Is Lambert’s Bomb Squad Concept Backfiring?


It is becoming very clear that Lambert’s decision to cast aside a number of Villa’s experienced players is backfiring, as their services at this moment in time could prove to be the difference between winning, drawing or losing games.

The Villans are not safe yet – despite the players producing performances that would suggest we are – and I believe the inexperience within the squad is one of the key complications for Lambert.

I have never been a fan of Lambert’s famous ‘bomb squad’: I just think it is utterly nonsensical and petty. I’m a true believer that, despite not having the most glowing careers in their Villa shirts, the services of our unwanted, experienced players could give the squad a better sense of solidity and more of a chance of winning a game!

It seems that Charles N’Zogbia has been thrown into the reserves as he admitted via his Instagram account that he is not allowed to train with the first team. If true, it would appear that the French player is set to suffer the same fate as the likes of Alan Hutton, Shay Given, Darren Bent and Stephen Ireland.

I cannot help but think that every single player above could have been utilised this season and would have performed better than the players currently involved in this campaign. What is the worst that could have happened if Lambert had kept hold of them and played them?

If the N’Zogbia speculation is true and Lambert has shut him out then this has to be the final straw for me. I think that decision is a shambolic one. N’Zogbia isn’t our saviour but his experience and his attacking threat could have given us a much better conversion rate in front of goal – particularly with his creative ability. Plus, he is the type of player that Lambert has apparently been hunting for in the transfer market for. We paid just under £10 million for N’Zogbia and not even considering playing him baffles me when he played a part in keeping us in the Premier League with goals against West Ham and Fulham, as well as the odd assist.

I’m confident that we will remain in the Premier League but I hope that Lerner gives Lambert significant funds to improve the squad for us to have any chance of showing progress rather than decline. I would give Lambert until Christmas 2014 but live in hope that his decision-making skills improve considerably by then.


  1. I agree with all you say. We have a striker problem with both injuries and at least two being gabby and Andreas who under the trade description act could possibly be prosecuted. they both seem to conspire to miss more and more easy chances, whilst our £24 million goal hanger is lent out to one of our relegation competitors with us paying part of his wages. We have been crying out for experience, which we know is expensive, whilst leaving experienced players in the bomb squad because they are paid too much and we want to get rid of them. I cannot believe that Hutton is any worse than Bennett or Luna and bent has got to be a better converter of chances than. Weiman ( is there anyone worse). it’s simple, if we are paying there wages they must be in our squad, and mr Lerner should make that clear before releasing any more transfer money for un proven low quality players with potential.

    • Hutton’s a RB, Luna and Bennett are LB’s, see different position.

      Bent couldn’t play in the position Weimann has been playing in a million years. Bent is an out and out striker who does nothing else, weimann tracks back and does a lot more work, anyway Bent hasn’t exactly been a spectacular success at Fulham has he?

  2. Let’s get it right – everything this imbecile does backfires. He’s like a fish out of water. Regarding Charles N’Zogbia, can you remember him having a bad game last season? I can’t and it’s obvious to anyone with a brain that it isn’t for footballing reasons he’s been bombed out – and the same goes for most of the others. This is about money, which makes paying a player but not playing him an absolute idiotic idea but one very befitting of the 3 lunatics we have running our once great club into the ground!

    • N’zog has more bad games for us than good and don’t forget he’s been out injured for most of the season.

  3. Are you seriously saying that Given and Hutton could have improved the side this year? If so, you’ve taken leave of your senses. Given was over the hill when the mad Scot gave him a 4-year over-hyped salary, and if. You think he’s an improvement on Guzan you qualify for section ing under the mental health act. Hutton is simply one of the worst players ever to pull on the shirt. N’Zogbia, from the day he arrived has played like his bootlaces are tied together, and useless as Tonev has looked, he has at least looked interested.

  4. Personally I do not agree with Bomb Squads at all and believe PL has treated players like Hutton etc. in a disgusting manner!

    Villa have over the years had managers wh0o have thrown out some really top players which I wish we had now! To name some: Crouch, Cahill, Ridgwell, Gardner, Luke Moore, Delafoneso, Bannan, Ireland, Forrester etc. To that it seems we can add: Hutton, Given, Ngobia.

    Some of Lamberts signing have poor like those of a certaim MON.

    We need someone to invest money in the Club, a New Chief Executive, a new Manager and at least 5 new top players.

    Malcolm D Watts

    • Crouch – i can see your point, don’t think he’s a great player but he never got a chance
      Cahill – Should never have been sold
      Ridgewell – not good enough
      Gardner – ditto
      Luke Moore – rubbish
      Fonz – worse
      Bannan – Lazy
      Ireland – Lazier
      Forrester – who?
      Hutton – rubbish
      Given – too old
      N’zog – injured

      does this answer your question?

