Aston Villa Result Analysis 2013/14

 

The Villa Fiver was started as an alternative way of tracking the progress of Aston Villa’s long-term project. While most were happy to just look at the league table (including the club), by comparing this season’s results to the corresponding results of last season, every five games we’d offer up a picture of progress compared directly to last season.

Villa had actually started off the season well. After 15 games, shortly before the Christmas period, Villa were six points up on the same fixtures last season with a +14 better goal difference. Since they were also in mid-table, progress had seemingly been made.

Over the next ten games, disaster struck. There was a swing of 10 points and Villa were suddenly four points down on the same games the previous season.

Some fans accused our report after 25 games of being anti-Villa propaganda, because Villa were 12th in the league and that was progress (Paul Faulkner also said it was progress too). Don’t shoot the messenger, MOMS was just stating the facts in a method we’d been using all season. We just foresaw what was on the horizon…

The alarm bells were ringing, if Villa matched their remaining results with last season’s against the same opponents, they’d finish on 37 points. So this league position of 12th was a false one, as tough fixtures lay ahead.

Overall, what threatened to make a mockery of analysing the season this way, was the fact Villa have done well against the top four teams, compared to last season, but have dropped points against teams they had successfully dispatched last season. Imagine Villa’s fate if they hadn’t banked 10 points against Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool? They’d be bottom with zero hope of survival.

Anyway, his is how the last five games fit into the equation.

 

Aston Villa results games 31 to 35

 

Man Utd (a) L 1-4 (L 0-3)

Fulham (h)  L 1-2 (D 1-1)

Crystal Palace (a) L 0-1 (Comparing to Wigan D 2-2)

Southampton (h) D 0-0  (L 0-1)

Swansea (a) L 1-4 (D 2-2)

 

The first three on the list, added to an earlier 4-1 home loss against Stoke, struck up four defeats on the trot for Lambert’s men. A run that came directly after a win against Chelsea that had suggested Villa would ease to mid-table safety.

In the same five games last season, Villa didn’t actually win any of them, so there hasn’t been much of a loss on last season. Just two points, but the goal difference was shocking…

 

Points difference compared to fixtures last season: -2

Goals scored: 3 (5)

Goals against: 11 (9)

 

The penny has now dropped amongst all supporters (apart from Colin Gale) that there hasn’t been any improvement on last season. We are now down in every which way you care to think about Villa’s plight.

Excuses of injuries have started to be brought up. But Villa didn’t have Okore or Kozák last season, so the blame for the team getting worse can’t be attributed to them being missing. After all, the young players that were finding their feet in Lambert’s first season, should be getting better from the experience. Yet the levels of Weimann, Lowton and Westwood seemed to have dropped. The only noticeable improvement has been that of Fabian Delph.

Charles N’Zogbia? Don’t even go there, if he was fit last summer, he would have fled Villa Park, as Lambert had him down as surplus to requirements due to his wages and attitude (he had a bust-up with Lambert at Old Trafford and was subbed at half-time).

Benteke’s injury? Well, it hasn’t helped the run-in,  but Benteke had a run of games that reached double figures where he failed to score a goal. He was actually dropped by Lambert at one stage. Having his role reduced to the target man for the hoof, certainly made him easier for the opposition to deal with too.

The main problem has been the lack of quality of the summer’s transfers (that stayed fit) added to the first team. Bacuna added a goal threat, but little to the position he’s actually been playing – right-back. And Helenius and Tonev have been invisible men to the Villa cause.

 

After 35 Games Total

 

Points difference compared to the same fixtures last season –  -3

Goals scored – 36 (45)

Goals conceded – 53 (62)

Goal difference – –17 (-17)

 

With only three games to go, the above figures indicate the full story. Villa finished on 41 points last season, and with them three points down from the same matches last season, they need two wins to match last season’s efforts. That’ll probably mean beating Hull and then beating either Manchester City or Spurs away. Unlikely.

Even the league table isn’t lying anymore…

League Position after 35 games:

This season: 16th on 35 pts

Last season: 16th on 37 pts

There’s only one thing to say: three points are needed from the below fixtures to definitely make sure the club is safe. Safety will be by the skin of their teeth, which frankly is just not acceptable. Heads need to roll.

