Aston Villa vs Southampton – 2014
After a turbulent week, it’s the first game for Paul Lambert since his trusty managerial team has been stripped away. The Villa boss is desperately in need of points to keep Villa safe and also try to build a case for him to still be Villa manager come the new season. 30-something points probably isn’t going to cut it.
After those we are not allowed to speak of (Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa) were ditched, the Villa PR machine has repeated the message that the players are ‘buzzing’ and’ buoyant’ in training and made sure there was loads of pictures issued of smiling players. And much has been made (by the club) of Gordon Cowans being drafted into the first team coaching staff. Now 55, it’s interesting that he’s never really had any such ambitions before.
It maybe a mess off the field at the moment, but as we’ve showed already this season against Southampton we are capable of beating them no matter how messy it gets on the pitch.
Lambert on Villa’s inner turmoil
“I don’t think anything’s worth all this. As I’ve said before we’ll go and try to win a game of football, that’s the most important thing.”
Pochettino on Villa
“Runs are meant to be broken and they can end at any given moment so we don’t know when their bad run of home defeats is going to end. Every game is going to be difficult and it’s going to be difficult to predict how they’re going to play at home.
“We always have our own internal pressure that we have to deal with, but it’s also true that Aston Villa will be under some pressure themselves because they’re in a complicated position in the table.
“Against Aston Villa we know we are going to be facing a very tough team, a very physical side and a very difficult ground but our focus is always to win.”
Form is Temporary
12th January 2013 Aston Villa 0 Southampton 1
Although we played quite well, a disputed penalty was unfortunately the difference at a time when Villa really needed the win.
Aston Villa – Last five matches at home: W 2, L 3
Southampton – Last five matches away: W 2, L 3
Villa have won three of the last five league meetings with Southampton at Villa Park, losing on the other two occasions.
One to Watch
Adam Lallana – The PFA Player of the Year nominee is a real attacking threat and will be looking to make up the absence of the injured Jay Rodriguez.
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
All of a sudden, there seems to be chaos at Aston Villa. News of suspended coaches and an abundance of takeover rumours seem to have distracted everyone from the main issue – the football! Whether or not a change of coaching staff will actually kick-start an improvement in performances is unclear, but something needs to change. We’ve found ourselves in real danger of slipping into the relegation zone. Lose Saturday’s game and we’d have recorded five consecutive league losses for the first time since 2001. Rumours of progress in terms of finances are welcome as we haven’t seen much progress during this campaign – we have the same amount of points as we did at this stage last season.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
A quick goal to get Villa Park rocking. Southampton haven’t come from behind to win once this season, so it seems the best way to approach the game will be to bag a goal as soon as possible. Also, Southampton haven’t won a league away game when they’ve conceded since November 2012. We’ve seen plenty of cagey, defensive performances lately, but our position in the table is proof alone that the attacking style of last season must return, sooner rather than later. Hopefully the addition of Cowans and Given to the coaching team will result in a revitalised Villa team, the club’s PR team keep telling us it will.
Why Villa have got this game in the bag
If we win, we’re safe. Surely this should be motivation alone for the players, as well as the fact that some might be playing for new contracts. While the constant struggles against teams lower in the league is baffling, Southampton might just head to Villa Park at the right time. Their season looks to be fading slightly after a few poor results and Villa have more to play for. The Saints are also without star man Jay Rodriguez. Considering Southampton’s own form problems (they lost their last game at home to lowly Cardiff), a reassuring win may just be possible. UTV.