Aston Villa fans are feeling rather peeved this morning after watching an under-strength side sent packing out of the Uefa Cup. Martin O’Neill revealed at the weekend that he would be resting several first-team starters for Villa’s upcoming Premier League match against Stoke. Unfortunately, by that stage most Villa fans planning to make the trip to CSKA Moscow had got their travel arrangements in place.
Before the match, O’Neill said: “Who is to say the players in the side won’t be able to turn this around? We have a real fighting chance of doing it and that would be fantastic for us. That would maybe placate those travelling fans.” Erm, yeah…
Gareth Barry, Brad Friedel, Emile Heskey, James Milner, Ashley Young, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Carlos Cuellar and Stiliyan Petrov all watched the game from England as Villa’s youngsters were comfortably seen off in a 2-0 win for CSKA.
Around 300 Villa fans made the trip. Judging by the empty seats behind Barry Bannan’s (who?) head someone had tipped the CSKA fans that it wasn’t worth showing up for. Shame nobody told the Villa fans a bit earlier.