Less then a week ago, most of us were clinging to the hope that past transfer window activity was proof that our owner would sanction the necessary spending to give the squad the defensive boost it so desperately needed.

Another game later, where our deficiencies were again highlighted and that hope has pretty much disappeared. Randy has taken away that final glimmer, by keeping the purse strings tight, in quite possibly the most vital moment of the last 20 years. Where we had hope, we now have chance.

Put twenty corners or free kicks aimed at Felliani and the odds are he is going to score one of them. Those odds dramatically increase when he is being marked by a guy a good couple of inches shorter than him.

Ron Vlaar may have looked badly at fault for the Everton equaliser, but Felliani scoring, given the odds, was only a matter of time.

In my view the odds are now stacked against us surviving another season in the Premier League. Despite some renewed vigour in our last game, it's now a game of chance. If we get the rub of the green, or the paint of a post in the remainder of the season, it's possible, but by no means a certainty.

It shouldn’t be this way, but it is

Every team, football pundit and supporter in the country knows our weakness and without the purchase of a strong commanding center half in the window, opposition teams can now spend a little more time, in the build up to a match against us, pinging crosses into their tall guys at set pieces.

There are three Irishmen sitting on our bench at the moment, as luck would have it. Lets hope its not a bad omen.

Author: Damian
Damian started The Villa Blog as a passion project quite a few years ago while he was living in South Africa. Now living in Sweden, it continues. He's originally from Chasetown and grew up when supporting Villa meant there was a real chance of silverware at the start of every season.
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  • Guest - Marlbrook-Villa

    Cypriot, What rumours are you quoting please mate?

    Thanks, Marlbrook

  • Cypriotvilla - me too mate if you don't mind:


    Yep even got 1874 in my email! :o

  • Cypriot,

    Cheers fella. No one would expect you to reveal your source.

  • Lerner must have done his sums. He's no fool (well thats debatable) so he must be comfortable with relegation otherwise he would be busting a gut to keep us up and he aint.

  • Guest - Mihesh

    Hey guys a Newcastle fan in peace here, just thought I'd give the view of an outsider on the current state of affairs at Villa park. One of my best friends is a huge Villa fan so I've warmed to the claret and blues since I met him; we went to the recent game between Villa and the toon. I'll probably get a few people disagree with me here but my thoughts are as follows:

    Villa have shown recently that they have fighting spirit and enough to survive. They've got a very potent strike force that a lot of teams in the league are envious of including myself. I've been impressed with Weimann, Benteke and Gabby in the past 2 games; that attack has goals in it's locker. Villa's main 2 problems this season have been a lack of experience and injuries; I'm sure players such as Lowton, Bennett, Holman etc will come good in a few years but it's a lot of weight on the shoulders for youngsters especially in a fiercely competitive Premier League. Villa similar to Newcastle have been unlucky with injuries and it's a huge shame that Lerner didn't being in more experienced bodies; the sooner Dunne is back the better. For me, Paul Lambert is good manager who hasn't been backed enough in my opinion, his record at Norwich suggests that he is a very capable boss.

    Here's hoping Villa stay up because the Premier League needs team like Villa; a club with a proud history and heritage. I think you guys will be safe because of the fighting spirit and quality up front. I've always said to my friend that Villa have lacked a dominant central midfielder for some time now; hopefully they can bring one in this summer.

  • Thanks for that Mihesh. Personally i dont think we manage to fight the drop. Dunne will not be back in the team and his contract expires this summer. I think as a said in a previous post that Lerner had done the sums and with the money he would get from selling our better players plus the parachute payments I think he's OK with that.

  • Villa doesn't owe him a great deal, he's had his loan notes paid up by now i would think,( at 10% a year) plus his management fees. So when a slimmed down version of Villa goes up for sale in the Championship, wages will be in control and it would be quite attractive to someone. Lets hope we get someone who is passionate about football but I have the feel Lerner was our best chance (in the beginning) of getting into the top 4, when we have another owner I think we will be watching the purse strings continuously.

  • Guest - Mihesh

    Lerner has taken a huge gamble not bringing in more experienced bodies in the January transfer window. Even though relegation benefited Newcastle; there are never any guarantees that a club will bounce back at the first time of asking. We were lucky in the respect that we kept most of our team and they wanted to undo the wrongs of a torrid season; that added to the crowds that we still managed to attract. I live in Nottingham so haven't got to look too far for a club that have fallen into the abyss and haven't returned. Other examples include Derby, Leicester, Ipswich, Palace, both Sheffield teams etc. It would be unthinkable for Villa.

