I don't want to spend too much time on last night, but I'm not going to ignore it either. The one thing that I really don't get, still, is this madness of playing three central defenders. This isn't pre-war Aston Villa and three central defenders doesn't work today.

Every season Wigan struggle and they play three centre backs every now and then. Manchester City started the season playing three centre backs and very quickly changed. We have some young players with little experience and we shouldn't be playing three centre backs. It's as simple as that.

The best teams in Europe don't play three centre backs. Does anyone truly think Paul Lambert knows something they don't? But I'm convinced he will learn.

Absolutely gutted

And when I wrote my post yesterday about having fifteen cup finals, I didn't realise I had to write the basics and that a match is two halves and not just one.

And after that result last night I'm absolutely gutted. Actually, gutted doesn't do the feeling justice. And I know it's just a game and I know nobody at the club cares about us as supporters and for the most part they look down on us, so I know I shouldn't care that much, but I do.

It might not be so bad

But I'm not going to think about relegation and I don't accept it as something that is going to happen right now. I also like to think that Lambert will finally, after the second half performance last night, ditch the three centre backs.

Playing that way invites pressure and hell, I'm not sure why I am trying to convince anyone, everyone can see it. It simply doesn't work.

But if he gets more time, he could and I actually see this; make things happen for us. But he needs funds and he needs someone somewhere questioning him. He also need a boss that isn't a puppy. But that isn't going to happen.

And I'm not talking about huge amounts of cash; I'm talking bringing in some loan players that are capable. Again, for me this is obvious and I'm baffled why nothing is happening.

But given time I believe Lambert will show everyone he is the right man, but today we are staring relegation in the face and I don't want to look at the statistics of managers, in their first season at a club, that have survived with 14 games to go from inside the relegation zone, because I don't think it will be positive.

And that is why the money needs to be spent. And this is why we don't need a puppy as CEO agreeing with whatever the owner says.

But our CEO is happy. He knows nothing about football and knows even less about what Aston Villa means to us. He clearly doesn't understand the importance of staying in this league and he is happy because he has his lot. Why should he care?

Somebody needs to be on the phone to Lerner explaining what happens if we go down and that should be the job of the CEO. That same person also needs to get across that there is a very real chance it will happen if we don't strengthen.

But I know nobody is doing it, because if someone was doing it and that person had half the ability it takes to pull a pint, they'd be able to convince Lerner of this need and we would have the players.

Nothing we can do

But the sad truth is, there is nothing we can do. Randy Lerner owns the club, he has his puppet agreeing to everything and we've got a manager that on the face of things, also appears to be nodding his head and singing from the same hymn sheet.

And while there is nothing we can do to change things, we do have to stick with Lambert. And if he keeps us up now, I'll kiss him. If he keeps us up now, I'll wear a t-shirt with his face and 'Lambert is my hero' printed on it for a year.

36 hours to wait

So, I'm going to leave now and look for a bunker to hide in and I'm not coming out until Friday morning, because until then, I want to believe that there are lots of telephone calls happening and that deals are going to get done.

If on Friday morning I leave my bunker to learn nothing has happened, then our fate is in the hands of the footballing Gods and they can be, at times, very cruel.

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 - hvilla

    yes its an ITK but he didnt post nonsense so far


    you can delete previous posts on twitter
    i wonder if he has done so

  • the manager is clueless

    I think that's a really dumb thing to say. The guy worked miracles at Norwich and did his coaching badges in Germany.

    We're undoubtedly in trouble and Lambert has to hold his hand up and take his fair share of the blame (namely that I think he's asking too much /too soon of the players we have with his formations/tactics). BUT he is a much better manager than McLeish.


    McLeish is working wonders at Nottingham Forrest.
    Lost 3-0 to Watford at weekend.

  • Has Warnock gone yet?

    I think Bent to Stoke will happen. Having said earlier that I would like Kenwyne Jones, I'd prefer straight cash. With £10m and £60k+ a week off the wages I hope this means that Lerner will allow Lambert to re-invest ALL of that money.

