I didn't really know we would win today. I just had faith. Blind faith, but it was faith. And right now, we are out of the relegation zone with twelve matches to play.

We can do this. It isn't for certain but we can. It's not for certain because West Ham didn't come to win today, they came and played Alex McLeish football but that wasn't why we won. We were actually fortunate to win today.

I say fortunate because Ciaran Clark stopped two chances from happening that were almost certain goal opportunities and Darren Bent also stopped a shot on the line, that was going in. We were fortunate because we did well.

We scored the goals, but West Ham had more shots. We took our chances and we definitely wanted it more and at the end, we deserved it. In the end and even though West Ham scored with three minutes of regular time remaining, it was nail biting.

The goals

So, before I go, a little something about the goals. The first was a penalty. N'Zogbia was brought down in the box and Benteke scored the penalty. The second was special, it was a free kick from 22 yards scored by N'Zogbia who just lifted it over the wall and put it out of reach of the West Ham keeper.

The West Ham goal came late on, but it was as I said, nail biting, but it came from Westwood, but it was a freak own goal, so I'm leaving it at that.

But I'm going to leave it now as I've got to be up proper early tomorrow and I still want to celebrate a little, because we're out of the relegation zone, but before I go, Weimann missed a sitter after a few minutes, but don't hold it against him, we all miss sitters every now and then.

The players

Guzan, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Lowton, N'Zogbia (Sylla - 85' ), Westwood, Delph, Benteke, Bowery (Bent - 63' Booked ) and Weimann (Dawkins - 64' ).

The stats

Stats v West Ham
Damian
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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  • (DanielM): he seemed to be picked to make the numbers up it also seemed a mystery where he was supposed to be playing. Very strange choice.

  • Guest - Trinity London

    1 pm Sunday when the team was announced i thought that team selection would struggle against the irons, I also stated its Lamberts decision `Live by the sword, Die by the sword` his decision paid off, albeit i thought Bowery looked awful and well out of his depth.

    I think Lambert is a good manager, I give him the upmost respect for taking the job and facing an up hill struggle from the off, I think he is learning and although i dont know the man i get the impression he would tell you that himself.

    JCV

    as for lambert,im afraid he does suit lerners fit.but as for being a top manager,im afraid he is well short.
    if he was that good,he would have walked after not being backed in the transfer window.

    I always like your comments JCV yet i cant agree with this one, I think that was a catch 22, if Lambert had of walked everyone would of said he bottled it and he would probably dissapear down the leagues, like many others that have failed in the `Big ` league, I would see it as by not walking Lambert has shown major backbone in sticking to the job in hand, and if Lerner has pulled the plug on money agreed then even more respect to him.
    Another theory is Lambert is convinced the current squad will keep us up, with money being tight he did not want to panic buy and undo this seasons sacrifices so he has a clean slate and genuine funds to go properly into the market this summer, I hope this is the case.

    Not getting carried away with the huge task ahead, lets get behind the lads and the manager.

    UTV

  • I see what JCV means if Lambert was a top manager he would not risk the mess he has with us before getting out and jepordising his chances of getting another top job. As it is he could be in The Championship for years if he stays with us. He must be seeing something we cant or know something we dont.

  • Guest - Talkoftheterrace.net

    Here is hoping we can stay there now, get a string of results going and move further away from it..

  • Now that Villa fan Mervyn King is stepping down as govenor of The Bank of England surely he would be well placed and have the right contacts to get together a consortium to buy us from Randy?

  • Wasn't it something like 5 more games that we need to win to stay up?
    If you look at the remaining fixtures I think we could do this if we beat:

    Reading (A)
    QPR (H)
    Stoke (A)
    Sunderland (H)
    Norwich (A)

    And then we still have Fulham as well as Wigan last game of the season.
    Am I being too optimistic?

  • Guest - Bloggert

    Guzan

    Not optimistic at all. Those games you mentioned above are winnable... and if we have broke the camels back as lambert put it we should be able to get at least 3 or 4 wins from those... anything against utd,city, liverpool n chelsea will be a bonus.

  • Just a thought, but, god forbid that the team does get relegated, our current manager has plenty of experience at that level to know what to expect on the levels of work involved from an non-forgiving Championship schedule?

