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Time For Heroes



To be honest I`d planned on writing a match report after the Forest friendly. It was going to be a jovial affair, making fun of a game which despite having a sub-ten thousand attendance was delayed by fifthteen minutes because of crowd congestion. Oh, this could have been us in a few years if the McRelegator had got his way last season - but we`ve sorted it out now and we`re on our way back up, aren`t we?

Well not quite. The performance and result left me rather disappointed. So much so, that I felt a match report for a pre-season friendly with such disappointment running through it was inappropriate. Besides, there was plenty of time to improve the squad and the game itself could have been treated as a high profile training session - that`s why we were rather slow at times. It was just technique training. Right? Right?

Well the players haven`t arrived but more on that later. Two things came into my head at Forest.

Firstly - I appreciate that after the dull, anti-football rubbish that McRelegator installed into the team the brief for the manager was to play a shorter passing, attacking game (why the board are briefing the manager on the style of play I don`t know - that should be left for the manager to decide depending on what he thinks will be successful) but I had hoped that we`d be playing a similar game to how Lambert had got Norwich playing - the wide, direct style which had caused problems for many teams last season and was exciting to watch.

What we had was an incredibly narrow, short passing game which was based upon possession as opposed to creating chances. Fair enough - if you`ve got the ball then your opposition aren`t going to score - but with this method of playing you need to not only play a lot of passes - but play the ball quickly as otherwise it descends into the short version of last season`s play - 'tippy tappy` stuff where the opposition can read exactly what is going to happen next. Sadly, rather than this being an extended training session against Forest, it seems that this was taken into the West Ham game.

It`s all very well passing the ball about but if you aren`t creating chances it`s a waste of time. In the words of Paul Lambert himself - it`s unacceptable to wait until the 40th minute to have your first shot on goal.

Only playing one up front, just like last year made the problem worse. Darren Bent is a great finisher - he`s a striker that needs chances given to him - and he will put them away. The problem with one up front though is that because his contribution is purely trying to get into goalscoring positions as a team with one up front it`s like playing with ten men at times. For Bent to work successfully he needs someone up there with him.

The second realisation was that players who we had written off as rubbish last year were still rubbish. The hope that N`Zogbia might manage to beat his man, get a decent cross in or not run directly into the bloke ahead of him left me that day. He`s just not good enough.

Equally as crap is Stephen Ireland, who has had one good season in his whole career and that was playing alongside Robinho - not Emile Heskey or Fabian Delph who has been given more chances than Rik Waller has had hot dinners.

Yet both are currently being offered as our creative force to provide for Darren Bent. I`d be surprised if they`d created ten goals between them in the past two years.

At the end of the day, you could put Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho in joint management of the team - if you have players who are not good enough then you won`t achieve anything. If you then refuse to invest in the playing squad three summers running - the last after a particularly awful season in which the team deserved to be relegated from the league - then it`s going to be a struggle again.

So the board of Villa have a decision to make. Back when Lambert was appointed, we were told that lessons had been learnt, money was going to be invested into the team on young, hungry players and we would be making sure that a season like we`d just experienced was not going to be repeated.

We`ve spent much less than last summer, so far. We are still playing a style of play which doesn`t suit the players at the club and there are still massive holes in the team meaning two injuries to players and we are suffering an injury crisis calling upon the under 18s.

The players we`ve brought in aren`t exactly young either. El Ahmadi, Vlaar and free transfer Holman aren`t young. Lowton, at 23, isn`t even young in footballing terms. The board have not delivered for the manager or the supporters of the football club and have less than two weeks to do so. And given the mess they made of the Vlaar deal, where they couldn`t have made it any more clearer that we are now operating a 'sell before buy` policy, I don`t hold much hope in the players both in number and quality the team needs in order for us not to have a repeat season from last year.

This time it`s even more important than just results and whether we stay in the big money league. This time it`s about trust. Last summer we had a number of bare-faced lies told to the supporters from the main figures at the club. Krulak, before his exile, told us McRelegator would be backed by Lerner. He wasn`t. Falkner told us we were going to appoint a manager who reflects the values of the club and was 'best fit` for both the club and it`s supporters. We ended up with McRelegator.

I was willing to let that one go, if, it was rectified this summer. If Lambert isn`t backed in the next two weeks with money for some quality players then not only would the club be facing another season of struggle and relegation battling - but the supporters would have been lied to for the second season running.

And I won`t trust a single word from them again.

But we`ll deal with that if we need to in two weeks time.




