Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Something For The Weekend (399)

Something For The Weekend (399)
Time to put the clocks back..

Yes folks, it's that time of year again when we must hunt down every time-piece, gadget and gizmo in our possession and attempt, should the instructions still be at hand, to put their clocks back an hour, as we kiss our memories of summer goodbye and prepare ourselves for the bleak miseries of chilly lightless winter.

Or is it?

The question haunting most Villa fans these days, except those who can still manage their poker-face of denial, is whether, come this Saturday night we will be not just required to put back our clocks an hour, but all the way back to 1986: the season all subsequent bad seasons are always compared with.

Just as the title of Orwell's famous book, 1984, has become the shorthand and byword for totalitarian tyranny, the year 1986 stands out in Aston Villa lore, as the byword for parsimony, tinkering and betrayal, on the lips of all Villa fans of a certain age. 1986 was the culmination of the club's decision to step back from the brink of possible transformation into one of the big boys, and embrace mediocrity with malice aforethought.

No Villa fan in their right mind can deny that these days, Villa actually aspire to the relative comforts of mediocrity, and should they lose to Norwich on Saturday lunchtime, mediocrity will seem like the sort of fantasy the fans used to reserve for qualification to the Champions League. Young fans will have to brace themselves for a future of being reminded by every old scrote and wrinkly, about the days when playing Bournemouth was the biggest game of the season, and other such dreary recollections. Wrinklies will have to maintain a patient silence as they listen to stupid youth, talk of being too good to go down.

Back in 1986, Villa managed a single win and a draw from their first eight games. In 2012, Villa have one win and two draws from eight games. Under a three-points-for-a-win system, Villa in 1986 would have 4 points and in 2012 they have 5 points. In 1986 Villa had a Scottish manager who had a reputation for doing a good job on a limited budget at Celtic. In 1986 Villa had sold proven players like Mortimer and Gibson, the previous season, and replaced them with cheaper alternatives. In 1986-7 Villa lost three-nil away to relegation favourites Charlton. In 2012 Villa lost 4-1 away to relegation favourites Southampton.

In 1986 Villa beat Coventry 1-0 at home in their ninth game. The question is whether Villa can beat Norwich this Saturday and either prove themselves better than the class of '86, or lose and prove themselves worse.

No pressure there then!

Of course, the irony that it is Norwich who are the visitors on the day when Villa must face the old grey whistle test, is inescapable. Norwich - the house that Lambert built.

There is little doubt that Paul Lambert did a magnificent job at Norwich, and his defiance of the predictive capacity of the market, was nothing short of miraculous last season, and the season before, for that matter.

As explained in boring detail during the closing weeks of last season, Norwich were the only club to significantly defy the points tally the value of their typical starting-eleven predicted. Clubs like Swansea and Wigan managed to defy the financial predictors but when it came to bang per buck, Norwich were miles ahead.

Villa only managed a par finish, while clubs like Wolves finishing with a below par performance. The numbers predicted the relegation of Blackburn, but Norwich with the lowest value team in the division most weeks, were the only truly remarkable club when it came to defying financial predictors. All too often fielding starting-elevens valued at less than £25m.

So even if, come Saturday afternoon, the Villa fans have to face up to the fact that 2012 is indeed a worse start than 1986, there will be no point in blaming the manager.

No other manager is likely to achieve much with the same budget and even if Randy Lerner is in the enviable position of being one of the few people in a position to demonstrate empirically how long it takes to count $1bn in cash, he reassures us that no improvement in the Villa budget is envisaged, any time soon. So it looks like we will have to hope that Paul Lambert's success at Norwich wasn't just luck, and that we have enough patience to wait for him to get it right.

Its impossible to tell whether Lambert's face betrays the thousand-mile stare of a guy with battle-fatigue, or his is the vacant expression of a detached guru who knows exactly what he is doing, and is just waiting for all his well-laid plans to fall into place, and his players he has so much faith in, to suddenly click and escape their self-imposed performance limits.

No one can be sure either way but it is certain that it is going to take time, before we find out.



Keep the faith!