  • Just realised I botched that up. Got distracted.

    My question was simple - Paul Lambert has experience in the Championship, wouldn't it be best to just stick with him?

  • beef: yes mentioned this yesterday, however if we stay up do we want more of the same? difficult times ahead whatever happens!

  • It's hard for me to remark to much on the season as I've been on the road pretty much since the season started, but from what I've briefly seen & read, I'd take PL for another season if not another 3 or 4.

    Some managers need to be worn in for the magic to happen, perhaps the same applies to Mr Lambert.

    Let's not forget what he's achieved (prior to 2012-2013) with back-to-back promotions.

  • Guest - expat007

    Good morning all,
    LAMBERT:
    The only reward Lambert should get if The Villa are relegated is his farewell Golden Hand Shake and a P45. Lambert would then be on a par with failed Bankers getting paid for his failure.
    Lamberts job is keeping Villa in the Premiership not taking us down into the Championship.
    The Ginger Scot kept Villa up and got the boot why should Lambert if he takes us down not receive the same? Is it because one was an ex Blue Nose if so there is no logic in that.

  • Guest - expat007

    beef
    What’s that shirt you are wearing QPR???

  • expat

    I think the reasoning behind not sacking Lambert if we go down is that we've had a new manager each season so far and continuing the trend obviously isn't working. Lambert also seems to have a plan which is better than McLeish just parking the bus ever match.

  • jcv

    And what's the chance of a manager next season being another Fergie that could turn this around? I'm honestly thinking that we're gonna have to stick with Lambert else the musical chairs of managers will just keep going on.

  • I see Michael Laudrup is having contract talks at Swansea. Wouldn't mind him at Villa Park.

  • Guest - expat007

    Guzan

    I think the reasoning behind not sacking Lambert if we go down is that we've had a new manager each season so far and continuing the trend obviously isn't working.
    Chelsea have had more managers than The Villa I dont see them in the fu*king relegation zone.
    There is no logic in keeping a failed manager. If he had been given the job at Christmas I could understand it a little more, but he has been in power since June that’s nearly nine months and with friendly’s has played well over 30 matches.
    He have spent well over £20 millions much more than many other clubs above us and by all accounts he has lost respect of the senior players, he has been given enough rope to hang himself three times.
    If you can remind me of another Premiership manager that has had such bad results and not got the sack, please enlighten me as I cannot!
    I could give a sh*t if he is a nice man, a shirt lifter, a wife beater or whatever all that concerns me is a successful Aston Villa.

    jcv Good afternoon, yes they are still with us. As Wogan used to say 'is it me' is it me????'

  • Dare I say, we start with the same players / formation upfront against Arsenal as we finished against West Ham?

    Dawkins.......Bent.....Benteke......N'Zogbia

  • jcv and expat

    You're definitely right about the money that Lambert has spent for these results. I'm not a massive Lambert supporter or anything. Thinking about what beef said earlier that if we back him for at least another season we might see results.

    And yeah, Faulkner/Lerner seem to be the main problem but I don't think we can do anything about that.

  • Guest - Trinity london

    Laudrup would never come to Villa Park, and why would he, we are all in dream land about what great benefits the Aston Villa hotseat offers, the only things it offers are Nervous breakdowns, paranoia, and dead cert health issues, its a poisened chalice, FULL STOP.

    YES we are a Big club and there is always a chance some one will crack this very concrete like nut, however with Lerner doing the obvious who ever is given this task gets my respect, Lambert was obviously offered financial perks to undertake this task thats why he left Norwich, but i think its S**T or bust with this job, consider the life he had at Norwich and consider the task he has bravely undertaken here.

