We Had Chances To Win Game – O’Neill

Martin O’Neill talked to Setanta Sports after Aston Villa’s first defeat following three successive wins.

Martin O’Neill – team looked impressive – but only in first half

But O’Neill expects his side to be able to come back strongly from a disappointing loss last night.

Aston Villa could have moved into third place with 3 points at St James’ Park but, despite a good looking performance in the first half, two goals from Obafemi Martins saw them well beaten at the end, on Tyneside last night.

O’Neill told Setanta Sports after the game:

“We will fight back. That is what it is all about.”. “We have to.” “As you can see yourself, we are far from the finished article. We want to be battling and be up there and tonight was disappointing.”

“On the first half performance, we probably should have been out of sight.” “We had great chances to win the game and couldn’t get our noses in front. We had a number of chances and I thought we played exceptionally well first half.”

“Second half we were far from our very, very best. I thought we would conjure up the chances but it never really fell for us. But we shouldn’t have lost.”

“Gabby [Agbonlahor] has a great chance and he mishit it in front of goal and normally he would put it in the net. But we had a number of chances – Martin Laursen hit the post early on.”

Joey Barton was a post-match talking point as he dodged a yellow card for flicking Agbonlahor in the face before then receiving a booking for a later challenge, but O’Neill was unwilling to speculate on whether the controversial midfielder should have been dismissed.

O’Neill added:

“I haven’t seen the incident,” “Gabby said that something had happened at the time but that is for other people to make those decisions.”

We saw the incident, and Joey flicked Agbonlahor on the nose, but it was nothing more than petulance from Joey, and yes he needs to cut it out. But it seemed the referee was hardly on Barton’s side, as he seemed to call fouls on Barton – which were dubious at best.

But Joey played very very well, and dare we say it, is looking like an England player again, as he seems so inspired to pay the Newcastle club back for their support of him through his very troubled times.

This could be a water-shed victory for Newcastle, who played attractive passing football for much of the game, and the defense seemed to play a lot more solidly.

Comments welcome.

34 comments so far

  • Al Long

    Nov 4, 2008 at 12:15 AM

    Comment #1

    We won! More importantly we’re off to 14th… Oba! oba! 2 goals wonda!! 2nd half was brilliant…
    HOWAY!! 1st??

  • 51times

    Nov 4, 2008 at 12:19 AM

    Comment #2

    I don’t agree with him, we had our chances in the first half too. Sour grapes I think.

  • SuperShearer

    Nov 4, 2008 at 12:21 AM

    Comment #3

    I feel like I’m a bit alone here. Yes it was a great, fantastic, and indeed unexpected result….but we still looked shaky at times. I think Villa were easily the better side in the first half, but we dominated them in the second. There is till such a long way to go and I still believe that this club will only survive and begin to climb once we have a forward thinking chairman who is willing to support his manager. There is a reason why we have been poor for so long and that is due to poor organization from the top down. Don’t let a great game change anything, Ashley needs to go and we need a new owner NOW. We are still in a dog fight at the bottom. Having said all that the players should be proud of themselves for out muscling Villa.

  • johnnufc

    Nov 4, 2008 at 12:21 AM

    Comment #4

    Other than the agbonlahor sitter, they barely had a sniff at goal, defenders were solid. Joey Barton was excellent and its a shame people are choosing to look at the negatives when there were many postives from him.

  • Bobby Ollox

    Nov 4, 2008 at 12:21 AM

    Comment #5

    Isnt that just like ONeill – we were clearly the better side – he just hsnt got the decency to admit he was beaten by the better side…… and that he has got more money than sense – £12M Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

  • A.L. 9

    Nov 4, 2008 at 12:28 AM

    Comment #6

    Should have been out of site???

    They had 2 decent chances, Gabby should have scored no doubt and Young’s chance wasn’t as easy as it looked, Given closed him right down and he would have had to have bent it round him and into the net to score.

    For us:
    Taylor was inches away from Beyes cross 4 yards out and martins shot from 20 yards out and over the bar for some reason when he was 1 on 1.

    2nd half we absolutely battered them, we passed it about like I havn’t seen us do in a long time and when Martins, Duff or Jonas were on the ball Villa had a hard time getting it off them, even when trying to crowd them out. The first half was fairly even, the second half Villa were embaraced.

