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The Week In Villa (25)

Wednesday, 16th January

Not much to talk about today. A video of John Gregory performing Springsteen's 'No Surrender', and dedicating it to Stan Petrov, is shown on the internet; oh and John Carew is now an actor apparently. I think I'd rather talk about that than anything currently going on at the club, as both of those things made me smile.

Thursday, 17th January

Ben Foster says that winning the League Cup relegated Blues and so we should be wary.

No Ben, no it didn't. If that is the level of your intelligence, then just stick to goalkeeping, leave things like speaking in public and giving opinions to others.

Birmingham City got relegated because of poor management(McLeish), poor performances and injuries to key players; in the face of such adversity, they were just not good enough. The League Cup - which they won IN FEBRUARY, when they were out of the relegation zone - was not responsible for them sliding out of the trap door in May, and any suggestion otherwise is beyond idiotic.

Should Aston Villa get relegated this season, it will be down to the increasingly bizarre and worrying decisions made by Paul Lambert (including a lack of transfer action in January), the lack of quality and fight in the majority of the players and the lack of leadership from Randy Lerner and downwards throughout the club. Oh and possibly even more injury problems.

Frankly, anyone thinking that winning the League Cup will get us relegated is, as far as I can see, using it as a fairytale to help them sleep on Tuesday night should things go wrong.

Friday, 18th January

All attention is on the game against the Albion tomorrow. For the first time in my memory, I think it means more to us because of the position we are in. West Bromwich Albion supporters and their ongoing obsession with Aston Villa is sad though. Incredibly sad indeed.

Saturday, 19th January

Just like Swansea a couple of weeks ago, I suppose I can console myself with, 'Well I would have taken a draw to begin with', but frankly, (much like failing to clear your lines in injury time as at Swansea) once you're 2-0 up, not winning the game is a) a bitter pill to swallow; and b) simply not good enough.

We knew they were going to go for it in the second half; we didn't have the character or ability to deal with it. That applies to the manager and coaching staff as well as the player. Cowardly performances all round in the second half, tactically and individually.

The only real plus sides were the very good goals from Benteke and Agbonlahor, who both played well, and the form of N'Zogbia, who looked like that bloke who tore us a new one on a few occasions for Wigan. I have slagged him off often enough so credit where it's due; every time he got the ball it felt like something was going to happen.

Sunday, 20th January

It's a day of 'mixed emotions' about yesterday. It's cold, and I'm going back to bed.

Monday, 21st January

Bradford tomorrow. 'ATTACK' is the plan. The general consensus seems to be that Bradford are favourites to go through still and, as I alluded to last week, I concur with such a sentiment. Tranmere repeat? Not one player in this team would get close to getting in that team. Guzan is a very good goalkeeper, but better than Bosnich or Spink? Benteke may turn out to be better than both but right now, better than Saunders or Atkinson at their best? Or a young Dwight Yorke?

And they are the best we have to offer, so don't even consider comparing Vlaar/Clark to McGrath/Teale; Bennett to Staunton, Bannan/Delph to Richardson/Townsend, and so on.

Nope, this team is nothing like the '94 side. Hell, it's not even as good as that pile of garbage that Dolly had in 05-06.

Tuesday, 20th January

I have little to add that won't already have been said, so I will just bullet point this:

1) Six months is long enough to get defending set-pieces organised.
2) Going with a narrow 4-man front-line and no wide players would be idiotic at schoolgirl level; that is the worst tactical performance I have seen by any Aston Villa manager, and that includes Alex McLeish believing that playing Alan Hutton at right midfield was an acceptable decision.
3) The defence IS better with Ron Vlaar in it but, while he is undoubtedly a likeable character, he's still not actually particularly good. The new Martin Laursen? Do me a favour.
4) I felt physically sick when I saw Stephen Ireland and Barry Bannan were both in the team, and neither did a damn thing to prove me wrong. Not a damn thing.
5) Sadly, on point 4), without KAE or Westwood, we had little choice. Don't worry about it though Lambo, the squad is fine as it is. Sure.
6) We had two games to beat a League Two side, and failed. It wasn't surprising that we failed. That's what's more infuriating, hate-filling, disappointing, and heart-wrenching than the incident itself. Not even slightly surprised at anything that went on.
7) Paul Lambert won't offer to resign nor will he be sacked. In all fairness, I don't have an immediate answer to who should replace him (I have suggestions but there are impracticalities) however, how his position is not under threat is beyond me. I can accept a bad run - I saw them under Big Ron and Brian Little and they both achieved more than any manager since - but we are breaking all sorts of bad records, just like McLeish did. For a year and a half, I have witnessed spineless performances, unjustifiable decisions and a very low standard of football.

