Team: Guzan, Herd, Baker, Clark, Bacuna, El Ahmadi, Delph, Westwood, Agbonlahor, Weimann, Benteke.

A strong one, although didn't expect Herd in for Luna.

Just going out; want a Benteke hat trick by the time I get back.

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i would imagine its Herd at right back and Bacuna at left back myself. 

the way Lowton defended when he came on against Southampton, i am not at all surprised at all. He needs a good kick up the ass, in my opinion, as he has been woeful this season - really really woeful - easily one of our worst players...

well its Herd in the middle and Baker at left back. 

started well, though Benteke can't even hit the target anymore ;-(

lucky enough with that clearance of the line though!

Good grief! Where's the Benteke hat-trick I wanted?

2-0 down at half time. We can pull this back. Will we?

Huge disappointment but illustrates our lack of a decent midfield

At the moment it's a lack in both midfield and defence, I think the two things work together. With Vlaar, Luna and Okore out we're thin in defence. I couldn't see the logic of playing Herd in the middle and Baker on the left. Herd isn't good enough for that, not against Berbatov.

What on earth is wrong with Lowton? A superb first season, but apparently not rated for this. It could be matters off the pitch, but if it's on the pitch then PL ought to be able to sort it. The midfield is OK if we've got wing backs who can assist in bombing down the wings. Lowton can do that, Baker can't. A back line of

Lowton Clark Baker Bacuna

is better than the one we had today.

Last season we were playing some good football at times. This season we don't seem to be attempting it. The counter-attacking approach only works if we score first. We need a plan B.

I suggested in an earlier thread that this was a good match to give other players a go, like Helenius. They wouldn't have done any worse. I still think changing it around would have been a good idea.

We weren't good today but the ref was poor how can he give their penalty and not give Gabby when he was clearly fouled.

Weimann is in very poor form last season he was dangerous when he was playing out wide, running up and down his flank and putting crosses in.

This season he has hardly played out wide and today he barely got a touch and when he did he fell over.

Lambert has to take some blame with the Lowton situation because he cannot be any worse then what Bacuna is doing he should have done better with the first goal and was very poor against the Baggies.

Also his general play has been poor for a while now and the free kicks he has scored have hidden the limitations in his play. Trying to dribble the ball close to our goal and then loosing it is not acceptable. And today Gabby and Benteke and a proper moan at him during the game because he cannot beat the first man with his crosses having someone like Benteke in your team and not giving him a chance with crosses is criminal.

Westwood also was way off the pace today his set pieces are woeful he either doesn't beat the first man or he puts it in too high without any pace on it. He must improve on that.

The home fans really need a good performance against UTD it about time we see a good home game. they aren't great and their midfield is even worse then ours.

The game against UTD was when Benteke really arrived the way he destroyed Smalling is how he should be playing consistently giving defenders nightmares. He needs to start scoring now otherwise he will be starting on the bench for Belgium in the world cup because the way Lukaku is playing Christian Benteke needs to score at least 20 more form now till the end of the season to start.

Just watched the match on MOTD. We weren't as bad as I feared, and 1-1 would have been a fairer result; two penalty decisions both wrong and both in Fulham's favour. But we were sufficiently bad that we made Fulham look good.

I thought Benteke was poor. Where last year he was sharp, on the ball and showed great touches (except in those matches where he went walk-about), this year he's slower and there's no guile about his play. If Kozak's fit I'd drop him for the MU game and maybe even if Kozak isn't. Bacuna isn't a wing back and it shows. He's a useful utility midfielder.

And then there are the mysteries. Why is Weimann now anonymous? Maybe he just needs a good run without being injured, but something's not right, and he's not covering the ground the way he used to. Why is Lowton not playing? OK he hasn't been great this season, which is a mystery in itself, but he really is a good wing back, when on form. And was Helenius just bought to keep Bowery company on the bench?

We know the team has weaknesses, but it's as though those weaknesses are taking a toll on individual players.

I hope Vlaar and Luna are back for MU. I'd drop Benteke and play Tonev. His shots no longer blast over and are now on target, even if they're straight at the keeper, and sooner or later he's going to start scoring; at least he's looking more lively than Benteke. And Albrighton ought to play; he has qualities and we need them.

You say but something's not right.

I absolutely agree and I agree with you and Lambo that Weimann is not doing it and yes we have Helenius on the bench, so we have alternatives.

I don't agree that we should drop Benteke and certainly don't agree that we replace him with Tonev.

I agree about Westwood he was very poor and Delph disappeared in the second half having started well KEA.  I am not a fan of, in any case we need to change it as Delph is out for Manu.

I certainly agree that Lowton should be back in the side, he gives us balance and is a proper wing back.

Overall apart from our faults we are not getting much luck Fulham's Penalty wasn't and Gabby should have had one.

