The calm before the storm of the forthcoming midweek cup madness for Villa. So calm in fact, there wasn’t a sniff of transfer activity. The clichéd game of two halves against WBA. The first was sublime, the second so predictable. But what did we learn as Villa fans?
1 – New signings are badly needed, though, not guaranteed
There are just 11 short days left in the transfer window and with each one that passes, the likelihood of bringing some new faces diminishes. Our transfer policy is still unclear and it seems to change by the day. We don’t want loan players, but we’ll look at some, we don’t have any money, but here we are linked to a £3.5 million midfielder, we won’t play Stephen Warnock, but if we can’t sell him we may bring him back into the squad. Trying to keep up with it all just causes headaches and there seems to be very little trust between the board and the fans.
2 – Sit back and watch the goals fly in
You’re 2-0 up at half-time and on the hunt for a third, you know that one more will kill the opposition off, get it quickly and you can then enjoy a half of football where all you have to do is fortify and break forward when possible. For years now Villa has sat back too often when going in front. It worked relatively well under MON, but we don’t have the players to successfully pull it off now, and we lack a distinct nasty streak that always ensures a panic attack inducing final ten minutes.
3 – N’Zogbia looks interested; better get him off then
Since returning to full fitness the Frenchman has looked sharper than he ever has done in Claret & Blue and tormented Albion enough in the first half to give them nightmares for weeks to come. So why did we take him off? Lambert claimed it was to keep him fresh for the upcoming games this week, but if that’s the case then one of our best players will rarely get a full 90 minutes under his belt. By constantly looking to the future Paul Lambert is foregoing the present, mush to his detriment.
4 – Fabien Delph: Midfield general
Well, not quite. But he kept the midfield ticking against the Baggies. Could he finally be turning the corner and start performing? It would suggest that yes, he can. He’s not the answer to all our problems, but until (if) some new faces do arrive then the longer he plays like that the more of an asset he’ll be.
5 – Watching strikers defend is painful
Watching a striker in their own penalty area is like watching a dog attempt to ice skate. Ever since seeing Juan Pablo Angel put through his own net against Spurs in 2006 seeing one of the front men defend a set piece never fills me with confidence.
Steven Green is one of the hosts of the AVFC Review podcast and writer for Shoot Magazine and a fellow Real Oviedo shareholder.
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