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