Where has the pride gone?

In General Villa

Before anyone accuses me of not being proud to be a Villa fan, let me categorically state that I am. I am very proud to support Aston Villa. Don’t let my headline mislead you: this piece is not about the fans’ pride, it’s about the club’s lack thereof.

It would appear that Randy Lerner is just happy to ensure the club’s Premier League survival, which is not good enough for a club with a history as rich as Aston Villa’s. When Randy Lerner took over, he waxed lyrical about a bright future, not a bleak one. I don’t understand what it is going to take to make the board re-engage with the club and its fans. Ultimately, we need Lerner to sell the club but that sale doesn’t seem to be on the horizon. We cannot go on like this or we will be relegated, if not this season then maybe next. No club can flirt with the trap door this often and not fall through it at some point.

A 0-0 draw with an in-form West Ham side is not a sign that things are turning around. In all honesty, we were lucky to escape from the Boleyn Ground with a point. There were some instances in that game when we made the Hammers look like Real Madrid. Don’t you remember what it is like to play as West Ham did? Wouldn’t it be nice to be pushing for a finish in the top half of the table and to be sniffing around the European places?

There are issues at every level of Aston Villa Football Club – and something is going to give. I am not at all confident that our next game, at home against Southampton, will result in anything but a defeat. Our players look unlikely to score and, short of another Guzan masterclass, they’ll be beaten quite easily.

Is it really any shock that Delph and Vlaar don’t seem to want to sign new deals? They’re not Villa fans in the sense that we are. They are merely employees of Aston Villa Football Club and their employer is failing to take advantage of their potential by not providing the tools for them to do their jobs.

I’m amazed that Paul Lambert is still Aston Villa’s manager after this run. Any other chairman would have booted him out long ago, making the four year deal he quite recently signed laughable. You can say what you like about Doug Ellis but I cannot recall him ever suffering relegation battles or incompetent managers for very long; those who messed up were shown the door.

Lambert and Lerner are not the men for the famous Aston Villa. We need change – and fast – or I’m afraid that we will continue to sink, ending up with us having to travel to Bournemouth on a cold Tuesday night in a not too distant December.

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12 commentsOn Where has the pride gone?

  • Pride ..how do you instil pride into a group of players to get the best out of them? That’s a question I cannot answer, would have thought that would come from the manager and the coaching team and a system that’s gets the best out of the team. For too long we have played without passion, without an identity. We have become the genuine one man team (no Benteke, no goals, no goal threat ). All of this should have been taken care of a long time ago. The over reliance on one player to make the difference to our team is poor management, after all it is a team game.

    Allowing Vlarr and Delph’s contracts to wind down is again poor management plus behind the scene replacement should have been lined up just in case the inevitable happens (they leave).
    I don’t believe that playing the top six from last year is any reason for poor results because this is a new season with experience gained and proper tactical astuteness applied we could have gain some good results only we didn’t and the same excuses were rolled out ..

    In my opinion it’s time for lambert to go I’ve not seen any progress (have you now be honest) over his two and a bit seasons in charge he fails to motivate the team and supporters alike in fact he has generated fear and confusion amongst supporters and players of that I am sure and that cannot be good for any club wishing to be amongst the elite in English football

  • “…we will continue to sink, ending up with us having to travel to Bournemouth… ” – Yes, and that’ll be travelling to a Premier team with us as the Championship underdogs and losing heavily as Lambert rests players for our more important relegation battle.

    What a team needs is a manager who makes the team more than the sum of its parts. What Villa have is a manager who makes the team less than the sum of their parts: 1 point out of the last 21, with 1 goal scored – just to mention the most recent run of abject record-breaking failiure under Paul Lambert.

    We play Southampton next. Just look at the contrast between the two teams and their managers and how they approach and play games. It’s truly shocking.

    In football terms we have an incompetent owner and an incompetent manager, with a part-time assistant manager busy creating a career for himself as a celebrity psychopath. What could possibly go wrong?

    P.S. Heard on the radio this morning that Lerner has said Lambert’s job is safe.