  • Guest - villajules

    Heart Of The Holte‏@HeartOfTheHolte

    Yacouba Sylla is set to sign for Aston Villa. He plays for Clermont Foot in Ligue 2, France. He is a strong, CDM! #AVFC


    Warnock not confirmed yet.

    Kenwyne Jones would be sh1te signing IMO.

  • We need Manure and Chelski to do us a favour tonight and Spurs beating Norwich would also be good.

  • Guest - villajules

    HeartOfTheHolte Yacouba Sylla will leave @ ClermontFoot and engage with the English club Aston Villa. He passed a medical this afternoon. " apparently.......


    it would be typical of Chelsea to **** up for us against Reading

  • Guest - villajules

    Previous form: as follws:

    Harry poised for battle Fulham and Udinese over £1.5m French starlet Sylla
    PUBLISHED:22:33, 17 December 2012| UPDATED:22:33, 17 December 2012
    Fulham and Queens Park Rangers are among clubs watching France Under 21 international Yacouba Sylla.
    The Clermont midfielder has been attracting interest from Udinese and Stuttgart also and is available for £1.5million.

  • Yacouba Sylla is set to sign for Aston Villa. He plays for Clermont Foot in Ligue 2, France. He is a strong, CDM! #AVFC

    And only wants £50 a week.

  • Guest - Old McParland

    Listened to the villa game last night on radio 5 sports etra and could NOT believe the difference in the 2 halfs first half totaly under the cosh second half the toon under the cosh. And what is lambet trying to do with changing formation so frequently is it hes trying to fox the opposition ? if so hes also foxing himself and the team. After in the interview he was blatently asked by the interviewer if he knew what he was doing with all the swapping and changing he replied of course i do , Well if you do mr lambert why play a crap formation in the first half and a competent formation second half. Healso said its NOT a matter of formation the players are pros and should be able to play anywere, WRONG if you have a squad of good men and deploy them incorrectly you very often lose if you deply them correctly more often you win so stick to what works lambert not was does not, and finaly we realy ae in the **** right now especialy with the coming 5 fixtures , so weefinatly NEED strong fighters to dig deep and get us going Richard Dunne is the one i want to see back even if he cant run any more he certainly is a leader who will be up for a fight he aint no bottler and while im at it GENERAL Crullack get your hat and medals out from your days in NAM and get on the field of play even you at your ripe age might give us the fight we desperatly require.

  • Guest - Villa Brera

    Kenwynne Jones....another 'striker'? Is that for real?
    Didnt PL say that we wont be buying any players 'for the sake of it'?
    I am not sure if its true about Jones, but the one dept we are OK in is Forwards isnt it?
    I blody give up if thats true.......................see you later Gents

  • Where are all these rumours about signing players coming from?????? nothing on BBC, Sky sports news, its bullsh*t we ain't signing anyone!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest - dingbat

    Arry after Chris Samba! Just what we need. Why aren't we in for him??

  • Arry after Chris Samba! Just what we need. Why aren't we in for him??

    errrr....his £12.5m release clause?

    Yacouba Sylla is set to sign for Aston Villa.

    Sounds like another Yacine Brahimi link......ie total rubbish pushed by the lad's agent.

  • Listened to the villa game last night on radio 5 sports etra and could NOT believe the difference in the 2 halfs first half totaly under the cosh second half the toon under the cosh. And what is lambet trying to do with changing formation so frequently is it hes trying to fox the opposition ?

    At least you have to give him credit for changing it around....but I do agree with you that he has to take some reposnsibility with his formations/tactics as I think he's asking too much too soon of a young set of players.

    We HAVE to settle on a formation now that is going to win enough games to pull us out of this relegation fight. No more tinkering given the plight we're in.


    did Krulak even exist ?
    think he was an Big Brother type of creation by Lerner

    Either way he was rightly ****ed off Villatalk

  • Guest - villajules

    Where are all these rumours about signing players coming from?????? nothing on BBC, Sky sports news, its bullsh*t we ain't signing anyone!!!!!!!!!!