    UTV

  • Guest - expat007

    FERGUSON v LAMBERT
    Man U had 7 managers in 7 years before Fergie took charge. More than The Villa.
    Fergie never failed at Man U and I get fed up reading those on here who try and compare the early days of Sir Alex Ferguson’s at Manchester Utd with Paul Lambert at Aston Villa this season.
    It was said that Fergie was in trouble one season and that was 1988/9.
    If Ferguson was in dire trouble that one season let me remind that Man U finish 11th with 51 points and won the FA Cup in that poor season. This was his worst season in the Premiership (11th and 51 points) and I would love for Lambert to emulate him in his worst season! No fu*king chance, Rab C Lambert could not lace up Fergie’s bootlaces, get real.
    Have a look at the following;
    He has won 48 trophies as a manager, making him the most successful British football manager in history.
    St. Mirren
    Scottish First Division (1): 1976–77
    Aberdeen
    Scottish Premier Division (3): 1979–80, 1983–84, 1984–85
    Scottish Cup (4): 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1985–86
    Scottish League Cup (1): 1985–86
    UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1): 1982–83
    UEFA Super Cup (1): 1983
    Manchester United
    Premier League (12): 1992–93, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11
    FA Cup (5): 1989–90, 1993–94, 1995–96, 1998–99, 2003–04
    League Cup (4): 1991–92, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10
    FA Charity/Community Shield (10): 1990 (shared), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011
    UEFA Champions League (2): 1998–99, 2007–08
    UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1): 1990–91
    UEFA Super Cup (1): 1991
    Intercontinental Cup (1): 1999
    FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2008
    Individual
    LMA Manager of the Decade (1): 1990s
    LMA Manager of the Year (3): 1998–99, 2007–08, 2010–11
    LMA Special Merit Award (2): 2009, 2011
    Premier League Manager of the Season (10): 1993–94, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2002–03, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010–11
    Premier League Manager of the Month (27): August 1993, October 1994, February 1996, March 1996, February 1997, October 1997, January 1999, April 1999, August 1999, March 2000, April 2000, February 2001, April 2003, December 2003, February 2005, March 2006, August 2006, October 2006, February 2007, January 2008, March 2008, January 2009, April 2009, September 2009, January 2011, August 2011, October 2012
    UEFA Manager of the Year (1): 1998–99
    UEFA Team of the Year (2): 2007, 2008
    Onze d'Or Coach of the Year (3): 1999, 2007, 2008
    IFFHS World's Best Club Coach (2): 1999, 2008
    IFFHS World's Best Coach of the 21st Century (1): 2012
    World Soccer Magazine World Manager of the Year (4): 1993, 1999, 2007, 2008
    Laureus World Sports Award for Team of the Year (1): 2000
    BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award (1): 1999
    BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year Award (1): 1999
    BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award (1): 2001
    English Football Hall of Fame (Manager) : 2002
    European Hall of Fame (Manager): 2008
    FIFA Presidential Award: 2011
    Premier League 10 Seasons Awards (1992–93 – 2001–02)
    Premier League 20 Seasons Awards (1992–93 – 2011–12)
    Manager of the Decade
    Most Coaching Appearances (392 games)
    FWA Tribute Award : 1996
    PFA Merit Award: 2007
    Mussabini Medal : 1999
    Orders and special awards
    Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE): 1983
    Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE): 1995
    Knight Bachelor (Kt.): 1999

  • I think Laudrup would join Aston Villa, if offered, if we stayed up.

    Are you saying that Swansea are a bigger club than Villa ?

    We have more money than Swansea, a bigger stadium, bigger fan base.

    Laudrup is tactically a better manager than Lambert.

    You would not see the the squad’s average age falling so dramatically, meaning a lack of big-game experience is targeted by opponents as a key weakness.

    Laudrup would use the funds available to buy players a lot better than what Lambert has done, Laudrup would be able to attract a better kind of player due to his reputation, plus we would see more players from the Scandinavian regions such as types of players similar to Melberg and Laursen wanting to come and play for us.

  • hope that was a copy and paste job expat,you didnt waste any of your time typing about that muppet did you?

  • Guest - expat007

    jcv
    I will never understand those on here backing failure and \I never will. They must be able to see something I cant, mind you I did marry the Missus so I’m not perfect!
    I am off, have a good day.

  • Guest - expat007

    sjh
    Just seen you post before leaving and ask if Fergie is a muppet what the fu*k is Lambert:D:D:D
    jcv
    Even more impressive than I thought!

  • JCV

    Alright mate, true we're only as big as our ambitions.
    I'm going on the basis that 25m has been spent this season.
    Which even if Lerner was here next season, I would assume that funds are to be invested again next. Even though nothing was spent in January.

