“We will keep our feet on the ground and keep on going” – Paul Lambert
Two big away wins in a week and Aston Villa after two years of slumber have exploded into life. The Benteke and Weimann show bagged six goals between them in the wins against Norwich City and Liverpool. Watching them, you get the same feeling you used to get watching Saunders and Atkinson or Shaw and Withe -you just know goals are a coming! There’s 50-odd reasons to be cheerful this week as a Villa fan, but lets stick to five. UTV
With David Michael
1.Finally…Goooooooals! There was a clue they were coming in last week’s Five Reasons, when I quoted Paul Lambert, saying: “I have a belief that we will create and that we will score.” Well, Lambert was certainly true to his word this week with seven goals smashed past Norwich and Liverpool. The highlight being a goal in each game that featured an 18-odd pass build up. It conjures up memories of Villa under Big Ron.
2. Villa’s away support flexed it muscle against Norwich City in a big way. Villa went into the game underdogs, with Norwich City in a rich vein of form, especially at home. With the game poised at 1-1 and Norwich having a menacing 10-15 minute spell in the second half, the Villa faithful decided something needed to be done. Already, they were in boisterous mood, but suddenly they upped the ante. Urging the team forward, they unleashed a rousing rendition of ‘Paul Lambert’s Claret & Blue Army – A-V-F-C’ along with twirling scarves. The Carrow Road faithful sat and stared, they had no response. As each goal came, the Villa fans got louder and louder. It visibly buoyed the players who rose to occasion. The Villa fans had turned the tide of the match and maybe of the season.
3. Villa seemed to have ‘clicked’. The ethos was: young, hungry talented players, a new approach and new formations, a frontman that was a potential raw diamond, and all would be good in due course. Tuesday night against Norwich, everything ‘clicked’ into place, and Saturday further showed that the raw diamond was already looking like a polished gem.
4. Earlier in the season in ‘Five Reasons’ I’ve mentioned the fact that while Villa might not have a first 11 of quality world-beaters, it has 17-18 players that can just slot in and the quality of the team doesn’t suffer. So, for example against Liverpool, Bent, Vlaar, Agbonlahor and Ireland were all injured, yet, there was hardly any concern at all from Villa fans about our line-up. In fact, it looked strong. The fact that Delph had a decent week, now means he can be counted in this number. Suddenly, with the young blood having stepped up, it’s given Villa squad power, which will prove useful for the remainder of the season.
5.Villa’s semi-final dates should be the first entry into your new 2013 diary. The League Cup has been a life-line and a tonic to the league form, while Lambert got the team together. It’s given Villa fans something to smile about after a terrible year. Even if we don’t go through to the final, the League Cup would have been like the fuel tanks on a space shuttle that help it get into orbit. Now though, since we’ve got so far in the cup, it’d be rude not to win it. Especially when it offers a chance for Mr Petrov to walk those stairs and lift the trophy. If that happened, there wouldn’t be a dry eye in Wembley. UTV