    It came from a French radio station - because he's French.... and the BBC and Sky ain't. We'll see.

    France Bleu Auvergne


    France Bleu Pays d'Auvergne, radio généraliste régionale de service public. 30 ans cette année et un lipdub http://www.francebleu.fr/evenements/sorties-loisirs/le-lipdub-de-france-bleu-pays-d-auvergne-175639

    Clermont-Ferrand · francebleu.fr

  • Guest - dingbat

    Want to play with the big boys , you got to pay the money. Surely Lerner understands that now. Look at the money that has truely been waisted at Q.P.R!

  • 4 wins in 24 games is beyond belief and no one can defend the manager's role in this.

  • Agents put rubbish out to alert the clubs the player really wants to join.

  • Guest - villajules

    Its also on a website: http://t.co/jOSnJuii

    If you can read French - this is what it says.

    Yacouba Sylla (22 ans) ne fera pas le déplacement à Sedan. Le milieu de terrain du Clermont Foot doit s'engager dans les prochaines heures avec le club anglais de Premier League Aston Villa. Il était aujourd'hui à Birminghan pour passer la visite médicale de rigueur.

  • Guest - j doyle

    Ray k i state my case with the result at chelski mc cluless is a better manager than rab c lambert i hate to say it but true we would not have lost the last 3 home game under mccluless we might not have won them either but hammed we would not

  • Peter Withe on BBC said he would take Lambert's job tomorrow.

  • Guest - dearlord

    Yacouba Sylla would be nice but it probably BS

    rumour also we have bid for Dimae, Hangaland, Matt Phillips and Malouda and the Jones rumours

    We will get excited, and nothing will happen

  • J Doyle

    Easiest thing in the world to say we wouldn't have lost last three home games under McLeish but impossible to prove. Just like me saying that had McLeish been in charge against Chelsea we would have lost 10-0.

    Its your right to think McLeish is a better manager than Lambert but I think you're wrong.

  • @VillaJules

    As you said WE'll SEE but i for one hope it's true because i'm getting more depressed by the hour the lack of transfer movement is ridiculous....

  • Guest - tearsonmyscarf

    You're probably gonna laugh but ... I don't think anyone is coming in so why not give gabby the armband and as he's villa through n through with more experience than most here and ask him to run the show to inspire him . id stick bowrey in the back four and ask him to run his heart out for the season oh and head the ball AWAY as no one else seems able atm . and every game would start with benteke and weiman . oh and id f##k bilbo bannan off to serve beer and pies in the holte while holman would be back with the promise of a good new contract if he gets back to playing like his first few games ... might just keep us up ...

  • If the Yacouba Sylla rumour is true and this is the only player we bring in then it really shows how much Lerner has tightened the purse strings if the only player we can afford to bring in is a 21 year old from the French second tier.....

  • All you can say in comparing with McLeish is, it is more than probable we would not have such a poor goal difference and some of our losses may well have been draws.

  • Wikipedia showing Yacouba Sylla's current club as...........................ASTON VILLA what is happening?

  • Guest - dearlord

    tearsonmyscarf- Gabbys a shocking football player. we are all villa through and through, should we be captin ??

    how Holman and Gabby made prem standard i will never know



    Wikipedia showing Yacouba Sylla's current club as...........................ASTON VILLA what is happening?

    someone edited wikipedia.


    Sylla could be our legend Salifou MK 2

  • Guest - Old McParland

    Exactly RayK now is the time to stick with what works, we are to near the drop for any more tinkering in truth , so good job we do not have Ranarriea at the whell the Tinker Man. And Proud History im not even sure myself he actualy exists? but lets say he does he might just have some valuable experience of fighting in a fox hole which will certainly serve him well because we are in a worse state at present currently being in a ****hole. Enjoy the debate lads i realy do hope the villa can ride the storm and survive.:D

