Aston Villa - Villa Fan Wants Answers On The Clubs Direction
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Villa Fan Wants Answers On The Clubs Direction

Can someone, I don't care who, give us a straight answer about the clubs direction please!

I have never written an article so please bear with me (I'm young/inexperienced but will improve lol!) But hope this is published! {indeed it will... JF!}

Having had a couple of hours now to kick the dog (joke), calm down, grab a beer and reflect on the Christmas fixtures I have been able to look at Lambert's post match interview on Sky and the events of todays shambles vs Wigan.

He said 'It was a terrible start. We had 25mins towards the end of the half when we improved. If we didn't know we were in a battle we do now. Their 2nd goal was conceded from a throw in and that is really, really poor'.

No arguments from me Paul. But is playing well for only 25mins in any game acceptable? Haven't we been conceding poor goals all season without these errors being addressed in training?

When questioned about what he needed to do before the Swansea game, he said 'We need to lift the players'. Really Paul? You did such a good job of that after the Chelsea and Spurs games. He was also asked, following these last three drubbings, if investment in January is a priority. 'No. We need to digest what has happened. What I have said to the players will remain private. I am the Manager so it's my responsibility'.

He was also quoted on WM as saying he still believes in the youth and will continue to back them. So are these same players and same tactics which have been so poor suddenly going to produce a 5 match winning streak??? It is not up for argument that the last 3 games, both performances and results, are NOT acceptable. The squad that has been assembled is light in numbers and quality.

Does Lambert truly believe that reinforcements are not needed to supplement the squad?

Does he really think that the absence through injury of players he largely wasn't picking when they were fit (Bent - frozen out, N,Zogbia - bench warmer, Dunne - out all season and likely to have received the Warnock/Hutton treatment otherwise, Vlaar - admittedly would have played) is to blame for these results?

Or is he simply spinning club approved PR to cover for the fact that he doesn't have the money to make the necessary improvements. Either way that means he is less of a man than many of us thought as that means he.....

1) Doesn't know what he is doing, or 2) Is just another Lerner lacky who is saying what he is told and waiting for a fat payoff when he is scapegoated out of the club.

The secrecy and propaganda at the club is such that I doubt whether any comments made by management, players or board (although these are few and far between) are genuine. In general the silence from the upper echelons at the club is deafening.

Can someone please tell us what is happening. Is there a strategy and, if so, is relegation seen as an acceptable part of that strategy? Can someone there please let us know that this is not acceptable, swallow their pride, admit that that that they have made mistakes and assure us that action WILL be taken? Is that too much to ask?

P.S. No dogs were harmed in the writing of this post UP THE VILLA

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The Journalist

Writer: heavy d Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday December 30 2012

Time: 2:34PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
He can`t really come out and say, "The players aren`t good enough and i`m desperate for new signings" ,though.
NI Villan
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30/12/2012 14:52:00

He could do something different to saying "We'll be fine" though. How does the worst festive period in the clubs history warrant that comment? And who bought the players??? The excuse being wheeled out now about injuries, when he had ostracised most from the starting 11, also doesn't ring true. When he was appointed it was reported he had a steely determination and didn't suffer fools glady. Now he looks like a deer in the headclights who will parrott the same "We'll be fine" comments regardless of how bad a performance or result is. If this policy is being forced on him from above then he appears to be sitting on his hands knowing he will be paid off regardless of what happens to the club. That makes him less of a man in my book - Keep quiet and wait to be paid off? I am not putting it all on Lambert though as the lack of leadership from above is the main cause of our worries.
heavy d
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30/12/2012 15:04:00

Fans call for wholesale chsange -but look at the team, that is what we already have got. We have had similar results points-wise throughout 2012, but at least the much praised but also now much questioned young side hold out a prospect of improvement. We were going nowhere before PL came. Now the medicine is being applied, and it is a make or break season. No one gets all their decisions right, and it takes time to find out about your players. PL now knows what he faces. By and large his signings have been very good. He will address things. He will make limited but very necessary chages which will secure a way forward and retain our PL status, with a platform to move forward. Come the end of the season, then further clarity about how Villa will address their future in an increasingly bonkers money oriented Premier League would be welcome, but for now it will not help the club to open up an off the pitch debate, when all the focus should be on it. What we must do now is all pull together. I remain of the view we are in a far better place now than 12 months ago, and we must ride this one out, and trust PL who WILL deliver. Up the Villa!
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30/12/2012 15:20:00

