The table sometimes lies


It’s hard to think back to specific weekends last season and remember how, as fans, we were feeling.

I honestly couldn’t remember my attitude towards Villa after fifteen games: the whole season seemed to be tinged with disappointment, so I naturally assumed, as we are on a five game unbeaten run and have just strung two hard fought victories together, we would be feeling a lot better this year.

However, when I look at the table and compare it to last year’s from the same period, I see that we hold exactly the same league position, have scored fewer goals and conceded more.

This is not me suggesting that we need to stop being so positive after a run of decent form – quite the opposite. I actually feel better this year. I would be interested to know if other Villa fans share my susceptibility to optimistic swings. Between games, although I often say I think we will lose, a part of me sneakily reckons we could get some points whereas the minute we start playing I get so nervous and believe everything that could go wrong will. This is not healthy and productive but it’s just the way I deal with the nerves.

This time, I am going to try and be a bit more vocally optimistic before the Albion game tomorrow afternoon. Looking at the two tables, while we are marginally worse off than a year ago, there didn’t seem, at any time last season, to be a period of calm. I felt, and I accept I may need some correcting as my memory isn’t always the best, that every match was turning into a “must win” game – in the desperate “We’ll get relegated!” way. I know every game is a must win really – and we were regularly not winning them. We had to rely on some really fluky results against the likes of Chelsea, City and Southampton.

Since the shocking run this season, and it was shocking, the Villa boys have started to look like a team again, and a team that can hold its own in this league. We held firm against a rampant West Ham, we were unlucky to only get a point against Southampton, we just weren’t quite ruthless enough against Burnley and we were just that against Palace and Leicester, although I would, of course, prefer slightly more comfortable victories in the future. Right now, I’ll take anything.

In short, I feel much more positive now than I did at any point last season. We have strung some decent results together and are starting to recover after the shellshock of Arsenal, Chelsea and City, from which we were still reeling for Everton, QPR and Spurs. We have a good goalkeeper, a solid back four who look like they are enjoying playing and who are showing some passion, a solid if unglamorous midfield and a match winner up front. We must not get carried away but I think, and hope, even though the table currently suggests otherwise, we are in for a better season this year and we should be aiming for nothing less than a top half finish, however optimistic that is. UTV!


  1. I have to disagree. Lambert has had another year in charge and the standard of football and system is worst than when he took over. I have lost confidence that Lambert can assemble a team that can play attractive football which would see in in the top half of the prem. Last year I was prepared to stick with him but this year its not so much the poor results but the style of play thats so depressing so he has to go if things are going to improve.
    Take Benteke out of the team and we are relegated. Thats one serious injury away from Championship football.

    • I think you slightly miss the point in saying ‘I have lost confidence that Lambert can assemble a team that can play attractive football which would see in in the top half of the prem’. Attractive football doesn’t necessarily lead to success. Tony Pulis has been a relatively successful manager and not even a blind person would accuse his teams of playing attractive football on the other hand Spurs are trying to play attractive football and are struggling this season especially when you consider the value of their team.

      I don’t believe PL can put together a team that can lead us to a top half finish no matter what the style of football but like the writer of the article I’m becoming slightly more optimistic that we won’t be sweating our bo**ocks off at the end of the season. Fingers crossed anyway.

  2. the problem is lambert has not developed a plan b or c for when benteke is injured or when we are at home
    to lower prem or league opponents,,,

    it finally seems the cogs in his brain are turning but it should have been thought about sooner

    and i too think we have a decent squad capable of playing more than 433,, injuries however have stalled the process of development but has allowed players like clarke, baker okore and sanchez time on the pitch and they have certainly not let anyone down,

    i am quite positive also, the shortcomings of the squad may be addressed in the transfer window
    especially if vlaar and delph depart, this would free up a couple of squad places,,
    we need another goalscorer to play off benteke and a winger, and then there is the creative element in midfield,, i still have hope that cleverly will improve as the team gets better now benteke is back

    a lot of the top 6 teams have fringe players we may be able to loan too,
    we have a far better squad compared to last season, and a bit of tweaking could see us have a really good second half to the season

  3. Delphi goes,Lambert will waste the money on Clevs who is utter sh**e. Change will come when this vampire departs, give a new man a chance to get the best from the rubbish he has brought to the club. This is the only solution.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here