Tuesday, December 30, 2008

EPL Liveblog: Hull v. Aston Villa (aborted at HT)

So... one team's let in 9 goals in 2 games, and the other just snuck a point against Arsenal. Who's your money on this afternoon?

Phil Brown's on-field dress-down of his rather inept team can have one of two effects. Either they'll keep performing badly, or they'll get one of those life-affirming, heroic wins against all odds.

Starting Lineups:
Hull: (4-4-1-1) Myhill, McShane, Turner, Zayatte, Ricketts, Mendy, Garcia, Ashbee, Halmosi, Barmby, Cousin.
Subs: Duke, Doyle, Fagan, Geovanni, Hughes, King, Giannakopoulos.

Aston Villa: (4-3-3) Friedel, Reo-Coker, Knight, Davies, Luke Young, Milner, Sidwell, Petrov, Barry, Ashley Young, Agbonlahor.
Subs: Guzan, Harewood, Delfouneso, Salifou, Shorey, Gardner, Osbourne.

I am hoping for some goals, and against that Tigers backline, it's to be expected. No way does Sam Ricketts shut down Ashley Young for 90 minutes.

5 mins: Not a whole lot to report early on. The battle for midfield supremacy is only just beginning.

Defiant against the laws of nature, 138-year-old Nicky Barmby gets the ball out of Friedel's grip as they challenge for a high ball, and promptly bundles it into the net under pressure from Bald Brad and Mr. Reo-Coker. The ref gives a free-kick to Villa, which on replay is rather unfair. Should have been 1-0. Barmby is unimpressed.

10 mins: The pundits frequently gush about Villa, and rightly so, for their three-pronged attack that's (gasp) HOME-GROWN! Ashley gets a yard of space on the wing and turns McShane inside out before whipping in a weak cross that gets knocked out for a corner. It amounts to nothing. Still, you have to fancy them coming forward. It's the stuff of nightmares for a backline as sieve-like as Hull's.

14 mins: So far, the match is crying out for a hero, someone to kick things into life. It's not going to come from long balls to Agbonlahor that ends up safely in Boaz Myhill's hands, however.

David Pleat's voice is music to the ears, however. Hull have only won 1 of their last 10?!?! 20 points from their first 9 games, and only 7 points from their next 10. News to me, as they're still in the top 10. It's a wonderful league where you can fail that much and still look at an outside shot for a UEFA Cup berth.

16 mins: Hull start to find their feet, with Bernard Mendy causing all sorts of troubles down the right flank. His skidded cross misses everything as it flies across goal, with Peter Halmosi just unable to get a toe on it. I dare say this game is coming to life!

20 mins: Villa play the equivalent of forcing a square peg into a round hole, as their tactic of choice involves the long ball. Look, you have three incredibly fast, kinda-fragile players up-front who love the ball at their feet. This lofted pass rubbish isn't going to work.

Shit, and just like that, the feed has gone. Bear with me, folks, as I place a call to this shady website.

35 mins: Back up-and-running thanks to u75, and it appears I haven't missed much. Mendy was called offside rather unfairly, forcing some action from Friedel, and that's about that. Uninspiring stuff at the moment.

As I type that, Ian Ashbee puts a neat ball into the box forcing Curtis Davies to head over for a corner. Barmby wastes it.

David Pleat insists on filling every space with inanity, and I almost wish one of these teams (or both!) would do something to perhaps silence him. Barmby wins another corner on the left via Nigel Reo-Coker's leg. Barmby takes a rather illegal penalty, not putting any part of the ball in the corner triangle thingy before taking it. He's done it twice now, and Eagle-Eye Pleat has spotted it and opined at length about how long he'll get away with this practice.

And yes, the fact that I'm writing a lot about illegal corner-taking practices does indicate that the action's been rather crap thus far. It's enough to make me punch a part-time DJ.

40 mins: Pleat suggests that the away team "need some kind of strain" to get going. I wonder if such a strain could be equal to the strain David Pleat puts on the English language.