I believe he expected more from the experienced pro`s already at the club. If even half of warnock, delph, ireland, n`zog, gabby etc had produced to their capabilities the younger players wouldn`t have needed to be thrown in at the deep end together. He`s had half a season now to evaluate the squad. Just because he`s not saying it in public doesn`t mean he can`t see where improvements are needed. I feel it`s a case of our experienced "pro`s" letting us down like they have done for years.
NI Villan
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30/12/2012 15:23:00

Stenny, totally agree.
NI Villan
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30/12/2012 15:25:00

I still think he is the right man, But Lambert spent nearly 30m on mostly crap, sorry it has to be said. He has got it wrong.
bikini inspector
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30/12/2012 15:39:00

30m?....... he's spent, but not that much bikini. But I've been saying on and off for months and months about the silent puppet master(s) upstairs..... Time for Lerner and stooge to go!!!!!!!
Pride of Lions
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30/12/2012 15:55:00

just been watching the "live match" on Bedknobs and Broomsticks and am now convinced we need Crocodile, Rhino and Hyena to replace our inadequate midfield in the January window............fingers crossed PL was watching?
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30/12/2012 16:01:00

Sorry 20 odd million on crap lol.
bikini inspector
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30/12/2012 16:04:00

I believe our direction is quoted in a Status Quo song " Down Down Deeper & Down "
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30/12/2012 16:07:00

Genius griffgriff!!! LOL
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30/12/2012 16:35:00

Agreed Stenny/NI Villan... PL is in the unfortunate position of being the face of the problems from the last three games... However these problems are not entirely his fault playing 352 against Chelsea and Spurs was his mistake but it made sense Vs. Wigan... We can say rotate the squad but he doesnt have many options and any rotation involves even younger and more inexperienced players or some players who dont contribute... I believe we need more pace, power and creativity in the team and I would imagine PL knows we need creativity at least... We could also do with someone who can take FKs and Corners... Considering the players that we prob want rid of we need around 8 or 9 players but I can only see about 3 or 4 coming in in Jan... Before we had our GOOD run when we were playing bad I said we just need to survive til Jan and stay out of the bottom three coming into the new year... I think we have just enough to survive but only if we bring in some players... What we have to remember is we managed to survive when ECK in charge and he had no direction or tactics just negativity... In PL we have a managed who has at the very least some form or a plan and tactics so I think considering all things we will retain our EPL status... RL may not be providing us with any sort of direction but I think he may be looking to sell the club and if thats the case losing EPL status will see our value plummet and he will lose a lot of money so all in all he almost has to back PL... If he is trying to sell he needs to back him to keep the clubs value or if he actually does love the club then of course he will back him or at least should back him with funds...
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30/12/2012 16:42:00

Thanks Villan, but can't take credit for replacing "lame ducks" with cartoon animals - think it was Disney? lol
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30/12/2012 16:43:00

He's already said he's earmarked signings...what he isn't doing is cowtowing to the press and giving everyone a heads up on what we need and thereby inflating their valuation. Also, what do we want, for Lambert to say: "YES WE NEED BLOKES, NOT KIDS, KIDS ARE RUBBISH"? He has to tread very lightly as to not undermine clearly fragile confidence in the new young lower league players that have been bought in...keep calm.
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30/12/2012 16:52:00

Agree with Stenny too. Well said. If only Bent was playing, we wouldn't be in this mess.
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30/12/2012 16:57:00

CDX agree with everything you`ve just written. January is a big month.
NI Villan
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30/12/2012 16:59:00

Yeah good point koolbill, forgot that having Bent in the team guarantees you a hat-trick every week. He doesn't even need to touch the ball or get on the pitch, it's just a 3 goal handicap for the opposition by putting his name on the teamsheet. FACT.
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30/12/2012 17:07:00

