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Aston Villa - A Club In Transition...

Well, the season is well under way now and for Villa fans, the results are not quite what we had hoped for. 5 points from a possible 21 has taken a toll on the morale of many Villans and the feel good factor that was so refreshing before the season has begun to wither away with each game. Naturally, many fans are looking for someone to blame. Many blame the McLeish effect and claim his negative influence is still stubbornly present within the squad and it's only a matter of time.

Some will blame Randy. They claim that Lambert wasn't sufficiently backed in the transfer window and the squad is too underpowered to make any sort of impact. A small minority will even shift all the blame to Lambert, and claim that his team selections have cost us games and claim he may even need to be replaced. Searching for a cause is only natural, but many Villa fans need to step back and look at the big picture for a moment.

Aston Villa F.C. has undergone literally endless change in the past 3 years and has suffered for it. We all know this. An ok managerial appointment began with an attempt to radically change the style of play of the club in half a year after 4 consistent years of the same stubborn MON style of play. It ended in what was at the time a massive disappointment in terms of the league finish and multiple first team exiles. Houllier departed and Villa were once again left without a manager and direction. In their naivety, the board opted for a quick appointment. Perhaps they had seen that Houllier had tried to change to much in too short a time and thought that bringing in someone with Premier League experience and a closer style to MON would help bring stability. Their mistake was that they went to far in the other direction.

Alex McLeish came with a firestorm of opposition and with the departure of Ashley Young and the unexpected sale of Downing, McLeish was left with an underpowered squad and almost nothing to strengthen it with. Needless to say, the following season was one fraught with disappointing results, downright ugly football, and a painfully negative atmosphere throughout the whole season. McLeish was sacked the last day of the season. And so Aston Villa were right back where they were the season before. Managerless, directionless. But this time, there was a plan. Paul Lambert arrived and began with all the right moves. Moved the dugout closer to the Holte End, promised attacking football, brought in some shrewd signings, and there was a wonderful feeling of positivity in many Villans hearts. Now the season has begun, and the positivity is fading. The results haven't been the miracle fans were expecting, and our current place in the table is all too familiar.

So what am I getting at here? The point is that even if we do have a fantastic manager at the helm, Villa are still a club in transition, and they will be for a little while longer. Think of it this way. In the past 3-4 years, a good part of the squad has been played in 4 different styles of football. Most of these players still being under 24. Constant change is not good for a players development, this has been proven time and time again. In other words, many of our young players simply don't have any idea how to operate in Lambert's system. It's almost completely foreign to them. A few, such as Fabian Delph, are picking it up really well. Others like Marc Albrighton, who has always been a wide player, are going to take more time.

So keep the faith Villa fans, and give our manager more time. When the new teacher's methods click with the kids, I think we'll see an Aston Villa we've never seen before. I just hope they can grasp it before mid-terms.




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The Journalist

Writer: clbick3 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday October 9 2012

Time: 12:00PM

Your Comments

Good stuff I agree with most of it still think Houllier would have turned out to be a good appointment only for the heart issue... And all the guys we hate so much would either have been shipped out or never brought in, while other great signings we see playing for the likes of Newcastle may well have signed for us... Anyway at this point everyone has to share a little bit of blame but Im going to blindly support Lambert for the season no matter what happens because he is the man I wanted and it is only a matter of time before we climb we start to make big strides forward...
CDX_EIRE
Great article. Fans have a choice though. Support what looks to be a positive regime delivering what was promised. Mainly no over the hill players looking for a payday and attacking football. Or withdraw support and moan and drag down the club with their apathy? I do not know of a single supporter that actually goes to the games, who thinks that Lambert will fail. I do think most are expecting a roller coaster ride this season and then good progression next. It is young and vibrant and for the first time in years I am excited at the prospect of every game. I honestly believe we have a gem in PL and that the next couple of years will be more of a job of holding on to him rather than worrying about anything else.
voiceoftheholte
Get Ireland and NZog back, we need some experience on the pitch. Play Bent and Gabi up front, Holman wide and elhamady in holding.... surely?
leelindsay
interesting opinions on the facebook part of the site as well. Some not happy to be in transition again. I'm not re-typing so I just posted on there:

Have to say, although they've spent millions, they are back to square one. Some of it not their fault (they backed two managers well) and some of it their fault (McLeish etc). So, whether we like it or not (and to be fair, we have every right NOT to like it) we are again in transition. My only hope this season is we stay up. If we do, I think this re-building could be very good. If we don't, I'd still stick with Lambert. We cannot keep changing. Results are a worry though and this Bent situation has me perplexed, then again, he will now want out so that is that!

Will try to avoid the MON argument now, for the one season we were top spenders, the next 3rd. So much wasted in my opinion and I know many still worship what he did. He blew it for us and him walking but that is history now really. The timing of his exit put us in a tailspin.

At least we now, hopefully, have a manager who can stay a few years (I can't see any bigger job will come up for him UNLESS he absolutely stuns for Villa)