Writer:Steve Wade
Date:Friday October 26 2012
Time: 4:36PM

Comments

0
Yet another massive game this weekend. Can't even comprehend what a loss v this lot would do. So hey, lets not lose eh? Gulp.
The Fear
26/10/2012 16:39:00
0
So, if the biggest note is $100, how long would it take to count a billion dollars?
OnMeHeadFred
26/10/2012 18:22:00
0
Something for the weekend?..... three points would be VERY nice indeed......
Pride of Lions
26/10/2012 18:40:00
0
It is absolutely UNTHINKABLE that Aston Villa could be relegated (unless you're Savage or Lawrenson of course). But so it was the case in 1986-7, 5 (FIVE!!) years after being crowned Champions of Europe. I desperately want us to stay up, and have complete faith that Lambert can get the best out of a n pretty average group of players. There is a long way to go, and on current evidence, there are again 3 teams worse than ourselves (Southampton, QPR, Reading and arguably Wigan & Norwich will be down there when the fat lady sings), so games against these will make-or-break our season. In the cold light of day, we will finish where we finish, and if that is in a relegation spot, so be it. Part of me would actually prefer to see us playing well, winning a few games (especially at home!) in the Championship. UTV.
JuanPabloAngel
27/10/2012 00:17:00
0
1 win in 18 league games, nice to see we've kept the run going from last season, what aload of *****e, Lerner out.
eltoro
27/10/2012 11:34:00
0
So it looks like we have to put our clocks back 43 years to 1969, to get near to this level of *****eness.
OnMeHeadFred
28/10/2012 08:56:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Championship Free Agents 2017

As the summer nears and contracts come to an end, should the club have an interest in any of the following free transfers from Championship oppositions?

Remarkable Support Praised & Incredible Plans - Bruce

Manager Steve Bruce has again praised the 'remarkable' support of Aston Villa fans ahead of the game against Blackburn Rovers this weekend.

Jedinak's A Blackburn Doubt

Manager Steve Bruce is holding his pre Blackburn Rovers press conference this morning, and Aston Villa could be without Australian international Mile Jedinak for the game.

51 Clubs Receive EFL Family Excellence Award - 2016/17

The Football League have recognised a record 51 clubs in the 2016/17 Family Excellence Awards.

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Profile
Mike Field
Editor email
Profile
Steve Wade
no email
Profile
Villa_Grizzly
no email
Profile
Turkish Penguin
no email
Profile
Glensider
no email
Profile
Chris Heath
no email
Profile
M Calucar
no email
Profile
JuanPablo Angel
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Aston Villa v Blackburn (away) will:
Suggested By: Mystic Mug
Win37%
Lose33%
Draw30%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
P Brighton 44 28 8 8 92 35
P Newcastle 44 27 7 10 88 40
3 Huddersfield 44 25 6 13 81 3
4 Reading 44 24 7 13 79 1
5 Sheff Wed 44 23 9 12 78 15
6 Fulham 44 21 13 10 76 27
7 Leeds Utd 44 22 7 15 73 14
8 Norwich 44 19 9 16 66 12
9 Brentford 44 18 9 17 63 12
10 Derby County 44 17 12 15 63 2
11 Preston 44 16 13 15 61 2
12 Aston Villa 44 16 13 15 61 0
13 Cardiff 44 16 11 17 59 -2
14 Barnsley 44 15 12 17 57 0
15 Wolves 44 15 10 19 55 -3
16 Ipswich 44 13 16 15 55 -6
17 Bristol City 44 14 9 21 51 -6
18 Burton 44 13 12 19 51 -12
19 Q.P.R. 44 14 8 22 50 -12
20 Forest 44 13 9 22 48 -11
21 Birmingham 44 11 14 19 47 -22
22 Blackburn 44 10 15 19 45 -15
23 Wigan 44 10 11 23 41 -16
R Rotherham 44 5 6 33 21 -58
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Wehrlein reveals severity of neck injury
Latest Vital Boxing News
David Fields Will Referee Joshua v Klitschko
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Apr 29 2017 3:00PM : Blackburn Rovers (a)
Sky Bet Championship
May 7 2017 12:00PM : Brighton & Hove Albion (H)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

RankNamePoints
1.JuanPabloAngel375
2.Pride of Lions349
3.sirdennis282
4.The Fear249
5.Silhillvilla210
6.HeathfieldRoad1874175
7.Melon Donkey175
8.kefkat163
9.Sasquatch142
10.BodyButter113
Vital Football Comment