It was when wanting to send a smart ar*e comment to Barclay’s #youarefootball campaign to express why long-suffering Villa fans really were the essence of football, I calculated that if you’ve paid £35 for a ticket to see Aston Villa over the past three seasons at Villa Park, you’d have paid approximately £150 for every win.
Villa have had just 12 wins in 51 home games. That’s terrible. I’m pretty confident I don’t even have to check the history books to say it’s the worst home record in the club’s history for a similar period.
Last month, MOMS addressed the shocking home stats of the past five years and any season ticket holder certainly doesn’t need reminding. It’s dire and it’s not good enough. We all know that.
To be fair, the home crowds have been patient. Booing at half-time and full-time whistles is to be expected. Villa fans by and large understand the task at hand for Lambert, but at the same time they have started to be left puzzled by some of his team’s inept performances and his lack of explanation in post-match interviews.
After three consecutive relegation battles, generally speaking, there’s a spectrum of feeling amongst Villa supporters that ranges between glazed over apathy and slow-boiling anger. The illusion of comfortable mid-table progress this season soon vanished after the last four games brought just one point out of the last 12. Also, no goals have been scored in the last three games. Some fans now have clearly had enough.
The postponement of the Manchester City away game in March, due to City’s FA Cup commitments, serves up an intriguing situation with Villa now facing three consecutive home games.
With only three wins this season at Villa Park, Villa have the second worst home record in the league. Lambert can’t allow his team to replicate that form in the upcoming trio of matches. If he does, there may be a distinct shift in the mood of the Villa faithful. Two or three losses in the three games and there could be a shift in mood like the one Villa’s previous manager faced one evening at Villa Park when Bolton visited.
It’s hoped, instead, Lambert will get his team on the front-foot and over the three games, finally get to grips with the home hoodoo. The two games against relegation rivals Norwich and Stoke are essential, while Jose Mourinho has never won at Villa Park.
There’s hope for Lambert yet, but he must first pull himself through what is going to feel like a three-part Villa Park trial. UTV
* – N.B. The picture is not a genuine ticket offer, but a parody (thanks to Kurt for the design) . However, you can get into certain areas of Villa Park for the Norwich game for £15. Check out the club’s website.