  • No manager will walk into a club that has struggled for 3 seasons the way we have and turn it straight round - if there is anyone capable of that he would be a genius, also we have to recognize as I have that the players simply are not good enough - cant really see any point of a new manager next season who is likely to fail with the squad we have, because unless Randy is going to provide £100m +, no one is going to change anything. Somewhere, sometime we need to start having continuety sacking crap managers season after season wont give us that as each manager will only bring in another bunch of crap players. Sticking with what we have if there is no real money is our best chance of moving forward, sadly cashing in by selling our best player and re-investing the money each season - not what any of us want but unless and until Randolph decides he wants to spend again we are just going in an ever quicker downward spiral.

  • jcv
    Agreed that Lerner wasn't prepared to invest when needed most but how much of it was down to players not wanting to come?
    The lead up to the January window and during the window was catastrophic on the pitch.
    My take on it is that there has been a large amount of money already, and will happen again being taken off the wage bill.
    Who know's if Lerner had told Lambert you have 25m to spend this season and that your lot?
    But then as we heard in the media supposedly there was 10m for January ?

    If there is no money in the summer for new players then agreed he's lost interest.
    Hope this is not the case.
    And as you say the best all round from what seems to be happening is if we do get a new owner.

  • These manager comparisons are fun.

    Fergie - "3 years of excuses and it's still crap - ta-ra Fergie". Remember that?
    Moyes just avoiding relegation in his first and third seasons with Everton.
    Roberto Di Matteo winning the CL with Chelsea after only a few months in charge.
    Me winning the CL on the xbox with Villa after only 2 weeks.

    That makes me the prime candidate, right?

  • At the moment Aston Villa are a club in constant turmoil Summer after Summer season after season. No decent player or manager for that matter will want to join us, I dont think Lambert is the man for the long term, but neither do I now think constantly shelling managers like peas is the answer.

  • pitbull inferno: Martinez is a manager who skirts the bottom 3 sooner or later if he is to be considered a decent manager and wants a bigger job he needs to prove he is capable of more than just escaping relegation season after season his squad at Wigan is not the worst in the PL and all he ever does is struggle.

  • Wind

    I would keep shelling managers if we keep having managers that causes the squad’s average age to fall so dramatically, meaning a lack of big-game experience is targeted by opponents as a key weakness.

    These types of manager are sending us down to the Championship quicker than Bolton managed it 5 years ago.

  • Jonnah and Windy.

    I would be happy to change managers at this point if we had an Owner/CEO capable of hiring and keeping someone decent and providing the necessary investment. They've had the opportunity to do that 3 times so far - we were a top six team when we started. As it happens, I think their last choice was the pick of a bad bunch.

    I wouldn't trust seeing who'd they try and bring on board next time. Especially in the position we're in.

    I think we have to be very careful what we wish for.

  • I agree with Expat.
    Everyone wanted Mcleish out of the club because he was ex small heath and played dire football.
    We are now in a worst position than last season under Lambert.

    What is the difference ?

  • Guest - christhevillan

    I love Villa to bits and no matter what division we play in it makes no difference to me i'd never stop going to watch us but in the premiership we are no longer a big club we are a medium club at best that is being mismanaged and people still go on like we are Real Madrid.

  • jonnah: McLesih was a crap manager, I did not want him for that and only that reason, I was happy when he went because I like many others expected the new manager to have a war chest as that was what was being suggested and I actually was impressed by Lambert's Norwich especially against the better teams, I was wrong on both counts had I known what was to come I would have been happy to keep McLeish at least we did not ship goals ok we did not score many but we would probably have drew more than we lost this season so would have been clear of the drop.

  • pitbull inferno: better the devil you know and all that!

