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.