Two questions related to Villa's recent performances: 1) can anyone point me to a link that compares the total wage bills between PL teams so we can see how Villa truly compares? 2) does anyone think Benteke - in playing almost every minute recently - might be getting a bit worn down (though I can't think of a better option even if tired). Thanks.
Virginia Villan
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30/12/2012 18:21:00

When he was questioned about the wisdom in signing so many untried players from lower leagues before the last window closed, he said they had potential but ultimately had no qualms about starting them straight away as they had the ability. Now he says injuries to players, who incidentally he wasn't picking when fit, are forcing him to play players that he rather wouldn't??? It's these contradictory messages that have me questioning the current situation at Villa. The players who are being humiliated are a mix of Lambert signings (Bennett, Lowton, El Ahmadi, Westwood) and players who had largely proved not to be good enough the previous 2/3 seasons (Delph, Bannon, Albrighton, Herd, Lichaj, and more recently Clark - who has gone backwards with there being no leadership anywhere in the squad). Holman was a typical Eck signing (good engine, no quality - as I said at the time having watched a lot of Dutch football). We lack a strong spine to our team yet players like N'Zonzi were available for less than Lowton cost? Nothing coming out of Villa Park, either from the manager or the 'vow of silence' board, fills me with any confidence. If a business was failing in any other industry those at the top would be on the case, micro-managing and getting their hands dirty. Randy's input appears to be a conference call once a week and only turning up halfway through the season after some humiliating defeats. He may try and throw some 'panic buy' money at it in the next few weeks. Too little to late. Issues with the squad need to be addressed in pre-season to make sure that the risk of paying inflated prices in January is reduced. This has not been done for the last 3 seasons and we continue to go backwards.
heavy d
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30/12/2012 19:36:00

Another question. When you think about the way some fans views are questioned if they don't attend every game, why is Randy given a free pass by many for taking until this week to turn up and watch a game? He says he is committed but his actions say otherwise. It appears his only committment is financial. And if he only got in to football to make money he clearly didn't do his research did he. He has had his hand on the tiller for over 7 years now and we have gone backwards. Parallels with the Cleveland Browns are alarming - High turn over of coaching staff (and massive amounts of money wasted on severance fees) and an apparent lack of consistency in appointments (each coaches style differing from the next and no obvious philosophy), best players traded out, cost cutting across the board, performance on the field getting worse, fan dissatisfaction, and an apparent lack of enthusiasm and silence from the man himself! There may be no relegation in the NFL but there IS in the Premiership. Maybe someone should tell him?:??
heavy d
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30/12/2012 19:52:00

V444, I CANNOT believe you fell for my ruse!!! That's brightened my day no end. Seriously though, we have improved in many ways by having a team with skilfull hardworking working strikesr in Tekkers and Weimann.
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30/12/2012 20:14:00

Gawd heavy d... it is so gloomy reading your posts but..... can't argue against much (if not all) of what you say. In luck we trust.
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30/12/2012 20:15:00

Normally I am a happy go luck guy.
heavy d
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30/12/2012 20:24:00

lol, you're not the only one going on about getting Bent back in koolbill and I can't believe that some are still going on about it. At least you've seen the light now though mate. I told you that I was right and now you agree. I accept your apology aswell. It takes a big man to apologise and well done for backing down and realising how foolish/deluded you were. Any more questions about football or life in general, feel free to ask and I'lll point you in the right direction. ;-D
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30/12/2012 20:36:00

I personally feel that in addition to Crocodile, Rhino and Hyena we also need to sign Billy "The Fish" Thompson, Brown Fox and Shakin' Stevens from Fulchester United. They would sort us out :-) I have sympathy for Lambert but he doesn't appear to know how to manage this current situation. Closing you eyes, crossing your finger and hoping for the best isn't working. As soon as I saw the same formation was stubbornly being used yesterday I knew what would happen. Where is this man-management and tactical flexibility we have heard about? He says he lives and dies by his decisions and 4 league wins in 20 speaks for itself. If he isn't being backed he isn't a puppet and can speak his mind. "We'll be fine" doesn't cut it!!! If Faulkner survives beyond the end of this season it will speak volumes about what Lerner thinks of Villa, whether we survive or not!
heavy d
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30/12/2012 20:43:00

