As we celebrate Aston Villa’s 140th anniversary this season, there’s perhaps one thing in recent history that depresses Aston Villa supporters the most – the home form at Villa Park.
If you held a season ticket (card) for the past three seasons you would have witnessed Villa getting beaten 27 times in the league.
Under Alex McLeish Villa lost eight times at home in the 2011/12 season, under Lambert it got even worse to record-breaking proportions. The nine home defeats in the 2012/13 season equaled the worst season in Villa’s history, followed by a record-breaking 10 last season. The only saving grace was Villa weren’t relegated in any of those three seasons, with form that included two 38 point finishes.
In the last three seasons Villa’s percentage of defeats in home fixtures has been a staggering 47%
Before McLeish and Lambert came to Villa Park, Gerard Houllier had fought a relegation battle throughout the 2010/11 season too, until a unexpected six points away at Arsenal and at home to Liverpool (under Caretaker Manager Gary McAllister) in the final two games provided them with the gloss of a top-half finish after spending most of the season in a relegation scrap. Interestingly though despite the season’s poor form, Villa only recorded four home defeats that season.
Home Defeats in Last Four Seasons
2013/14 Lambert – 10
2012/13 Lambert – 9
2011/12 McLeish – 8
2010/11 Houllier – 4
Aston Villa Home Form in the Premier League
In terms of Villa’s home form in the context of the Premier League history since 1992, Villa’s last three seasons at home have certainly upped their percentage of defeats to the highest of all the ever-present teams of the Premier League.
More worrying though is their home win percentage. Not only are they the lowest of the ever present Premier League teams, but they are not even in the Top Ten, with the likes of Stoke City, West Ham and Newcastle all boast better home win percentages.
Table by Sporting Intelligence
Interestingly, in terms of wins at Villa Park, even the Villa team under Martin O’Neill struggled at home in the three seasons the club finished sixth.
Villa home Form Under Martin O’Neill
2009/10 – W 8 D 8 L 3
2008/09 – W 7 D 9 L 3
2007/08 – W 10 D 3 L 6
Perhaps the most telling season was 2008/09, when Villa sat third at the start of January, several points ahead of Arsenal, yet finished 10 points behind 4th placed Gunners at the end of the season.
Just registering seven wins at home ultimately cost O’Neill a Champion’s League spot. Even Fulham, who finished 7th, won 11 games, while Manchester City (when they were cr**), who finished up 10th, won 13 home games (compared to their two away wins).
It ultimately proved that there were limits to O’Neill’s philosophy of being hard to beat and relying on the counter-attack in home games. Under Lambert, Villa have played a severely diluted version of O’Neill’s ethos as results have shown.
In simplest terms, Villa playing an more expansion possession-based game not only will up performance levels for home fans, but surely provide a better chance of reaping increased home rewards. It’ll certainly be the key to the rest of Lambert’s tenure of Villa.
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