Watching Aston Villa perform brilliantly in the second half of the loss to Arsenal and the 2-2 draw with Liverpool has brought back hope just as negativity was beginning to creep in.
Some fans were asking for the sacking of Lambert and complained that the Scot’s signings this season were not good enough. Over the last week, Lambert has brought in two new signings – Bertrand and Holt. Both players are on loan to Villa and I have a feeling that there are more signings to come before the window shuts.
There is much for fans to be positive about. Firstly, we should applaud the determination shown by the team in the second half against Arsenal to get back into the game from 2-0 down. We could have gone on to equalise.
Secondly, the signing of Ryan Bertrand has already proven to have been a successful one by Paul Lambert. The on-loan left back from Chelsea performed well in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool and kept Sterling quiet for large parts of the game.
Thirdly, we are back in the top half of the table. Although we have only just crept into tenth position, it is still an improvement and we are slowly but surely climbing up the table. Many Villa fans were expecting us to finish in the top half come the end of the season and we are now sitting in that position.
Last but not least, the beast is back! Benteke has scored in each of his last two games – a superb diving header at the back post against Arsenal and a stooping header into an empty goal at Anfield.
It wasn’t until this point last season that Benteke really began to start firing, scoring fourteen of his nineteen goals from January onwards. Benteke now has six goals, around the same amount as this time last season and we have to bear in mind he has had injury problems along the way.
Benteke recently admitted that he was trying to play through his injury and went back home during the festive period to gain some guidance from his father in Belgium:
“My Dad told me that this time last season I was at five or six goals and it’s the second half of the season that I scored a lot of goals, so I don’t have to worry about anything.
Last season was the same, it was a bit hard between November and December and January and after that I started to score. I just have to play my way, like I can do.”
So, Villa fans, there is a lot for us to be happy about following this week. Bertrand is in, Benteke is back and it looks like the Villans’ fighting spirit is back too. Let’s focus now on sorting our home form out and getting Villa Park rocking!