Are things looking up for Villa?


With the signings of Joe Cole and Phillipe Senderos last week, it seems Paul Lambert is going in a new direction. For the last two seasons, it seemed the philosophy was to bring in young, hungry players to fill up the squad, eventually pushing them into the first team.

Due to injuries and phasing out some of the players who seemingly earned high wages but didn’t contribute enough to the team or who have questionable attitudes, the youngsters were put in to the starting XI – with mixed results. On some days we looked brilliant and on others we looked abysmal.

At this moment in time, I’m glad we’ve finally signed someone who has brilliant ball control and the ability to link up play as well as having  ‘footballing intelligence’ – Joe Cole. We’ve been crying out for a ‘number ten’ type player who can pick the ball up near the final third and make things happen. In my opinion, Cole was never utilised in the right manner at West Ham. ‘Big Sam’ likes to play a certain way, with certain types of players, and I don’t think Joe Cole was ever going to feature too much in his plans, despite his experience and his creativity.

With talented youngsters in our squad, it will be great to have a player of Joe Cole’s pedigree to learn from. I’m thinking specifically of Jack Grealish. Having someone who’s won a lot in his career to look up to can be inspiring, as well as important for personal development.

On the pitch, it seems as if Joe Cole will be playing centrally, in a midfield three with Ashley Westwood and Fabian Delph, although in a more advanced position. He’ll be in line with Gabby Agbonlahor on the left and Andreas Weimann on the right, playing behind the striker, whoever that may be.

If that will be how the team lines up (bearing in mind that the whole situation could change by August 31st) then I’ll be happy with the attack. With Joe Cole coming in, this will allow Gabby Agbonlahor and Weimann not to have to focus on ‘creativity’, as they have been forced to in the past because of the lack of creativity in the team. Consequently, they can play to their strengths, which involves out and out attacking, running in behind the defence while supporting the defenders on the wings.

I was a little bit confused as to why we would sign Senderos but after thinking about it rationally I can see why Lambert has brought him in. He brings international experience and Premiership experience, which is invaluable. I think bringing in another centre back was a good decision. If Jores Okore becomes our starting centre back, paired with Ron Vlaar, I’m hopeful a good partnership will blossom and that Villa will reap the rewards. However, if one of the two should get injured, having Senderos, Clark and Baker waiting to come in is acceptable. Clark and Baker have been thrown in at the deep end in the last two seasons. Although some may argue that they’re not youngsters any more, they’re still players who have the capability and time to improve.

Hopefully, our future will become clearer and our situation will improve within the next few months. If we can actually spend some money, I hope Paul Lambert signs a new left back and a new right back because it’s those positions which we need to cover the most now.


  1. Finally, someone who sees that these are positive steps made by a well run football club.

    We have blooded the youngsters and they’ve done well. Add some experience and Villa have a good squad.

  2. Personally, I would prefer CNZ (if fit) over Joe Cole. Having said that, Cole would be a more than adequate replacement for CNZ if things are not working out. I also believe that NOW is the time for Jack Grealish to make a step up. I will be disappointed if he didnt get at least 8 to 10 starts next season. Senderos, for me is a ‘no brainer’. He is actually pretty decent when in form. Lets face it, if you’ve played for Arsenal, Milan, Everton and Valencia you must have something in your locker. If he can add consistency to his game he will be a good addition to the squad IMO. Iwill probably take Okore a few games to get match fit so Senderos could well be used with Vlaar from the outset.

  3. Axl, is that you Mr Faulkner?!!! 😉

    We are not a well run club – anything but. we are run by a despotic owner who does not like to be challenged and therefore has appointed his cronies/yes men to the board.

    As a consequence, we became heavily loss making whilst not bringing in professionals with commensurate capabilities.

    We then lurched from different type of manager to different of manager meaning that there was no consistency in the squad development.

    Over the past two years we have followed a crazy strategy of just recruiting youngsters whilst leaving large gaps in both experience (centre back) and our squad in general (no creativity etc.).

    We are not well run!!!

  4. I am sorry but to those of you who think AV is a badly run club, you are so wrong.

    Our troubles are on the field. The club it self has a GOOD bottom line. Compare AV against most of the others and you can see why we as a Football club are attractive to a potential buyer/ Faulkner has actually done a good job with the clubs finances. That’s what he was signed up to do and he has made a decent job of it.

    The owner, unfortunately, became disengaged and therein lies our problems. An engaged owner would have removed Lambchop and invested money to purchase better players.

    Knowing lambchop as we do, he will probably play Joe in goal or Right back, because, he does not know what a number 10 should do. He is a hit em on the break kinda guy. Senderos has something to prove, he is an excellent signing for us, plus he speaks the lingo.

    But we are still the bookies favorite for the drop so a lot of work still has to be done and personally I have very little faith that lambchop can do it

  5. Of course things are looking up.

    In the next few months, we will see nearly half a team come – Benteke, Kozak, Okore, and CNZ. Add to that we may still have Bent and Hutton, then the additions of Cole and Sendoros are good ones.

    Lambert is just operating under specific conditions, so although most don’t want him, I am happy with the business done so far.

    Now for a hard man midfielder, and I think we will be ok to survive relegation for one more season if a new buyer isnt found.

  6. Keane may prove the critics wrong, but Cole, I think, has gone. Need more signings or the decline beckons. Totally no faith in Lambert, or Lerner. Faulkner only adds to this debacle.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here