Aston Villa - Lambert Heartened By Second Half
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Lambert Heartened By Second Half

Well he would be having watched his entire tactical plan for the game fall apart comically during the first half wouldn't he.

Or maybe he sees our progress has now seen us stop playing well for the first half and falling apart in the second, and he thinks after another 28 odd games we might in fact start performing decently for 90 minutes and not just 45?

That's heartening isn't it.

He told the Official Site.

'We never got going at all in the first half. In the second half? That's the way to play football. The first goal was really disappointing, the second goal sometimes you can't stop them, it's a terrific strike but then it's an uphill battle. Second half I couldn't fault them.'

There's a lot of this not faulting the team lately, and in some ways he is absolutely spot on. Home game, six pointer we play five at the back which hasn't worked for games. We can't play that formation properly. Our wing backs don't get forward, it leaves midfield overrun, and our centre backs aren't organised enough to not get in each others way, track and not leave gaps.

I can't fault them for that. Didn't Brian Clough find out that trying to get a team drilled in one style of football to play a completely different one doesn't work? Don't most managers agree you set your tactics based on the capabilities of the players at your disposal.

Didn't we find out earlier in the season our best formation was a more fluid 442/433 - yes back in those games around Novemberish where we actually looked dangerous some of the time and actually won a game or two?

I'm not even sure...

'The onus is on the home team to get the win and you have to come out of (the maybe?) blocks, especially at home.'

The onus is on the home team, especially at home. I suppose the away team plays with more freedom, especially when away then. Blimey.

'If things don't go your way, people don't want to make mistakes, people want to play the safe pass.'

Oh you mean like the team have been doing since having their soul ripped from them over the festive fixtures? You know, confidence, self belief, something that has not been addressed at all over the last few weeks leading to the very results we have now seen.

Again, just for the fullness...experienced players to help guide, lift, and lead these lads during a bad spell...anyone? There must be somebody out there in football land who wouldn't demand Lescott's wages or cost £15million that could do that Paul. You still have the Dempsey money available, you said you had more left but we'd be fine following the summer, I bet you have more now, fancy using it?

Because there is no way money is not available, so why aren't you using it? Don't want to admit you were wrong in the summer about these players being ready to cope on their own?

Sorry going off tangent.

'We have got to come out of the traps. The last ones where we started were West Brom and Bradford. In those we started pretty decent.'

And pretty much ended Danny Dyer if memory serves, especially bloody Bradford. Really sensible bringing that game up again boss.

Oh, I'm back on track now and remember what the 'I'm not even sure...' lead up was for.

'I thought we were too deep in the first half, we were too deep and too reserved with our passing.'

Not really much of an excuse is it, what do you expect when you have over half the squad tasked with defending. 532 guarantees one thing.

You will spend a lot of time defending when you don't have fullbacks capable of operating as fullsome wingbacks. It leaves the strikers isolated, and the midfield overrun especially with how Newcastle lined up.

Nice you thought we were too deep though and it took you 45 minutes, and two goals against us to change things. Spot on. Apparently Lambert said elsewhere the system wasn't the problem in the first half, curious to change it then and see a positive reaction eh.

I give up.

Rightly he praises Andi Weimann, who he explained has suffered a virus so it was unlikely he could've last 90 minutes, so the decision was taken to just give him 45.

At least that makes sense, and fair play to Andi was what was in 45 minutes, possibly the rival Man of the Match performance after the effort N'Zogbia put in.

Fabian Delph could be back for Everton, and Richard Dunne has suffered a set back in his recovery, but as yet the club don't know how much longer it could keep him out.

Oh, in conclusion...meh.

Less than 48 hours to possibly save our season. Tick tock.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday January 29 2013

Time: 11:35PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Bikini Inspector
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29/01/2013 23:39:00

I thought it was desperate and ugly and we still lost a must win game. But we'll be fine. Clap.
Bikini Inspector
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29/01/2013 23:39:00

I give up too - last one out turn the lights off...
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29/01/2013 23:48:00

It's ok, Bikini, we'll pick ourselves up and go again, give it a right good go. Lol. So reminds me of O'Dreary and the old 'honest bunch of lads' BS we had to endure. I actually quite like Lambert, but he really needs to change the record. And as for Dunne suffering a 'setback'....yeah, he's obviously realised returning now might seriously harm what's left of his career prospects. I hate O'Neill for signing him, really I do.
Report Abuse
29/01/2013 23:49:00

Although re Dunne, it's clearly not his fault we are where we are....
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29/01/2013 23:50:00

3-5-2 i think you'll find ;-)
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29/01/2013 23:52:00

Jeesus - he's still playing 352 / 532?? Bennet and bannan are still getting a game!! we haven't won in 7 league games. Seriously?? at what point does look at it and say to himself.. maybe something needs to change? whats the starting lineup / formation going to be at everton???? can't wait to see that game!?
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30/01/2013 00:09:00

