Morning Villans, taking in an early shift to get on it at 4 before the big game tonight (then off tomorrow morning to recover!!)
I feel the team will be jiggled slightly tonight, but not changed too much as this is the must win game of the season so far
The will-he-wont-he-play-Bent saga will no doubt take over this thread once more but i'm more concerned about the middle and the defence personally
I have to assume Vlaar wont make it, so I would be partnering Clark and Baker (be interesting to see them together as they are 2 future greats IMO) then there's the middle, will KEA make way for Ireland? Could Holman force his way back in after an impressive cameo? I dont think you can drop Bannan or Westwood personally so this is what I would go with:
Lowton Clark Baker Stevens
Holman Ireland Weimann
i've dropped KEA as I dont think he's playing well enough at the moment, all he seems to do is lose the ball and get booked
I would start Gabby on the bench and bring him on for Holman after 60 mins if Holman isnt having an impact, that would give Gabby a rest and their defense half an hour of pace to deal with and that front 4 could (should) cause Reading all sorts of problems
This Bent issue has now turned into a quite heated debate!
Villa1987 - i think you are wrong to start criticising Lambert's transfer policy, as not only have Benteke and Vlaar looked very very good indeed, but Lowton and Westwood look like sterling acquisitions as well. With KEA there is time to get better, and Bennet also.
The Bent 50 games thing looks like a real possibility, but then i am not sure who to blame about this.
I understand why Bent does not start, as Molly has pointed out, players that fit into good systems is more important than good players. However, having Bent rotated/being on the bench would seem a logical thing to do, given his qualities, which no one doubts.
Lambert has obviously decided that we are not going to build around Bent, so that logic fits into both plausible explanations for his absence. We do not want to pay the extra money, for his services to continue down the line, nor do we want him in the tarting line up.
He will probably go somewhere in Jan, on loan perhaps. If he scores goals, his value goes up, and we get more in the summer. Also the wages will be freed up for us to bring in a player or two.
We need to keep Bent an play him simple, him an Benteke should start up front, We are too narrow Id start playing the old fashioned 4-4-2 when N'Zogbia get's back him an Holman on the wings
And we need to play Ireland our best CM an playmaker
Keeping Bent and playing him is just not going to happen TC, it is plainly obvious for all to see. Why that is, is up for debate, but it is just not going to happen under Lambert.
Sorry TC but what you are suggesting will make us too weak.
N'Zog offers nothing, Ireland isn't good enough to play in a two man central midfield, Holman has no decent delivery, we are narrow at times but reverting back to a flat 4-4-2 with the players we have available i fee just won't work.
As for Bent, i'd be very surprised if he plays for us again, 3 more games and we owe Sunderland £3m.
His days are numbered.
It wouldn't make us weaker, N'Zogbia has still got it an Holman has got decent deliveries he's made some decent chances one of them being the other night. I didn't say Bent staying was going to he WILL leave but I don't him to
oh yes, cause Nzogbia has been so consistent for us in over a year now, with considerable improvement in every game. give us a break TC, Nzogbia would struggle to get onto our bench at the moment, let alone out team.
and Bent is defo gone. There is no way he would stay after the way he has been treated, which i even think has been harsh. and i dont rate him that highly as a player!
When zog was fit an he came on he looked good, an I remember the city game he played quality in