Lambert’s Slow Start, Not the End of the World
Some Aston Villa fans are still a bit sensitive from the despair of McLeish’s era that followed a season of false transition under Gerard Houlier. So Paul Lambert is having to deal with some knee-jerk reaction from some Villa fans as he rebuilds the Villa team. Win a game and suddenly talk is of a cheeky push for Europe. A draw, and it’s a middle-table finish to build on next season.Lose a game, and suddenly people start believing Robbie Savage, ‘the Pied Piper of Relegation’, as we’ve labeled him here at MOMS.
It’s early days, as a couple of posts previously have suggested, yet still interestingly enough, this is the worst Villa first five game start to a season since Brian Little lost the first four games in 1997. Despite having a better record as Villa manager than anybody who has followed him since in the job, it would contribute to Little leaving the club.
John Gregory rejuvenated Villa taking over from Little, winning 9 out of the last 11 games of the season, with Villa finishing the season in 7th. Gregory would start the next season in a similar fashion with 8 wins out of the first 12; it’s just a shame those 23 games weren’t in one season. In fact, if that form was carried through 38 games, Villa would have won the title by over 10 points over the eventual winners Manchester United in 1998-99. I digress.
Lambert’s four-points out of the first five games is identical to the start David O’Leary made in the 2003/04 season, even down to the goal difference and goals scored. O’Leary’s team though faced a more difficult line-up that included Man City away (4-1L, Arsenal A (2-0L) and Liverpool h 0-0. Villa went onto to finished 6th that season, which hasn’t been topped yet.
So to recap, the two times Villa have started as bad or worse as Lambert’s Villa team this season, they’ve ended the season in 6th and 7th place. Lambert and the Villa faithful, would be more than happy with that this season.
First five game performance of Villa managers in the last 10 seasons
Manager Season W D L GD PTS
Martin O’Neil 2009/10 4 0 1 +5 12
Martin O’Neil 2008/09 3 1 1 +3 10
David O’Leary 2006/07 2 3 0 +3 9
David O’Leary 2004/05 2 2 1 +1 8
Alex McLeish 2011/12 1 4 0 +2 7
Martin O’Neil 2007/08 2 1 2 +1 7
Kevin MacDonald 2010/11 2 1 2 -3 7
David O’Leary 2005/06 1 2 2 -4 5
David O’Leary 2003/04 1 1 3 -4 4
Paul Lambert 2012/13 1 1 3 -4 4
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