The Villa boys last won a game on September 13th. Since then, they have lost four on the bounce and now look depleted and like they have regressed. The ‘progress’ we saw at the start of the season has been cancelled out by half-hearted displays in which the players’ energy and desire were questioned.
Fans are now disillusioned. The ‘Roy Keane effect’ has seemingly worn off. Paul Lambert is on the defensive once again. All the hard work of weeks gone by has been obliterated.
Things aren’t great but we are well off compared to our ‘friends’ at Small Heath…
Paul Lambert should have signed a striker in August. He should have sorted out another attacking option one way or another. Helenius, Robinson and Drennan were loaned out even though Lambert had to start the season without his injured strikers, Benteke and Kozak. Benteke is back but he lacks a natural partner. The link-up play between Benteke and the midfield is good. Agbonlahor is not good enough. Drennan does not look like he will make it and Robinson’s loan spell has been extended. Darren Bent is still lurking around but he probably would not work well with Benteke.
Lambert and his players are totally at fault. He needs to push them again as the tenacity has gone. The determination has been wiped out. The performances are drab and goals are being leaked. Team selections have been poor for a while. Clark has being playing when he is simply not good enough: he is clumsy on the ball and constantly launches it long. Okore has not featured this season yet he has international experience. Baker is improving. As it stands, Vlaar has not signed a new deal and Senderos is out injured. Lambert does not lack defensive options. Why doesn’t he delve deeper?
Up front, chances have been at a premium. The formation should bring chances and open up play but this has not happened. Chances have gone by. Benteke was offside many times against Everton. It is not good enough that our main striker keeps getting pulled up for being offside. Where is the Ian Taylor in the side? Where’s the Peter Withe? We need a quality player to support Benteke. We cannot expect to see Benteke work wonders straight away. He needs to be eased back in. Without more support, it will take longer for that to happen. Movement is currently restricted. Cissokho and Hutton have been unable to push on in recent weeks.
I expect to see a huge difference against QPR tonight. Against QPR, the Villans can push on. Drab performances can be forgotten. Having plummeted to fifteenth in the Premier League table, the Villans need to attack the opposition from the first whistle. The black hole of Aston Villa’s season is gone. It is time to move on and climb back up the table, starting tonight at Loftus Road.