Pundit Predictions for Aston Villa’s Season Ahead
Predictions for where teams would finish up in the 2013/14 season even started before the 2012/13 version had wrapped up. MOTD3, desperate to kill airtime, decided to canvass pundits Alan Shearer and Pat Nevin for their projections a season ahead.
The unspectacular pundit that is Shearer predicted Villa would finish 15th, saying, “Let’s not get too excited”, when Pat Nevin, sitting next to him in the BBC studio, questioned him for being a little harsh on the Villa. Nevin himself could only see improvement for Lambert’s chargers and tipped them for an 11th place finish.
Villa manager Paul Lambert also had the upcoming season well in mind, while the last one played out. It seems Villa’s relegation battle was almost an inconvenience for his forward-planning. Offered funds in the last January transfer window, Lambert abstained from any serious spending. Villa were in desperate need for a centre-back, yet it seems the Villa manager probably had his eye on Jores Okore then, and was prepared to wait until the Dane was available.
Even before the summer transfer window opened, Lambert had six new signings in the bag, giving him plenty of time to bed them down before the new season kicked off. What their impact on the Villa first-team will be remains to be seen, but there is no doubt now that Villa have a much healthier-looking squad now. With the Benteke saga done and dusted early doors, another major plus for Villa is not having the distraction of their star player having his head turned, as Liverpool and Spurs currently do. The team is very much settled and in good spirits.
When last season began, you always felt that Lambert could have benefited from three or four more pre-season games. The team’s poor start to the season certainly mirrored that. Now though, they seem ready to get cracking with the challenge ahead. Villa finished last season strongly and despite the tough trio of fixtures they start with (Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea), if they can impress in them, they should be able to carry on the forward momentum from last season.
Other media have tended to side with caution when predicting Villa’s fate in the season ahead, with most predicting Villa to finish anywhere from relegation to 10th. Daily Mirror Chief Sports Writer Oliver Holt and the Midland’s correspondent James Nursey have been slightly more optimistic and have both tipped Villa to win the Capital One Cup. What? You mean we’re going to get a better opportunity to lift that cup than last season?!
The big news in terms of Villa predictions though is that Robbie Savage doesn’t list Villa in his three favourites for the drop this time round. Instead, the ‘honour’ goes to Norwich, Hull and Crystal Palace. Good luck to them in beating the curse as Villa did. UTV
MOMS Villa Prediction for BT Sports
“Despite a flirtation with Wembley that ended with a lower league semi-final slap in the face, considering Paul Lambert’s rapid overhaul of the squad, last season was all about avoiding the drop. Villa’s team had an average age of 23 and none of the six players signed this transfer window are older than that. The key to optimism for the new season was retaining Christian Benteke’s services after Villa fans jokingly put the striker up for sale on ebay as a ‘put up or shut up’ gesture to Spurs.
If the pick of the latest signings, Danish international centre-back Jores Okore, becomes a defensive Benteke-like find to solve Villa’s rearguard troubles, then the exuberance of youth could lead Villa to a top-half finish.”
Feel free to add your predictions in the comments section below for everyone to see. UTV
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Asif – 6 new players in mate, but probably only Okore & Tony Moon nailed on to start…a good pre season to boot – are we worse than say Saints, Everton, WBA , Fulham or Newcastle? – my view is that we are better equipped than all 5 – and all 5 will fancy top 8 – indeed, half them deluded Geordies still believe that they have a right to be top 4!! (bless).
There’s optimism and then there is just blind patriotism.
Realistically, cannot see us finishing higher than 10th this season. Too many new players who don’t know each other well enough yet.
AsifSimjee Take a look at the table last season. Outside the top 6 or 7, it’s all much of a sameness. The league isn’t great. Then consider how many cheap goals Villa gave away in the last 10 mins of games. If out of them were cut out, we’d have been top half even last season. There is a togetherness about the team, it’s all part of the Lambert plan (exiling the out-going players to the Bomb Squad, so there are no distractions). I would be surprised if Villa are struggling by Christmas in the league. I’ve always said, Okore is the key, as if he cuts out the sloppy goals Villa have conceded,Villa will improve drastically, just with that contribution. Villa’s attack looks will trouble any team. There is no reason for Villa to be top half. There form at the end of last season was even good enough for that.
AsifSimjee While I agree with the sentiment and I think we’ll get 11th/12th, above 10th is doable, if we keep up the form we showed in 2013.
If we can keep the ave. points per game ratio the same as we did from Jan 1st to the end of the season (1.28 points per game) we’d end up with around 49 points. That would have put us level on points with Baggies in 9th.
Then add in to the mix that Swansea are gonna be stretched due to european cup commitments, Baggies have lost their top scorer and Everton have lost Moyes and you can understand the optimism
Top 8, behind the obvious names (Utd, City, Spuds, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea) think Everton will struggle under new management and the expectancy that players (Baines and Fellaini) will be leaving, so competition for that top 7/8 between Norwich, us and Southampton.
ChrisJosephHeathy Yep, don’t see a strength in depth in the league outside the usual suspects.
MyOldManSaid ChrisJosephHeathy Can see Norwich, with their signings this Summer (RVW, Hooper and Redmond) raising a few eyebrows; Savage has them for relegation lol #clueless
FourFourTwo has us predicted for 11th, just behind Southampton & Everton and just above Baggies and Newcastle.
Their verdict: Buoyed by a strong finish to the last campaign and a young, united squad, this year should be more enjoyable for fans of the Villans.
I agree Vlaar needs to step up now and hopefully he will. Okore is the one to watch, Chelsea were determined and expected to get him, but he chose us as he wanted to develop and play …. Him and Baker could be the pairing we long for, Baker is going to be massive for us. I predict top ten even eighth if we can stay injury free and Benteke/Gabby/Weimann keep up the impressive form. the football has looked sharp in the last couple of games so we are headed in the right way with no mercenaries and everyone playing for the cause and each other. UTV COYVB
LeeMerrett I think this team is definitely up for it and I think they will be a handful up front for any time. What I saw of Okore today looked good. I think he is the key to the team’s improvement, for sure.
I am inclined to agree….the top 5 will look after themselves, Liverpool probably making up the numbers for a SKY 6….but after that it becomes a much of a muchness, if we stop shipping set piece goals, and find a settled midfield, then we could maybe go as far as eight or nine..for sure, there are goals in the team, Vlaar is my worry, but in a world cup year he needs to perform…if not Okore & Baker should be the CH pairing…whatever, I don’t think there is anything to fear.
sasa c Vlaar is my and a couple of MOMS writer’s worry too. That goals conceded from set pieces problem has got his finger prints all over it.
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