  • Mihesh
    Well most of our team (the likes of Ireland etc etc) would be like rats deserting a sinking ship. They haven't shown very much commitment or put in a full shift this season. The younger ones that Lambert purchased from the lower leagues would stay. I think we will struggle.

  • Unless we can find a Ogliarch. That's an Idea why doesn't Abramovich buy us as his second team and all those players he has out on loan he could send to Villa. :) :) :)

  • poppy

    A good assumption there and a possible fair reflection of how Lerner sees the club. Taking this approach it is one way to cull the high earning players, or make them want to take a move instead of just sitting on the sidelines. Plus there is the dreaded parachute payment.

    I'm not saying that this approach is correct, far from it. And I hope that it is not.

    Due to the fact we may be out of the Premier League and it's a known unknown if we will automatically come straight back up, Lerner is taking a massive gamble. Lerner possibly does think it is the right approach, due to not allowing Lambert to buy himself our of the mess that Lambert created for himself at the start of the season.

    But if Lerner has taken this approach it's an absolute travesty, one of the founder members of the Premier League.
    Missing out on the 60m, Lerner maybe thinks going the other way is just as important to collect the 60m. Cull the top earners.

    You have to ask though if this is Lerner's approach, how far does he want to cull the club ? He's already got rid of 75% of our top earners when he started this cull 3 years ago.

    And who is to say that players all on or around 30k / week can sustain Premier League Football if we went down and we came straight back up again?

  • Guest - Mihesh

    Well Poppycock along with the rest of the fans, lets not think along that avenue As I still maintain that Villa will survive because of their attacking talent. I can see you guys beating West ham on Sunday and another team such as Norwich or West Ham being dragged into the relegation scrap. I can't see Readings run and come backs lasting too much longer either; Remy is a long term injury for QPR (thank god we didn't sign him!) so they'll struggle to score goals. How many relegation battles will Wigan continue to win? Their luck may well change this season. For me, there hardly anything to choose between the sides in the bottom half of the league.

  • Jonnah
    I think its a massive gamble but he obviously doesn't see it that way. If we get sold from the Champoinship any buyer will be inheriting a fabulous ground(unless Lerner sells the ground off for housing and moves us into a new leased stadium) and training facility. A club with no debt, capped wages, fits the Fair Play rules, it's a no brainer. I also think the selling of the ground has been looked into.

  • Plus what happens if we don't get another sponser when Gentings contract expires. That's more money lost.

  • Guest - Get Well Stan

    So the argument here was that Lambert spent poorly in the summer so therefore to solve the problem we should give him even more money in Jan?

    Benteke has proven to be an absolute find and all of Lambert's signings clearly have bags of potential. Just need to start delivering.

    In other good news, good on the club for doing this. Like with Acorns, others follow where Villa lead.


  • I think I'll take the Mrs to see Les Miserable tonight. I'm just in the mood.:D

  • Good on the club for doing what GWS. If you mean not getting another sponsor, can you see the likes of Man city forgoing their millions in sposorship, it's the only thing they have that would keep them within the Fair Play rules.

  • Guest - KrisAVFC


    Add me into this... cwkw@hotmail.co.uk

    Cheers mate

  • ou812
    The link didn't work for me either

  • I cant see Lerner pitching up at Villla Park ever again unless our fortunes are turned round by some miracle, this proves to me that money is his only interest and motivation, where we go from here is seriously concerning, who the hell would want to buy us? Millions need investing in the team to make us competitive again, and for me I fear that once the playing assets have gone the next thing will be Bodymoor Heath, I can also see naming rights for Villa Park being sold. We are a shambles and have been conned by our American owner who teased us into thinking he was for real, we now know he is just another money grabbing tw*t.

  • ou812
    I think GWS was reffering to VP becoming Carbon Neural

  • ou812
    Villa Park has remained a very special sporting arena from the day the club moved here nearly 116 years ago.

    And from Sunday, this famous venue assumes even greater significance as it officially becomes a carbon-neutral stadium.

    The plan is to cut energy use, reduce waste and minimise greenhouse gas emissions in the stadium.

    The positive steps being taken towards ever-greater sustainability will not only pay for themselves but will release additional funds to power our ambitions.