Change of tactics..... we play back to front now. Instead of playing well in the first half then collapsing, it was visa versa.... Roll on whenever, get it over and done with.... this is bloody torture!
Pride of Lions
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30/01/2013 00:15:00

We're all Doomed. Its so sad. There is no way we will avoid the drop now, its been on the cards for last few years and we will drop like a stone and no way back for several seasons. Might make a refreshing change. :) Lets be honest the team as it stands and plays is just not capable of surviving in the Prem and I had high hopes with Lambert at the helm but have been proved wrong.
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30/01/2013 00:16:00

Tilt, did Lowton and Bennett get far enough forward to be counted as midfielders? lol
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30/01/2013 00:33:00

Im starting to absolve Lambert of the problems again.. We found stability with 3-5-2 and it gave us our most emphatic win this year (Liverpool so long ago) and you can understand why he is going with it our MF is poor when we play 442/433 we still rely on the FBs for width... Lambert is getting slated for his tactical ability but when the team goes out and concedes early shattering his plans why are we blaming him 3 CBs and not one can pick up Cisse for the first goal... Then he makes changes and motivates the side to get back and give the effort they should have gave in the first half and he doesnt get even the slightest bit of credit because its all his fault... Thats how I see it anyway should have been backed or sacked we got neither, he's got very little to work with and he's doing his best and his best isnt good enough but what else can he do he's not been afforded the chance to succeed IMO...
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30/01/2013 00:34:00

I agree with CDX.. Lamberts a good manager despite the bad results. We survived with Felix McCleish, but do you remember the football we played? it was terrible. Defend 80 minutes of the game And loft the ball forward to bent and hope he does something. Under Lambert we see attractive footbal, a villa who have the capacity to threaten. Even i agree that bannan and bennett just aren't good enough. Had we of signed that Moussa Sissoko we would have had the points. But sacking Lambert isn't the answer. This is my opinion anyway, i hope that our fortunes change! Come Villa!
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30/01/2013 00:47:00

Pity we couldn't fork out the massive sum of around 3m to get Sissoko, and possibly save ourselves. PL didn't even know if a loan deal could be conjured up. And i'm sick of the "Randy has pumped loads of cash into the club already" argument. Yeh he did, all in one go for MON to waste on *****e, the biggest gamble ever, as if CL qualification was the be all and end all, absolutely no long term financial plan for the club whatsoever, and look where we are now? Doomed. Hopefully something will be learned from the second half tonight, stick with 442 or whatever is was Paul because it's the only chance we have.
Stephen Jay Hawkings
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30/01/2013 02:49:00

If we go down we might start winning football matches. We might finished 1st in a league. We might have another day out at Wembley in the play offs. Whatever happens I think we will have some fun. I'm looking forward to it
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30/01/2013 08:06:00

Do people really think that our players, who get bullied game after game in the Prem, would cope in the more physical Championship. I'm sure the teams there are dreading playing against colossus' like Bennett, Bannan and Clark. This team on the whole plays as if it doesn't have a heart beat. "We didn't get going first half and paid for it". We'll **** a duck! What happened to you lifting the players and going again Paul? Your tactics of a flat back 5 with 2 mids in front of them invited Newcastle on. Craps tactics, no motivational skills and an arrogant continued belief that you know what you are doing. You and Lerner are made for each other.
heavy d
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30/01/2013 08:25:00

Pathetic tactics, truly pathetic, this is a seriously poor manager. :(
The Fear
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30/01/2013 08:34:00

I dunno I have my leeds mate saying give Lambert to them because Warnock is awful... The only one last night that I'm worried about is Bannan - yer man is truely terrible. Yes when we has time on the ball he can 50% of the time do a nice pass - but you don't get time on the ball so it just drifts out of play or goes to the opposition. I personally would give someone like carruthers a go - it can't hurt we can't do any worse!!
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30/01/2013 08:45:00

oh and lads - this was the game plan all season from lerner and co. See if we can survive in prem with a bunch of kids and academy products - if we can't oh well never mind, at least we have a low wage bill for the championship. Lambert probably told lerner it wasn't possible but its being done anyway. Thats why everyone connected with high wages and previous regime is being booted out and not tried. We are going down so you may as well get used to it.
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30/01/2013 08:48:00

I come on here each morning hoping that both Lambert & Learner have given up and gone, but it hasn't happened yet, come on JP some inside info on whats really happening inside Villa Park, no can be happy with whats happening.
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30/01/2013 08:58:00

I can' believe that there are acually still people on here defending Lambert. I've run out of words to describe how bad Lambert actually is. The fact that Lerner can't see it is incredible and is dreadful business management. Wonder what odds I'll get for Villa to do successive relegations because with Lambert in charge its almost a certainty.
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30/01/2013 09:02:00

AV, why can't you believe it? If Houllier and McLeish failed, and everyone saying Lambert has failed, then who's fault is it? I agree that sometimes his tactical choices don't do himself any favours, but some, albeit not a lot of the football we have played this season has been fantastic. I know that we aren't good enough at the moment, but if 3 have tried and failed, I am starting to think it may not be the managers. It is a whole collective issue, owner, players, staff, fans, everyone involved. I don't know why, I am usually one to want the manager to leave, but for some reason I want him to stay, I just simply don't see what good it would do with the players we have got.
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30/01/2013 09:10:00

