"A villable" point!
I promised Joppe one point and one we got. Looking at the statistics we could see that it was an even game, but as we saw it we could be happy with that draw. Still we could have won: Villa had their chances... most of them went wide, at the same time Friedel made a couple of great saves.
Last time we met Neill was unlucky to give Villa the only goal in the match by a deflection. Today he was one of the best players on the field.
And I don't know how many times I rued Tristan. He was awful and I couldn't understand why he was left on the field. "Zola what are you doin" was a comment used at least ten times in the last 30 minutes. Bur once more, I was wrong, he was right.
This could be a very important point and if you look at my hopes for the last six games, we do start as I thought: LOOK HERE.
Robert Green 7 - Good game, but not too much too do actually. Lovely save when Hesley came through.
Lucas Neill 8 - Today he really played as a Captain, and even if he spoilt a pass or two he aslo created some stuff and kept Ashely Young at bay. He knows that he is so much slower than Young, but played with that in mind. Great game.
James Tomkins 7 - Good game again, I prefer him in the middle, a place he had after Collins went out injured. No wrongdoings, but the way he "handled" Carew in the dying minutes was quite different! Will be in our first eleven next seaseon whatever happens...
James Collins - started the game as a CB but had - once again - problem with a leg. Had to go off quite early...
Upson 7 - Had some problems with Carew and even looked tiny beside the Norwegian. Still very reliable at the back.
Ilunga 6,5 - Had some ups and downs. Created some great crosses, failed sometimes when he had to cover for Upson or the others at the back. Still kept Milner very quiet this evening and worked well with Stanislas.
Boa Morte 8 - Today we saw some of his best! 2 shots went wide, but still worked really, really hard and found his mates with clever passes! At least his best game for West ham this season. Harshly booked for a dive. Did also had a great opportunity that the impressing Friedel saved with his knee! Great!
Mark Noble 7,5 - Liked what I saw most of the game. Took great responsibilty in the middle of the park and was very creative. Fell back after 45 a bit. And sometimes he should be quicker with the ball, even if he himself is a slow player. But when Parker is injured we rely a lot of the young man.
Kieron Dyer 5,5 - (came on as a sub) Mr Invisible for 45 minutes! Came on after Collins went off and seemed totally lost in the middle of the park. It was hard to even find him and we wondered if he still was on the field. But when Villa fell back in the last 15 minutes he created some space for himself and had the assist for our goal. Needs more time to be the player we know he can be.
Junior Stanislas 7,5 - Another great game. At least for the first half, well the first 30 was marvelous! Created three really great chances and was free with Friedel who was a bit lucky to save. Moved well, was creative with the ball, found his teammates and took responsibilty for the team as well. Worked well with Ilunga, but also for himself. And once again with Boa Morte! He has the right mentality as well. May sooner than later be our first choice in this position! And he' is only 19!
Tristan 5 - Well, as I said was crap for the whole game and I rued that Zola kept him on the field. At the end he saved us a point with his second goal in PL. Thanks a lot!!!!! Still far too slow and looses the ball to easy. Can this goal give hime some time to recreate what he was? I doubt.
Di Michele 4 - No! I'm starting to loath his flicks and I do wonder how he can give the ball to the opposition over and over again, even at times it seems far easier to pass the ball to a West Ham player. Well, maybe Tristan was worse, as Di Michele have good moves but at least the Spaniard scored!
Dyer (see above).
Savio 5 - Did not have much time, had a bad shot and another opportunity when he should have shot but may have been affected by his first miss and chosed to play instead. With Stanislas doing so well, it may take some time for him to get a start again. But we do not we need to worry yet. Will be important for us next season.
Sears 6 - had just 10 minutes but looked very lively and good today. Villa were on their back-heels and even if they always get nervous in the last quarter nowadays, Sears may have helped them to achieve that. Much better today!
Let's say that it's easy to get a bit embittered: Heskey hurt himself in the England game at our Cole came on instead. He injured himself too. Heskey is now ready to play and then scores! A bit nasty I think as Cole is still out and is sooo deeply missed!
You could always rue missed chances, and be happy for the opponent when they are unable to convert, but I think we should remember that we were really wirth that point! Not bad against Villa who was close to have their regular team (Agbonlahor was out) while we was without so many players and still played so well!
Ad even if we oose our seventh spot tomorrow (when Tottscum layes Newcastle) remember: It's only temporary!