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The Journalist

Writer: CustardCream Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday August 21 2012

Time: 11:36AM

Your Comments

1 game gone, we nearly got relegated last year, what are your expectations??? FFS, people make me laugh how negative they are!!
AVNath
Good song for us to come out to though! "Time for Heroes" by that drug binging Doherty fella. Great tune.
leelindsay
Agreed re the transfers, if we don't sign anymore players before the window shuts it's going to be a very long season. How can Faulkner say he wants someone to "reinvigorate the club" and only give him a net transfer budget if 7m. The wages surely cannot still be an issue? Cuellar, Collins, Heskey and Beye (aroundf 170k per week) have been replaced with players on much less wages. 10 days to to see if we've been lied to again. The board won't be able to hide behing Eck this time.
son_of_cher
I think I've got the gist of what Custard is saying AVNath. And that is,we expect the manager to be backed financially and it seems increasingly obvious that up to today he's not. We don't expect miracles, but we expect some quality added to a wafer thin squad. What do you expect?
Pride of Lions
Manure lost 1-0 away too, last night. That Fergie bloke is a bit of a waster isn't he. Maybe he needs two or three quality players or Manure will get relegated. Wonderful owners the Glazers. If only Randy Lerner could be as good.
VillaWillRiseAgain
Roberto Martinez is in the news claiming he turned down RedScouse because he wants to build something at Wigan. I believe him. They're building something special at Swansea, too. Great sides are built not bought. 'Randy get your cheque book out'. Lol. Why not just wish for a scheik or oligarch to own the club. Instant Mega Club. Just add loads of wonga.
VillaWillRiseAgain
Bowie's 'Heroes' is better --and more appropriate -- than anything that hopeless junkie Doherty has done.
VillaWillRiseAgain
We escaped relegation last season as we all know....and this season we already have a better team...not much better, but better. We also have a better manager. We wont go down, but equally we're not going to win the league.
MASON_PARKER
"We know we have to work with Paul to freshen the squad after a poor, disappointing season last year. It's about trying to get the squad ready to go so we can challenge in the top half of the tab-le. We need to make sure Paul has the tools needed for a successful season" Paul Faulkner 6th June
son_of_cher
I'd agree Bowies Hero's is a better tune, but it doesnt match the tital of this article!
leelindsay
Fair enough, leelindsay!
VillaWillRiseAgain
Paul Faulkner has admitted that bringing you-know-who was a mistake. But what a mistake. A 33 year old who has -- presumably -- grown up with the EPL should have known it would be a bad appointment without 'hindsight' as he claims. Obviously not. What exactly is PF's role at Villa? OK, he's CEO but what does he do? The fact that he's in with the suits at the FA is not a good sign.
VillaWillRiseAgain
As a once wise TV personality said once (well quite a few times) "Don't Panic"!!!!
Green Villan
Its a bit early to start worrying. Villa are only equipped to finish half way and can only expect to win three or four away games over the season, so losing one to an industrial-strength Allardyce side, should come as no surprise. We have to accept that just because the manager has been changed, it doesn't mean that the remit has changed. The only promise that Faulkner has actually made, is that Villa will be mediocre but with a more pleasing style. Nothing else.
Steve Wade
We need a WONGER! ;-)
koolbill
Good article CC and point Steve....
Villan444
Quote "And I won`t trust a single word from them again". Does that mean that you currently trust what you interpret as being said?