Hull (h) (W 1-0) (compared to Reading)

Man City (h) (L  0-5)

Spurs (a) (L 0-2)

Fingers crossed Villans.  UTV

 

 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Statistics ar a subjective and not objective, art. It’s true, our points tally may well end up less than last year, but the last time I checked, it is the bottom three clubs who are relegated REGARDLESS of their points tally. My crazy logic is this; It is the table position that matters, and if by some miracle we finish 14th or better, then progress HAS been made over last year and that has to be accepted as fact. Also, it’s all well and good giving “what if” scenarios. Yes, if we hadn’t beaten Arsenal, Chelsea, “Citeh” and taken points off Liverpool (10 in total), we would certainly be worse off. But who’s to say that if those fixtures had followed form, then the converse results against Fulham, West Ham, Swansea, Palace, Cardiff (away), Newcastle could also have resulted in an additional 18 points or net 8 point gain, and we’d have been safe in April??
    I get the point you’re making but please remember this; whatever you speculate on one side of an equation, you must also do the same to the other!! The fact remains we are safe and we move on to next year, hopefully with a budget for rebuilding and a re-invigourated Pail Lambert and squad!!

    • You’re being VERY subjective there. Any team worth their salt who finishes the season on 40 points or less has had a bad season. If Villa finish on less points than last season, that is not progress in anybody’s book. That is the failings of others, if we place higher than last season, on lesser points. It’s not a matter of dressing this up – it’s not good enough, period!

  2. “The main problem has been the lack of quality of the summer’s transfers”

    I don’t think that’s the main problem, but it’s one of the reasons. I think Benteke struggling for form whether because he wasn’t playing or whether he was off the boil has been a massive difference – I’d say this was the MAIN reason. He single-handedly won many games last season, and at least this season we’ve had some midfielders scoring goals.

    Also, we’ve let in about ten FEWER goals than at this stage last season.

    The difference between this season and last season seems to be all on the strikers. West Ham away and Everton at home are two games I can think of where Benteke pretty much cost us three points when last season he would have scored. I think there are examples for Gabby and Weimann too – Cardiff away springs to mind.

    We really looked like being a mid table team this year, without any relegation worries, and that has been with Benteke as half the player he was last season. Whether you like it or not, that is an improvement on being in the relegation zone like we were last year. Without our awful little recent run we’d have had an obviously more comfortable season.

    To highlight your double standards you write off the impact of Kozak and Okore’s injuries as being insignificant as they weren’t here last year, and then you say “THE MAIN PROBLEM HAS BEEN THE LACK OF QUALITY OF THE SUMMER’S TRANSFERS”!

    Kozak and Okore are one of three players Lambert has spent much money on, the other being Benteke, all of whom have suffered from injuries this year.

    • No ‘double standards’ whatsoever. If you actually read it properly and don’t quote half the sentence out of context, it says, ‘THE MAIN PROBLEM HAS BEEN THE LACK OF QUALITY OF THE SUMMER’S TRANSFERS (THAT STAYED FIT) ADDED TO THE FIRST TEAM’ and it then names those players in question.

      You can rely on one player – i.e. Benteke. He was no longer a surprise element – i.e. teams paid special attention to him, as they knew if you double-teamed him, you’ve taken away most of Villa’s threat. Also, Villa increasingly played direct to him. He just became a target for the hoof, when he has so much to offer the team and a lot of his success last season was when he had it played into feet.

      We’ve hardly ever looked like a mid-table team. Such teams don’t lose 10 games at home. We’ve also had the record amount of defeats in a Premier League campaign. We’re on 38 pts for god sake! Reality check please.

  3. penny droped ? All supporters or just the extremely vocal ones who have been spreading doom & gloom since before the season started . And I’m certainly not the only one speaking up for the club . As for injuries being excuses & not facts , They are only excuses to those perfect individuals who can’t find any other reason to find fault !

    As for this season being worse than last of course we can blame Kozak’s injury as being part of the problem as he is the 2nd striker . And then there is 2nd season syndrome which is accepted by most but not it would seem the hypercritical fans from Villa ,who can only look to apportion blame, & can not accept that players are mere mortals albeit highly paid ones

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