Defensive grit and a hearty effort from the back line, but Aston Villa overall again were largely uninspiring. Still, maybe the point at the high-flying Hammers will provide a foundation for a run of upcoming games that should bring points…if Lambert wants to get back some respect.
In the meantime, here’s five reasons to be cheerful as Aston Villa fans:
1. Has the rot stopped?
The run of defeats ends at six, although a 0-0 draw is as close to a defeat as you can get. Some fans on social media seem to prefer the possibility of a Villa defeat if it helped speed up Lambert’s removal. Short term pain for long term gain. But how many consecutive defeats would it take for Lerner to decide to cut Lambert off? Apart from on social media, supporter discontent hasn’t reached melting point yet, so expect Lambert to stay around for a little longer.
2. Defensive steel
During Aston Villa’s first four games they enjoyed three clean sheets, but then with repeated injuries at centre-back, began to ship goals. With Senderos back and Baker most-improved, either partnering Vlaar should give Villa a bit more backbone in the coming months.
Guzan’s main role in recent weeks has been to pick the ball out of his net. Some fans had been doubting him in recent weeks, but his performance at West Ham will reassure them. By the end of the season, Guzan may be worth a few points. He certainly picked one up against the Hammers.
4. Ref Repayment
After being victims of a shocking referee performance a week earlier against Spurs, Villa benefited from the ref ignoring two potential penalty decisions that would have probably sealed a seventh defeat on the spin. There’s the adage that decisions even themselves up during a season, in that case we’re still owed two points worth of decisions.
5. Misery Break
International breaks nowadays are a blessing when you’re an Aston Villa fan. They save you from the mundane experience of watching Lambert’s toothless and clueless team, and then the bitterness that not winning brings to your weekend.
This time round on a more positive note, the break will provide Lambert with a chance to refocus and build on the point gained at West Ham to tackle the next four games in which Villa will play three teams (Burnley, Crystal Palace and Leicester) below them in the league. If they don’t pick up points in those games, it will see Villa in the relegation zone in the run up to Christmas. Two or three wins though and we can approach 2015 with at least a little hope. UTV
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