It's a mix D, what he actually said in the original interview was that he hadn't been able to rotate players as much as he would've liked because of the injuries. ie he still prefers the team he has mostly picked in games, but especially during the Xmas rush he was going to play the likes of Bent, Charlie boy etc in certain games, to rest up the youngsters to protect them from a bit of burnout. That's what he hasn't been able to do, and when he has done it, eg brought KEA in or Delph, for the most part their individual performances have helped cost us.

As was said, he's already commented he has his targets for the window and whilst he did say he'd continue in his belief of young hungry players, he also didn't rule out experienced players (it was mainly the Keane question at the point) he just stated that experienced players would, like the youngsters with potential, have to fit into the squad, what he was trying to achieve and basically reading between the lines not come in as a billy big dollocks, but be as prepared to come off the pitch bleeding and sweating for the opposed to standing up field, shaking their heads with their hands on their hips.

But I agree, as it all gets reported, cropped and twisted to suit the articles outlook, it does look contradictory. Also don't forget Lambert said he still had money available in the summer aswell. And he doesn't strike me as somebody who would toe a line because at the end of the day it's his career, and if we won't give him what he wants to progress and grow his own CV he'll be off, so I don't buy into the conspiracies or the thoughts he's been told one thing, and the board have done the opposite.

You're also assuming the owner should say something, it's Lambert's job in all areas. I agree I'd like to hear more from Randy directly, but silence doesn't equal rudderless, because if he spoke now whatever he said, the papers would be full of 'vote of confidence' and you know full well that's exactly how many fans would take it, and it would just whip up another hysteria from nothing. Also Randy is often over during the week, it's family commitments that now bugger the weekend. The belief there isn't interaction is wrong, but the question can be asked is it enough?

I also think Lowton and Westwood have developed nicely. Problem is, like all players of that ilk, when they have a mare it's really a mare, but for the most part I've been impressed with them. Same as writing off some of our Academy lads who were growing nicely into themselves. Not all will make it, ask 20 fans and you'll get 20 different answers, but this is where the lack of experience has cost us now. Maybe some burnout, not enough rotation added to Lambert's own errors, if we invest sensibly in experience, 2-4 players for key positions, get the belief back that has been knocked out of them against Chelsea, and we do have the potential for a very good core that can be built on in the summer. But the balance needs to be far better than it has been so far.

One thing to be said is if Lambert held off signing some experience because he expected our seniors to step up, that shouldn't be a mistake he repeats now. He surely has his answer.

The last 3 results have put a very down perspective on what was a slowly improving squad, the big picture is there for all to see. These lads can compete and will only get better - it's not the end of the world - but Lambert in January needs to supplement the squad with experience to help tide them through low moments, help them be more savvy on the pitch and provide them with some direction. The plan is right and will reap rewards, but January needs the tweaks to make sure. Because if nothing is done to give these lads the belief back, we are in trouble.

Good article aswell, look forward to reading a few more.
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30/12/2012 20:59:00

The last few games were awful. Changes are needed no question about that. BUT I really am getting sick of this. After the Liverpool game there was not a hint of an anti Lambert movement now lots of people are calling for his head. I am not saying Heavy D is calling for his head, but lets try to take this in perspective. When Lambert said he is keeping faith with youth, well what is he meant to say? That they are all crap and dont deserve to be at Villa?? That would be awful management, he needs to try and get their confidence up again I believe he knows a bit more experience and steel in midfield is needed. Just dont assume Lambert is brainless or a coward. Because he will not shout from the roof tops what players he is signing. If he came out and gave the impression he had a fortune to spend the price of every player we bid for would double. I think there is some money there for January (not a lot but enough for one or two players if we spend wisely).
Tallaght Villan
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30/12/2012 21:00:00

