I didn't do this yesterday as it felt like there was more that needed to be said and I also thought it best to have a bit of time to think. It was only the first game of the season but as someone has pointed out, it is only two wins from the last fourteen in the league, or something like that, correct me if I'm wrong.
The performance was very poor. Tactically I don't think O'Neill has a clue and I'm starting to think he is only good for motivating players to work harder than they would under another manager, which is okay if you are a Celtic or a Leicester, but we need O'Neill to take us to the next level and he needs more than that.
I'm not calling for his head and while I might look at the transfer market in a minute, I don't think it is necessarily about that, although it is a factor. Things need to change and that might just be O'Neill accepting he needs help as the starting point.
What The Papers Say
Stuart James, The Guardian
Villa were booed off at the interval and full-time following a dreadful performance that culminated in Martin O'Neill telling his players to cancel their plans for today and report for training instead.
If viewing footage of this match were part of the punishment, then today must have been a torturous experience. As impressive as Wigan were, it was impossible to ignore Villa's shortcomings, with their shambolic defending and failure to play with any cohesion highlighting just how badly Laursen and Barry will be missed unless O'Neill can bring in some stellar replacements before the transfer window closes.
Myles Hodgson, The Independent
Goals in either half from Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega and Jason Koumas emphasised Wigan's superiority, but also served to underline the job ahead for O'Neill as he seeks to strengthen a squad who have now won just two of their last 14 Premier League matches.
Gary Jacob, The Times
Briefly forceful, direct and fluent, sparked by Ashley Young, Villa quickly ran out of ideas and never looked like getting to grips with Wigan Athletic’s formation and the impressive Jordi Gómez, who was allowed space and time to dictate proceedings.
It’s up to me to get the spine of the team reinforced and get it right. We should have shown more fight and determination.
Aston Villa (4-4-2): Friedel; Beye (Albrighton, 67), Cuellar, Davies, Shorey; Milner, Petrov, Delph (Sidwell, 60), Young; Agbonlahor (Delfouneso, 78), Heskey. Substitutes not used: Guzan (gk), Gardner, Clark, Reo-Coker
Wigan Athletic (4-5-1): Kirkland; Melchiot, Bramble, Scharner, Figueroa; Brown, Thomas; N'Zogbia (Sinclair, 66), Gomez, Koumas (Cho, 89); Rodallega (Scotland 90) Substitutes not used: Pollitt (gk), Boyce, Edman, King Bookings: Aston Villa: Delph, Young. Wigan: Bramble, Figuerora
Man of the Match
I put the poll up yesterday because I forgot to click it on after the match so we didn't get as many votes as I would have liked but the winner is a clear as day James Milner, followed by Fabian Delph. I'm actually not surprised here.
I can't for the life of me figure out why Heskey gets picked over Carew. I can't figure out why we are still playing 4-4-2 and while he is a prospect, I can't understand why we put Fabian Delph straight into the middle of the park, then take him off when he he had made a couple of mistakes but actually did okay, as well as any other player.
I'm not going to go over old ground but with our net spend this summer at something like £5mn if I were Randy Lerner, who has apparently told the manager that lots of money is available, I'd be talking to the manager as to why he hasn't spent it. The season has begun and we are not prepared. Was the Martin Laursen news a surprise for O'Neill?
Up Next: Europa LDV
We have Europe this week and I've got the option to go, but I'm waiting on getting confirmation from the club that we are going to take this tournament seriously this season. If we are not, I'm not going to spend the money.
Basically, O'Neill has to change things around for this match and if as he has commented above, he is just looking for more 'fight and determination' then I fear he has lost the plot, it's not about that any more.