  • toony soprano

    Nov 4, 2008 at 12:33 AM

    Comment #7

    Martin go to spec savers and get shot of the rose tinted glasses you daft hanky head

  • Al Long

    Nov 4, 2008 at 12:37 AM

    Comment #8

    I’ve vote for Oba martins as my man of the match.. he took the 1st goal brilliantly, it came out of nothing and from an difficult position.. 2nd goal was a superb timing to get to the best position.. Saying this, Barton & Jonas were magnificient!! Esp Jonas on his special dribbling magic to set up the 2nd goal!! Duff passing & dribbling is not too bad either! The one small thing that I didn’t like is to see is Butt in the midfield. Guthrie still got my vote to partner Barton. Butt has lost his legs & his passing is dissapointing at times… Even Cacapa gets my vote should guthrie is not available…

  • King Joe

    Nov 4, 2008 at 12:45 AM

    Comment #9

    Looking through some of the comments, it is plain to see that people on here always look to take negatives out of positives…

    FFS we matched one of the in-form teams of the pl for 45+ minutes and then went on to completley outplay them. What more could you ask for?

  • Andy Boy

    Nov 4, 2008 at 1:06 AM

    Comment #10

    Was ONeill in the same ground… the first half could have seen either side go on top?? In the end the side that put in the most work secured three points!

  • it's getting better

    Nov 4, 2008 at 1:07 AM

    Comment #11

    @super…you’re a tosser for double posting. yeah we weren’t that good but we percevierved and got a deserved result.

    Joey was exceptional and is a total bad-ass, i’d of slapped that brummie asshole also.

    i’m in EPl crazy naija right now and a lot of people have been doutbing Oba before this game, let’s just say I’ve had quite a few drinks bought for me. OBAFEMI!

  • obamagic

    Nov 4, 2008 at 1:24 AM

    Comment #12

    Oba needs to calm down when performing the backflip…he almost injured himself during the 1st goal celebration.

  • Steve

    Nov 4, 2008 at 1:30 AM

    Comment #13

    Martin O’neill is kidding himself. Typical arrogance from those associated with Villa. They’re doing marvelous things, don’t get me wrong, but ‘out of site’… Ha!

    Villa were rubbish in the second half. Once their legs were tired and lost their pace, they had jack all.

    Don’t agree with Barton looking anything like an England player just yet. I like Joey. Love his passion and determination. He’s central to many of our more successful attacking moves. He does turn the ball over far too frequently at the moment however.

  • Nickies Butt 1000

    Nov 4, 2008 at 1:31 AM

    Comment #14

    Give Joe permanant basis job he deserves it:) the players love him and I’m happy with what he is doing 🙂 give him the job

  • Spyro

    Nov 4, 2008 at 1:34 AM

    Comment #15

    Whilst we did match them in the first half, it is undeniable that they should have been one ahead going in at half time. They had the two best chances in the first 45mins with Agbonlahor and Young both wasting great opportunites.

    Second half they dominated the first 10 or 15 minutes, but after that we were superior to them in every section. Coloccini was fantastic yet again, although his lack of discipline for Agbonlahors first half chance could have cost us.

    I am very happy with todays performance, especially the defensive side. We looked solid against a top attacking side.

  • ObaFan2

    Nov 4, 2008 at 1:40 AM

    Comment #16

    We played well after we scored, with a bit of a swagger and we always looked like scoring the second.

    @ MON’s whining 😆 as previously said £12 million 😆 , kept thinking how bad his crosses were and hitting the first defender most times or wayward crosses to our defence.

    SuperShearer, I know where you’re coming from, like we forget and forgive Ashley… fat chance.

  • sirjasontoon

    Nov 4, 2008 at 1:53 AM

    Comment #17

    Fantastic result !

    Now let’s bash the living daylights out of Fulham.

  • Shola Ameobi

    Nov 4, 2008 at 3:11 AM

    Comment #18

    Lads, i thought young jose was really really good tonight. Looked solid, had milner in his pocket for the most part, passing was decent…. and for once he actually looked comfortable. Lads starting to look like he might be worth the fee after all come next season.

  • micepie

    Nov 4, 2008 at 3:21 AM

    Comment #19


    Villa are overrated and often overperform because O’Neill is a great motivator. They have some very good players but certainly no better than ours.

  • ginkoh

    Nov 4, 2008 at 3:34 AM

    Comment #20

    If someone of you all still don’t satisfy with this result and performance, I suggest you to change your favorite team. We outclassed Villa who 5th on the table and win 2-0.

    What’s bad ?!

  • brutooooon

    Nov 4, 2008 at 3:42 AM

    Comment #21

    the best thing is that when we score our 1st goal…we keep looking for our 2nd goal.

    and when we got the 2nd goal, we keep the ball MORE…

    thats why we are success

  • toonoholic

    Nov 4, 2008 at 3:48 AM

    Comment #22

    eh overconfident fans again slating martin o neil.