At what point is enough actually enough? Because I will tell you right now, Aston Villa is on its knees, and I don't see an answer to solve it. All I see is a continued decline, with us dropping out the league.




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The Journalist

Writer: Sheriff Kimbo Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 23 2013

Time: 8:59PM

Your Comments

Get Lerner out! No new transfers. This team is not good enough. min pay out in tv rights next year 60 million, thats what we will lose from the start. All the other bottom clubs getting ne faces in to fight the drop us nothing. No ambition just sell rich mans play toy. oh well lerner get sit and count all the money he has!
ShaneBlack
Protest at the game mate - if you re lucky enough to go. In a non-fickle way. Thats ultimately where it will count. Roar of the greasepaint and all that. But remember one thing - the 2nd division is not what it used to be (its the "Championship" - what a feeble attempt to relate)
malacaxeta
It is indeed a fact, that Lerner is quite happy for us to be relegated.
Pride of Lions
I'm not just defending Lerner, I actually think he is at fault massively for not controlling O'Neil and for not acting sooner with both Mcleish and Lambert, however everyone blaming Lerner for our lack of spending and poor squad clearly aren't paying attention. Lambert was backed in the summer, he had by his own admission, money left over from the budget. Lerner has publicly stated that money is there for Lambert in this window if he wants it. It is simply the useless excuse for a manager that we have who can't or won't spend it.
AVbornandbred
If Lambert had money left over then where has gone now?
AstonThriller
Astonthriller, its still there mate and he's been offered more he's just too incompetent to spend it.
AVbornandbred
PL saying that we had money left over could mean a fiver or 20 mil. Think that it's closer to the former!!! What would you have done with the money in the summer AV B+B??? You don't like any managers so why don't you enlighten us how it should be done????20 mil doesn't get you much and we're so thin on the ground due to injuries now. YOU need to start paying attention and stop your stubborn hatred for every manager without offering an alternative.
Villan444
Well said Vill444 Lambert entered the mess here where the squad was depleted year in year out for the last three years, and he is expected to make a squad we had last season which was one of the smallest and poor quality into a decent side and bigger??? Is it just me or the 30 odd players we have released in the last 2/3 years has only been replaced my fewer way fewer and less quality so maybe that has something to do with it ay?? LERNER OUT!!!!
clivethevillan
AVbornandbred how do we know it's still there and how do we know he's incompetent to spend it? Lerner may have changed his mind? I haven't seen any press details on any money being available to the manager at all. I'm not saying I'm right, just that it's the first I've heard of any funds being there to spend. As far as I'm aware there's nothing to spend and no new faces are set to join us. That's not down the Paul Lambert. Also for those fans moaning that he's had 23m to spend, while that may be correct, it's peanuts in today's footballing world and no way near enough to improve a squad that was so very tiny when he arrived. Too many have left and not enough has come in due to lack of investment. Lerner find your marbles mate - YOU ARE NOT DOING ENOUGH!!!!!
AstonThriller
I am tempted to take Murphy Of The BBCs report that Dilberts job is "safe" (seems to be the only source of the story) with a Golden Wonder sized bag of salt. Why has Lerner not issued a public statement which I recall happened last year with Mcleech. Alternatively it is true and the guy cannot even communicate directly with his own customers - reads too much Shakespeare perhaps (loves the "intrigue"). As regards how the 2x million was spent - er, could have bought less players. By the time in August that the tally got to about five I had never heard of the misgivings set in. There are four players I would not have bought and would have bought two better ones instead. I am sure thousands of us have already thought that.
malacaxeta
To wit - clubs with "more" money buy a Bennett and a Lowton and then farm them out on loan to test and hopefully improve them. To argue that you cannot buy 2m players and not play them because of financial reasons is not a solid argument for the EPL. Talking of loans - Fonz is Blackpool's 2nd highest scorer this season. I d rather have him as an option on the bench for the rest of the season than Jordan Bowery.
malacaxeta