  • Guest - j doyle

    ray k i hate mc cleish with a passion but this is a results game and we have let in 20 more goals this season than last and scored no more i thought i had seen the worst player ever in hutton but Bennet makes him look like pele compared to him what with the hobbit on the pitch all game last night and 5 at the back sorry but Rab c lambert is the most cluless i have ever seen
    first he plays with no wingers he brings weiman on and plays him on the wing the best goallscorer at the club against Bradford he played with 5 centre forwards and no midfield the guy might have all the badges in the world but he is still completely clueless i can only speak as to what i see with my own eyes this is a results game and he aint gettin them down to piss poor tactics and having faith in complete ****e like Bennett Delph Bannan Bent who dont want to know and lowten

  • Fantastic, Lambert wants French international Moussa Sissoko to be our new midfield general but Lerner only prepared to pay for a Ligue two player with just one U21 cap 2 years ago.

    That's like going into Sainsburys and then ending up at Lidl....

  • Guest - tearsonmyscarf

    Dearlord .
    I'm only trying to pick from the s**t we have and didn't realise we had the whole stadium of through n through villa diehards with hurt inside to pick from.

  • Guest - villa4life

    Sadly this season is making McLeish look like a tactical genius

  • J Doyle - Bennett has been poor so far but I still think he's a better player than Hutton. The 5 forwards against Bradford was only for the last 10 minutes when we needed two goals and during that time Weimann did actually score one goal.

    Look you can call him clueless all you want. No doubt I'll get laughed at for this but he's very tactically aware but the players haven't been able to execute what he wants from them. Don't get me wrong, Lambert is definitely at fault for that as he is expecting to young players, some with no/little PL experience, to come in and have to adapt to multiple formations.

    Lambert's main problem has been that he hasn't kept it simple and that is very different from being clueless.

  • Guest - j doyle

    Rayk if not keeping it simple is not the same as being clueless then i am a Dutch man as for Bennett being any good how come we did not lose when this clown did not play and the difference last night when he went off plus the fact he gave Bradford all 4 goals just about sums him up a bradford fan said he would not get in there 2nd team which just sums him up that is the reason Rab c Lambert is clueless along with the hobbit every other person can see it except him the coaches we have must be even more clueless


    Pat Murphy confirmed Sylla is joining

  • jcv

    Firstly, I just want to say I do respect your views on here. That said, I think Lambert has got too much of the blame and whatever has happened this season doesn't mean that one of the best young managers in the game before he joins Villa is suddenly a tactical idiot.

    I don't think it was ever written into Lambert's contract that he would always get his first choice of players so he can hardly walk for breach of contract.

    I don't think its fair to disregard his achievements at Norwich either. He did, after all, get his team at Norwich to finisgh in 10th place in their first season.

    But what I do think is fair is the criticism that he has tried too much too soon. Bringing in all the players he has and expecting them to adapty so quickly to multiple formations is very, very difficult - and only Lambert is to blame for that. Lerner though is definitely to blame for not really supporting Lambert enough financially given that Lambert's brief was basically to build a new team (on half the wage bill probably).

  • Rayk if not keeping it simple is not the same as being clueless then i am a Dutch man

    Jon Van Doyle.....my point is that a lot of people are saying that Lambert is tactically clueless. I totally disagree with that. I think his problem is that tactically he is very astute - its just the players haven't delivered on what he wants them to achieve. But I do agree that that is Lambert's fault and that rather than trying to be a tactical genius he just needs to keep it simple now as he has a bunch of young players whose confidence is shot.

  • Yacoubo Sylla....

    At least we got another midfielder in. He'll be better than what we got at the moment.

  • Your text to link

    Sorry, the lad mey turn out to be a genius but in comparison to Sissoko this just seems like sloppy seconds....

    Oh, and for everyone who believed the Lerner PR about 'money being available' this article suggests that the only money available was just £3m....


    Why didn't we just sign Sissoko instead of a league 2 french player ??