Lambert must stay. He's better than GH or Eck. He changed the game at half time AND with a bunch of kids with no experience. How the ***** does that make him a bad manager?? Who would do better??
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30/01/2013 09:14:00

We all have our fantasies, some are still hoping that we get a signing or two in before the window closes, even though we've been told by Lambert and Lerner that it won't personal fantasy is that both Lerner and Lambert have a Houllier - but without the happy ending! fingers crossed!
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30/01/2013 09:47:00

I am even going to be fair to Mcloser and say again the playing staff are rubbish we could sell Hutton Dunne Warnock Makoun Bannan Ireland Albrighton Nzobia El Hamadi Bennet Delph and not notice the difference. No manager is going to make a team up with11 passengers in the squad to start with. Yes ok Nzobia has woken up for the last couple of games big deal. Add to that Lowton Westwood Baker needed to be introduced for few games at a time not thrown in as they are not going to adjust to the premiership overnight and the problems glaring. Despite all this we needed a couple of midfielders as nearly every fan can see I am totally mystified why Lambert did not arrange a couple of loans at the start of the window ? His tactics dont supprise me we have no premiership midfielders and 4 reasonably good forwards so stick 5 defenders in and ask the forwards to tackle back win the ball as well as score the goals.
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30/01/2013 11:04:00

calavfc GH didn't fail he began a sensible transformation of the playing style, finished 9th and then had a heartattack. Mcleish was and still is clueless and so Lambert was set very low expectations from the start. Despite the bar being so low he has still managed to fail, his signings are a waste of money, his tactics are worse than scoolboy football and his man management is non existant. As for 444's insistane that he turned the game at half time, that a) forgetting the abysmal first 45 minutes b) forgetting that 2-0 down is the easiest time to play because you've got nothing to lose and c) forgetting that Newcastle this season have a habit of collapsing in the second half of games and even Reading managed to come from behind and beat them recently. Oh and its also forgetting that the reason we have a team full of kids (since when are you still a kid in your twenties???) is because of the brilliant transfer dealings of Lambert who decided to go for younger players rather than slightly more experienced ones.
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30/01/2013 12:44:00

@CDX_EIRE - I'm not one to start arguing and i can understand your point about why 352 would suit our deficiencies in midfield. But i would say that the liverpool result is the most damaging to our season. It has convinced you, PL and numerous others that this is the way forward. Well i'm not going to go into which player suits which formation. but i will say that clearly 352 IS NOT WORKING. NOT EVEN CLOSE. 7 winless PL games. knocked out of both cups - say it all against 1 win against liverpool. And in that game we could easily have been 2 goals down before 20 minutes. For me we were looking more promising playing the flexible 433/442 PL had implemented for the 1st quarter of the season. AT what point do the alarm bells start ringing? after chelsea? spurs? wigan? bradford? southampton??? look at the games leading up to the norwich cup win. Other than the Man city game we were competitive, conceding less and at times fluent. NOW look at the 1st half last night and the 2nd.
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30/01/2013 12:56:00

I'm going to start this off by stating that I was on board with Lambert coming in. With the state of our finances and Lerner's insistence on bringing through youth, i thought he would be the right guy. However, 2 things jump out. firstly, the majority of these players spent time under MON's reign, where 4-4-2 was likely played down to the youngest team to play 11 v 11, or in the lower leagues, where 4-4-2 is the common system. Surely, it makes sense to adopt that approach for the remainder of this campaign??? It has it's flaw's, and coming up against a quality side with a 3 man midfield will likely mean defeat, but it's a basic structure that the players will understand. Secondly, is anyone else sick and tired of hearing about 'fight'?! The players are putting in plenty of fight, that's got a little of something to do with it, the major issue is quality, of which we haven't got enough. If he says it one more time, I'm really considering jumping on the Lambert out bandwagon, a very Sunday League comment
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30/01/2013 13:15:00

AVbornandbred - I agree with you regarding GH. Bannan, Albrighton, Clark, Bent...they haven't looked as good as what they did under Houllier. On top of that, can anyone remember a stronger finish to the season in the last 7/8 years?!
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30/01/2013 13:31:00

444 how about the bad starting lineup (AGAIN) or the horrific tactics, or the terrible signings? Or what about the same old boring nothing talk after the games each and every week that inspires or installs confidence in no one? Or dropping all the senior players to the reserves and killing their confidence of the ones that stayed in the first team? Or playing 3 at the back, time and time again when we clearly haven't got the players for the formation? Is that good management? Does that make Lambert good? I think Randy is the real problem, there's no doubt about that and I don't hate Lambert but so far he's been absolutely crap and made some ridiculous bad decisions on and off the pitch.
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30/01/2013 19:10:00


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