Expectations for Next Season


With the World Cup up and running, fans’ focus on matters concerning Villa has faded. From an outsider’s point of view, we are still in the same position we were in when the World Cup started as there has been no progress regarding a takeover.

While we as fans may not be privy to ‘real’ insider knowledge, one thing is for certain: Aston Villa Football Club is still for sale.

With last season being one to forget, it is time to look forward and try and find reasons for optimism for next season.

Paul Lambert is still our manager, Randy Lerner is still our chairman, we have signed two experienced players for free and we’ve let Marc Albrighton go.

First of all, let’s look at the current squad. We’ve finally signed an attacking midfield player who could bring invention and creativity to our style of play, depending on how fit Joe Cole can stay during the season.

Could Cole add the creativity we have craved?

At present, we still have our more important players still at the club. I consider these players to be Brad Guzan, Ron Vlaar, Fabian Delph, Gabby Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke. I’m hopeful that by the end of the transfer window we will still have these players in our team as they are very valuable to us.

Ron Vlaar is having a great run with Holland at the moment and hopefully fans who don’t particularly rate Vlaar and who criticised him during the season are seeing for themselves what he is able to achieve with more solid defenders near him.

With that in mind, I expect Jores Okore to partner Vlaar in defence in the upcoming season and my expectations of these two are very high because I know that they could form a solid partnership for Villa if things go according to plan. I’m not saying that we’ll have the best defence in the Premier League but rather a solid one with players who should be able to hold their own against formidable attackers in the Premiership.

While the centre of defence looks promising, there is a dilemma concerning our full backs. On the left-hand side, we have Antonio Luna, who played a handful of games last season before disappearing. After a storming debut against Arsenal, in which he also scored, things seemed to go downhill for the former Seville left back. He didn’t feature at all in the last few months of the season, partly due to injury, but it did seem at one point that he was being left out.

Joe Bennett and Matt Lowton are two players who made the step up from lower league football. Lambert signed both players and only Lowton has been decent since they’ve been with Villa. Lowton had a great first season at the club, putting in good performances both defensively and in attack. His goal against Stoke and his performance against Sunderland have been the highlights of his Villa career so far but last season was a different story: with some rumours of unrest in his personal life and a supposed falling out with Lambert, his performances last season were simply poor. He seemed to be a shadow of his former self, which was disappointing because many people, including myself, had tipped him to become a great asset to the team. We thought Lambert had made a terrific signing. Instead, Lambert played the versatile Leoandro Bacuna in the right back position for most of the season, with mixed results, while Lowton was benched. When he eventually make the starting line up, Lowton was poor.

I would expect Paul Lambert to sort out the situation regarding our full backs before the start of the season. If not, we could see teams targeting our full backs during games and, as a result, the Villans losing matches.

With Christian Benteke suffering a bad injury and expected to be out of action until October, we’ll need to rely on Gabby Agbonlahor, Andi Weimann, Libor Kozak (who is on the comeback trail from a broken leg) and maybe even Darren Bent to score goals. Last season, we were extremely unlucky with injuries to our strikers and hopefully this time round we have better luck.

On paper, we haven’t got a bad strike force at all. In fact, it’s probably the area in which we are strongest.

Right now, Benteke is our main threat. From what I saw of Libor Kozak before he got injured, he knew where the goal was. If he recovers in time from his broken leg, we’ll need him to spearhead the attack at the start of the season.

We'll be relying on the powerhouse Kozak until Benteke returns from injury
We’ll be relying on the powerhouse Kozak until Benteke returns from injury

Agbonlahor and Weimann need to step up, as their goal tallies are extremely poor. I understand that they’re playing out wide but I’ve seen them miss shocking chances which should be their bread and butter. They must play better.

We also have the forgotten man Nicklas Helenius, whose exclusion from the squad left fans very confused. Hopefully, he will have a part to play soon if he stays with Villa.

So, what are my expectations for next season?

My realistic expectations are that the Villans:

  • become harder to beat;
  • gain at least eleven clean sheets (compared to nine clean sheets last season);
  • score more than thirty-nine goals in the Premier League, which is not good enough at this level;
  • get to the quarter finals of either the FA Cup or the League Cup;
  • Win more at home as our results at home were extremely poor last season.

Those are my current expectations for the coming season. It’s hard to be more definitive, as there are many factors which could change between now and August, altering my expectations.

What are your expectations for the season ahead? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.


  1. Well! Well! Well!

    Just another negative posting! Grow up The end of the World has not yet come and nor has the end of Aston Villa the greatest Football Team Ever!

    As I pointed out yesterday when a company is for Sale the owners do not talk about who may or may not be in for it. Randy Lerner has been in talks with the US Guys mentioned on the article by The Sunday People and checking all out before making an offer! That is how companies do their business! It would have been better if we had sacked Lambert but accept just it! I am sure Villa will surprise people next season and some new Stars of the Future will be uncovered! And then when our new owners are in place we will be competing at the top of the Table and not the bottom end!

    You say your a Massive Fan! Well you maybe massive in size but your certainly not a committed Fan or else you would not write such negative stuff.

    Up the Villa always will be the Greatest Football Team of all time and anytime soon will be wi8nning Cups and Champions Medals.

