The Week In Villa (17)
Wednesday, 21st November
Paul Lambert is suspended for the Arsenal game for stating fact about the ridiculousness of the penalty decisions given against us at Man City. No, seriously.
Brett Holman wins Aussie player of the for 2012. Well done that man.
Thursday, 22nd November
Alan Hutton joins Forest on loan. WOO-HOO!
Friday, 23rd November
All talk is of tomorrow's game against Arsenal. No-one seems to fancy us.
Saturday, 24th November
A pretty boring 0-0 is about the only way to describe it. We weren't great, we were up against a talented side but the fact is they brought very little themselves. Brett Holman hitting the bar was as close as anyone came to scoring, and ultimately, it was a result that didn't do a lot for either side but wasn't a bad result by any stretch of the imagination either. It also sets us up nicely for the upcoming run of 'more winnable' games.
Positives include a clean sheet, Brett Holman looking very lively when he come on and grabbing a point against a side who many thought would beat us.
Negatives include a poor performance from Karim El Ahamadi (who I was very impressed with at first but he has definitely gone off the boil; as I suggested on Saturday night, I think we may have dragged him down to our level!), our lack of looking dangerous when attacking and the way that towards the end of the game it was clear that Arsenal believed they could win it and we just wanted to cling on; understanding, but disappointing nonetheless.
In other news, the U-18's won 2-1 away at Spurs. A goal from Umit Eminoglu (who, despite the vague similarities in the name, looks nothing like Ugo Ehiogu) and an own goal sealed the win.
Sunday, 25th November
As with most weeks, the Sunday news revolves around the match from the day before and Darren Bent leaving.
The ladies fixture against the Baggies was called off.
Monday, 26th November
With barely any time to breathe, attentions turn to the Reading game tomorrow, and all the usual pre-match balderdash.
Still, it is safe to say we need a win tomorrow...
Tuesday, 27th November
...and we got it. Bad game, poor performance, but all forgotten. We won, we needed to win, sorted.
Are there complaints? Of course. We don't keep the ball well enough, we don't make the most of our chances and some individual moments left me gobsmacked. Typical example would be Barry Bannan giving an excuse of 'there was nothing on' when cheaply giving the ball away in the middle of the park that honestly, I would get annoyed at if I was watching a 12 year old play. Other examples were numerous occasions of Weimann giving the ball away or taking the wrong option (I have seen Gabby called a headless chicken on many occasions but Weimann is definitely worse) and, while I can forgive it as it was a young team, we certainly started dropping deep and inviting pressure too early and too easily.
That said, are there positives? Again, of course. Benteke is looking better all the time and his goal was a cracker. Another clean sheet was kept. As well as being a good shot-stopper, I have more faith in Brad Guzan than most keepers in recent memory when set-pieces come in. Of course most of all, when we really needed a win, we got it.
Plenty of talk before and after the game is about Darren Bent. I genuinely don't know what to say. I can see why Benteke is ahead of him, but I don't see how we can't be on the bench when fit because we struggle with goals and he is a goal machine. It's difficult, but for the first time I am probably expecting him to leave in January, despite comments from Paul Lambert suggesting that's not going to happen.