The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Villa’s Week as Lambert Remains Pointless After New Contract


Villa’s defending across the two games was awful. Ron Vlaar’s defending for Charlie Austin’s opener in particular at Loftus Road was dreadful, and Villa were riding the luck of Spurs’ appalling profligacy in front of goal for most of the game at Villa Park.

The equaliser was inevitable, despite some claiming that Spurs didn’t even look like scoring. Rule Number One – if a team are playing Villa, they always look like scoring.

Carlos Sanchez has taken over N’Zogbia’s position as Villa’s Most Frustrating Player for me with his last two performances, as he has arguably played pretty well generally before undoing his hard work by making crucial and costly errors.

At QPR he protected the defence relatively well before his key error gifted the home side a crucial goal and at Villa Park on Sunday he didn’t look too out of his depth until diving in for the rash challenge from which Harry Kane scored his media-acclaimed deflected free-kick for the winner. His passing and composure on the ball is another aspect of his game that desperately needs work if he is to adapt to the Premier League quickly.

Aly Cissokho is another contender for the title. Sometimes solid when defending in the left-back position, when attacking he regresses before your eyes into a man who can’t run with the ball, can’t cross, and can’t make key decisions when in possession.

Villa have several such frustrating players, and improvements are needed all over the park from certain individuals.

The club under Lambert has no stability or any real discernible plan, both on and off the field.

Lambert seems to set the side up without really having any idea of what he wants to get out of his team, and although occasionally this pays dividends (the first hour or so of Sunday afternoon being a good example), once things begin to go against Villa (such as at QPR) there seems to be no concept of how to arrest the slide.


The drought may be over now, but for a Premier League team to fail to score in the equivalent of six full matches defies belief, regardless of the calibre of opposition. Villa fans who have Twitter had all heard the stats/jokes – Ronaldo had scored 20-odd since we last had, Watford and Leeds had had five managers between them in the time, etc, etc – but no wonder those kind of things were cropping up. If it was another team, we’d have made jokes.

Even with Weimann’s goal on Sunday afternoon Villa have only scored in four out of their 11 games so far this season. It is a problem that it is imperative that Villa must address, otherwise the Championship tour that we have pulled out of at the last minute in each of the last few seasons will become reality.

It was encouraging to have the threat of an approaching-fitness actually-interested Benteke back in the side, although that may admittedly have been something to do with the fact that he was being marked by Younes Kaboul all game.

That all came crashing down with 25 minutes left however. Despite Villa fans’ claims that Benteke’s red card was harsh, if a player raises his hands he has to be prepared to be sent off. Yes, Ryan Mason should have been sent off for putting his face in Benteke’s, yes Jan Vertonghen should probably have seen red for a two-footed challenge earlier, but Benteke threw away his decent start to the game and jeopardised Villa’s crucial victory.



You can’t be that naïve in your reaction to a challenge as a professional footballer, you just can’t. The only real injustice was that Spurs hadn’t had at least one player sent off earlier in the game. Villa and Benteke now face the stark reality that at a time when Villa need to be picking up points and Benteke is still trying to regain his match fitness and sharpness, the Belgian will now not return until December.

The biggest worry for Villa now is when you trawl through the fixture list to try to identify the club’s next win. West Ham away up next is a hugely difficult trip to one of the league’s in-form teams, and after the international break Southampton at home poses arguably an even greater test.

On paper, fans will be looking at Burnley away at the end of the month as the biggest chance for three points, but I’d argue a imagining a Villa win is a much bigger stretch than imagining a Burnley win as things stand.

Even a battling draw would be so heartening for the club and the fans at this point in time. After suffering six defeats in a row in the league for the first time in half a century, Villa desperately need to stop the rot before it sets in and eats our club away.






  1. Absolutely atrocious piece of refereeing throughout the game that stole it away from us. Just gutted at what transpired in those last six minutes..I don’t dislike Lambert and he seems to be trying, but good lord, does he have any idea what is going on at Aston Villa? We almost never have any plan to curb a disaster from happening when things start to go against us. He has had three years to build things and we’re still in the same rut. Three years is more than enough time to gauge a manager’s abilities and how he is faring at a club. If anything he seems to be breaking all records set by Alex McLeish. By giving him four year extension we just showed that we’re desperate enough to have anyone at the helm. Virtually every thing that has happened since the dreadful day when we signed Alex McLeish aka The Serial Relegator of all people has been a disaster.

  2. its a minor point but Gabby for nzogbia seemed like a substitution planned before kick off, specially since he’d already made a couple of breaks up the pitch after we went down to 10 men. it probably stands to reason that if you cant work out what sstyle you play before a match that you wont be able to read a game and make changes. i’ve resisted the Lambert out calls until now, im still not ready to launch into the campaign as i did for big eck, but its probably time to leave and let someone more tacticaly aware step in and work with this decent crop of players. UTV

  3. May I make a suggestion …here goes , I’m not one for boycotting games because this affect the club financially so my suggestion is if those who want to protest about lambert buy a white t shirt and have lambert out printed on the back then just before kick of take of your jackets coats etc and turn your back away from the pitch so that the protest can be seen do this for one minute then get back to supporting the team for the rest of the match ,do the same just before the second half kicks of it will be seen by every one up and down the country it will be in every news paper it will be the sort of publicity this club needs to force lerners hand ,if we are not going to be vocal then this might be the best way to protest …….it’s up to you .

  4. Understand your point. Villa really have shot themselves in foot with new contract for Lambert. Was never worth a new deal.

  5. Andi Weimann is natural finisher but is being wasted on the wing!!!
    Nothing personal against Lambert but finally, questions being asked of him. Can’t keep using limited transfer funds and takeover talk as excuse.
    Into his third season at Villa, where is the progress?

  6. EVERYONE!!!!!





  7. So how many times would you permit an opponent to thrust their head into your face ? It’s easy to criticise Benteke for reacting to extreme provocation especially as we need his goal scoring prowess . But I doubt there are many who would not react when not given the same protection by the ref as his opponents/tormentors were given . And I note Graham Poll has an article in the Mail criticising how the match was reffed

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