The Week In Villa (21... and 22)
Wednesday, 19th December
We get the draw we want in the League Cup semi-finals as we get Bradford. We're also at home in the second leg, so really, it's just about the perfect draw at this stage. OBVIOUSLY we can't afford to take them lightly but I don't see that happening, if one manager appreciates the quality of lower league it is Lambert!
Thursday, 20th December
Zoggy bigs up Benteke and says he'll look after him. Not sure Benteke needs that kind of looking after myself...
Friday, 21st December
Attentions turn to Chelsea. General gist is, 'Villa playing well but Chelsea gonna win'. We proved everyone wrong at Anfield, let's hope we do it again.
Saturday, 22nd December
Depending on what you read, Darren Bent is either going to Liverpool, going to West Ham, going to Stoke, going to Fulham or staying at Villa. You know, depending on what you read.
Sunday, 23rd December
Paul Lambert finally settles his dispute with Norwich. That is ALL that happened.
Okay. Fine. That was horrible. 8-0 is a ridiculous scoreline and something I just never thought I'd see. Of course, when a team like Chelsea click at the same time we have about half the team under performing, bad things can happen. But 8? That was vile. On the flip side, other than the last goal, Guzan still actually played well!
The biggest plus I take is that since a close defeat to Fulham in mid-October, the only three defeats we have suffered are to the three best teams in the country, and while they have all had horrible things about them, the fact is they are the best.
Monday, 24th December
Reports and jokes rain aplenty about the day before. Depending on where you look, Lambert is either praised or massively condemned for continuing to attack throughout the game.
Oh, and despite leaving it all to the last minute, I get all my Christmas shopping done in one trip, like a boss.
Tuesday, 25th December
Wednesday, 26th December
Once again, Villa and Spurs join together to ruin one of the best days of the year.
Spurs are a good side. In fact I would say, following on from three from the best three comment, our four defeats have now come at the hands of the four best teams in the league.
But we made it so very, very easy for them. Even my post-Liverpool optimism was filtered by 'WE STILL NEED A NEW MIDFIELD!' and that is more apparent than ever. We may have had a McLeish-esque first half but as soon as we opened up, they destroyed us. Not only do we need a new midfield (Westwood aside) but we clearly have issues at the back that need to be fixed by both returning players and new signings.
Hell, we just need new signings everywhere...!
Thursday, 27th December
Brad Guzan leads the rallying cries that these last two games have just been a blip.
In barely-Villa news, Alex McLeish is appointed Forest manager. I am friends with a Forest fan; he was inconsolable.
Friday, 28th December
Paul Lambert talks about all the missing players. There's a lot. But still, we need this football match. We really, really need a win here.
In more barely-Villa but very very sad news, Vaclav Drobny, who was on loan during the 2004-2005 season, sadly passed away in a sledding accident earlier today. He was 32, which is just no age to die. RIP.
Saturday, 29th December
We get hammered again. This time, it's not one of the best teams in the country. It's Wigan. Sure, they play some nice stuff and are not bad to watch at all, however, they should not be destroying us the way they did. Once again, we made it so very, very easy for them.
It was horrible, and for the first time this season I am asking some big questions about some people at the club. I just hope that, with January only two days away, it won't be long before we get some reinforcements in.
Sunday, 30th December
Lots of doom and gloom articles today. Not really in the mood to read them, I am already in that mode anyway.
Monday, 31st December
2012 has been rotten. See ya.
Tuesday, 1st January
2013 didn't start great! Thankfully Swansea were wasteful with their chances and only managed the one goal in the opening half an hour, where really they could and probably should have been about 4-0 up.
Pleasingly, we managed to slowly work our way back in, through a combination of good goalkeeping from Guzan, a bit of a calming influence from Westwood and a fantastic goal worked well by Benteke and Weimann, who I thought both played well in the second half.
Once we took the lead with a few minutes to go, it was a nervous time and sadly, our fears were realised when they banged in a goal in injury time.
Still, I would have taken that point before kick off and after the first half an hour I would have been delighted with a draw, so, you know, every cloud. It was amazing really that in the end we were disappointed with the draw, but after the last three games, it is difficult to not search for anything positive!
Probably the worst thing about is the injury to Westwood. Having seen a few replays I am of the belief that there was nothing accidental about what Michu did.
But now is the time to get some business going. We have two cup games we will be expected to win, and so we should. Bradford away in particular will not be easy, they will make it as intimidating as they possibly can, especially with our young side. But we should be able to see it through as long as we don't do anything stupid; which could easily happen, obviously!
Our next league match after that is at home to Southampton, a must win game. Following on from that we have a derby at the Albion, who have become almost as obsessed with us as the Blues are (applause on the 8 minutes, really? How to make yourself look like a bitter, small-time, tinpot club in 60 easy seconds) and that will be a battle that we have to be up for.
I can't emphasise enough how much I want some quality, experienced additions in for those two games.
I hope you all had a great Christmas and I wish you all the very best for 2013.