[quote_center]Our great fans are the heart and soul of this club, but like every heart we need adrenaline and excitement to beat strong[/quote_center]
Monday night saw the belated birthday celebration, thanks to the bureaucracy of modern football (courtesy of Sky Sports), of our great football club. I was hoping that this segment of Aston Villa Star Players of the Week would be outlining the great celebration put on by Lambert’s men with a dazzling performance and victory. We can all dream.
Instead, the Villa faithful were treated to yet another dull performance which lacked imagination and direction. We played like we were away from home trying to absorb pressure and breaking quickly.
I agree, Southampton are the in-form team in the league at the moment but this playing style just shows to you the lack of improvement from the team in the last three years. A polar opposite to the last three years for the Saints I must add.
The saddest thing to come from Mondays night’s game however was the attendance. 25,311 brave souls, the lowest league attendance at Villa Park since 1999, attended Lambert’s 100th game in charge. Our Scottish general can blame the weather and the fact the game was televised for the low turnout, but he cannot hide from the real reasoning; no win since September, six goals in twelve games, 24 shots on target all season and 59 in the calendar year.
It saddens me to see reports that Villa Park is now the quietest stadium in the league. Our great fans are the heart and soul of this club, but like every heart we need adrenaline and excitement to beat strong and we certainly aren’t being given that. Something drastic has to change in the next few games against ‘lesser’ clubs before our beloved club cardiac arrests out of the top division in this our 140th year.
Stat of the Week – Southampton enjoyed 229 passes more than Villa. That statistic needs absolutely no analysis.
Aston Villa Star Players of the Week
3rd Place – Gabby Agbonlahor (1pt)
It was a performance of grit and endless energy from the lifelong Villa fan. Gabby showed great heart throughout the game chasing lost cause, after lost cause. His tireless work rate was what bagged him the priceless first goal as he chased a hit and hope pass from Clark and got there in front of Forster and calmly slotted the ball home with his weaker foot.
2nd Place – Alan Hutton (3pts)
Yet again the flying Scotsman put in a solid performance at right-back for the claret and blue cause. He marshalled Southampton’s left flank diligently all night and kept the dangerous Saints from creating anything of note down that side. The Scot also supplied a threat down the right which meant former Villan Bertrand was restricted in coming forward and giving them an extra dimension. By far Villa’s player of the season so far and a comeback story destined for Hollywood.
1st Place – Ciaran Clark (5pts)
I can’t believe I have just typed those words. I for one, in the past, have called Clark ‘Bambi on ice’ and ‘Calamity Clark’ but it was a solid performance from the Irishman. For the first time in a Villa shirt Clark won absolutely everything in the air against a top striker. Pelle never got a sniff in the game thanks to the tight marking of Clark. There was a lot of worry going into the game with the partnership at the back of Clark and the ‘unfit’ Okore. But to my delight they struck a great partnership together and looked solid throughout the game. Maybe, just maybe, this game was the coming of age a Mr Ciaran Clark.
Villan that has to Pick Themselves Up and Go Again
Lambert has now added the lowest attendance in 15 years to his ever-growing list of stats since taking charge of the Villa. His tactical awareness and decision-making has to be bought under scrutiny yet again.
Naively, Villa once again sat back way too early in the game to defend their lead. What baffled fans everywhere the most though was bringing Bent on in the second half. Everyone that knows Darren Bent’s game will know that he thrives on the team having possession and being on the front foot. So to bring him on in a game where we had less than 40% possession and were simply just trying to break quickly on a team was ludicrous.
Villa now face a massive period now where they face all the teams in and around them. The boys have to pull some results out the bag soon to gain some breathing space from the bottom sides and build some confidence heading into the new year. Anything less and Lambert should join Keane on his way out of the club.
Follow Ash on twitter here
Interesting article , which gives me the thought that Villa fans expectations are too high . Now thats not saying fans should not have expectations of possible success . But rather that they are failing to understand what is happening at our great club and are expecting too much to soon given what apears to be happening . . As I understand it the MON era was a failure as all it did was raise expections of success but little more as in 6th place & no trophies is of little value especially as the debts incurred were dragging the club downwards . And yes going from 6th into relegation battle after battle is about as low as it can get without the ignomy of relegation .
But there is worse than relegation and that’s to suffer what’s happened to Leeds when debt drags you down . Villa have it would seem survived battle that and are relatively debt free but not at some cost to onfield performance
And it’s too easy to look at Randy’s millions and say more should have been spent , but that’s his money even though he owns the club how he spends his money is down to him and if the club has no money it can’t spend what it does not have .
But all that has been happening whilest there have been major changes in Randy’s personal life . And yes it’s easy to say that he should ignore his personal prblems and deal with those of the clb but I wonder how many of those saying it would act any different if the roles were reversed .
But enough of that and what of Villa . This is Lambert’s 3rd season with the club yet it would seem little has changed since he took over except for the faces in the squad and the prices on their heads which are a lot lower than those of their predecessors
But there are different types of cheap players
there those who are either young or from other leagues who have potential and then there are the rejects from other clubs . But not all rejects are worthess as they do include those who have been injured and failed to recover form quickly enough for the clubs they were at . And such players would include Laursen and Hutton who had the added problem when joining Villa of being unfit & being signed by AM . But not all injury prone players can be of value and a prime example would be Cole who has been of little value
The article mentions Clark and how fans are suprised how he has stepped up his game of late yet he was Captain of Villa’s trophy winning reserve team not so long ago but has had a baptism of fire since joining the senior squad
What’s my point ? ——- it’s easier to slot players into a winning side than one that is struggling yet fans seem to expect new arrivals to be instant hits !
I wish you’d stop calling Agbonlahor a life long Villa fan; he’s a Man United fan, he was at achool and still is! Yes, Villa obviously hold a special place in his heart but he is not a Villa fan like we all are!
It wasn’t me, it was Ashley…but, i honestly thought I edited that out!
Must be the wine I’m drinking.
Comments are closed.