    Working in partnership with Clearway Sustainability Resources, the club has identified its carbon emissions and offset them completely with carbon credits purchased from renewable energy projects around the world.

    As a result, we have now achieved full carbon neutrality, an achievement recognised by the award of Clearway's Carbon Neutral Certification.

    "We take issues around environmental sustainability and our responsibilities very seriously," says Villa's chief executive Paul Faulkner.

    "Over the years we have engaged in a number of activities to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect the environment around us.

    "We are delighted to partner with Clearway and for our iconic home, Villa Park, to become a carbon neutral stadium."

    "It's a privilege to be working with Aston Villa and to help them achieve their low carbon objectives" said Matthew Sullivan, Clearway's chief executive.

    "Our unique systems delivered the sourcing, management, settlement and retirement infrastructure that enabled Villa Park to use global carbon funding mechanisms to demonstrate their clear commitment to the environment."

    Here's an outline of some of the club initiatives that have made a major impact on our environmental performance:

    - We operate a comprehensive waste management programme, and are currently recycling 70 per cent of waste.

    - We engage in responsible printing, with 98 per cent of our printed materials produced by a member of the Forest Stewardship Council.

    - Our electricity consumption has been decreasing for the past nine years, with heating, lighting and electrical equipment remotely controlled.

    - Up to 85 per cent of our food is sourced from the five counties surrounding the West Midlands, helping us to win the Green Restaurant Award (Purchasing) last year.

    - We have a structured travel plan, aimed at significantly reducing the number of cars visiting Villa Park.

    - Water-saving taps have meant our water consumption has fallen over the past three years.

    We are proud of what we have achieved so far, but the work goes on.

    Together with Clearway we plan to enhance our sustainability and improve our efficiency still further.

    With the support of fans, staff, sponsors and the wider community, those plans can be put into effective action.

    About Clearway

    Commercial pressures, customer preferences and corporate ethics all point in the same direction: towards attaining carbon neutrality and reporting sustainability initiatives.

    Clearway cuts through the complexities and confusions of carbon management, enabling companies, institutions and individuals to take prompt and effective action towards carbon neutrality and sustainable operations.

    Whatever the size and sector of your business, wherever you are on your journey towards full sustainability, we have the services you need to add value to your environmental initiatives, improve your profitability and build your brand.

  • "We take issues around environmental sustainability and our responsibilities very seriously," says Villa's chief executive Paul Faulkner.

    "Over the years we have engaged in a number of activities to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect the environment around us.

    Shame you didnt think about doing the same for the team

  • "We take issues around wage sustainability and our responsibilities very seriously," says Villa's chief executive Paul Faulkner.

    "Over the years we have engaged in a number of activities to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect the owners investment around us.

    Change a couple of words and much nearer the truth:):):)

  • Guest - expat007

    poppycock I am standing as the local Green Party Candidate so I am sure I can rely on your vote:D:D:D:D

  • Guest - expat007


    Change a couple of words and much nearer the truth
    I see you cant count either!!!!!

  • Guest - expat007

    Because Villa Park is in a smokeless Zone would it would be wrong of me to say that the Fat Controller is trying to put up a ‘smoke screen’ to stop us seeing the truth with all this environmental nonsense?

  • expat/keithj

    you def lift the doom and gloom. I read that GG is training again after his op I wonder if he'll get fit enough to make an appearance this season.

  • expat007 you're bang on there mate. It's the oldest trick in the PR book.

  • Cypriotvilla
    What time do you finish work, just wondered what time the info would be coming thru.

  • Anyone read the corner set piece stats so far this season in the Mail ?

    Aston Villa: Corners Conceded 168..
    Goals Conceded from Corners 8..
    Average amount of corner faced before we concede a goal 21..

    We have successfully defended 160 out of the 168 corners this season.

    We are the 4th best team in the league for defending corners because we have conceded so many.
    We're all right then, we won't concede another goal from a corner until another 21 attempts.


  • Jonnah that's actually a really interesting stat and something I was thinking about whilst watching the Everton game. We concede so many corners (and set pieces for that matter) that it's no surprise that most of the goals we concede are from them!

    It didn't by any chance have attacking corner stats as well did it?

  • Desert - It's just talking about the amount of goals that are conceded from corners.