I recall that we were told we were going to build which usually starts with foundations. PL and playing style is the foundation, now we will have to wait for the rest, - Barcelona wasn't built in a preseason (to coin a phrase).
RiF
I think it is a terrible, ill though out article and really doesnt make any sense. We do not have any money. When will people understand it was spent, wasted and we are still trying to recover on that. This season there are 5 players who were not really available last season, Ahmadi, Lowton, Stevens, Vlaar and Holman. We have resecured Guzan. We have dumped the majority of aged, high earners. We have made important recruitment decisions to oversee scouting. This is what Faulkner indicated when he said Lambert would be given the tools for the job. Anybody who thought he meant a bucket load of cash must need their head seeing to. I want to see my club, our club, built prudently and sustainably. It seems others want to go through the whole process of spend and bust again. I am massively looking forward to the season. Fans I was with on Saturday are all excited and looking forward to the season. To have negativity such as this when we all need to pull together is almost like anti support and is simply devisive and uncalled for. Put your face straight fella and start supporting the club. You might actually enjoy it. UTV. The 19th minute.
voiceoftheholte
Disagree with you about Delph, CC. He hasn't had a chance or a decent run of matches until now.
VillaWillRiseAgain
Totally agree voth. Let's get behind the team we have and not worry about what we could have. Need to accept we're now a sell to buy club but that's not been the case this summer. Never going to see $10-15m signings as its not financially viable.
Aussie Villain
Phew! Thank you VOTH. I was starting to get dragged into the negativive quagmire there for a second. We all know it's a long and winding road. Let's just calm down and carry on supporting. Unity and togetherness (yes I know they are the same thing) are (nearly) as important as a bucket load of cash. UTV. The 19th minute. In Lambo We Trust!!
Adam Deuce
'I agree with voth'. Is that this years 'I agree with Nick (Clegg)?' The negative vibe is amazing given it seems to have been created just by a narrow defeat against a half-decent Wet Spam. Big deal. The league -- to use a crusty old cliche -- is a marathon not a sprint. Fickleness is par for the course in football, though. Can recall when Citeh had a brief wobbly period at the end of last season. At least one so-called 'fan' was calling for Mancini to be sacked and replaced by Guardiola Like I said, 'fickleness'.
VillaWillRiseAgain
I just expect a team that gives 110% every week and tries its best to push as high up the league as possible. It irritates me how many people think its simple to just waltz into the top 6 or 8. Most in there have spent 100 million or close to it and have a better starting base. We are starting from rock bottom (again) ala the MON years where first year he took us from 16th to 11th, anything remotely similar is a big achievement. We need everybody inside Villa park to back the team whether 1-0 up or 1-0 down, not start booing just because we start a game sluggishly and the opposition are on top. Do we expect to beat Everton? Are they realsitically a better side than us? Probably yes, but are we expected to give it a go and attempt to beat them? DAMN RIGHT, UTV.
AVNath
OK, they got rid of Eck. That is not the end of their duties. The squad is so thin on numbers and quality that I don't see how they justify the 1 in and 1 out. Randy let the monies be spent. It's not as if the fans went and spent it all. I don't want to break the bank but treading water isn't the way forward.
Villan444
Tools for the job = 2 players to cover every position on the football pitch. I honestly don't think this is asking too much of a Premier League club owner.
son_of_cher
Gk given, guzan Rb Hutton lowton Lb warnock Stevens Cb Clark dunne vlaar baker Rw albrighton Holman Lw zog Ireland Cm Delph almadi bannan gardener Fwd gabby bent fonz wiemann There you go
Aussie Villain
Not sure we know it is better quite yet to be fair Mason Parker? I hope it is, I hope the newbies settle quickly and do the business. It is a watching brief from me for 6-7 games first before really making up my mind but I am very worried that we are light and relying on a lot of 'what ifs' that might or might not work. (ie if zoggy remembers he is a 10m prem player and Ireland can start shooting etc)

I did comment v West Ham how narrow we are, so that does resonate with your thoughts on the Forest game Custard. Interesting times.
The Fear
I'm not trying to be negative here. On paper the strating 11 is good enough for the top 10 but the replacmenets are not. Who's going to create the chances to score from? What if Bent gets injured again? What if Vlaar does his cruicate again whilst Dunne is out? Will Lowton be able to hack the Premier League? I'm delighted Lambert is our manager but he has not been backed enough to date and it seems as though we're relying on luck with injuries again....and we all know how that has turned out for the last 2 seasons.
son_of_cher
AussieVillan, that's the problem. It looks like a championship squad when you name them all. Is anyone worth more than 10 mil bar Bent??
Villan444
I have said all along that many of the players we have are not good enough but am I despondant ? NO! I believe in Lambert we have a manager who will turn things round it may take time yes we could flirt with relegation again and yes we could get a bashing off Everton but at least I see some light at the end of the tunnel if we back this guy and the team. I am not blindly believing and hoping the article is right to point out we are still wafer thin as a squad and injuries could well haunt us again but no pain no gain. UTV
Merlin128777
But how many other teams in the league are exactly in the same position, lose 1 or 2 key players and they're in struggle town. Only the top 5-6 teams can afford injuries
Aussie Villain
Fair point, but a lot of these teams have grown together and been playing together under the same management and even achieved success together rising through the leagues. No-one has as many kids either. As Fear said, a lot of could bes but if they don't work out, it's a big gamble ?!?!?!?!
Villan444
@ The Fear. 'Interesting times'. Isn't that the Chinese curse? 'May you live in interesting times'.
VillaWillRiseAgain
 

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