The countdown ended on Saturday as the Villans finally scored a goal in the Premier League but we still have a few conundrums to solve.
With the clock ticking towards eleven hours, most Villa fans weren’t expecting much against top of the table Chelsea, especially after the morale-damaging 5-0 loss against Arsenal last weekend. Indeed, most Villa fans were fully expecting the fourth longest goal drought in Premier League history to continue.
However, centre back Jores Okore steered a header past Courtois into the back of the net in the second half. You could see what this meant to the fans but also to the players as Okore jumped into the lower Holte to celebrate, showing passion which our players have been lacking.
Although we did lose 2-1 in the end, I can’t blame the lads given their performances. They battled hard and maybe should have kept Mourhino’s non-winning record at Villa Park intact. However, it wasn’t to be.
The big news before kick-off was that Benteke had been dropped to the bench, with Agbonlahor taking his place as the lone striker. Personally, I believe this was a good call by Paul Lambert as Benteke has been simply dreadful in recent weeks. I suspect this dip in form is because he knows he has no competition, with Kozak out injured and Weimann being played predominantly as a winger. Now he knows that his position is under threat, he will hopefully begin to fire again.
The spotlight shone on Okore’s goal but the forwards, once again, didn’t have a big enough impact. Even though they worked hard all game, I still think they should be making more forward runs. Danny Murphy summed our problems up perfectly on ‘Match of the Day’, saying that we are playing too many safe passes and that we do not try to move forward enough. He singled out Cleverley, a player some believe is the latest claret and blue scapegoat, for criticism, stating: “When they did get in areas, Cleverley doesn’t even turn and look forward. He’s got two men ahead. The chance is gone. It’s a safe pass.”
Gil was, by far, our best player on Saturday. The skill, followed by the cross, which led to Okore scoring was simply sensational – and something that the Villa team has been lacking in in recent seasons. I would like to see Lambert play a 4-4-2, with Weimann and Benteke up top and Gil and Agbonlahor on the wings. More goals are most definitely needed and it is worth trying Weimann up top as he works hard and knows how to finish when he gets the chance to.
The drought may have ended but the dreaded dogfight could yet await the Villans so we now live in hope that the Lions tame the Tigers tomorrow night.