I am hugely disappointed but we are 10th and with a bit of tinkering, maybe a good midfield signing in January and a sprinkle of luck we will be in the top ten at the end and from where we have come over the last few years I'll take that.

Bye the way, would someone tell that Tw*t Quinne who was the co-commentator on Sky that our goalkeeper isn't called Guzman and that we don't have a player called Wiseman, thanks.

To be entirely honest, some players are just looking like they have found their level. 

I never thought Weimann was up too much, so am not surprised the way he is playing - Tonev should now be given a run of games in his place. Simple really. 

Lowton has lost all confidence in himself, and seems to be very very bad defensively. Could it be the wage increase? More money can often derail players - especially young ones. 

Benteke also is short of all confidence. What worries me most is that last season when he missed, he was angry with himself. This season, he seems to now expect a miss rather than a goal - which is very worrying. 

I think Delph is doing fine, but needs more help from both Westwood and KEA - and Sylla. Why is Sy;lla not getting games - it is so weird. 

We also give the ball away far far far too much. 

and McParland - MOTD doesn't give away half the story - we were utter garbage against Fulham - we really were. You should have seen how bad we were for the full 90. 

and yes, Lambert should have rested a few players. 

Having said all that, we are 3 points behind Man U - so things cannot be that bad.

10th position isn't bad, and I will take that position come the end of the season, so I'm not going to complain too much. However, there are some issues in the team/squad which need ironing out.

Firstly, the defence. We had very poor cover here and this was exposed by an average Fulham yesterday. I would say our first choice back four (Bacuna Vlaar Okore Clark) is good and able to keep clean sheets. Yesterday, however, we had Herd and Baker who are not good enough for Aston Villa. I agree Bacuna is not strong enough defensively but he shown he can take free kicks and we are generally weak at right back. Lowton is ok and did well on occasion last season but is again weak defensively and this was shown at Arsenal on the opening day when he was out of position for their goal.

A massive problem for us (and has been for ages) is central midfield. No wonder our possession stats are so low. We need a top player in this position and haven't had one since the days of Petrov and Barry. What Lambert was smoking when he decided to reject the loan offer from City of Barry, who it seems wanted to come back to Villa for a season. Letting Ireland go to Stoke now looks like a silly decision givne his recent reinvigoration. Not bringing back Makoun again seems silly. Westwood is clearly not good enough and so many Villa fans rate him and I can't understand why. He isn't even Premier League quality. The problem is Lambert loves him and so we might be stuck with him in the team unless he gets injured. El Ahmadi and Sylla do the dirty work reasonably well and are good for the squad but they are not box to box and their technical ability is poor. Delph is the best of a bad bunch but has still only scored one PL goal for us and doesn't get much in the way of assists. He is mobile though and can run with the ball and hold it better than the others. But it's obvious we need a top player in this position because we are lacking. A dynamic, creative, strong player would help massively - someone like Paulinho would improve us so much.

The forward situation is again a worry. Benteke is clearly still a quality player and by far our best but lacks confidence and that injury has hampered him. I'm sure he will come back but he needs a goal from somewhere to get it back. Weimann needs to start producing because he is offering absolutely nothing right now. He did ok last season but I thought he'd improve on that this season but so far he has been poor. Gabby likewise - he needs to start scoring more goals. When Benteke isn't firing we need other goalscorers and these two need to take responsibility.

So we have problems everywhere apart from in goal - where Guzan continues to perform admirably despite playing behind dross like Baker and Herd.

Against United my team would be:


Lowton/Bacuna Vlaar Clark Luna

Sylla El Ahmadi

Gabby Tonev Weimann


Westwood and Baker definitely dropped and possibly Bacuna too. Play Tonev in the hole telling him to track back when we don't have the ball. United are vulnerable and we can win this. Not having Delph is not good though.

Can guarantee that Lambert will be as stubborn as ever thugh and play Westwood and Baker and probably Herd if Vlaar isn't fit. He really needs to stop being so stupid and selecting these average players otherwise we will continue to play like we did yesterday.

Jhonny I  am glad you noticed it aswell how much money do these guys get paid to pronounce names wrong he also kept calling Bacuna Herd when they showed replays for the first goal.

Quinne really needs to get sacked his voice is annoying and he constantly contradicts himself he says something and then when he see the replay of the incident he completely changes his mind. WTF. 

Yes forgot about that Lambo but it is understandable as Bacuna and Herd do look like brothers, easy mistake for a Dick!

When Merson does it on Saturday its quite funny but half the point of a commentator is to identify the players, he is nearly as bad as Francis, now they are brothers, they are both useless.

Talking about Merson he's only sits in front of the telly all afternoon on Saturday,  maybe we could get him to play for us again? At least he can pass a ball through the eye of a needle as he puts it.


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