As much as I have championed Paul Lambert, there are some inescapable, undeniable and completely unacceptable aspects of Aston Villa.
1 - The form at Vllla Park is atrocious. Last season, we were far better away from home and this season is the same. Already, we have been played off the park for the first half against an uninspiring Liverpool, outplayed and humiliated by a struggling, out of form Newcastle and now given a right spanking by Spurs second team. It's ok winning some away games whilst sitting back and hitting teams on the break, with pace and power BUT we cannot play at home! We are not set up to play at Villa Park and there is NO plan B, as far as Lambert is concerned.
2 - See above - tactics. We play one way and that's it.
3 - Despite spending in the region of £40m NET (yes, that's right), we have NO QUALITY whatsoever. I really don't want to go back to the O'Neill days, when we were a side that looked like 'Stoke City with slightly more spark'. However, Lambert appears to have TOO MUCH of O'Neill in him. Quality is IMPERATIVE, to go with the effort and verve we usually have, but Lambert sadly doesn't appear to see this.
4 - How often have we cried out for a quality midfielder? Well, Lambert has bought in El Ahmadi, Westwood, Sylla, and Bacuna. All too similar I'm afraid. Where is the flair? Where are the goals? The excitement in these players?
I still support Lambert BUT for a man who has had £40m to improve the team, well, he hasn't! We are no better than we have been for the last few seasons. We are playing the same rubbish at home than we were last season and the season before.Lambert has to live or die by what he has done. Simply put, at the moment it isn't good enough. Nowhere near good enough.
The next home game is against Man City. FOUR home defeats from four looks extremely likely. Simply not good enough.
Lambert does have a lot of MON about him alright.
Has he really spent 40 mill NET? Where did that figure come from?
Also, to be fair, that 40 mill was to completely overhaul the squad - which is isn't that bad considering that we are still a premier league team. Things could be worse....and the wage bill is a lot more manageable.
I would agree there are Mon similarities but hopefully he takes the positive ones such as his man management or his ability to get a team performing better than their individual worth.
The latter i haven't seen yet really from Lambert. - the man management could be evidenced in the benteke staying for another year.
I too would like to see the 40m Net figure broken down. If it was 40M then that's 40m on close 12-14 players in and how many out/ loaned out?
The so called Spurs reserves last night had a certain 30m pound Lamela playing which puts a 40m spend in perspective. Totenham funded this on the back of Bale although in fairness they already had a top 6 squad before bale's season last year and before all the additions they got through his sale.
But you are right - the home form is not good enough. And i would agree we can't play our 4-3-3 counter attack at home. teams just sit further back almost rendering that tactic pointless.
Where i maybe slightly disagree is the plan B part. Where as no there is currently not one in place. I believe that Lambert is trying to formulate one. the second half of the Liverpool game for instance.
60% possession and significantly more shots. I witnessed a far more patient approach too.
the second half against Newcastle. it was a total disaster but it was an attempt at a plan B .. poorly executed or maybe conceived. but its enough evidence for me that he is working on a plan B .. he just hasn't got one yet.
The worrying thing is do we have the abilities or quality required to play an alternative tactic within this squad?
Yes, there may just be a Plan B after all. Almost zero quality still though. In all fairness, City will never know how they didn't win that game in a canter.
ha i am not so sure we have a Plan B yet!
But i think Lambert is actively working on one. Thats good enough for now.
The 3-5-2 worked in certain ways yesterday, it stopped all the traffic coming through the centre - practically no joy for city there.
But it gave city all the possession they needed and plenty of room on the wings.
but this was without benteke or gabby in terms of threat up top, and westwood in the middle which most would argue affects our ability to retain possession.
also, despite going behind twice ... it was from corners .. which had less to do with our formation or tactics. I think it may have been a case of 3 CB's trying to organise instead of 2 maybe that didn't help.
either way, possession is one thing, corners is another .. its goals that count. and we scored 2 from play where city had 0
I Felt the exact same as you did after that game .. we just mugged them! but now after i have looked more in depth at it i dont think it was such a robbery.
there was definitely an element of luck to it! and you can't say Villa played very well .. but i can't help but feel that with key players missing, a different game plan adopted, and a 3-2 win against a top top team .. if this was man U, chelsea, liverpool, etc etc .. would not the old cliche of winning or grinding out results while not playing well is the mark of a top team etc etc?
I don't think we should be too too hard on ourselves. loads more work to do but its going in the right direction for me
never fkin happy you are you!
you moan about our home form, we beat probably the best team in the country and you still moan!! its 'fans' like you that pi$$ me off
We were lucky.....very, very lucky.
We still haven't played well at home. Yes, take the points with glee but I'm afraid on the evidence of this season so far, we will need every one.
I'm not moaning though. As I've pointed out, we have a young and vibrant team, with a 'never say die' attitude. For the first time in a long time, Villa are not pushovers with a soft under-belly. But if the quality is poor, why can't people say that? Eh?
I hear you lionbrad,
I am still very cautious about the overall state of Lamberts project yet.
So much work to do yet and when i do look at the team sheet on a game day i do feel like we are missing some quality. But increasingly I believe its more of a perception now than actual testament. Besides no player is an instant quality first team premiership star. sometimes it takes a season or two or for a different tactic or signing to come in alongside them to stimulate the players development.
That said, I have read your reply above a few times and when i analyse the same things you do i am starting to feel a lot more hopeful for this season
In terms of evidence of the season so far:
3 wins from 6 including arsenal and man city bad loss against Newcastle, deserved a point against Chelsea and Liverpool was a game of two halves but they are an improved team - probably top 6 and in great form at the time.
Meanwhile our second string side get thumped by Spurs in the league cup 4-0
If that's the evidence of the season so far, then its becomes harder to make a case that we are as short in quality as we previously thought?
At 6 + a couple of league cup games in .. its hard to make much of a judgement yet. especially since we are logically basing a lot of the judgement on last year. If we were to read anything into league position and win loss records, then Southampton will be in the champions league next year.
But, when i consider the the teams we have faced so far and the injuries incurred at this point. I am upbeat.
I am also closer to the judging this side as better or improved from last season.
That was my expectation at the start of the season. so i am feeling good ....