    Malcolm Watts

    • What was negative about the article ? He simply stated the facts of where we are now and where hed like us to be. Would you prefer if he was a delusional fan thinking “Villa are the greatest team in world football” and could push on next season for a champions league spot or perhaps even a league challenge ..and all this without any investment ? To insult his size, Im not sure you even know the writer shows your mentality.You state we will unearth the future gems of world football, well is this blind faith or shear stupididty that makes you think this ? The article is not negative at all it simply states where we currently are,if you dont like that well thats just tough beccause that is where we are at right now.

  2. My expectation for the season is simply avoiding relegation,and of course hoping that a good buyer comes along and we have a decent time in the transfer market. Injuries had a huge role to play last time, robbing us of our two strikers, at one point of time our star defender, and at another point of time the newbie Okore, as well as N’Zogbia, who could’ve surely proved his mettle at No. 10, he was starting to look the real deal second last season ending. The free kick against west ham says more, that we have got a set piece man in N’Zogbia too.
    I think if the worst happens this season, still we will avoid relegation. Burnley is down, if not QPR, and Hull are also surely down, they have Europa League fixtures to play. I think the third team, if the situation is really bad, could be us. Really, I think that Aston Villa football club’s unfortunate predicament is such that avoiding relegation will be crucial,leave alone mid-table.But the confidence remains. Remind me who that third team will be, and I think West Ham will have a nice time in the Championship in 2015-16 along with the other two.
    Aston Villa can be far, but we are taking baby backward steps for a reason: When the lion goes a step backward, it is able to lunge a step further next time. Or let’s hope it’s that way.

  3. I think the report you gave was about right! Hopefully we can get some beef in our ranks to give us the best possible chance I am hoping Lambert has been given the oppotunity to search for quality players! At least Joe Cole is a big name and Darren Bent can have a big imput given the chance! Hopefully Kozak will be fit and of course Bentenke goes without saying, look forwards to him comming back fit and well the most important thing to see new owners who acually show an interest in the club we all love its criminal that we have been stripped of all our assets and top players in the last four seasons it simply cannot go on if we are to stay in the prem So looking forwards to the next season with fingers crossed we are sold very very soon to a football magnet with an open checque book and deep pockets anyway heres to the villa through thick and thin

  4. New owner,manager,ceo or despair,even the thought of last season or another Lambert season fills me with horror.

  5. I think some posters are being very optimistic because this current team is total crap and the new signings are dire.We need quality but Lerner wont provide it so unless we get took over we will be relegated next season I am not being negative I am being realistic we have an awful owner and manager and a joke squad 17th next season would be a great result.

  6. Malcom, can I have some of the stuff you are smoking mate? We will be relegated if this carries on, Lambert is a total train crash, you are in denial sir. The first step back to normality is to open your mind to reality and then , together, we may be able to change things.

    A fans’ revolt is not far away and is the only way forward in my opinion, let’s get organised….

  7. A very optimistic post. Optimism based on what? We have picked up two experienced free transfers neither of whom has done anything of note for 3 or 4 seasons and there is no sign of our actually paying money for someone good. It is easy to knock Lambert after two dismal seasons but the fact remains he has bought a lot of players who are simply not premiership class which suggests he is a poor judge of players. But worst, and something which seems to have gone un-noticed, is that Lambert has not improved individually any of the young players. Clark, Baker, Lowton, Westwood, Bowery, Helenius, Tonev, Bennett, Bacuna…… all young players at the stage when they should be developing into experienced pros but who apart from perhaps Westwood is any better as a player now than he was two years ago? None of them. “You can’t win anything with kids”. Well….. Beckham, Scholes, Giggs, Butt, the Nevilles…… the point is they all IMPROVED under Ferguson, they improved collectively and made a team but they improved individually, understanding and reading the game better and developing their skills. Our youngsters under Lambert have simply stagnated.

    • Have to agree ,our young inexperienced players from 2 years ago such as Clark Baker Herd Bennet,have not improved and in fact in some cases like Clark they have gotten worse!We can keep saying they are young and inexperienced,they now have experience and still make the same mistakes over and over agian. Just not good enough and time to ship out.

  8. Here is a good way I think the season will pan out:
    We will score more than 45 goals.
    We will concede less than 55 goals.
    We will grab more points against weak teams, even if we do not grab points against the strong teams(Assuming that we are a somewhat mid-table team)
    Our home form should reflect more wins than defeats.
    Our away form should not consist of losses. Even 10 draws and 5 victories would be decent.
    Villa should always play for the win,unless a debacle brings us 5-0 down, in which case we defend sharper.
    Villa have to find a new attacking dimension

  9. Spot on JW,Lambert can not improve the youngsters at all,stagnated for two seasons,thus the,lets sign the half dead experienced drivel now.Kinda gone against all that he promised.Any other club around the world would have sacked him a long time ago,but then again we are the Villa.We enjoy the pain of failure.Sad state of affairs when the faithful are just happy to survive.The ambition has been sucked dry out of the club by the Muppets in control.

  10. perhaps the expert critics could explain how Herd who did not play last season or Bennet who only played a few matches can be expected to improve when they have not had match time . As for Clark & Baker it would seem they have learnt a lot of bad habits whilest playing together & unlearning such things takes time !
    As for hoofball it would seem Villa’s critics have hoofball on the brain !


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