“The crowd are right behind it. We couldn’t do anymore than stick it in.” – Paul Lambert
Lets get this straight, home losses against teams in the bottom half just aren’t acceptable. Coming on the heels of Wigan’s 3-0 win at Villa Park, this is a double-whammy of defeat with Villa losing 1-0 vs Southampton will certainly set Villa up for a relegation struggle. There are flickers of hope though…
1. After the 8-0 whooping by Chelsea, the defence in the league has progressed…slowly. Every game they seem to concede one less to the previous game: 4 (Spurs), 3 (Wigan), 2 (Swansea) and now 1 (Southampton). So that pretty much guarantees a clean sheet against the Baggies in the next game.
2. Villa are at least creating chances. The first half against Bradford City and the second half against the Saints, Villa could have and should have scored two or three. Benteke, after wooing us in the Norwich City and Liverpool games, seems to have got a bit wayward with his finishing. What was heartening to see though, was Benteke trying to take the game by the scruff of the neck against Southampton and take them on, on his own at times. With more composure, hopefully he’ll make amends with his finishing against the Baggies and Bantams.
3. Paul Lambert has publicly indicated he is going to bring someone in to strengthen Villa’s midfield. At least Villa fans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing Lambert acknowledges his midfield is too lightweight to compete at this level.
4. Vlaar is about to return having been on the bench against the Saints. While he’s not the solution to all of Villa’s defensive woes, his return is a big relief. If Lambert wanted to return to his five man defence with three centre backs, Vlaar in there instead of Herd, should tighten things up. The prospect of Dunne coming back at the end of the month also offers some comfort. He maybe past his prime, but actually having an old head would benefit the team at the moment.
5. The league table doesn’t lie and the board will now know being in the bottom three, there exists a potential danger of missing out on the increased TV revenues next year in the Premiership. They must back Lambert this month to bring in the necessary reinforcements.
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