Aston Villa - Reasons To Be Cheerful & Reasons To Worry!
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Reasons To Be Cheerful & Reasons To Worry!

Fear, I'll give you fear

Fans commonly exhibit knee jerk behaviour, many are quick to idol worship certain players / managers who can then do no wrong and have their name sung week in week out (even when they are playing woefully) and equally quick to vilify other players / managers who can then do no right no matter how well they play or how hard they try.

The level of optimism around the club at the moment is great to see and a far cry from much of the last two or three years but how much of the positivity is founded in reality?

There are many reasons to be positive.

1) we don't have Mike Ashley as a chairman,

2) the wage bill has been / will be significantly reduced giving the club headroom to rebuild

3) we have a squad of players who on the whole want to play for Aston Villa and aren't only here for the money

4) many of our players have potential and could be very very good either making us successful on the pitch or generating funds for reinvestment through their sale

5) the scouting network appears to finally have found their passports

6) the players who featured so heavily last season are now a year more experienced and have had time to learn to play together as a team

7) the club are acting swiftly in the transfer market getting targets early which is infinitely better than the debacles of previous transfer windows

8) some of the players signed appear to have real ability (but then so did Savo and Balaban nuff said).

However there are also some big pointers to caution.

1) We finished 5th bottom last season in one of the poorest quality premier league competitions for many many years the same group of players will not suddenly become world beaters

2) Our run from January that many are lauding as top six form only included 1 win against a team in the top half (and that was West Ham who somehow amazingly managed to finish 10th showing just how poor the league was last year).

3) The same manager will be in charge next season who's tactics and motivational skills (despite being seen as a genius by some) were brought into question several times during the last campaign, failed to produce results against Bradford and Millwall in the cups, and seemed clueless as to how to halt the rot during the drubbing at stamford bridge.

4) Defensive mistakes cost us dearly over and over again last season, individual errors as well as poor shape, poor marking etc, apart from the signing of one CB (another rel! atively inexperienced player) nothing has been done to address this, the coaching set up is still currently the same and no additional defensive input has been added.

5) Inexperience cost us points last year both individually through mistakes and collectively not knowing when or hard to chase a game, heads dropping, not knowing when to slow the pace and retain possession etc that experience isn't gained in a single season and hasn't been added to the squad yet

6) we don't have a natural captain at the club, a good talker who can fire the team up on the pitch and also calm them down when needed, an older head who others can look to and rely on when the going gets tough.

Looking at the published fixture list for next season, August looks seriously tough, one of the hardest starts that I can remember. 3 points from August would in my opinion be a good return (especially if it could also see us remain unbeaten) and would allow the season proper to start in September but three defeats in those opening games could damage fragile confidence and make the inexperience in the squad shine through even more acutely.

I genuinely hope this coming season is far better than last year but I also share the concern of others that several of the failings of last season are yet to be addressed. Of course it is still early and the set up may be perfect by the start of preseason training but in my ever so humble opinion there is as much a place for balanced concerned observations as unfaltering positivity

A bit of a response to: Never Fear, Look On The Brightside by AVbornandbred

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The Journalist

Writer: AVbornandbred Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday June 21 2013

Time: 10:01AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Like it AV, plenty of balance and good points in that!
The Fear
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21/06/2013 10:14:00

Valid points for both sides of the fence. I think another main reason to be positive is our form in the latter stages of the season. It was those victories that kept us afloat albeit with poor opposition. I do share your concerns over defence. LB is particularly weak and we have also lost Lichal as cover. I hope that Luna/ Stevens will be able to improve on Bennett.
Report Abuse
21/06/2013 10:56:00

The lack of a comanding CH is a problem, I do ot like the silence on Benteke either. We need to know one way or the other so we can move forward. Certainly it is good seeing us do business so early, ok they are not world class names. Benteke was not either this time last year. COTVABU
irish villa
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21/06/2013 11:01:00

I would not say the downside points are completely valid at all, There simply a matter of opinion, What I will say is though PL has moved very quickly to address the situation and is bringing in players early to get them bedded in. Last season was difficult but we took a major risk that eventually paid off this coming season they will be a unit built through a difficult season if the last half of the season is to go by we look in good stead.
The Suntan Superman
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21/06/2013 11:29:00

Agree that the league was poor last season but point 3 that AVbornaninbred made is not fact and just personal hatred of our manager and I've no idea why. Wholly irrational. You moaned about MON non stop, then GH got off lightly in comparison. Everyone moaned about Eck but now is the time to back the man at the helm. Is it because he's not that old, probably the same age as you!?! This year, Lambert had to try and test out some formations and players in different positions, and he then rectified it in the end. Players may look very good in training but not produce on match day or vice versa. Lambert has given everyone a fair crack of the whip. Players like Bent proved that they couldn't do what was required and we moved on. I don't give a toss about the cup. Would people rather we concentrated on that like Wigan and Bloose the other year and got relegated??? In fact our decent run started when we got kicked out of it. Really don't understand why a very few people don't like the manager. Do you just like being controversial or just like moaning whoever the manager is?? Why do you feel threatened??
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21/06/2013 11:41:00

