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Gulp Villa v Arsenal Tonight - A Roundup

It's early, I'm bored, so what words of wisdom will cheer me and you up ahead of tonight's match against almost top of the table Arsenal.

There's something about stats that should make pleasant reading for fans ahead of the game, but as said it's early and there are a lot of words, but thankfully there are some pictures which make it easier - Click Here.

If I've got the gist right, we can take confidence in the fact that despite everything else that stats can tell us, Arsenal's style of play may suit our counter attacking (intent?) even though we are on home soil.

In the game back at The Emirates on the opening day Arsenal had 64% of the possession and they are likely to again. However they had fewer shots than us, we had one more.

Moreover, our six league wins so far since we have averaged an awe inspiring and very respectable 34.2% of the possession in those games, but still had more shots on target than our opposition - this time we have two more efforts.

In some of the greatest spin ever seen, following Paul Lambert's own recent quotes about possession, on the link it says.

'It's clear that when Villa are at their counter attacking best, the lion's share of the ball isn't really important to the side.'

Well it made me smile.

Curiously another stat shows that of all players who have made five league appearances this season, only Manchester City's David Silva has 'created a chance for a team mate more often than the Villa graduate (every 24.6 minutes).'

We are of course talking about Marc Albrighton here and of course he scored the Premiership's 20,000th goal against tonight's opposition as well.

While we're still on the possession issue, in quotes carried by the Daily Mail, our manager said.

'Statistics are used as to how people want to portray them.'

As admirably proven by our Official Site on the link above.

'But if you talk to any manager, at whatever level, you have to try to win. That's your main aim, and that's the statistic and it's one that can cover up some sins. It always does and probably always will.'

And that's true, wins cover a hell of a lot of 'sins' as many Villans will know well whilst we were losing the battle for 4th place for a few seasons. But here's a secret, if fans see you lose the right way, by giving you all, trying to entertain they are actually more forgiving - certainly for a longer period of time at least.

It all well and good talking about our lack of possession, entertainment, and dull boring football during the six league wins this - now over the halfway point of the - season (20 games) but for some reason we aren't talking about the very same issues in our nine league losses are we.

And to prove the point, fans still talk about our 'unlucky' defeats to Chelsea and so on, and why, because we had something to get behind in those games, some real effort and the perception becomes unlucky inspite of everything else that happened during the game even if it was only really a very good 20 minute or so spell.

Matt Lowton added to this saying he feels this season teams are pressing us more because of us trying to sit back and wait for the counter in possession, but he agrees it's all about results and ultimately we know what we can do in attack with Agbonlahor, Benteke and Weimann 'so what's the point in trying to change it?'

Because maybe it doesn't particularly work at home? Just a suggestion. Because maybe it's nice to have a plan B when plan A falls flat on its face? Just another suggestion and I'm not particularly thinking very hard and some of you would say 'what's new?'.

Having mentioned Gabby, also on our Official Site, Fabian Delph has talked about his high standards and the defensive work he puts in on the pitch Click Here.

In two other OS interviews, Lambert has also talked about the game explaining that he feels the underdog status will suit us tonight, because it lifts all the pressure off the players and puts it directly on Arsenal.

'The Arsenal match might be a good game for us because nobody expects us to get anything.'

I wait for a sarcastic comment offering 'beaten.'

Adding that we more than know exactly what we will be up against, how they play and what they will try and do in the game, but upsets happen in football (we know, we were on the end of one recently) so we have to go 'out and play with freedom and try to win the game. If we click and we're on it, we can certainly create things.'

Of course in the same interview, he praises Gabby up for his performance earlier in the season and overall for how we looked on the counter attack that day and the work we put in defensively, but he reminds us that 'we're in a different place because they can spend 40 odd million on somebody' with reference to Mezut Ozil.

Which is nice to be reminded of, as if he didn't scare us all enough today.

The other interview concerns Lambert's desire to make the fans happy, saying he knows we have struggled on home soil for about the past 5 years and he's not overly sure why, but it's obviously something he and the players are working hard to rectify.

He talks also about the fans being right behind the team when the team give them something to get behind, but he appreciates being into the second year now it may be a little different, but he also knows when things aren't going your way, fans will voice their displeasure but he also knows they'll be right back behind the team in the next game.

He also denies that the players are anxious about playing at home because of our record as spirits remain high within the team.

Ashley Westwood agrees in an interview with the Birmingham Mail saying he'd quite happily play at Villa Park every week if he could and insisting that there is no fear factor within the team.

In an OS interview, he also described Jack Wilshere in the following terms 'If he scores a few goals then he will be the complete midfielder.'

Place your bets on the first scorer ladies and gentleman.

Westwood does say though that the team go into the game high on confidence from our earlier win because we are the only team to have beaten them at their ground this season, so we know we can hurt them if we perform as we are capable of, and with Arsenal looking for a bit of revenge, maybe that will suit our counter attacking style even more.

So there you go folks, a cheeky win is in the offering!

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 13 2014

Time: 8:25AM

Your Comments

It will be an interesting game and while you lot are, or at least should be, a very effective counter-attacking unit you will be facing the best defence in the league and one which isn't caught out on the break as much as it has in the past. Maybe we learned something from our opening game of the season?

Anyways, I'm going for a 3-1 win to Arsenal, I fancy Benteke to have a good game and maybe even give you the lead but our midfield is on another level and I think that will be the key.

Wrote up a Scouting Report on you lot over at Vital Arsenal, give it a read!

Good luck with the rest of the season, after this game naturally.

Galway Gooner
We need more then luck. Our home form - without checking it out is erm.. You would never guess it was that poor. :/ Great read Mike.
They say all. The things they think they should say, really they need to say that thinks simply aren't good enough, and Lambert needs to say - if things don't improve quickly I will resign.
Excellent article Fieldy
Well before I wasn't certain now I'm not sure.
With Vlar & Baker both injured would be a bit happier if we had two centre halfs to put together
Plan B? Plan B? We don't need a plan B. What we need is a plan A.
chocolate teapot
Wouldn't it be nice if Lamberk had any f.......g plan.
It's amusing me people referring to Lambert as Lamberk. The swear filter clearly doesn't know the origins of the word Berk. Neither did I until very recently. Apparently it derives from Cockney Rhyming Slang. Berkshire Hunt..... I'll leave you to work out the rest. ;)
Adam Deuce

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