Date:Friday October 11 2013
When I saw the fixtures for our opening 6 games I'll admit that my heart sank. I couldn't see where our points would come from.
At the time of the fixtures being released the whole Benteke 'will he won't he' transfer saga was hanging over us and we were starting to look at starting the season without him.
Admittedly I was a little excited about this, I thought we would get £30-40m and re-invest in key areas of the squad, areas that we so desperately needed to improve on, out wide, a number 10 etc
As it turned out we received no bids and Benteke agreed a new deal once the deadline we set had passed.
Villa fans were jubilant, For once we kept hold of the only genuinely potential world class player we have and didn't cave in to the big boys, The majority expected us to make a statement with this and really go out there to make Benteke see we are building a squad around him and to create the chances for him, Lots of names were mentioned, even the infamous Kiyotake-Gate situation got the fans hoping and wishing for players of this calibre to come in and really push us on after such a bad season last season.
What actually happened left me shocked..
In came another striker in Kozak, a striker that only scored in the Europa league. I'm not judging him yet, it's not so much that we bought him, it's the fact that we only bought him when every man and his dog can see our problems breaking teams down at home. (5 wins under Lambert)
Now the season has begun we are sitting on ten points, 3 wins, two against teams that will challenge for the title, 3 losses, a draw and 2 clean sheets on the road.
When you take a look at that you have to be happy.
It's when you dig a bit deeper or actually watch the games that's where my questions about progression start to be raised.
Now, many point to the results against the same opposition last season and use that as a way of measuring progression. The fact we lost 8-0 to Chelsea last year but only 2-1 this year isn't progression to me, there are too many factors that change, too many variables like the time of year we played them, the players available, the form, the weather and so on.
Progression for me would be seeing us beat teams like Newcastle at home, or Hull away.
I'm not saying prior to the games we SHOULD be winning, I'm saying that while watching the games I saw that a better manager would have changed things around to go for the win.
The wins against Man City and Arsenal were VERY lucky, that's not an opinion that's fact.
Against Arsenal we had 2 penalties, when do you ever get 2 penalties away from home at a top 4 club? not saying we didn't deserve them but you wouldn't usually be awarded them. After they were scored it was down to Guzan to really keep the 3 points secure.
Against Man City we passed the ball in their half only 34 times. We were at home and only passed it 34 times. We scored an offside goal, a free kick and then a route one counter that had elements of luck to it while City battered us for 90 minutes.
So while i was buzzing with the points we won and I recognise that we didn't beat these teams last season, I can't look at that as progression at all.
Also, Last season was our WORST start to a season ever. Anything would have been an improving on that, it's hardly progression.
This is now Lamberts squad, he has got his players now and the honeymoon period is over, I can't see any plan or idea of how he wants us to play. We are not a passing team. we are a counter attacking team even at home.
Against Hull we went long, 16 balls up to Kozak in which he won only 2. Did Lambert change this? did he see we could have joy down the wings and get their defence facing their own goal? no. He stayed as we were and waiting till the 74th min to make any changes and when he did he bought on Bowery (Where was Albrighton? surely a better option out wide) and Tonev (jury's out) and still went long to Kozak.
No, Progression for me would be Lambert improving the starting 11 in the summer with players better than what we have, it would be changing tactics in games like against Hull when they're open and there for the taking. Instead Curtis Pub Player Davis won MOTM and had Kozak in his pocket for 90 minutes while we hoofed it.
Up next we have Spurs and Everton at home. Two quality teams that will come at us. I hope we don't end up regretting not going for it with Hull, after the next two weeks we could be in or around the bottom 3 and in a fight again.
Prepared added later in the forum thread (Click Here)
Last season we walked away from St Marys having been beat 4-1 and looking totally tactically found out, The Fear was standing by his opinion that we needed some experience or we are in for a tough season and I was more inclined to give Lambert the benefit of the doubt, I assumed in January the required players would come in as where we were just wasn't good enough for Aston Villa.
Those players never came in, we did and are still having a strong 2013. I think we are 8th if you take just games in 2013..
After the season finished I again assumed we would make the next step up in quality, sign players to improve the first team and get some experienced heads in.
Again it didn't happen.
If we look at the team we start at the minute we have replaced the full backs, the fullbacks that were Lamberts buys from last summer and the replacements are on par with who they've replaced.
It's like watching MON all over again.
Over to you, agree or disagree?! And be friendly, we all want the same thing! ;o))
This is also an open site, if you have something to say, positive or otherwise, click the 'have your say' button on the right hand side and submit your article (needs to be written by you, not ripped off from elsewhere!)
Date:Friday October 11 2013
Defeats Won't Derail Us (Thursday December 19 2013)
Gardner Wants A First Team Return (Thursday December 19 2013)
Pre Stoke Injury News (Thursday December 19 2013)
The Villa Times - 19/12/2013 (Thursday December 19 2013)
An Interview With A Stoke Fan (Thursday December 19 2013)
Vital Villa Man Of The Match v Manchester United (Wednesday December 18 2013)
Bucking The Trend? (Wednesday December 18 2013)
Striker Exit? No, Don't Worry, Not THAT Striker! (Wednesday December 18 2013)
Jores Okore Could Be Back THIS Season (Tuesday December 17 2013)
U21s Gain Wolves Victory (Monday December 16 2013)
|3.||Pride of Lions||296|
|Aston Villa||0||-||3||Man Utd|
|8. Man Utd||16||7||4||5||6||25|
|11. Aston Villa||16||5||4||7||-5||19|
|12. Hull City||16||5||4||7||-6||19|
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