there for the taking, and Villa contrived to miss golden opportunities (+1 fine Marshall save).
In short, aside from a Baker induced scare at the back, we looked a firmer outfit for Vlaar’s presence. But then that’s stating something that everyone knows. Hopefully he can stay fit for the seasons run in.
The midfield was of crude construction, a mish mash of out of position players. It looked it for long periods. Bennett? Wiemann? They looked as though they’d won a prize to turn out.
Forget the first half. I have. You’d be better off for it as well.
How we didn’t score in the second half. Glaring misses, goalkeeping heroics, comedy shot/pass choices. You name it, we missed it. If Villa manage to get relegated by a point, think back to this game. Criminal finishing.
Special mention to Agbonlahor. No denying his passion. But his lack of form and goals raise serious questions about his worth to the team. Even rarer are bursts of pace and one great game in ten warranting of his guaranteed spot on the team sheet? Only Wiemann being worse seems to save him.
I pose the question; if we had bought Gabby this season, would we tolerate this level of performance?
But, Positive. Mental. Attitude.
We at least showed some craft in the second half. Occasionally remembering it would be handy to win a game of football.
It’s refreshing to be positive in that our creativity and range of attack in the second half was better. The guilty parties were seemingly everyone with a sight of goal.
The question is, why just ten minutes of creativity against West Ham and why only the second half against Cardiff?
But then the solitary point earned may indeed be very, very valuable.
As frustrating as things are, we didn’t lose, didn’t look overly threatened by a poor Cardiff and have taken a point on the road. Its perhaps a reflection of our decline, but it may well keep us from playing Yeovil every week. Perhaps.
I’m a believer in building momentum. It doesn’t suddenly come. West Ham are an example of this currently.
West Ham, reasonably comparable to Villa in the league (yes, they beat us 3 days ago…), have gathered momentum to huge effect in the last 3 games. They’ve shot from relegation fodder to mid table in a well documented ‘tight’ league.
It’s not a model for success, but we need to emulate such a turnaround.
We can lambast our luck and bemoan our failure to win at Cardiff, but this ‘stabling’ should be our basis for winning at Newcastle. And if not winning, certainly not losing.
Newcastle and Norwich take on increasing importance. Both teams are in my view average and poor respectively.
Dig in and do not lose at Newcastle. Sneak a win, maybe. We need to beat down a relegation rival after all. Target Norwich for destruction. 6 points desirable, 4 points minimum. Lose both? At least the season ticket will be cheaper next year.
But all this can be worried about in due course.
So to sum up our point at Cardiff?
Enough, just. But must try harder. And quickly.