    QPR 1st with conceding the most corners 191 and conceding the same amount of goals as us 8.
    WBA 2nd conceding 170 corners only conceding 4.
    Sunderland 3rd conceding 162 corners conceding 0.
    Aston Villa 4th... conceding 168 corners conceding 8.

    Fulham in 8th conceding 157 corners conceding 8.

    There are no other teams on 8 or more goals conceded in the league.

    Here's the link:

  • That Sunderland stat is impressive. Say what you like about MON but he certainly knows how to manage set pieces.

  • Agreed, Sunderland 0 goals conceded from 162 corners how good is that, is Cuellar playing every game, wouldn't surprise me...

  • Guest - Poppycock

    There's a good job going at Villa, we need someone off the blog to get it, then they could become our mole. ;-)

  • poppy

    is it holding faulkner's mobile phone for him during the transfer window ?

    bit of an easy job that, wouldn't have to do much ;););)

  • The strikers I do not have a problem with at all, what a great strike-force we have. As it proved against Everton, three superb goals away from home. If we can just play with some industry every week going forward as we have just seen and against West Brom away it will give us a fighting chance and hopefully it eradicates our short falls in defence.

    We have to keep getting in the box and scoring goals. One of these games we will score goals and the defence will just about manage to hold out, and we can go on and obtain 3 points. Surely by the law of averages we have to hold out once or twice in the up and coming games?

    Just one win could make all the difference, which gives the whole team some confidence but we have to find that win, the strikers are pulling their weight for the rest. We just need that defence to hold out once, and we may start to see a change and take some momentum into the following game.

  • Guest - B6 villa


    Agree with you totaly, there has to be a time were the defence will hold out as well as scoring a few goals. We have been playing well going foward and I think PL will stick with the formation, hopefully it will start on Sunday and we bag 3 points. Also that should mean we should be flooding the QPR box with balls but saying that they have bought samba in since:(

  • Guest - potts

    "We take issues around wage sustainability and our responsibilities very seriously," says Villa's chief executive Paul Faulkner.

    unfortunatley they do not take the supporters seriously ,the only way to drive lerner out of the club is to show him we have lost interest with him as he has with us (empty villa park)

  • England tonight - brings back memories of when we supplied half the squad.

  • Belgium v Slovakia tonight.
    Saying Benteke is the starting XI. Could do with him been pulled off after 45 minutes.

    He's doing it, the man in form but we need to keep him fresh.

  • Saying Benteke is the starting XI. Could do with him been pulled off after 45 minutes

    What he gets up to in his personal life is his business.

  • Yanked off and we're in a misdemeanor.

  • Wind

    England v Brazil. Going for a Welbeck goal and 2-1 England.

  • Premier League apart, love the England games especially v Brazil.

    Followed Villa and England around for many a year home and away.

    Nothing better than going away with England, with the 5m x 3m woven stitched St.Georges Cross Flag with Aston Villa's Name and Crest Proudly Flying High. ;););)

  • Benteke playing in a 4-3-3 with Dembele and Mirallas.

    Belgium 1 - 0 up (Hazard) HT

  • More of the same boys for the 2nd half. Friendly who care's.

    Lampard and Baines coming on.


    Get in 2-1 England

  • Guest - Bads

    Would anyone mind sending me what Cypriot had to say?


    Cheers. VTID.

  • Bads
    Has Cypriot sent the email then?

  • Bads

    From Cypriot's previous post's not sure if he is in Cyprus or not... We would assume the emails would arrive after he finished work UK time around midnight ??

  • Guest - Bads

    poppycock -
    Sorry I guess he hasn't yet then. I just presumed that he had.

  • Guest - villamon75

    Saying about how green Villa Park stadium is going to be, it would be nice to see a decent game of bloody football being played in the stadium. T**t!

  • hi jcv,i bet its the motor sport thing and hes just dug himself into a hole.Dont forget none of us knew about that when he first mentioned his news.

  • Sjh
    He came on and said it wasn't the news about the Motorsport

  • oh did he? Thanks poppycock,im excited again now ;););) He better not be doing overtime!!!

  • I would like to think we give Cypriot a cut off period till around midnight or so..

    I've not gone back through the posts but as he explained he was off to work during this afternoon, and as he explained he would send all findings to everyone who submitted their emails after he finished work..

  • Lambert called a team meeting to tell them "we need to start winning ugly" couldn't make it up.

  • He's had his chips if he's a WUM. :D

  • Take that.. England 2-1 Brazil

    Even though a friendly!! I did say 2-1 before the game ;););)

    It's a magical scoreline... !