Cheers mike_field! We are all in the dark and hope for the best! Tallaght Villain - I hate to keep drawing comparisons with other clubs, but how many times does Alex Ferguson ball his players out when they aren't performing? He has specifically highlighted mistakes from younger players in the past and said if they don't improve they will not be at the club long. I am not saying he necessarily has to go this far. I do not have a problem with him saying that he believes in the youth, but the fact that he doesn't even highlight that a lot of the goals conceded in the last 3 games have come from Villa mistakes - both individual and collective. Criticism can yield improvements from players as it stops them from resting on their laurels. He was also asked a direct question about whether some experience was needed to supplement the squad? He said he didn't think so as we will be fine. There is a difference between shielding the players and coddling them. Having said that we could well beat Swansea :-) But positive results have been the exception to the rule this season and that is what is worrying
heavy d
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30/12/2012 22:04:00

Wasn't it about this time last year we were screaming out for the manager to ditch the experienced players and play the kids? Now we want the manager to ditch the kids and play experienced players!
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30/12/2012 23:28:00

This time last year we wanted kids played because senior players were picked out of position - i.e Hutton and Warnock as wingers with Heskey in midfield against Spurs. There is nothing wrong with playing young players, but some experience is needed to supplement them. The buying policy in the summer was flawed (skewed towards penny pinching and youth) and that is why we are where we are. This needs addressing. The experienced players at the club have shown they either don't care or have the stomach for what is required, and failing to bring any new experienced players in before Sept 1st has meant these potentially good, young players have been thrown to the lions. We were told that Lambert was flexible and multi-facetted, but his recruitment policy seemed one dimensional bordering on stubborn. Both he and the board have 5 weeks to do what is necessary or the worst may happen. Let's all hope they do! UTV
heavy d
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30/12/2012 23:54:00

Thing is we were also playing the youngsters out of position which despite them getting game time has hampered them now they are playing in their rightful positions. What we lack is the balance, and 2-4 experienced heads (they don't have to start every game, being on the bench to bring on would be an improvement) would provide us with that balance for off days. Again I still think to a degree Lambert wanted to meet, assess our seniors...but he should be under no illusions now when it comes to finding seniors who give a toss for the most part.
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31/12/2012 00:55:00

Mike, as usual, sensible and intelligent. I entirely agree. 444, who'd have thunk it? We can actually joke now about Bent. I'd give anything for goals though now...whoever scores them. UTV.
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31/12/2012 01:56:00

I agree with Mike about the senior assessment on paper some of those names look favourable PL probably thought (because I also felt this way) that previous managers were simply not affording them the right type of motivation/management or playing to their strengths... I would have done the same thing theres a few senior guys Id have ditched straight away but Bent, Gabby, Ireland, Nzog & Makoun are a few names I would give a fair chance and clean slate... PL has afforded Ireland every opportunity to show he can cut it for Villa but he is too inconsistent... I believe Heavy D is having a big overreaction to things it seems you are questioning his flexibility and tactical ability based around the last three games... I do admit I think he got it wrong against Chelsea but changing things after a 3-1 win at Anfield would crush those youngsters even at 3-0 down at the Bridge I thought we could get something he should have changed things when it hit 4.... He got it massively wrong Vs. Spurs given their ability outwide... There was nothing wrong with his intentions Vs. Wigan that was the players (and crowd pressure) I suppose you could say he failed to motivate them but falling to an early goal is what killed us there... PL has played a variety of systems this season and used everyone in the squad at some point to find a formula for winning he managed to get it with the 433 and then 352... However the injuries have reduced his ability to rotate and it seems to me the players are also suffering from too much game time... Now confidence is shook and we have to play another team stronger than ours... I would say PL is looking to go back to basics and keep things solid at Swansea we need to get another point on the board then get some faces in at start of January so we can start to get this thing back on track... If a stubborn recruitment policy is building for the future rather than taking short term gambles then PL is guilty as charged... Theres an obsession with EPL experience that I just dont understand experience doesnt compensate for ability like Id rather have a quality player with no EPL xp than a player of almost the same quality with 150 EPL games to his name... Vlaar did have a rocky first 4 or 5 games but all you can do is trust PLs judgement because so far El Ahmadi for me is the only questionable signing we have made...
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31/12/2012 02:09:00