    • I agree with many of your points but we are stuck until the club is sold. Despite this
      i have this inner feeling the team will kick on. Recently I see small improvements from the players
      but I agree lambert is a miserable manager to have at a club, and for some players he just ruins them.
      Take bent, because he wont change the style of play to suit his game, he just discards him like a empty fag packet, and this is why Lambert is a poor manager. He had plenty of chances to get players in to allow Bent to be effective and maybe give us a plan b. Bent is a 442 player with at least one winger, Ashley Young being a great foil for him but Lambert only plays one way, with the right players against the right teams it’s effective but with the usual little possession and few attacks it’s hard to watch but against poor teams it’s just dire full stop, as we dont have the players to pick through massed ranks of defenders and get picked off on the break.

      But I feel I should explain why I feel optimistic. Lerner has allowed us some money for some players, and Lambert’s experienced players have been generally good. Senderos, Richardson and Cleverly have been an improvement and very welcome. Sanchez will be very good and Sissoko is a tough defender but needs to be slightly better in defence and a lot better going forward and Hutton has been great. N’zogbia still needs more games against the teams in the lower half of the table to get his confidence up.

      The big crumb of hope is that I genuinely feel Lambert realises that we need a different formation at home as 433 is just dull with the players we have so against spurs it looked like 442 and it was better, but we need Benteke to play this and better crosses from Lowton and Sissoko and we need to get goals from corners and set peices and free kicks, and the midfield needs to start scoring/creating.

      So there is lots to improve and games against lesser opposition will hopefully allow the team to get better, although in the past like QPR we have struggled against the lower teams but the Spurs game gives me hope.

  • Agree entirely no bright future more a dark one. 25 years a season ticket holder but not this year and that makes me sad. I hate Lambert for what he has done to our club.

  • I saw plenty of pride from the players yesterday, and despite pushing our luck the team played to Lamberts defensive 433, and do you know what? it’s not rocket science to choose to play in a way that has got you so many points away from home, especially when you have your 3 best players this season out and your only real hope of scoring banned.

    I want to make something perfectly clear to you, Lerner could really pull the plug, but this season he has backed Lambert with some cash and players, then key players have been injured at critical times and the fixture list has been horrendous. Not only do we play the top 7 ish last season, it then throws us two of the most in form teams. Only QPR provided us with a fixture we should have won but injuries to Delph, Hutton and Sendeross hampered this, plus the rusty returning Benteke and Vlaar and Sanchez who is new to the team and premier league and Lowton who has just not played.

    To not take any of this and its effect on a team’s morale or form shows you really don’t understand football.
    We were the better team by far against QPR and better than Spurs, and could have nicked it yesterday if one of the 3 good chances had snook in.

    This team is hampered till Benteke comes back, as when fit he allows us to be more direct and is great in the air and links play brilliantly, and can score from nothing, and can get the best out of Weimann
    and the team is fighting like tigers but there are areas that need to be worked on, clearly we need goals. Benteke’s return will help here, against Spurs you could see he was still rusty but
    his presence was very uncomfortable for the Spurs defence, and we played more like a 442 with Weimann and Nzog rotating and it was better.

    The midfield continues to show improvement, Cleverly is starting to play himself into form and Sanchez will be a fantastic player for us, and could well be used in a more attacking role rather than the defensive role he was known for but it may take a season before he gets to the level i think he is capable of. And westwood has picked up his form again and has been solid in Delphs absence. All three are improving, but there is work needed in the last third, specifically movement into the box, shooting, and assists for goals. All including Delph need to improve here and all of the players draughted for injuries or returning from injury have made costly mistakes but it will get better. I am genuinely positive about where the team is at, we have a run of fixtures now where we can genuinely pick up points, plus Lambert will have money to spend in January so we may get another loan player in and buy one.

    I just hope we can persuade Vlaar and Delph to stay, i dont like Lambert but we are stuck with him and if we can improve the football in the last third we will be more than ok.

    • Lambert is now into 3rd season at Villa yet we are not progressing.

      Transfer funds aside, prior to Villa, Lambert had proven record at lower league level.