  • Belgium 1 -1 Slovakia

    Not sure if Benteke played the full game

  • jcv I just think it smacks of desperation, but why would that even need saying? very worrying about the teams mental capacity in this situation.

  • Guest - tearsonmyscarf

    Still waiting on cypriots news here ! :D hope its good we've waited long enough !

  • Ireland beat Poland 2-0 Clarke scored

  • Guest - tearsonmyscarf

    Hope I'm wrong but I'm expecting more of the same this weekend . I keep looking but just can't see where we are going to pick up points .
    We are the worst team in the division right now , I know albions record over last 8 games or so is worse than ours but at least they have the excuse of mid table mediocrity and nothing to play for really , we on the other hand have .... well I don't have to tell you lot !!
    Please please someone tell me I'm being to negative and things will be ok !!!

  • Tearsonmyscarf
    You're being negative and everything will be alright :D :D

  • Tearsonmyscarf

    Everything will be ok because fatty Faulkner said so, and he does not lie does he?

  • Guest - potts


    Everything will be ok because fatty Faulkner said so, and

    so did bob marley

  • Guest - potts

    on the subject of bob marley there is also his other big hit ( no wiemann no cry )

  • Evening jcv,

    It must be obvious even to the most positive of supporters that Lerner has lost all interest in the club.
    A total spend of less than 2 mill in the transfer window should convince even the most loyal of supporters where his intentions lie.
    Anyone who thinks the club will sell Bent and get rid of the high earners and, Lerner will give the manager all the money from transfers need to think again. Any money coming in will go towards paying off his loans to the club, before fcuking off and leaving the club in the ****e.
    So jcv hang on in there and this twat will be gone from our club long before we are.
    The crowds are slowly going down and i think supporters are starting to turn.

  • Guest - tearsonmyscarf

    AWW. you guys :) and SO sincere too !! I feel much better now ;)

  • Guest - tearsonmyscarf

    :). nice one potts

  • The club banked on certain player leaving at the start of the season and certain players playing for the club during the season. It didn't work out for whatever reason.

  • jcv,

    The problem is that many fans have never seen a successful Villa side, but, are use to seeing a premier side.
    When, with 3 games left and we are staring relegation in the face they will realise it may be a long time before they see a premiership Villa again.
    Sadly that will be to late, so for the older ones like you and me all we can do is hope and pray that we can somehow get out of this mess.

  • jcv

    yes mate,
    from top down...
    we can only speculate...

  • Been looking all over if I can find how long benteke was on the pitch this evening against slovakia can't find anything on BBC or Sky..? Belgium won 2-1. Benteke not on the score sheet but how long was he on the pitch ?

  • Guest - B6 villa

    Agree on Lerner just in for the money, if he can put his American club up for sale in his native homeland and leave them in the s**t. We are just an investment for him to suck out dry and then spit out. Not forgetting his father had past down the club down to him. If he gave a s**t he would be here reassuring us

  • Guest - B6 villa


    he was on for 46 min, lakaku replaced him

  • B6

    Cheers mate. Thanks for finding the info.

    Great news! Was thinking he may have played the full 90 minutes. We all must be happy with that.

  • Guest - B6 villa


    yes we need all our players fit and ready to go for Sunday. It's a must win game, because we have a two week break before we play arsenal. Win and we go into them two weeks on a high lose and the next game is a along wait

  • B6

    Exactly as you say. One game and two weeks off.
    We need to throw the kitchen sink at west ham, and why not, with the team attacking they can do it, they have proved that they can do it against the likes of west brom and everton, and go and defend like dogs!
    It's achievable. ;)

  • Anyone receive Cypriot's email last night as promised? I didn't....

  • Guest - tearsonmyscarf

    Dv . I'm not on the mailing list but I'm guessing ............no ! its going on for too long and were all waiting for this stunning news about our club . time he just us !!!

  • Desertvillan

    No I didn't either.if he,s worried about us knowing his email address he could just get an alias then delete it afterwards.

  • It's a must win game

    That's the worry - they all are now!

  • Clarke cant defend but he can score or at least he did for Eire.

  • bobvillian: he certainly did not play 90mins, he was not on the pitch when Belgium scored their winner.

  • Guest - Poppycock

    Still no email from Cypriot. I think he's hoping we'll give it up.

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