Also Il be backing PL all the way to the Blue Square Premier if i have to ;)
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31/12/2012 02:10:00

I don't disagree Heavy D and Mike - I was just pointing out the irony at how far we've swung. Perhaps the likes of Dunne, Warnock and (dare I say) Hutton could do a much needed job for us at the moment!
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31/12/2012 02:55:00

Why do you keep asking for a statement from the owner as to the direction Villa are going. It couldnt be any clearer. Money is not going to be thrown at the problem. Villa will only buy young players with potential to succeed (and then be sold on for a profit). Why cant you accept this when it is obviously the way forward. Throwing money at the players is not sustainable. Even a five year old can grasp that fact. No matter how much cash you throw at it. Man City can throw more, so as soon as they come for our players they will go. Therefore we have to buy them young and cheap and sell for as much as we can get. If we get relegated, and I dont believe we will, not for a second, it will make no difference to the club policy of living within our means. If you dont like it I suggest you go and support Man City. They will buy as many players as you could want.
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31/12/2012 07:58:00

I don't want to get into a slanging match. We all want us to do well. But please let me clarify. I am not saying we should go on a splurge like Man City. I am saying we need to supplement the squad like Mike Field says - 2 or 3 more experienced players who can galvanise us. When Lambert was asked a direct question if he felt some more experienced heads, not necessarily EPL but some players who have a few hundred games behind them, may be needed to help guide the youngsters through after their confidence has been destroyed he said NO. If you check the papers today Holman says that a few more experienced heads may have been able to help minimise the damage that has been done over the last 3 games. Just having someone on the pitch to tell them to keep solid for a few minutes if we do concede a goal may not have changed the results, but it may well have reduced the damage to our goal difference and confidence. If you look at the 3 defeats, goals were scored against us in quick succession as both head and concentration dropped.
heavy d
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31/12/2012 09:27:00

lol, well played Koolbill, I did wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Fear
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31/12/2012 09:54:00

Cheers Fear, couldn't resist, plus, it needed an injection of humour as we're all so blinking down and depressed. Happy New Year geezer.
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31/12/2012 12:39:00

When is Bent due to be fit - anyone know?
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31/12/2012 14:17:00

Luv the hypocrisy on this site. 444, you are absolved. You say what you mean and mean what you say. Rightly or wrongly. Lots of other posters here who were slaughtering you for not rating Bent suddenly don't rate him either. Despite the fact that Benteke, Weimann or anybody else hasn't managed to find the back of the net in three games. Bent might of found it had he played. I don't rate Bent as a serious modern striker either. As 444 has argued he is basically a goal hanger who gets tap ins. However tap-ins -- any kind of goal -- is what Villa need right now. The club is fighting for its EPL life. If you're going to slag off Bent then slag off Lambert too. If you think Villa are going to go from the Eck Stone Age to Barca style tiki-taki footie in a season or two dream on. Journeymen like Bent are intermediate players to help get Villa where we want the club to go. He has EPL experience and had he played recently Villa's GD might not be so diabolical. If Lerner, Faulkner and Lambo are so fantastic why don't they sign an experienced midfield enforcer like Gattuso for instance? He's currently playing in Switzerland, ffs. As I said 444, fair play to you. You've been consistent about Bent for ages even though I disagree with you about saome aspects of his role at Villa. Many of the rest of you......I hear the thud of bandwagons being jumped on. Pathetic.
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31/12/2012 14:54:00

Experienced players are either too expensive (wages) or too self important to come to Villa unless it's for one last payday. They will not be committed to our cause and consequently wont care if relegation visits B6 as they will simply move on. The only players Lambert wants are young hungry unproven players who want to grab their chance. It's a long term view. Dunne, Warnock, Hutton, Bent, Ireland, Heskey, etc were all experienced players and they have all contributed nothing to the cause. The future is with the inexperienced current squad. We have to sit tight and support. Two wins from the next two games (unlikely, I know) will make the whole thing look rosy again. Come on Villa. Happy New Year.
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31/12/2012 18:07:00


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