Positive side agree. Can only agree with 4 and 6 on the negative side. Compared to other club managers who have gone before him and the mess they got us into, Lambert is a Messiah.
Report Abuse
21/06/2013 12:20:00

444 I knew it was you before even getting to your signature. Firstly, I don't hate PL, I have never met him neither however am I a sycophant or a lemming. I could see the failings in MON and never brought in to the whole messiah rubbish, likewise I can see the shortcomings in PL, he is human after all and not above critique. If you actually looked back through my posts as opposed to going off of your somewhat tarnished memory you would see that I try to be balanced about all managers and players alike, I look at what they do not their reputations or hype, and base my opinions on what I see on the pitch not what i read in the papers or the internet. You on the other hand fit perfectly into the limited intelligence view of the world captured in the first paragraph of the article. As for PL giving everyone a fair crack of the whip really? have a think and try again. You don't give a toss about the cups but would be claiming PL was a genius if he got us some silverware, it also wasn't a question of not concentrating on the cups as the teams that got humiliated by lower league opposition were full strength sides (and the Bradford debacle was a semi final so a bit late to decide not to compete). As the article states "our decent run" didn't include a win against anyone outside the bottom half. What you seem desperately unable to grasp is that there is that extremes of opinion are not the only option, just because intelligent adults don't fawn adoringly over a manager or a player doesn't mean we don't like them or that we hate them it simply means our opinion is somewhere in between
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21/06/2013 12:22:00

AVbornanndbred makes some valid points certainly one I banged on about from early last season,how badly we missed "Stan" and the need for a steady head in the Parker/Nolan mode. Lambert was not everyones first choice although I like the guy he shows a stubborn streak e.g. ignoring the chance to sign a couple of on loa n experianced players in the January window,but it came off and he kept us up so maybe I was wrong and Lambert was right. We may come unstuck in the opening couple of fixtures this season but I believe the team has realised the games we are expected to do well in and last seasons experiance will see them through an early sticky patch.
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21/06/2013 12:33:00

Point 1-7 all seem valid but point 8??? Savo was a good player and sold for 20m not long after being shipped on by us. So does not give much value to the rest of what you are trying to say. It was Villa fans that hounded Savo out just like they hounded Crouch out and we lost out on decent money for both. Balaban is other story but you cannot compare that to Lamberts signing as all his signings you could sell for the money he spent or more so no reason to doubt he has wasted any money on any of these new guys. You should have said we have a young proven manager here that can work the transfer market well and plays attacking football. From what I can see he has been a success ever year in his management career and Villa will do well to keep him here long term. I would sign him to a 10 year contract tomorrow. Just because some fans expected more does not mean he was not a success last season. Lowering the wages and keeping us in the premiership with young up and coming players was his objective and yes all of us would have liked it not be so close but he achieved it with flying colours in the end if you ask me. As for your points against they all seem rather petty picking out certain games and who we picked up points against! We had a good cup run, better than many of the past seasons end off! We had top 8 form in the second half of the season and we played every club so it does not matter who we picked up points against we were top 8 form end of! To not even give a manager six months to sort the team out is diabolical! It amazes me that a few fans cannot see we are in the best hands we have been in for the whole 26 years I have supported Villa. These are the most promising and exciting times we have ever had imo and just because some doubted the manager at some point in the past they are just waiting for a slip up to say I told you so instead of jumping on the bandwagon of enjoying supporting your club in good times. We have needed a manager that can spend wisely and make us money for 30 years and we finely have one and success will come with that. Iím not saying people should not have their own opinion but I just canít see any logic to it! There are good times ahead, have you not seen some of the players this guy has purchased for little money? Westwood, Benteke, Lowton, brought Guzan back. Iíve always prided myself on a very good judge of a player and Okore and Tonev will be immense for us. Luna, Helenius and Bacuna all also look like improvements on what we have, what is not to like? The time to be a Villa fan is now and I have never said or thought that before in 26 years.
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21/06/2013 12:38:00

Touche AVb..... I knew that this article was penned by yourself before getting to the end. As others have now also commented, your points are not atall facts or valid and are just an opinion derived by a bitter person or maybe just someone who comes across as being bitter. Maybe you've had a hard life or maybe you just like to look at the worst in things. Enjoy the present times as we haven't had it so good for a while and we're not changing managers every season or 2 now so get used to it as all the points you raised will be improved upon by the messiah as he's proven he's capable of learning and evolving.
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21/06/2013 12:40:00

Well said revua...
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21/06/2013 12:42:00

444 living up to his rep there (lets not get too aggressive now). However having said that I've got to agree with him and revue on this one. Lambert is a great manager and could be legendary.
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21/06/2013 13:54:00

