Next Six Fixtures Offer Chance for Lambert to Win Back the Villa Faithful
Paul Lambert this week declared he felt Villa had been unfairly treated by their critics. “I think there is a misconception of the way we are going at the moment,” he told journalists, after the Liverpool game. “People think we are doing poorly and we are sitting tenth – it’s really, really incredible, the perception of it.”
The truth is despite this apparent okay league position (one that MOMS had predicted Villa would finish at the end of the season), taking heart from the league table is just papering over the cracks. Such was the close proximity of the teams in the bottom half of the league, six points separate Villa in 10th from Cardiff at the bottom. In the games played so far, Villa are also two points down on the equivalent results of last season.
Only five home wins in just over a year is rubber-stamped relegation form. After defeats against the likes of Crystal Palace and Sheffield United at home, as a supporter, you feel there is no such thing as a winnable game anymore and that every team fancied their chances against the Villa.
“We have kicked on in a lot of aspects like our goals record, the way we play…” Lambert added. Really? Villa fans have been tearing their hair out at the way we play. It’s a bit rich saying this just because the team have finally managed one decent performance.
One of the problems under Lambert’s reign so far, has been the ability to build on good results. Remember the expectation and excitement after Villa’s 3-1 win at Anfield last season? It soon turned pretty nasty after that.
Still, while we’d be a fool not to keep one eye looking over our shoulders, the next six games will give Villa a very realistic chance to banish any thought of being involved in a relegation battle. Of course, we already know there is no such thing as a winnable game for Villa on paper, but judging by the calibre of opponent and if the improved performances at Anfield and the second half of the Arsenal game are replicated, then there’s certainly hope for three points in some of the following fixtures:
Aston Villa’s Next Six Fixtures
29th Jan – Aston Villa vs West Brom
1st Feb – Everton vs Aston Villa
8th Feb – Aston Villa v West Ham
11th Feb – Cardiff v Aston Villa
23rd Feb – Newcastle v Aston Villa
1st Mar – Aston Villa v Norwich
If Benteke carries on scoring and the new signings give the team a shot in the arm, then Villa could soon rack up some points. You’d fancy Villa to have a chance of getting a point or three in any of these games.
The media are already talking up the finish to this season as being the most exciting ever in terms of both ends of the table. Villa aren’t going to challenge for the title, but if they play their cards right in the next six games, the relegation picture won’t concern them either. Three wins out the next six games would leave Villa on 33 points, needing only seven points from the last three months of the season to ensure safety. Even they should achieve that without breaking too much sweat.
Yes, it will be a boring end to the season, but maybe a climax that will help calm the nerves is just what Villa supporters need right now, after the past few years. UTV