Vlaar steps up, the search for experience and flawless in 2014
At last three points to cheer about. Will 2014 bring many, many more? Lets hope so. Performances need to step up a notch and players need to come in to increase the quality in the squad, but here’s to a great new year and may the unbeaten run continue. In the meantime, five reasons to be cheerful as Villa fans, after the 1-0 away win at Sunderland.
1. Paul Lambert played Ron Vlaar, or rather Vlaar said he wanted to play. Some fans were bitching that Lambert was clueless risking him against Sunderland, saying that he might aggravate his injury. With Clark suspended, Lambert’s was thankful Vlaar stepped up, even though he perhaps wasn’t a 100% fit. Just his presence seemed to settle the team and lift expectations going into the game. Despite coming off around the 70 minute mark having felt his calf, Vlaar should be back against Arsenal.
2. 100% perfect record in 2014, including 100% clean sheets. With the tough fixtures coming up against Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton, we thought it was a worth a mention while the going is good. If Villa are still unbeaten in 2014, when it gets to February, we’ll be suitably impressed.
3. Paul Lambert is talking in bring in experience. Expect at least one or two new arrivals this month (including loan deals). If Lambert gets his choices right – especially bolstering the weak Villa midfield – then supporters will certainly get back on side. The earlier in the window the better, although Lambert does favour getting his business done before the circus of transfer deadline.
4. Villa beat the Christmas and New Year blues of last season. It didn’t start off great in December but Villa’s four points from the last two games, certainly provide more cause for optimism than last time round. Last season, Villa failed to record a win from after beating Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield on December 15th 2012 until February 10th in 2013; an eight-game run without a win.
5. Jack Grealish scored his third goal whilst on loan to Notts County this weekend and certainly seems to be finding his feet there after a tentative with the Division One strugglers. Will Lambert deem him ready for a bit of claret and blue experience later on in the season? If Villa are in mid-table safety early doors, then the chance to blood players like Grealish maybe an option for the Villa boss.