I think some people have gotten rather carried away with our dip in form. While there’s no papering over the fact that four goals in eight games isn’t exactly great and while no-one enjoys losing four on the bounce, I just can’t see the Villans making it five in a row tomorrow night when they head to Loftus Road. Here’s why: we’ve got Benteke back, who is getting better by the week, and, if you believe Aston Villa Football Club’s PR machine, Joe Cole is going to start playing a bigger role. You can say whatever you like about him but wherever he’s been he’s been a match winner when fit. In addition, Vlaar and Senderos will hopefully be the pairing at the back.
This may sound like blind faith but if you look at our team and QPR’s one, when you compare the players, we are better in almost every area of the pitch. I don’t see Dunne and Ferdinand being able to cope with the strength of Benteke or the pace of Agbonlahor and Weimann. I’m hoping to get home from work on Monday, grab some dinner and settle down to watch a stress-free win. Have I finally lost the plot? Maybe, although thinking positively is better than spending my days tweeting about how poor we’ve been.
Looking to the next few games, I can really see us picking up our form again and steadying the ship, which should leave us in mid-table by Christmas, providing that our key players don’t pick up any more long-term injuries. Delph will be missed but I think that we have the squad depth to cope with his absence for a few months. Hopefully, Cole will grasp the opportunity to prove that he can still compete at the top level and unlock a few defences for Benteke to take full advantage of in order to get those vital goals.
There is the possibility that Lambert can make further additions to the squad in January, hopefully in the form of another striker to ease the pressure on Benteke. However, with Kozak set to return in the new year, Lambert may choose to invest in other areas of the squad. Another centre back to replace Vlaar if he does decide to head off would be useful. It looks more likely that Cleverley will be signing a permanent deal as well, even though we all knew that was coming anyway.
Remember, fellow Villa fans, no matter how bad things get, no matter how few goals we score or how many of the top five sides we lose to, things could always be worse: at least we haven’t just lost 0-8 at home to AFC Bournemouth…
Up the Villa!