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Lambert Reflects On Loss

Lambert Reflects On Loss

Paul Lambert was pleased with our overall game today, but knows we have to improve further and convert our possession into more clear chances as the season progresses.

Speaking to the Official Site after the 1-0 loss, Lambert admitted we lacked a cutting edge.

'I thought we started the game really well and for 30 minutes we were excellent. But you can have all the ball you want but you've got to score. Some of the play, I was really happy with and some, like anything, you're not. But I can't fault the lads for effort. We tried, but there wasn't much in the game. If we can just get a finishing touch on that then we'll be ok.'

Very honest appraisal really, some are saying that Clark got the touch for the offside but the replays I've seen don't show that, so I'll leave that where it is until I see it closer - suffice to say I fail how Dean could make that call from his position when the linesman had a much better view of it. You don't see many overturned like that and that's ultimate what cost us a share of the spoils as West Ham's penalty shout was weaker than Weakly McWeak's strongest finger.

Outside of that we had more possession, we had the greater chances, but we didn't create the clear cut chances that Benty thrives off. He was also left too isolated and double marked for far too long in the game, and without getting into the blame game, we carried N'Zogbia for far too long. Once Weimann was on (and it shouldn't have been for Holman unless his ankle flared up), and we replaced Zoggy, we were far brighter and far more open in attack.

Midfield did well overall, and the defence was not the subject of the pummeling many expected West Ham to achieve.

The biggest single lesson is Bent can't do the lone role unless we give far more backup from midfield, and we need a big man in there or another to take attention away from him so he can find space. Weimann will be an asset this season, but you can't expect him to play every game as he still has a lot to learn himself.

Plenty of positives, especially the way the lads battled on until the end and didn't give up, but equally of importance were the negatives which were highlighted nicely, and in many ways should have confirmed what Lambert already thought.

Anyway back to the penalty.

'I wasn't sure at the time but I've seen it on the tape and it's come off one of our lads so the referee's called it right.'

Maybe, again for me I'll wait for the replay myself, but having seen the distance shot a few times I don't believe we got the first touch and played him on, but I've been wrong before, and I still doubt Dean could've confidently saw that to overrule it especially given his tendency to award so many weak freekicks to them - including the one that led to the goal.

But these things happen, you have to play to the whistle so even if I'm 100% right that it flicked off Clark's head following a touch from the Spammer, and even if it was never a foul by Vlaar (from memory) that led to the freekick, and even if Dean's line of sight wasn't clear meaning he shouldn't have overruled on gut, it was still our own fault for switching off.

Lambert doesn't blame the reactions of the team though in the incident, insisting that for the youngsters it's a lesson they have to learn from, and not repeat.

Maybe, maybe not. Playing to the whistle is something you learn at schoolboy level, but it's difficult to be overly critical because outside of that single incident the defence really cannot be faulted.

Even Baker's slip near the end, he rectified it - which when a mistake is made is all you can ask for in response.

I would like to see a different line up next time, we finished more strongly than we started - that should say a lot. Delph was fantastic defensively, but we need that balance between defensive work and attacking work in midfield, the introduction of Bannan made us far more flowing - and it's just a shame we couldn't have created that single clear chance we deserved following our dominance.

A few tweaks, a few more sensible additions and we'll be fine this season though. Difficult to be too disappointed as there was plenty to be happy about, and as Lambert said earlier, if you are going to lose, then lose with your head's high, working hard until the end, and never giving up and getting back into the game.

We did that, and banished many a memory from last season in the process in my humble. Now work on what we know we are weak on, and we shouldn't have many more days like this.

'I'm not one for the blame culture, if we lose, we lose together. If we win, then we win together.'

That shouldn't get in the way of Lambert making the changes we need.

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Writer:Mike Field
Date:Saturday August 18 2012
Time: 7:41PM


We are the mighty Aston Villa. When oh when will we ever win a string of football matches?
18/08/2012 20:11:00
Sack the manager!
18/08/2012 20:35:00
I thought he would hav known that Bent up front on is own does not work. As for are wing play n'zogbia waste of time we need a proper winger.
18/08/2012 21:23:00
I'm assuming he expected better from Zoggy - and that simply didn't happen. Far more fluid with 2 up front and no Zog trying to take on everyone. Shame, if he could back to his old self he'd be dynamite for us, but with every passing game you have to wonder if it's ever going to click for him here.
18/08/2012 22:47:00
nzogbia is pants full stop. Also think PL got the tactics totally wrong today - why pack the midfield against a side that bypasses it? The midfield passing lacked purpose and it looked alot like a work in progress with no one knowing where to run and misplacing paces leading to zero supply to Bent and zero support for him either. It was fairly insipid to be fair and arguably worse than alot of what was seen last season, I'll give PL time but he needs to get things improving and quickly, the hype and fan fare can stop now I think today showed just how much work needs to be done. We had the better players on the pitch but until they get a shape and purpose they'll be beaten every week by average teams.
18/08/2012 23:16:00
Yes he got things wrong, and yes he made the changes too late, but nothing about that performance was worse than last season Nath, come on. Look at the performance and the effort and not just the result because people think we should get one over the porn dwarves. They parked the bus, we didn't react quick enough and we were relying on players will far less experience than the players Spam called upon. They didn't embarrass themselves, and a draw was fair, it wasn't perfect, there's work to be done, but to go four horsemen after one game is a bit silly. Spam also aren't average, they are thugs and we need to learn to deal with that, and stiffling Bent's space and carrying Zog certainly didn't help.

You don't boss a game and create more chances unless you are doing some things right...not enough yes, but put the pills away.
18/08/2012 23:28:00
Jeez wanna see worse than last season take a look at Liverpool and QPR PMSL It'll take time, we showed a lot, we also showed where we need to improve. Question if we don't improve, but I saw more fight, more spirit, more caring and more effort in those 90 odd minutes than probably all of last season outside of the Chelsea pretend corner. Don't expect miracles, expect and demand improvement.
18/08/2012 23:31:00
Fair do's just seen a slowmo, it did come off Clark. Still not convinced from the angles though Dean could call that without discussion and give the lino the order. He couldn't know from that angle it then didn't hit Collins thus be offside. That's as fair as I can be.
19/08/2012 00:04:00
Hardly fair, the bloke got it right and you still question how he got it right. Are you suggesting that he should have got it wrong and he was somehow cheating cos he got it right?

If we are hoping to finnish between 14th and 10th then we are going to suffer defeats, especially away. Glad we did better than some haha liverpool - rogers sacked by christmas! UTV
19/08/2012 00:20:00
Yes it is fair. A Referee with a serial habit of favouring home and top 4 sides makes the decision that he couldn't...did it hit a West Ham player after Clark's hit when he was blinded by the Clark? The lino had the better view, yet he didn't discuss, he made the decision instantly. A referee rules on fact and line of sight, he didn't have it, so the very least he does is ask. Not overrule. Seriously Rif mate, you suggesting he's any better at his job than Halsey and that ilk?

Had he talked with the lino instead of waving it away I couldn't fault him, but he didn't. Or is this the benefit of the doubt referee's are supposed to give to attackers to improve the game? And remember I'm talking about a ref who gave them a freekick when Vlaar was elbowed. Gave them a freekick when Vlaar was shirt pulled etc....I don't blame ref's lightly...Dean is a disgrace. Because it wasn't even a freekick, how could Clark move out of his way? Clark's very tackle being shoddy gave the Spam player the opportunity to dunk round him, but he went down like a two dollar whore.
19/08/2012 00:30:00
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