Back from the ‘bomb squad’


If I could sum up Charles N’Zogbia in one word, it would be inconsistent. During the game on Sunday against Tottenham Hotspur he showed glimpses of the quality which originally brought him to the club from Wigan for £9.5 million. The forward’s Villa career has been hampered by fall outs and injuries, which have meant that he hasn’t been a regular and was part of Paul Lambert’s ‘bomb squad’. However, if the Frenchman can put in more performance like the one we saw at the weekend, his importance will increase.

Villa fans may have thought they had seen the back of N’Zogbia after Lambert made him train with the reserves and also stripped the playmaker of a squad number. Since he has come back, he has made a positive impact.

An Achilles injury is always a difficult one to overcome and Charles N’Zogbia has done well to return to action after such a lengthy absence. N’Zogbia isn’t fully match fit and is still putting a shift in for the team. He was a bright spark against Tottenham and caused Danny Rose problems, especially for the opening goal. Villa fans have been disappointed with the performances of N’Zogbia in general since his arrival in B6 but no Villa fan could have criticised his performance against Spurs, as the winger brought width and creativity to the team, which we have been crying out for. Charles N’Zogbia is a natural winger, which we desperately need since recently we have been playing with two centre forwards as wingers, which does not really help Christian Benteke out.

Despite losing the game, there were positives to take from it. This may sound like a cliché but it is true nonetheless. As disappointed as fans were at losing, on this occasion we “can’t fault the effort”. The performances of players who were seen as outcasts towards the end of last season will have encouraged Lambert. Matthew Lowton looked to be getting back to the way he started his Villa career. While it is clear that he is lacking in confidence, he will regain it if he has a run in the team and continues to play well. Lowton’s link up play was vital: he played the early crosses into the box, which unsettled Spurs’ back line, and I feel if Benteke is to get back to his best it will be with Lowton in the team. Hutton has done well since being recalled; however, I feel the team can benefit more from the link up play between Lowton and Benteke.

Benteke was silly and his relative inexperience showed in the incident that led to the sending off, as a player can’t raise his hand to an opponent these days. Now the team will have to get by without the big man for three games, when Villa fans would have hoped to see a fully fit Benteke going into the next few games after signs that he was getting back to his best during the Spurs games.

The Villans now go to the Boleyn ground, where they will face an in form West Ham side, on the back of a disappointing result after a good performance. Can N’Zogbia replicate the form he showed in the last match? Will the team miss Benteke too much?
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.


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