After a decent performance against Cardiff on Saturday, and with Villa having earned three points, some fans are still heavily critical of Paul Lambert. Sometimes, I question what supporters are expecting to see from Villa. They expect the team to be able to convincingly beat the likes of Cardiff and Hull but in reality no game is easy in the Premier League so they should not expect that. Realistically, and as much as it may hurt, Aston Villa is not a top six club any more. The loosened purse strings from the Martin O’ Neill days are long gone; supporters should stop living in the past and start to open their eyes to what Paul Lambert is starting to achieve. His key objective when he took over was to reduce the wage bill to a more reasonable level. Lambert has achieved this rather quickly and efficiently, I believe, and should not be criticised as much as he is for how the team is built because he had no choice but to reduce the wage bill. Randy Lerner does not want to spend fifteen million pounds on one player – he wants to get three or four players for that amount of money. If Lerner had not tightened his purse strings, Villa’s debts would be mounting up as you read. Nobody wants to see Villa up like a little club from Small Heath. Supporters must realise the times when we could compete with Spurs or Liverpool for a player have gone. Our fall from grace was significant and sharp but, if supporters remain patient, Paul Lambert can put the Villans back where they belong.
The team is managing to grind out performances even when the support is not there or when players are not playing too well. The Cardiff game showed this and the Manchester City game did too. If we can win games when we do not play to a high standard, it does not take long to work out that we are fairly capable of winning games comfortably while dominating. For Villa to become a top side again, the supporters have a huge part to play. If they cannot support Paul Lambert we will get nowhere. Therefore, supporters should reserve judgement until the end of the season, when we will hopefully have reach the top half of the table, which will be a massive success for the boys in claret and blue. Time will tell if this will happen but I firmly believe Paul Lambert is the man we need to take us forward.
What is the point in letting a manager start the job if he cannot finish it? Look at Ferguson: he was given time and we all know what he achieved. Now look at what Paul Lambert can achieve: the side is filled with players whose performances could be expected to peak in the next season or so. Some fans’ arrogance and failure to accept the work Lambert has done is mind-boggling. He has transformed the Villa side so deserves more support. Lambert needs the fans to be behind him, something he has always recognised, so get down to Villa Park and support Lambert and his Lions! Put down your phones: it’s pointless calling Stan Collymore. Use your energy to support Lambert and the lads.