  • Guest - jules

    to all lambert fans
    my biggest problem with him is he still doesn't know hes best team or formation
    ffs hes had pre season and 20 odd games this is not good enough!!


    maybe Sylla will be a great buy - an inspired gem of a signing but **** me we've been ridiculous this transfer window.
    absolutely ridiculous.
    Lerner is being a complete tramp

  • jcv, Let's just judge him when we see him. Agreed it's not inspiring but at least it's a body in mid. I kind of admire PL for what he is doing; sticking to his principles. Just hope he knows what he is doing...

  • Why didn't we just sign Sissoko instead of a league 2 french player ??

    Simples...Lerner wouldn't pay his wages!!!


    i know RayK
    i answered my own question after posting.

  • Sylla already passed a medical apparently.

  • Let's hope another one comes in after this one. Or more. Busy day tomorrow?

  • Now we have Sylla are we after Sandie Shaw?

  • What I really, really don't understand is that Pardew has already stated that apart from Sissoko he expects all the French players will need time to adapt because of the difference between the EPL and Ligue 1.

    So we...in need of someone to hit the ground running go out and buy someone from Ligue 2. Classic.

    Thanks Randy!


    Southampton 1 up at Manure.

    oh dear

  • Guest - stevieh

    FFS is Sylla our showcase signing? God help my Villa!!!

  • Guest - greg

    jaysus the last player from lige 2 is kosnielny for arsenal and hes usuless, yes we cudnt pay sissokos wages nor that of diame or nzonzi in the summer, dunno why lerner is so keen to get in line for fifa fair play, the penalty for not compling is being banned from euro competition, wel be nowhere near that for years so who cares, get the players in and alter and change slowly this time

  • Guest - villamon75

    Bloodyhell we bought someone. Who the F**K IS HE! Another inexperienced youngster who's going to be shoved in the deep end. Poor kid.

  • Guest - stevieh

    PL can I go shopping in France. RL yes but , not in Paris go to Calais for the bargains lol


    "with an estimated £3m to play with there will be limits as to what the club can do in the next 24 hours."

    jesus christ....


    £3 million available to spend in total.

  • Think the players must have had a whip round so we can buy a player.

  • In some ways I think this is actually worse than not buying anybody. This just smacks of Lerner only wanting to buy players who can play in the Championship next season.

    £3m is an absolute joke. Sorry, an insult.

  • Do you really think that Aston Villa give a press release with a figure of how much they are going to spend.......truthfully.... No other club publically states how much money they have to spend so why the hell does anyone expect Villa to be the exception......... have a think about it. How ridiculous would it be to advertise how much you have to spend or how much you are going to spend.
    Everything you read in the papers is just pure speculation, nothing more, nothing less. Why not just wait and see when something happens. There are no moles at Villa Park or at least, there haven't been for about 4-5 seasons so pretty much anything you hear is rumour and speculation. The odd person who comes on here manages to break something on here just a few hours before the general public know through the normal media channels at best.
    Whens the last time you had someone on here write something about a signing we're going to make weeks before anyone knew.......it doesn't happen.
    I dont believe a budget of 3 million, I dont believe a budget of 10 million. We'll sign whoever they identify who fits what they are trying to do. Just like MON signed mostly English players.
    I find it hard to believe that we would pay 2 miilion for a French League 2 player when the likes of Sissoko went for that kind of money. A guy that nobody has heard of is unlikely to command that kind of fee unless someone knows something that we're not being told......

  • NickC - I hear what you're saying but my read on that is that someone has leaked that figure. Someone close to the club who is probably p.ssed off with Lerner's spin on 'money being available'.

    And if we sign 'whoever they identify who fits what they are trying to do' then we would have signed Sissoko and not this dude.

