The Week In Villa (18)
Wednesday, 28th November
All talk today is, once again, of Darren Bent and him being angry/not being angry/leaving/not leaving/should be playing/shouldn't be playing.
Blah, blah... Blah.
Thursday, 29th November
Apparently Harry Redknapp would be interested in buying Darren Bent. How do we know? Well, because as usual, Harry is talking about it. Not directly saying he wants to sign him, just that he likes the player, that kind of things. You know, 'playing the system'.
Friday, 30th November
On the subject of Redknapp, we're playing QPR tomorrow and today, you can tell that the media see us as lambs to the Loftus Road slaughterhouse!
Back to Bent, and apparently Martin Jol would like him too.
Saturday, 1st December
Whilst a win would have been better, I would still like to say: in your face, media! It was an awful, awful game. Great goal from Holman, but we were poor overall. QPR were too, hence why it was an awful game. They were a bit better than us but they would be expected to be going gung ho, and in the big scheme of things I was never too worried on that front.
The truth is that we lack badly in midfield. At one point we had Westwood, El Ahmadi and Delph on the pitch at the same time. What is the point? It's the same as when Ireland plays. We keep the ball okay but we do nothing with it and in the end, we just invite pressure on ourselves. It's a sad indictment of Aston Villa at the moment that Barry Bannan isn't good enough to be playing week in week out yet I don't see how he can't be doing that, given our current options in that area. I for one would like to see that area overhauled as soon as possible (next month would be wonderful!) with ideally:
1) A partner for Ashley Westwood in the dynamic, tough-tackling (as tough as one can be in the modern game anyway), box-to-box midfielder mould; someone who is competent on the ball, will do his defensive duties but can also bomb on and help the forwards - Delph is NOT the answer.
2) A creative spark. It doesn't have to be a complete footballing genius, just someone with drive, who can spot a pass and will work hard to keep us going whilst providing something we currently lack in the final third - Ireland is NOT the answer.
3) A wide-man. Sure, if Lambert doesn't just want traditional wingers then so be it, our current system demands more of an 'inside-right' than a winger anyway, but clearly neither Weimann nor Holman have looked like any sort of long-term solution there. Again, with Lambert it needs to be someone that works hard, but we also need someone that can provide crosses, take on defenders and generally give the opposition something to worry about - N'Zogbia is NOT the answer.
So, you know; Ian Taylor, James Milner and Ashley Young...
Now as we have more chance of getting Ian Taylor out of retirement than we do re-signing Milner or Young, they are not my actual suggestions but then I wouldn't have suggested Benteke, Westwood or Lowton either and I love all of them! They were also all needed however, and hopefully Lambert sees what is needed further. I know it's not going to be easy and I know January is unlikely, but while people can go on about our defence or whether or not Darren Bent should be involved, the simple fact - and while football is all about opinions, I will go on record as stating this as to what I believe is FACT! - is that if we improve our woeful midfield accordingly, we will see improvements at both ends of the pitch.
Oh and Darren Bent was on the bench but didn't come on; can`t see the papers mentioning that tomorrow, no sir.
Sidebar - I actually would have brought him on rather than KAE (who basically does the same job as Westwood) and given QPR something to think about as opposed to essentially going attack v defence, but then hey, I might have lost us the game. I might have won it for us though, we'll never know! I suppose at this stage just getting that point was good enough, it will have been deemed as one of the worst times to play QPR and we got through it pretty unscathed.
Finally, a quick honorary mention for Derrick Williams for making his début - well done lad.
In non-match day news, Richard Dunne is not going to feature before Christmas. Frankly it's getting to the stage where I think he has played his last game for us. I am sure many will be happy if that is the case. My stance on Dunne has always been the same, on his day he is a very good defender but his days lessened after MON left and he is always prone to ridiculous moments. No better example than last season against Spurs where he was an absolute rock for 99.9% of the match yet one moment of complete and utter idiocy gave away as needless a penalty as I have ever seen, and without that we may well have won the game. In the end the point was enough but if it hadn't been, well, it's unthinkable.
Sunday, 2nd December
Right, I am fed up of talking about Darren Bent so let's look at the other stuff today.
The U-21's won away at Newcastle. Graham Burke, Michael Drennan and Samir Carruthers got the goals. Burke/Drennan are both banging them in at the moment, I am sure that won't go unnoticed at the top. As for Carruthers, I liked the look of him last season and am a bit perplexed as to why he isn't involved, although that daft Twitter incident at the start of the season probably hasn't helped and I can't imagine someone like Lambert taking too kindly to that. Bygones have to be treated as bygones at some point though surely?
Once again the poor ladies had their game called off, this time for a frozen pitch.
We draw Ipswich at home in the FA Cup. No guarantees of course but we have to be pretty pleased with that.
Monday, 3rd December
Apparently Martin Jol has changed his mind on Darren Bent and will not be signing him any time soon. Or he wasn't interested in the first place, I don't know, whatever.
Bent may be off to Liverpool though. Or not. I repeat, whatever.
Oh and Benteke is linked with a move away. Bit flamin' soon isn't it? Blimey.
TV has dictated that our home game against West Ham in February will now be played on Sunday the 9th at 1.30.
Tuesday, 4th December
There really is nothing interesting to talk about today so I would like to end the week by saying happy birthday to two excellent ex-Villa players, Kevin Richardson and Paul McGrath, my lord.
(Of course they are belated birthday wishes by the time this goes out but whatever, don`t be pedantic!)
We'd be better with those two circa 1992 in the team right now, I will tell you that for nothing!