Yep, good point Malacaxeta. As spurs have done with Walker, Naughton and co. Loaning them out would've been perfect. They could play with an established squad of players. BUT who the ***** is going to play fullbacks for us?????? Definitely not Hutton. Why the ***** do we want fonz on our bench?? In the same way that Bowery would get a 5 minute run, surely it's best for him to be getting a run elsewhere and then he returns to us ready to play or we sell him on to make some money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Villan444
Wont defend Lambert for poor tactics or weird substitutions but as pointed out he walks into a squad containing Dunne,Warnock,Hutton,Delph,Bannan,Ireland,Nzobia,Albrighton,makoun,some have the odd few supporters but in general they have done sweet f.a. for Villa,and how many clubs have shown an interest any of them?. He was then handed 20 mill to replace the 8 players who left in the summer ! You kidding me 20 mill ia peanuts compared to the quality we have lost,yes Lerner must put the books straight but has nobody heard of the word gradual ? And do why did Lambert not add more if money was available as was well put by 444 How much ! Plus my guess and it is a guess is that the incomming players were probably employed on half the wages of the outgoing which would explain Lamberts overpowering interest in a youth policy strange he never bothered with one at his previous clubs ? Its calling towing the chairmans line,and keeping costs to a minimum or as we know it how to guarantee relegation.
Merlin128777
I can net this out to a short summary then - Lambert was brought in to relegate us. As I keep telling myself - Its no good second guessing these people's decisions if they had a flawed objective in the first place. In the old days, even though the clubs were privately owned, there was generally more than one shareholder. The problem with a single owner is that, if they choose to retreat into a John McAfee / Kim Dotcom style alternative reality, there's not a lot you can do about it in the short term. Even if Sheik Kikabolokov shows up with fat sacks of cash, they are still not obliged to sell.
malacaxeta
444 I don't have a hatred for every manager, far from it I though GH was doing a great job and was one of hse arguing for Mcleish to be given a chance. Unlike you however I don't offer blind puppy love to every manager. Lambert had the opportunity to assess our squad in the summer in person. He would also have had access to video footage of every game for the past X seasons and opta stats if he had wanted to look at them. He chose to waste the money he had available and alienate every senior pro at the club. Looking at the team in summer it should have been obvious that we needed strength in midfield and shoring up at the back whilst intilling a style of play that suited the players available. 7m was spent on Benteke and whether people love him or loathe him I would argue that no-one would have claimed a forward was top of our priority list in the summer. The money that was spent on Lowton, Vlaar and Bennett could easilly have been used to bring in 2 or 3 less promising but more immediately able players in their mid 20's on the same wages. I could go on but the point is made. He may not have had loads o spend but he has on the whole wasted what he has been given. It was Lambert himself whosaid that there were funds left over in the summer if he wanted to spend more and as he inferred that he could buy more if he wanted to one has to assume that it was marginally more than 2.50
AVbornandbred
I just realised I put Tuesday, 20th January. Sloppy.
Sheriff Kimbo
I had a lot of time for MON as you know AVB+B as I do with PL but neither Eck nor GH. The former 2 is what I personally want us to be run by. You obviously think nearly completely opposite. Don't know anyone that loathes Benteke?! Bent isnt good enough and needed replacing aswell as being injured at the time. The reason that they've gone young is the current state of Warnock and Dunne who are worthless at their age. We're trying to follow the Arsenal blueprint but Randy is an amateur and PL needs to do most of the work. Who would you want to manage excluding GH and Eck and what would you have spent 20 mil on realistic players that would want to come here and not just for a payday??
Villan444
Ypu dont need to spend loads to get decent players either. You just need decent scouts. Michu is a prime example. Just because we have never heard of certain players doesnt make them crap. The players are out there, you just need to look a bit harder.
GibboVilla
I also like Lambert but I must say I thought McAllister had the team playing some great stuff after GH was taken ill. Id have given him the following season at least to see what he could have done.
GibboVilla
Would agree with you there Gibbo I felt Mcallister did a brilliant job and a lot of fans credited Houllier with the way we played after he was taken ill. Can only wish the guy good health but felt Mcallister was the better part of that double act.
Merlin128777
 

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