Villa boss O'Neill fed-up with soccer snob Zico

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has slammed Zico after the CSKA Moscow coach felt the need to criticise their style of play last week.

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has slammed Zico after the CSKA Moscow coach felt the need to criticise their style of play last week.

The Brazilian said: "We were not surprised by the way Villa played. It was very seldom they had the ball on the ground making passes. They get Ashley Young to put the ball into the box a lot. We expected this sort of game and we were ready for it."

But O'Neill believes this analysis is wide of the mark although he sees nothing wrong in making the most of a "world-class" player in Young to open up opposition defences.

The former Celtic boss said: "Funnily enough, Ashley Young didn't play against Wigan recently and someone said then that all we did was get it out wide for James Milner to lob in a couple of hopeful balls.

"Funnily enough, I knew the way CSKA were going to play. But I wouldn't be running around telling them whether how they play is good, bad or indifferent.

"When I was at Nottingham Forest, we won the league championship and two European Cups - which I don't think CSKA Moscow have won - by getting the ball out wide to a world-class winger (John Robertson).

"He beat a couple of players, whipped it in and then Gary Birtles or Tony Woodcock headed it into the net. I am sure Zico would also have played in a side that can also get the ball out wide and beat players. I thought it was part of the game.

"I don't know whether what Zico said was a criticism. The fact they were unable to stop a world-class player like Young from doing what is allowed on the pitch might tell me something."

O'Neill added: "I don't accept Zico's point because one of the outstanding players the other night was a central midfielder for us called Stiliyan Petrov.

"He got the ball down and played through them, took it off them and ran past them. He did all of those things. It is a cop-out. I don't accept what he has said. If getting it wide and someone beating three or four players exhilarates the crowd, I don't see a great deal wrong with it.

"We are not one-dimensional. Absolutely not. Far from it - and I wouldn't go and tell Moscow how to play."

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