Writer: Mike Field
Date:Monday December 31 2012
Now this is the proverbial bananaskin following the Wigan disappointment. Would I be surprised to see our Swansea colleague on Vital confident of all three points?
With thanks to KevinE from Vital Swansea.
1) What are you now expecting from the season following your start?
A solid mid-table finish just like last season. Given our strong start, there's no reason why we cannot go one better than last year's 11th place and finish 10th.
2) What are the highlights and lowlights from the season so far?
The highlights would have to be seeing us being a far more attacking team compared to last season. Having a superb top goalscorer in Michu and progressing through to the Semi-Final of the League Cup are just a few.
I'd have to be picky to talk about lowlights as there haven't been many at all. The poor spell after the first three games was disappointing but we've recovered again since, so choosing lowlights is difficult for us.
3) What are your hopes for the January window?
A quality and proven striker. It's what we need as Luke Moore and Itay Shechter are definitely not the answer, some fans would say even Danny Graham isn't, but he's worth keeping until the Summer at least. There is a great need to take the pressure off Michu to get our goals and we need a quality striker to compliment him in the attacking midfield role.
4) Who has turned out to be your signing of the summer?
Easiest question to answer, our £2m bargain of the decade - Michu!
5) Who is going to be your main dangerman when we play?
Michu, but he may still be out with the ankle injury he picked up at
Reading. If he is out, then hopefully Pablo Hernandez can improve from his return at Fulham to show his true ability that he showed before his injury. Also Routledge and Dyer play a big role in our attacking game.
6) What are your weaknesses, any clues for the game will be appreciated :-)
Paul Lambert will know how to effectively beat Swansea City, even on our own soil, having experienced it twice last season with Norwich City, but whether he can get his Villa side to do that is another matter. We like to play out from the back and if teams are ambitious are push high up the pitch and put pressure on our defence, then you can catch us out and punish us by winning the ball high up the pitch.
7) Will you have anyone out who would otherwise play?
Michu is a doubt you'll be glad to know while Neil Taylor is out for the season. Chico Flores missed the Fulham win but hopefully he'll be back on Tuesday.
Now with a slightly more Claret and Blue angle...
8) Have Villa performed how you expected in the first half of the season, and do you see us improving or really suffering a relegation battle?
It is a surprise to see you leaking so many goals in recent games. Lambert got his Norwich City side very well organised last season and hard to beat, but he hasn't been able to do the same at Villa. It can take time for a new manager and he also had the mess to sort out that McLeish left behind, but I did think he'd get you out of a relegation fight and in or around 13/14th place. I can't see you improving to be honest, and with the way you're playing at the moment you'll do well to avoid relegation. You must be glad QPR and Reading are almost certs for the drop.
9) Do you have any thoughts on Paul Lambert?
I think Paul Lambert has a similar status with Norwich City fans as
Brendan Rodgers has with us. Both arguably wrong to leave their respective clubs, as they're hardly experiencing success with Villa and Liverpool. Lambert has proved he is a good manager with the excellent job at Norwich, but he's been overconfident in his ability to bring in young players and use them effectively. It hasn't worked at all, and unless he brings in more experience in the New Year you'll continue to struggle.
10) What have you made of our youth promotions last/this season, anybody caught the eye for you now we are halfway through?
Benteke has looked a class act, particularly in the 3-1 win at Liverpool, and there's reports that Spurs are targetting him.
11) Who has stood out most from our summer signings for you?
It would have to be Benteke again.
12) If you could take one of our players, who would it be and why?
13) Who do you see as our main threat in the game?
14) Where would you say our current weaknesses are in terms of how you will approach the match?
Complete lack of defensive organisation and playing as individuals. 15
goals in 3 games is incredible and we would have to have a serious off day not to get 2 or 3 goals and win the game. Wigan are also struggling at the bottom and it was a massive blow for you to lose that one at home, that could prove costly come May.
15) Finally, a prediction please kind person...
The Swans scored 3 against Norwich City, it could have been 4 and I see us doing the same on New Year's Day. Because we're vulnerable from set pieces, I see Villa getting a goal in a good 3-1 win for Swansea City.
Swansea Forum Thread.
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Date:Monday December 31 2012
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