      This is the problem. Just no proven top level experience.

  • I think I’m now beginning to understand what C.Gale is saying, and agree with him.

    He’ s correct in saying Lambert has managed to avoid relegation the last two seasons, but fear not, he’ll get it right in the end.

    The whole idea of the 4 year contract extension, is give him plenty of time to make his way into the Championship, hence the signing of lower league average players, the manager will then be in his element, and build a mid table Championship side worthy of Aston Villa.

    He knows we’re not yet ready to take on the likes of Rotherham, Reading etc, this has been proved by the sides that have knocked us out of cup competitions quite easily.

    He has 4 years for this project, and will make sure he has the right players to hold their own in that division, and not have to fight relegation to league one.

    He has the full backing of Lerner in this plan, who I would imagine, can see the possibility of selling Villa Park for rebuilding as a housing complex, and ground sharing with Walsall, the bucks will roll in, happy owner, happy manager, and happy supporters who will haves wallowed in the spin coming out of Villa park since Lerner appointed Lambert.

    Onwards and downwards. UTV

  • There have been many things wrong with the management of the club, but it seems for now Lerner is supporting the team. The appointment of Fox, keane and Lambert’s contract extension gives the club stability

    We may not like the fact that Lambert has four years, but strange things happen in football like Delph playing for England, if you had said that two years ago you would have been taken away to the funny farm.

    And I have actually said we miss Hutton, I would have spat on anyone saying that and Baker looks like a central defender.

    yes strange things happening at villa park,,,,

    despite my optimism basicaly fuelled by a decent performance against spurs, a performance against QPR where we some how lost and yesterdays battling draw,, i just feel we are about to turn the corner

    why,,, you ask,,, well benteke will be back, no doubt he will play for belgium so will continue to get games and fitness,
    with him up front lambert can change the team around him, which he did against spurs playing 442
    and players returning from injury or lay off will get games against teams we should get results against

    and cleverly is getting better and sanchez shows moments of real class, and westwood has been pretty solid too
    against west ham again they played some good interpassing quick controlled football,, we just need the big man back to give us an outlet and weinmann to play off him,,
    it may be when delph returns we play westwood sanchez and delph in the middle with cleverly in front with benteke and winegum as the two up front

    but one thing is clear, we need the beast back and his ban and sending off has put a lot of unneeded pressure on the team
    time will tell,,,,

  • Daveyb
    Are you an employee of the club or a drug addict ?

    • Probably a drug addict or heading that way… I probably am too optimistic, i just want to bring some positivity to all the very worthy negativity, as you know who ain’t going anywhere.

      I agree with a lot of what you are all saying and I am clinging to the fact I think Lambert is about to change the formation when Benteke returns based on what I saw against Spurs and to be honest I wanted Lambert gone as much as anyone, but we now have a half decent squad full of players with potential. When you compare the team to last season Baker, Hutton, Delph and Weimann are playing better, also Westwood has improved last couple of games and sanchez will get better as the season progresses.

      We just need to start scoring and untill Benteke is fit we are treading water. His return is the key, you cant blame Lambert for the fixtures thrown at us, or the injuries to Vlaar, again, and Benteke, again, and Delph,,, again,, and Kozak’s career threatening injury or Gabby’s poor form, and finally Benteke’s very costly sending off so that has to be taken into account. Where you can have a go at him is some of his earlier signings, his negative and seemingly clueless tactics, his dour miserable same old same old post match interview but for a man that has played at big clubs at the highest level, I cant believe him or Keane have no tactical nous. It’s more like playing to the very poor teams perceived strengths in an over cautious way
      and that’s why I hate him. Against saints we should play 442 with Bent and Weimann up front with Richardson on the right and the 3 in midfield as usual,to keep it tight and have Gabby, Bacuna, Cole, Zog or Grealish to change it if neededbut no doubt it will be 433 Gabby up front zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      The lads gave everything against Spurs and West Ham so they are up for it, but we will probably get beat by Southampton as the team is set until Benteke’s return and lowton will get ripped apart against the Saints.

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