  5. Under the board’s instructions Lambert has to get these high earners out of the club as soon as possible. He’s doing what he’s told. In any case – it’s not like we’ve got Gareth Barry in reserve. Frankly, I don’t think we’d be anywhere different if Lambert had wanted to use the bomb squad. Given is worse than Guzan and Guzan hasn’t been injured. Hutton is appalling, now doing very little on loan at Championship Bolton. In some games he would have been more solid than Bacuna but he wouldn’t provide the same threat or have got the 5 goals Bacuna has either. Stevens is awful. Ireland was utterly pathetic. He wasn’t trying. Most games he barely got beyond walking pace and he was a disgrace to the shirt. Even if we didn’t have the concept of a bomb squad he shouldn’t have been used. N’Zogbia might have made a difference but as we will see with Benteke, a major achilles injury keeps you out a LONG time and it takes a LONG time to get back to real full fitness. Even if N’Zogbia considers himself available to play, I doubt he would be effective at this stage having had so long out and no practice matches. Even then he has been vastly hit and miss for Villa. Bent has had an awful time at Fulham and their new manager also picks 17/18 year olds over him. Because he offers nothing to the team. Delfouneso can’t even cut it in League 1.

  6. If they stayed involved they may not have left. Warnock to Leeds for example. It’s all about money. We don’t have it.

  7. Agree Lambert is under instruction to get the high earners off the payroll and out of the door. OK I can understand that, largely they have appeared disinterested in playing for Villa, by and large. But surely if you want to get rid of a player that you’re paying big wages for currently the idea is to play him…put him in the shop window. If we were playing Ireland Stoke may have paid cold hard cash to take him. If we were playing N’zogbia someone may come in and bid for him in the summer. As it stands we’re just paying them for literally nothing. Crazy. On a side note – N’Zogbia almost single-handedly kept Wigan up the year before we signed him… he just needs the right management.

  8. Is it me or are some you missing the bleeding obvious, PL has had his hands tied because in football there are clauses in contracts ie so many games played triggers automatic pay rise, extra payment made to previous clubs etc, so it could be that he can not put them in the shop window as spaghettiroll rightly states would be the sensible option. Villa are paying for the mismanagement of previous seasons. I would also say it would be fair to say that at least one us making comments has called for some of the so called Bomb Squad players to be out of the team and a useless pile of “Manure”. Anyway hopefully, the summer will bring better news for the future. Up the Villa (SOTC 5-1)

  9. Perhaps I did not make my point very well. I accept that Hutton is not brilliant, but, I can’t see why we have spent good money and wages on two players who are no better. I would rather see Hutton used and the money wasted on Luna and Bennett spent on what we really need! That is a creative midfield player. Bent is an out and out lazy goal hanger, but he sticks the ball in the net when he is played. Gabby and Andreas, this season, have missed sitter after sitter that even Harry Redknapp’s missus would have scored – and quite possibly Bent. Finally, I think using this bomb squad is simply telling the world that this player is rubbish, I am never going to play him again, anyone can borrow him for a few months and we will pay his wages. That’s not the way, in my opinion, to get rid of a player full time.

  10. There is no alternative to the scorched earth policy – you can’t have teenagers on their first adult contract earning more than a Dutch international. The thing I’m waiting to see is which of his own buys he bombs out.

  11. Lambert has lost the plot.The players look like they have lost what little confidence they had and this is purely down to not having experienced players around them. Take Lowton – what a cracking little player he looked last season. I watched him against Fulham and his whole body language was not right, he looked like he wanted to be anywhere other than Villa Park. After the final whistle I stood there staring at the players, most ran down the tunnel before the ref’s whistle had left his mouth. Vlaar looked totally gutted. He slowly walked towards the Holte End, his head buried inside his shirt. He knows it’s not good enough and top and bottom of it is Lambert has brought in way too many young up and coming players and no players with Premier League experience. Lambert your time is up. If not then after 17 years as a season ticket holder mine will be. UP THE VILLA…

  12. All good points made but the biggest problem is Lambert only has one way of playing no matter what system he puts out ,5 3 1 1, 4 4 2, 4 4 1 1, it all reverts to counter attack football with no plan B when teams sit back and counter attack.

  13. Pre match interview Lambert said on radio he would not settle for a draw with Crystal Palace. What a laugh! He settles for another lost game. Now I hope he will be a man and resign his position. We don’t want to go out of Premiership football but looking increasingly more likely while he is manager.


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