  • I love Villa to bits and no matter what division we play in it makes no difference to me i'd never stop going to watch us but in the premiership we are no longer a big club we are a medium club at best that is being mismanaged and people still go on like we are Real Madrid


    No one goes on like were Real Madrid

  • jonnah: McLesih was a crap manager, I did not want him for that and only that reason, I was happy when he went because I like many others expected the new manager to have a war chest as that was what was being suggested and I actually was impressed by Lambert's Norwich especially against the better teams, I was wrong on both counts had I known what was to come I would have been happy to keep McLeish at least we did not ship goals ok we did not score many but we would probably have drew more than we lost this season so would have been clear of the drop


    PL is still better than Mctwit. you may not agree or like PL's plan, but at least he has one. Mctwit was just hoof it up the pitch and play 7 defenders in the team, do you not remeber the midfield of warnock clarke and herd? Yeah i would still rather have PL

  • I would be happy to change managers at this point if we had an Owner/CEO capable of hiring and keeping someone decent and providing the necessary investment. They've had the opportunity to do that 3 times so far - we were a top six team when we started. As it happens, I think their last choice was the pick of a bad bunch


    Some people act like we were top of the table before that money grabbing git Lerner took us over, stole all of our money and ran off back to america???

    We were 16th and just avoided relegation, so tell me again why all this hate for Lerner?

  • I would keep shelling managers if we keep having managers that causes the squad’s average age to fall so dramatically, meaning a lack of big-game experience is targeted by opponents as a key weakness


    So the only reason were down near the bottom of the league is because we have a young squad?

    Someone needs to stop reading the sun?

    Or tell me again how fantastic the likes of Ireland, Heskey, Collins, Mutton, Warnock, have done for villa over the past few years?

    Villas players of the season so far? Guzan, lowton, Benteke & weinmann.

    Villas reason for failure so this season has been down to the piss poor performances of the expereicned players, its been the younguns who have so far been bailing us out.

  • Agreed that Lerner wasn't prepared to invest when needed most but how much of it was down to players not wanting to come?


    I think its obvious Lerner gave Lambert a budget of 20million in the summer and he spent it all in one go. Then in January Lerner said you have to sell before you can bring anyone in, so he got Mutton and warnock off the wages, which freed up room for wages, but very little in actual cash, meaning we still coulnt really sign anyon

  • well put mate,
    untill lerner puts up or shuts up.nothing will change


    So Lerner hasnt put up then? is that why where in the top 5 for league spending and wages?

  • Mid morning rant time is it mintvilla? :)

    Every time I go to post something, you post a rant about something slightly different. You're quoting pretty much everything from yesterday.

  • No manager will walk into a club that has struggled for 3 seasons the way we have and turn it straight round


    Blank statements like these are just tosh, Harry Wellyface, went to QPR who were bottom of the league on only 7 points without a win, This isn't the 80's anymore, if you offer someone enough money they will still come.

  • january,was a sign of things to come.if lerner wasnt prepared to invest when we needed it most.
    i cant see anymore coming in the summer.
    he wants out,thats my take on all this.one visit to villa park this season.
    the novelty has worn off


    You said that last year when we we only signed Robbie Keane on a loan in Jan, yet we still spent 20-25million in the summer.

  • I don't understand the 8 posts in a row, is something wrong with the comment system?

  • Sorry for lack of activity this week .. NEW POST

  • Mid morning rant time is it mintvilla?

    Every time I go to post something, you post a rant about something slightly different. You're quoting pretty much everything from yesterday


    I dont have time to comment everyday but i do generally check the site everyday, but when i get a chance (about once a week) i like to come on and comment on what people have said. Its tough, some people have their opinions and bang the drum about them, it can become like beating a dead horse, especially when they dont let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    Sometime its just some good old fashioned F I C K L E fan supporting, great when we win, **** when we lose.

  • Being a " new" old boy to this blog ,so thank you for the opportunity to express my view ,I would argue against throwing money into the transfer bucket and ending up with players on a par with what we already have .
    I think the problem lies at the training ground . Through out our history we have been at our best when we played to our strengths , in other words forwards ran the opposition ragged and defenders ensured that any counter attack was snuffed out before to much damage was done. Now it seems that it all about playing in position and maintaining a formation which is so predictable that it makes the other teams game play reasonably easy .
    Now I am not sure if it is the fault of the manager in pursuing such a policy or the players for not pointing out the obvious and attempting a little free enterprise but the sad fact is that we will have to play with a lot more commitment in the lower division than is being shown at present to avoid going down further .
    Just a footnote on the owner . The late Doug Ellis had a strange idea of when a manager needed replacing but at least he acted with a degree of predictability ,the present incumbent might as well live on the planet Zog for all the use he is .

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