"We havent had it so good for a while". I don't think so.
Report Abuse
21/06/2013 13:57:00

revua, I would dispute that Savo was forced out by Villa fans his name was sung loudly and proudly right up until the end he was sold because he wasn't good enough (for us) his later sell on value came after a glorious season in la liga which showed him to be a player never seen at VP the word limit also meant I had to cut the sentence which originally read as "although they could fulfill their promise like Yorke, Delany, Platt and hopefully Benteke". I'm glad you're enjoying being a Villa fan at present, I always enjoy being a Villa fan. I can remember many times that rival now for excitement and promise and as quoted in the article I really hope this season goes swimmingly and have no desire to say I told you so to anyone (as my wife reminds me of the candidates available I was happy with Lambert, Rogers or Martinez at the time). You clearly choose to adopt the position of all is well so do you then believe everything is perfect at the club? Is Lambert the finished article? As you say I could "jump on the bandwagon" but I prefer to think for myself and form my own opinion. I won't hail Lambert just because everyone else does, in the same way as I didn't lambast Mcleish just because everyone else did, I form my opinions over time based on the evidence presented.
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21/06/2013 14:13:00

444 presuming I'm bitter would be another one of your snap judgments based on fantasy rather than evidence. Thank you for inquiring but although I come from a modest background I've had a good life and have so far been extremely successful in both my personal life and career.
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21/06/2013 14:20:00

The world is claret and blue. We will the League, the FA Cup, League Cup, Eurovision Song Contest, Miss world and Mr Ugly centre forward competition (sorry Tekkers). However this a a view from both sides of the coin. Me? I prefer positive. UTV.
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21/06/2013 14:25:00

nearly forgot, from January 1st until season end (roughly half a season) we picked up a grand total of 23 points, with all but 3 points coming against teams that finished in the bottom half. Good enough for last years survival target but not great by any stretch and certainly not top 8 form unless the league is ever so poor that you only need 46 points to get into the top 8.
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21/06/2013 14:27:00

Extremely successful. Lol. You and I know that isn't the case or you wouldn't have your outlook. Doesn't matter anyway. You just don't seem happy ever!! ;-)
Report Abuse
21/06/2013 15:02:00

Are you Liam Ridgewell in disguise ?
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21/06/2013 16:24:00

The problem that some may find is Lambert is doing a long term fix to a problem that could have killed this club financially, there is no quick fixes as that takes silly money we don't have anyway, time to just back the team i say and give them the time to progress
Report Abuse
21/06/2013 16:36:00

"Extremely successful. Lol. You and I know that isn't the case or you wouldn't have your outlook." Actually 444 it is precisely my approach of not jumping on bandwagons and assessing things intelligently that has led to my success, you should try it sometime...... Anyway enough, I'll leave it to you to have the final word, have a good weekend I know I will
Report Abuse
21/06/2013 17:46:00

"Silly money we dont have"? How much has Randini invested thus far, by whatever means (loans, loans-on-loans, equity, whatever). Its probably more in six years than in the last sixty under Doug and the patricians that went before him. So at what point does sensible money become silly money ? The guy could invest more money - he has more money of his own still, he could borrow more (not good if its secured against AV assets and how do we know that is not already the case), he could dilute the equity further and bring in other investors - the sensible option. Even the bln.aire Arsenal guy is not the only owner. I am going to keep on ******** moaning - generally in a constructive fashion - until we win something, otherwise there's no point. The reason we invented the league table was to prove we were the best in an era when we were and there had hitherto been no way of proving it. So now our ambition is to what - "survive" ? Give me a ******** break.
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21/06/2013 20:26:00

We are not going to be a team that keeps clean sheets. Take a look at Lamberts last 4 seasons, his teams attack and the team will be built to score goals. Lots of goals and lots of excitement and if we do learn to defend along the way we will finish likely top 6. He buys players who are comfortable on the ball, good passers with ability to take a player on or keep possession. I think if we keep Benteke, then next season will be a steady top table finish with some great high scoring games. Its a real positive compared to the last 3 pre-seasons, great moves early and he seems to have nailed no plan. The first manager to do so for at least a decade.
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21/06/2013 21:58:00

AVbornandbred, I think we must have been watching a dffernet Villa when Savo played as loads of fans were on his back hence he got named misalotovic! The Fans were so on his back he wrongly turned and spat at them which led to him being transfer listed. Cant see where you get your view based on what actually happened.... but then I don't understand why you cant see Lamberts the best thing to happen to Villa for a very long time, yes he is not the finished article and no without fault because no one ever is but he is potentially the best manager we will ever have if we can keep him here long term.
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22/06/2013 12:35:00

Yeah revua, no idea how most of these views are arrived upon. Definitely NOT intelligently assessing things. Makes me wonder what someone would intelligently assess being "extremely successful" as being also after looking at these views!!!
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22/06/2013 18:23:00


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