Sam Ricketts sputters in a weak cross, Villa clear zzzz... uh-oh, trouble for Hull! Steve Bennett is in the mix, giving Zayatte a talking-to as he bundles Gabby down once the striker turned him. Zayatte's already in the book, and he narrowly avoids seeing the 2nd yellow.

That's been the biggest event of note thus far. Gaz Baz squanders the free kick and Hull clear.

42 mins: Rather unwatchable stuff thus far, as Villa stick to their gameplan of hoofing it to space and hoping that Agbonlahor can out-sprint everyone to the ball. Yet another Hull corner, and yet another corner wasted. They keep the pressure on around the area, but McShane puts the cross over Friedel's bar, much to the chagrin of anyone watching this drivel.

45 mins: We will endure a minute of added time, and we will ponder the futility of both sides thus far in what's possibly been the worst half of football I can remember this season. I feel like I should at least write something on this liveblog, but there's nothing noteworthy in the game whatosever.

45 mins + 1: Oh look, another overhit cross. Friedel makes a dog's dinner of this one again, going up for it and then fumbling it right in front of goal. Steve Bennett gives a free-kick as Bald Brad was actually touched by the Hull player this time, but really, we'd be better served watching paint dry.

Half Time: Hull 0, Aston Villa 0

Aaannnd, the feed is gone. I'm quitting on this one. So bad, so awful. Sorry folks, it's unwatchable anyway, so maybe it's a sign from some higher power that I'm not supposed to watch this game.


Andrew said...

I've got a stream . . . WITH SOUND.

Andrew said...

I can't tell if it's the Villans or the Hull supporters singing, but they're fully engaged. This game has a good pace to it, a good atmosphere.

/no coldplay

Andrew said...

Mendy is keeping villa wide. hull want every single point.

The Fan's Attic said...

Ashley Young is not homegrown is he? He came from Watford.

Lingering Bursitis said...

Oh, TFA... I meant English.

Andrew said...

My feed has gone as well.

Ibracadabra said...

if Mendy can keep getting past L Young on the right and swing in some decent service, Brown would be a fool not to bring on King or Geo - his two best finishers - in the second half. this game really needs a goal... wish i could understand my turkish announcers.

Precious Roy said...

How the fuck is Arsenal supposed to climb back in to the top 4 when Villa keep stealing points in the dying moments of matches?

The fortunate bounce and the winner against Everton after they had leveled in the 92nd. The freak deflection off the West Ham defender. And now an own goal by Zayatte in the 88th.

That's 9 points from what could have (maybe should have) been 3.

jjf3 said...

What's it say about me that I know, between this blog attempt and the Beeb's, that this game sucked total balls until about 10 minutes left, and I am still watching the full thing right now? (granted, I'm surfing too, but still...)

I need to reconsider my life choices. That, or maybe that $15/month on Setanta is worth it. I suspect A, will console/rationalize myself with B...

Oh, and I thought, once again, that the whole point of the word verification software that was created was that it never used "normal" words. You know, like WHEAT. Yep, never heard of that one before...

Keith said...

Well, Bertin, Arsenal could start by, um, PLAYING BETTER. Also, Villa took 4 of 6 from Arsenal, and if not for Sagna, would have taken 6 from 6

jjf3 said...

wow. even knowing it was coming, that was an ugly way to lose a game. villa did their job, and gabby would have scored if it hadn't been an og, but damn...

at least hull can say they properly responded to the embarassment from friday...it doesn't look like brown has lost the team...then again, wtf was young doing throwing his hand up on an obvious non-goal???

Precious Roy said...

Keith: Didn't mention the 4 of 6 against Arsenal because there was nothing flukey about those, but the OG and the freak deflection off the West Ham defender were totally fortuitous.

But yes, Arsenal could start playing better. I would like that very much.

Keith said...

The West Ham goal I'll give you, but the OG against Hull would have been a goal if Zayatte didn't get a touch on that. Agbonlahor was in position to head that cross home anyway, just like he was for Clichy's OG at the Emirates.

phil said...

Rumor is Spurs are prepared to do Arsenal the favor of selling Darren Bent to Villa.