    I saw someone saying duffer was shite in this game. i saw him play in the final 5 minutes and i was impressed even though we were 2-0 up , he wanted to get more.
    good performance ,a lot more to build from this


  • Martin is right in what he says. Martin Laursen hit the bar and if Agbonlahor had scored i think we would be out of it at 2-0. We did come back against Everton but i think Villa would tear us apart after that. 2nd half performance was excellent and we took the mick at the end with the ball possession. A european place wouldnt be out of the question if we keep playing like that 2nd half performance.

  • Sorry he hit the post 😀 But that is how close they came. It could have been 2/3-0 to Villa at half time

  • Archie Brand

    Nov 4, 2008 at 5:40 AM

    Comment #25

    Did some of you actually see the match at all?
    Villa were all over us in the first half and we could have easily been a couple down at half time. Our chances didnt come anywhere near as close as theirs. O’Neill is right.

    As for the comments that “some people only want to take the negatives” – It’s called life, get used to it.

    If we were a bit dodgy in certain areas it needs to be discussed so it can be improved.

    Second half we were good for the win.

    Some of you need to get your heads out of the sand (or wherever else they may be lodged) and face up to the fact that our team can be a bit dodgy at the best of times.

    Nice to see Oba finding a bit of confidence.
    Remember when we first got him and he was having a go from everywhere?

  • Xsico golden boot

    Nov 4, 2008 at 6:11 AM

    Comment #26

    we were good last night my MOM barton kept everything moving motivated the team brilliant. If that was kenane for manure they would have been raving about his class the barton flicking the lads lip the same lad had just been thrown to the ground and a free kick for being restled to the ground against him they forget this he was hunted by players and ref all game good result though lets not get carried away but nice to be above the unwashed again eh lads

  • Gilly

    Nov 4, 2008 at 6:12 AM

    Comment #27

    Who cares what could have happened thankfully it didn’t we rode our luck and won every other team in the league does exactly the same.

    Sat up till 1 watching the game in Baghdad, we had better shape than previous games, closed down well.

    COME ON!!!

  • ToonDubai

    Nov 4, 2008 at 7:08 AM

    Comment #28

    I was the only fan watching it in Kempinski Hotel in Ajman last night, What a top game, not too clever in the first half mind you, but out of site in the second.

    Let’s hope that Kinnear isn’t signed up on a permanant basis by one of our rivals, that would surely be a nail in the coffin.

    Come on, let’s make him our permanant manager on a proper wage structure.

    He deserves it for saving the club.

  • ToonKing

    Nov 4, 2008 at 8:14 AM

    Comment #29

    Barton was masterful last night. He was almost perfect, our most important player if you ask me. He must be starting all the time.

    Some of you are saying that he shouldn’t have slapped that fish face idiot, however ask yourself this question………Would have Agbonlahor missed that sitter if Barton wouldn’t have winded him up ??

    Also the ref was a w@nk3r, he was against Joey all night, the incident prior to the slap was a blatant foul on Gabby not Joey and the yellow card was 50% foul hardly a yellow card.

  • A.L. 9

    Nov 4, 2008 at 8:24 AM

    Comment #30

    “Ever seen a mackem in Milan? ”

    Laursen hit the post but I think it’s fiary safe to say Duff would have easily cleared it off the line if it was on target, he was standing right inside the post. Both Martins and Taylor could have put us ahead, Martins shot from about 20 yards when he out-turned Cueller, he could have ran on goal and tried his luck 1 on 1. Taylor was inches awayfrom Beye’s cross, and from 4 yards out was inches away from scoring.

    I checked the Villa website to see what they said about the game and they reckon they ‘dominated’ the first half! Thats full of crap, we played the better football in the first half for the most part but didn’t do much in the final third, Villa looked more threatening in attack though with Carew holdin up well and the referee giving them about 3 unnecicary free kicks on the right side of our box.

  • A.L. 9

    Nov 4, 2008 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #31

    when I say ‘we played the better football’ in the first half I mean in the middle of the park, apart from the 2 chances i’m onabout we didn’t realy create anything. In no way should Villa have been ‘out of sight though’, they doninated in no way, shape or form, they best spell was the opening 10 mins of the 2nd half.

  • It could have gone either way but what he was saying was right. The 2nd half performance was worthy of winning the match but if we were 2 goals down it wouldnt come to much. Kinnear needs to sort it out. We dont start games well.

  • skin d

    Nov 4, 2008 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #33

    has anyone been on toon mad?there,s some right twats on there.
    they are saying oba is crap and should have been taken off before his first goal.
    i thought he looked sharp,and was our best attacking player.
    they are a set of c##ts on toonmad.

  • Macas

    Nov 4, 2008 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #34

    He’s talking out his arse. They slightly shaded first half in terms of better chances but that’s all. Football is a game of 90 minutes though. And the Laursen chance was never going to go in with Duff on the line.


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