It may be pointless getting hyped up by Villa’s convincing 4-1 victory against Norwich yesterday but I believe Villa fans should believe our time is now if the Villa jigsaw continues to be rebuilt in the coming weeks, with the correct tactics used by Lambert.
With the side looking comfortable after a nervy opening twenty minutes, we took control with a dominant counter-attacking, pressing performance that always works for Villa yet Lambert rarely deploys it at Villa Park. The cycle below shows how it is put into practice:
The diagram shows a lot of what I want to explain. I believe this strategy should be implemented by Paul Lambert more often as it is a proven recipe for success. Look at the wins against Arsenal, Manchester City: this strategy was key. The strategy is something similar to my flow chart. The fans realise that this tactic works so why doesn’t Lambert always use it? Personally, I question Lambert’s tactics but if he used this tactic week in, week out the points would soon start racking up. When we use this formation, Gabby Agbonlahor works to his full potential, as do the other players. The side that played yesterday is arguably one of Villa’s strongest. The midfield pressure was brilliant. When we played forward, the young, energetic midfield triplet sparked into life, pressing immediately and preventing the Norwich players from turning and running, apart from when we conceded but arguably that was due to nerves.
A similar strategy should be deployed by Paul Lambert in our next game against Chelsea. Yesterday’s game highlighted what the side is capable of with the pressing working well and the team working in unison. We have a young side we need to exploit that more. The youth means energy to Lambert and potential but what does the future hold if Lambert sticks with gung-ho tactics if all is not well? The answer is a one way ticket to the Championship and trips to Yeovil and Barnsley… We can avoid relegation as the players are capable of great things given the right tactics and time.
Furthermore, against Norwich we played with conviction and took a risk or two. Benteke’s goals highlighted this with the first a world-class bicycle kick and the second a brave header when he could easily have been penalised for pushing on the Norwich defender’s back. Whenever we put the ball in the box we looked like scoring. The opposition was a poor Norwich side, not Chelsea or Real Madrid, but if the ball is constantly put in that area against Chelsea in the upcoming fixture then Benteke et al should be able to capitalise on that. All the top sides can counter-attack at speed and we can do that too. Why not use our strengths more? Benteke can be unpredictable again if this strategy is deployed. The Villans could be difficult to play against if we use the counter-attacking style that we are renowned for.
A win, even a win over Norwich, is exactly what we needed and a convincing win against struggling opponents will do wonders for the team ahead of the long, hard, slog to the season’s finish.
What do you think of Lambert’s tactics? I would love to hear from you so feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment.