Spirit, Muhammad Ali and Squad Power
An unexpected win and a reminder of what Villa Park should be like on a Saturday afternoon. The positives from such a dynamic result should hold Villa in good stead for the rest of the season, more than any other result so far. Here’s five reasons why…
1. The team’s belief in themselves was incredible. Most supporters expected nothing, several were bemoaning Lambert’s line-up before a ball was even kicked, but check out the Villa player’s celebration for the first equaliser. The way they celebrated with such gusto with their teammates on the bench suggested this wasn’t just going to be a consolation goal. The desire was there to do better. In fact, the players never-say-die attitude thankfully is the opposite of some Villa supporters!
2. There was a lot of fan internet hoo-ha about the 5-3-2 formation when it was announced, with Lambert being dismissed as clueless by the usual suspects. I said at the time, it seemed a logical formation to play. Did Villa fans really expect Villa without three or four of their better players to set-up to play Manchester City off the park?
The formation was set up to absorb City pressure and it worked as spectacularly as when Muhammad Ali used the boxing version – the rope-a-dope – to beat the heavy-hitting favourite George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle in 1974. Manchester City’s heavy hitters were kept at bay, as Villa’s formation absorbed their attacks with the five man defence making it hard for City to play through them or get around them. Villa’s only downfall was slack defending at two corner kicks. Then with the Villa’s young players team spirit and energy they picked off their opponents with some killer finishes.
3. I’ve mentioned before that man-for-man Villa might not have the best starting XI in comparison to a few Premier League teams, but they have a decent 15 or 16 players that can all play without weakening the team. Again, in the summer transfer window, while the first XI wasn’t necessarily strengthened, this pool of players that Lambert could rely on was. Decent performances from Kozák and Bacuna means we can now include them in this group.
4. If City had won it would have been Villa’s worst start at Villa Park since 1946, but back then, they could have blamed it on the after effects of the war! This result could go a long way to shaking off the recent Villa Park hoodoo and instilling confidence in the players to get to a double-figures amount of home wins in a season, that a team like Villa should command.
5. Who needs a clean sheet when you get a goal from midfield. Between them Sylla, Westwood, Delph and El Ahmadi have made well over hundred appearances for Villa, but El Ahmadi’s goal against Everton last season was the only league goal they’ve scored. KEA doubled the tally yesterday. Hopefully there’s a lot more to come. UTV
PS- I just wanted to mention another reason to be cheerful from midweek, that Mike Lines on MOMS Facebook pointed out. Thank god Nicklas Helenius wasn’t flying commando against Spurs!
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Yep totally agree! …. plz dont expect a 4-3-3 against these teams, they’ll run ur wings ragged … i considered the option of 4-4-2 , but who could be on wings .. albrighton? .. tonev? … etc …. hmm … nah no go!! …. A gr8 formation, all the arrows pointed to it . Lamberts doing tactically gr8, keeping it simple! And keeping it formed around ur best 11 players at that particular time, and a formation to suite
UTV!!! .. cant wait til we gel even more!!! ,,, gr8 times ahead from these youngsters
Team spirit was the name of the game on Saturday because you know as we’ll as I do that that was a lucky win ,and believe me I loved every mad minuet of it ,little did I know that lambert was going to Lull city into his cunning plan yes cunning plan . There no way on this earth that we should have won that game we we,re out played out and out passed we we,re run ragged for 45 mins. The second half was a much better performance but I still couldn’t see where our goals were going to come from then bam a mistake by the lines man gives us our first lucky break , alhamadi but that goal away sweetly thers no mistaking our second though which was a class strike by Bacuna Harte didn’t see it whizz pass him until it was to late . Now this for me is when team spirit means more than class ,an all for one and one for all attitude because after city screwed up at the back and Weimann nipped in to put enough on the ball to score our third our boys defended like Trojans ,closing down the space for city to play in throwing themselves between man and ball …this for me confirms that in football the best teams don’t always win ,an organized team that sticks to the plan can upset the odds and that what happen on Saturday …..well done lads I,m proud of you but a word of warning ,it’s no good beating city only to blow up at hull the same spirit has to be on show for 100 mins of football ,i say 100 mins because of extra time at the end of each half …….team spirit and organization will win the day .. Once again well done lads
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