Agree that it does appear there is now, again, a proper plan in place. My worry (and I was called miserable in the transfer thread before the season kicked off!!!!!!!!!!) is we don't have the leaders/experience for the here and now. Looks a big gamble, especially when the tv money next season is the biggest ever.
The Fear
Of the starting eleven almost all of the team are either new or hardly got a game over the last couple of seasons. We have a new manager with a new way of thinking. He has brought in alot of new faces and it will take time to gel. As has been pointed out elsewhere on this site we have rarely been out played this season and often looked a bit unlucky not to come away with more. i'm sure Lambert will have a new face or two in mind for January and as the team comes together we will start to see the points coming in. In Lambert we trust!
plastic villan
We’re very definitely in the midst of a major rebuilding programme, and suffering from years of mismanagement from the very top – mismanagement that veered wildly between crazy spending on questionable players, to tightened purse-strings just when a £5m-£6m player might have made the difference. This ‘rebuilding’ theme seems to be the only thing that everybody on here can agree on. In the last week I’ve been called “pathetic”, “negative” and somebody who “doesn’t understand football”, just because I can’t buy into the rosy glow some people are painting. As it happens, I preferred Poyet to Lambo, but now he’s here I’ll unreservedly give him my backing. The football is a hell of a lot better to watch than last year, even if it could be argued that the results are worse. The scale of the task Lambo’s got is just so massive, the (necessary) changes to the playing staff so wholesale, that I don’t see how we can turn it around in time to survive this season. Wouldn’t put too much store in what we do in January either – doubt there will be any show-stopping, marquee signings in the Darren Bent mould – apart from anything else, this isn’t what Lambo is about. What I would expect them to be though is sensibly thought out players who will make us stronger in the medium/long term. Much as I don’t want to get relegated, if we stick with PL I truly believe he’ll get us promoted and turn us back into some type of force in the Prem, even if our days of moaning about Houllier’s 9th placed finish look like a thing of the past. Football goes in cycles – we will have more bad times, but we’ll have good times too, albeit perhaps not as good as some of what went before – but who knows. In summary, we can recognise that things aren’t good without being disloyal and anti-Villa. Those of us who are mentally facing up to the worst case scenario love the Villa just as much as the rest of you, so please let’s have a variety of views on this without the recent resort to personal abuse.
onlyteaminthemids
Don't despair Villans, you have a quality club and a quality manager who isn't being sniped at every five minutes in the press like AVB. I think your team did pretty well against us on Sunday and could easily have been ahead early on in both halves. When things are bad just remember that you can watch your European Cup triumph with pride, unlike the feckin Chavs. I'm not bitter you understand.
Love totty
Quality post "Love totty" (who doesn't, by the way??).
onlyteaminthemids
I blame Martin O'Neill.
chocolate teapot
Maybe one or two footballers "Only", but that's a Pandora's box best left closed. She did have a nice box that Pandora.
Love totty
getting that balance between giving the youth experience and developing them and the team is very tough and though I dont think you have much option at this time, I feel you are in real trouble and need a couple of experienced first team heads more, or I fear you will have another season fighting relegation
oxfordspur
We are in a major decline and have been for over 2 years now. We dont have the quality of player needed to survive in the Premiership, never mind compete in it. I think PL is a good gaffer but you cant polish a turd. We are in serious trouble this year due to mismanagement at the top from Dumb and Dumber.
We're Not Fickle
We just seem to be going over the same old. Most of ithas already been said TBH. Just how many transitio we going to have? Lets hope this one works, so lets back Lambert and accept some of his seemingly bizarre selections. Just hope we don't bloody well go down.............
Pride of Lions
Ron Saunders and Graham Taylor Mk1 took time to get going then came on like a steam train. How long did it take for old red nose at Man Ure to get going? It took two years of fantasy spending from the start of Sparky Mark for Man S***ty to get instant football gratification. PL is starting from absolutely flat out bugger all. What on earth do we all expect.
jbd656
I think we're agreeing with you jbd656 - recognising the scale of the task Pl is facing is being realistic - not negative. Some of his tactics have been a bit questionable, but his signings look generally good. If we stay up this year it will be a tremendous achievement. If not, we've just got to man-up and deal with it.
onlyteaminthemids
PL is guinea pigging the players and formations but he'll get it right in the end. Better than having a manager who has been there and done it and stuck in the past. He will make mistakes but none as big as his predecessor or his predecessor's employers and he's not too stubborn to change his mind either. Young manager to grow with the team is ideal.
Villan444
Well said Savile444. Not a bad post for a change.
voiceoftheholte
Our home games last season against WBA, Everton and Swansea got us errrr . . . 0 points. This season we got 4. Last season away games against Spurs and Newcastle we got no points, this year we should have had 3 at Newcastle and but for a couple of misses from a young striker we could have had all 3 points at Spurs. The results against West Ham and Southampton especially, were disappointing, but the improvement all round is clear to see. Last year Boltons reserves knocked our strongest team out of the League Cup at Villa Park (I remember Collins having our first shot after 86 minutes). This year we take on Man City including Balotelli, Tevez, Dzecko, Barry, Milner, Kolorov etc on their patch and score 4. Please lighten up. We are getting there and some fans are in danger of talking us down before the young lads have even had a chance. Now I am not asking us to become like deluded scousers who still think Liverpool are a big club chasing the title, but a little optimism and confidence goes a long way and the players are often a reflection of what exudes from the terraces. Be proud. Give the team confidence. And you never know, you might just be pleasantly surprised. I am sure if we get a couple of decent results in the League Cup and get to Wembley, everybody will soon start saying they want tickets, they were never fickle by deserting the club and they always knew Lambert would turn it around quickly. UTV. The 19th Minute
voiceoftheholte
Fear is right. As if I am saying that for real?! " Looks a big gamble, especially when the tv money next season is the biggest ever." We need to all seriously look at this TV money issue, it is huge. This year, of all years, is the one we need to be getting results in the league. We can't afford to go down because then we really are done for, more so than ever. Any teams not in on the new TV deal will be too far behind to catch up. What is the point in building a great youth squad if we end up in the championship and have to sell them all to make ends meet? 5 points from 20 is not good enough and yet again we are starting a season that looked relatively easy on paper with nothing to show. I like Lambert, but we need to spend some dosh in January to assure our status. Then we can do all the youth development we want.
simonbigron
 

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