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Then and Now At Villa (6)

Then and Now At Villa (6)
Anyone seen any goals lately?!

Since the start of October (7 games), none of last season's three leading strikers have scored. And the team has scored in only 2 games of those 7. And this is supposed to be an easier part of the fixture list!

I could of course go scrambling to the record books to find out when this sort of thing last happened, but there have been so many negative records created in the past two years I don't want to depress myself - or you, the reader! - any further.

But I will refer to a period I remember in the 1961-62 season, when Mercer's Minors where not doing too well. And in February (1962) they scored their first goal after 8 (eight) and a half hours' play! Yes, just like now, fans were getting fed up and one particular fan wrote in the 'Argus': 'Drab... uninteresting ... First division defence ... second division attack ... they will crack.'

The joke was that the very same day Villa went to Arsenal and came away with a 5-4 win after twice being 2 goals down! And that fan's article had appeared in the Argus after the match had finished!

Derek 'the Doog' Dougan had come alive after a slow warm-up since signing the previous summer.

Villa then beat Bolton, at home, 3-0 (when it might have been 7!) then had an undeserved small blip at Man City (0-1). But over the Easter period, we received eggs-a-plenty! Leicester City - with the famed Gordon Banks in goal - came down and were thrashed 8-3 on the Saturday, and on Easter Monday Villa followed up with a 5-1 demolition of Notts Forest. Not bad for a team that couldn't score 2 months before!

So ... perhaps there's a moral in that story! Perhaps we should just believe that it will all turn out OK; that the present sequence will end up with a walloping of somebody. Could it be against Man U when it all starts to go right?! Well ... I can hope ... I'm a Villa fan, after all!

Up the Villa!

John Lerwill

For more history and stats , why not visit John's history site: And with Christmas coming up, why not let Dad enjoy an in-depth read of Villa's history? Click here for more info.

Writer:John Lerwill
Date:Monday December 2 2013
Time: 8:25AM

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John how much did the sale of Peter McParland have to do with Villa's goal drought?
02/12/2013 12:49:00
John - if there is a moral here, its that today's Minors are on loan at league1/league 2 teams, or still playing in the "U21" league. We have Clark and Weimann in the team today who came through the academy but are already two or more seasons in the first team (Gabby doesn't really count as "new" any more). So far, all we have seen from Lambert is that he rotates one or two bench places a month or so for the "youth". In 18 months he doesn't appear to have focused on a single one of them as a potential inductee into the squad - unless perhaps we are going to see Sami and Jack in the team in the new year. But the likes of Bowery, Helenius and Tonev are, to me, just blocking the way for genuine talent to be given a chance. The success of all academies stems from the fact that you have a steady stream of players coming in who have all played together for *years* and under the same system.
02/12/2013 13:05:00
'Fred' ... yes, his leaving helped to create a vacuum I'm sure, but Burrows was coming through strongly at that time.
02/12/2013 13:54:00
'malacaxeta' ... Yep, can't argue with any of your reasoning there ... But my article was just to indicate that we don't know what's going to happen next, no matter who the manager is. Given, that is, that you have a reasonable squad you're playing - and I think to-day's squad is of reasonable quality, though obviously way short of the finished article. Something might just gel - next week or next month.
02/12/2013 14:00:00
In a word then - inconsistency. We have plenty of talent, in or around the squad, but "quality" is talent plus consistency. Consistency obviously comes from experience, plus concentration...aka "focus" (hence the need to blood Youth). Only two or three in the squad have performed consistently since winning a place. Whether that's their fault is another matter. Either way it's a big month in front of us.
02/12/2013 15:45:00
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