Villa Continue to Amaze While Chelsea Needs to Think UEFA Cup

One streak was going to end at Ewood Park this afternoon. Either Sam Allardyce was going to lose his first match for Blackburn in the league, or Aston Villa was going to win seven on the trot away from Villa Park.

When it was all said and done, Blackburn Rovers turned over and Aston Villa turned on the style in a 2-0 win. In fact, it could be argued Heskey’s over turned goal should have been allowed in the seventeenth minute as I saw no push and it was Robinson who ran into his own player.

It’s amazing to look at these numbers for Aston Villa.  13 games unbeaten in the league, a club record set of seven away wins. According to the BBC, this is Aston Villa’s best run in the top flight since 1898 and that’s with a title in 1980-81. What’s even more amazing is that we’re just now truly noticing what it takes to be a consistent top four club. For the Manchester United’s of the world, you expect it. You don’t even think about it because their form is a given.

There’s no denying it now. Unless there is a major catastrophe to happen to Martin O’Neill side, they will finish in the Champions League places. The only question is can they finish in the automatic Champions League places? All it takes is third this season, and with the way Arsenal and Chelsea are playing, Aston Villa will finish within the top three.

Even if Aston Villa finish third or fourth, this has been a remarkable season for them and they deserve to be playing Champions League football next season. It’s also amazing to me what happens when you don’t hear about the ownership at the club (in this case Randy Lerner, an American) and the owners let the manager’s manage and the players play.

Sam Allardyce sums up Aston Villa perfectly. His quote “Credit to Villa as they didn’t just stop us playing but played well themselves.” They keep doing that, and they just might finish second.

Chelsea on the other hand better start thinking about the UEFA Cup. Today’s performance at home against Hull City was simply pathetic. They looked a team with no guts, no heart, and were just looking to collect a paycheck. My two day old nephew probably cared more about the result than the players on the pitch.

What’s amazing to me is the mental count I had of legit scoring opportunities in the match. I counted four for Hull City and only two for Chelsea, and one of those is still in orbit thanks to John Terry’s miss from three yards out. They look tactically dead and it’s almost as if the players have tuned Luiz Felipe Scolari out.

The players at Stamford Bridge should be ashamed of themselves, but as long as they are collecting their sick wages they don’t give a toss.  About the only thing that could change Chelsea’s fortunes is missing out on the Champions League and starting from scratch. Whole scale changes need to be made if Chelsea want to even think about moving forward for titles/trophies.

If Arsenal beat Tottenham tomorrow in the North London Derby, the battle for fourth in my mind switches to between Arsenal and Chelsea. With the squads on offer today, I’d give the nod to Arsenal. Arsenal have a historic track record of being in the top four, Chelsea simply do not.

Other Thoughts on Today
* Credit goes to Jo for his two goals today. However, did that look like a bit of a dive to set up Arteta from the spot?

* I guess the trick for Newcastle United to win is for Joe Kinnear to not be on the touchline.

* For all the excitement I had for Wigan Athletic/Fulham, but what a dud.

* I would have loved to see Rafa go off about Kuyt’s disallowed goal as he was onside. But thanks to Portsmouth throwing the game away, we probably won’t get to hear that.

Credit to the BBC via the PA for the photo.

13 thoughts on “Villa Continue to Amaze While Chelsea Needs to Think UEFA Cup”

  1. Hull City managed to shut out Chelsea, and they didn't even have the amazing Dean Windass in goal. (note, he shut out Leicester City for nearly an entire half at Oldham today!)

  2. Aston Villa now is a better because they have a consistent goalkeeper, Friedel. O’neill have made the right decision to choose Friedel instead of Carson. Villa is going to break the top 4 tradition!!!

  3. You talk the most turd ive heard in a long time.
    Its not the Chelsea players not trying, its Scolaris tactics. They play centrally and the teams they’re against just park the bus. Chelsea where the better team, they also should’ve had a penalty.

  4. I don’t know what is worse.

    The voice of John Starling during his “interviews” or the fact he is given a platform to utter pure nonsense that Chelsea wouldn’t finish in the top 4…

    Simply baffling.

    You would think a guy who writes for EPL Talk would also understand it isn’t called the UEFA Cup after this season.

  5. And Arsenal are now well behind Chelsea with Chelsea have a far, far, far superior goal differential, making it, essentially, another point.

    As for the “historically” point… Who cares?

  6. GG, Kinnear was in the hospital for having high blood pressure, obviously because he’s mental about his job. The players rallied. So, credit goes to Kinnear for being the inspiration!

  7. “Arsenal have a historic track record of being in the top four, Chelsea simply do not.”

    I couldn’t agree more, Sam. Chelsea has finished in the top four of the League in each of the past six seasons. I would be curious to hear Jonathan’s thoughts as to why this fact does not constitute a “historic track record” of Chelsea qualifying for Champions League play. Chelsea may very well finish outside of the top 4 this season, but it will be not be because Chelsea teams from more than half a decade ago were not as successful as Arsenal’s sides in those seasons.

    Jonathan, you are a better writer than this.

  8. Joe, so everything wrong with Chelsea has to do with Scolari? The players are entirely blameless in this whole situation? That’s what I get from your response and sorry, that logic doesn’t fly with me.

    Sam, I don’t care what Platini wants to call the European Second Division (Europa League), it will still be the UEFA Cup to me. Don’t like that, tough. As to your Chelsea comments, as a Chelsea fan myself I hope to God they finish in the top four. But right now I don’t see Chelsea getting any better the rest of this season and I do see Arsenal getting better. I do see the gap lessening to 2 points between Arsenal and Chelsea before Chelsea have to take that trip to the Emirates on May 9 so no it’s still possible.

    And Sam, thank you for your continued listening to the EPL Talk Podcast, voice and all.

    Mike from Bolton: Sorry six years does not constitute history in my eyes. Just because something has happened in the short term, considering Chelsea as soon as the early 80s were in the third division of English football and as soon as 88-89 in the second division (they did win the 2nd division that year). In the grand scheme of things, Chelsea are still not the big club alot of their supporters think they are. I’m not going to get caught with my guard down.

    Let’s not forget that Arsenal have been in the Champions League 11 years in a row, and that doesn’t include times they went when it was the European Cup. I do take the 13 titles to 3 seriously, but I also take the 8 to 3 gap in runners up as seriously. What that tells me is that Arsenal are use to being at the top, Chelsea have only had that recently.

    As a Chelsea fan, I hope they do finish in the top four. But with the way Chelsea have played the last 2 months, I’m mentally preparing myself to going back to what we were in the late 90s and early 2000s. I’m sick of how Chelsea has played like this season, and it’s simply on everyone associated with the club.

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