Writer: Mike Field
Date:Thursday May 16 2013
Paul Lambert has dismissed suggestions that we relied on Arsenal to secure our safety, insisting that 'we got the job done.'
Doesn't really put me in my place I'm afraid, we are safe because of the Arsenal result. Get the result against Wigan and we'd be safe irrespective of them, and then the outlook can change on whether we needed a favour from the Londeners.
Anyway, he's praising the lads, so let's get on with that.
Speaking to the Official Site Lambert, and I'll add rightly, focused instead on the 'tremendous form' that the team had played themselves into over the last few results that put our issues of safety squarely back into our own hands, starting from the double over Reading and QPR:
'I think people are getting totally mislead. It's rough on the Aston Villa lads. We have done what we have done, we weren't relying on Wigan getting beaten, we put ourselves in a position where the 40 point mark was reached. People turn round and say 'Arsenal have done us a favour'. That's discrediting our lads for what they have done over the half-year.'
Lambert says that the players should take great credit for how they turned the season around, calling the form of late 'absolutely unbelievable' and adding that in the run in the only teams to beat us were the top four and Liverpool.
He also believes we were unlucky with the decisions against Chelsea which yes, the point in that game would've nullified the Arsenal impact.
'We might have got a result against Chelsea without the decisions. Against Arsenal I thought we were extremely unlucky. I don't care who you were that night against Man Utd, they were on absolute fire. We got caught by a mistake here against Man City. Liverpool won it with a penalty - our form against everyone else has been unbelievably high.'
See this is the problem with the season we've just had, especially when you tag it onto the last few years we've had and whilst I fully appreciate the history books will record one fact, our final league position outside of the relegation places, but we don't need or want a bunch of 'what ifs' as that's as churlish as listing the games we did win that we could've lost.
The players deserve great credit for turning around all of our fortunes, but that doesn't mean we can sugar coat everything either. That said, Lambert isn't wrong in adding:
'We have a young team who are getting better and better and better. We have played Sunderland, QPR, Norwich, Stoke and Reading - five must wins - and they have delivered. That's the biggest thing I would say about them.'
And nobody can take that away from them either.
Continue to grow, continue to build over the summer and let's make the dark points of this season count and mean something, as we move forward with the foundations of the team in place with a very applaudable attacking style and mental attitude.
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Date:Thursday May 16 2013
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