  • Got a hunch we'll see at least another signing tomorrow ;)

  • Guest - Rake

    Just seen that quote myself,i didn't know whether to laugh or cry,if true,what an absolute joke!£3m available after a £650 MILLION SALE!!!! WTF????!!!! Has anyone heard of this French superstar we're supposedly about to sign to transform our **** season?Won't make a blind bit of difference,and if he's that great,why not beat off the flood of interest and sign him on 1st Jan???!!! Lambert wasn't sacked today,unbelievably,so we're stuck with the useless prick until the end of the season at least,so we have to preparte ourselves for certain relegation.I for one am now strangely calm about the situation,a feeling of total resignation and realisation.Never in the history of football has there ever been such a bunch of inept,vacant weirdo's trying to run a club!Lerner obviously wants us relegated for some sick twisted reason,there is just no logic to his actions,or rather inactions!YOU REALLY JUST COULD NOT MAKE ANY OF THIS UP!!!

  • Nick C i wouldnt put anything passed these idiots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest - DAVIDVILLA

    instead of Paul Lambert, his new name is Poor Lambert :D

  • On this Sylla...

    Fulham and QPR were interested, along with Stuttgart and Udinese. I think it'll be around £1.5 million.

  • I still can't believe this .... less than 24 hours to go following the worst run of form I can ever remember and we sign someone who most other EPL clubs would probably feel the need to invite for a trial first!

    Sorry, I desperately want the lad to be a gem but as someone said earlier, given our predicament ..... poor kid!

  • QPR were interested

    Bahama no offence but I read that too and that article was from November last year. Now 'Arry definitely has an eye for a talent and it probably says all we need to know that he's a Villa player now rather than at QPR....

  • jcv

    I dont think anyone knows, simple as. What we read and hear is speculation by people who claim to be in the know


    I've already done the Sissoko thing.....put yourself in his shoes. Who would you realistically choose if you were him. Newcastle or Villa? Villa with Charles N'Zogbia as the lone Frenchman or Newcastle with around 6-8 French players in their ranks now, 3 or 4 of which have just joined and also have to settle in. Its a no brainer if your just 23 years old and moving to a new country etc etc......get real......a player wants to be able to settle in as best they can and you couldn't wish for more joining a new club with lots of other players from your home country....

    I'm being realistic and taking my Villa hat off and thinking about the situation and thats what I think.

  • Guest - Rake

    So we might sign Sylla,well 'surprise,surprise (the unexpected hits you between the eyes!)'......boom boom!!!!

  • Mat Kendrick:

    Villa are still hopeful of pulling off another incoming deal before the window shuts at 11pm tomorrow.

  • tell you what,good job the baggies had a good start!! Their form is way worse than ours!!!

  • We're after a cb too


    @fireshamen @AVFCJAYDEE yes true #AVFC after French midfielder Sylla & they also want a centre-back if poss

  • Guest - Rake

    So a ****ing art gallery gets more than the manager in dire times,YOU COULDN'T MAKE THAT UP EITHER!!!!

  • on syllas wiki is states hes a long time Bradford fan who has joined Villa in preperation for relegation :):):):):):):)

  • NickC - I guess that's why Remy moved from Newcastle to QPR at the last minute....oh no, it was the wages on offer! Obviously there is some truth in what you are saying but, come on, we were linked to Sissoko long before Newcastle were and as for French speaking players I assume Bentekkers speaks French too.

    Pure and simple Lerner wasn't prepared to pay the wages.

  • Apparently Patrick Viera wanted Man C to buy this Sylla guy, reckons he is the next Yaya Toure. Got that from twitter. Could be complete BS.

  • thats what ill miss the most.the banter on here.

    you going somewere jcv?

  • How are we linked to these players? A newspaper or radio journo speculating? clubs dont come out and say who they are interested in saying someone is a good player is not saying you are trying to buy him.

  • Wait, he's costing £1.75 m"

    If that is true then we have been royally shafted. £1.75m for a French Ligue 2 player whose club are 14th in that league. Personally, I wouldn't pay more than £500k given that profile.

    But assuming that is the price we paid I can't wait to see which CB we unveil tomorrow for £1.25m :):):)

  • Guest - DAVIDVILLA


  • Guest - stevieh

    No Man Citeh couldn't afford his wages

  • Apparently Patrick Viera wanted Man C to buy this Sylla guy, reckons he is the next Yaya Toure. Got that from twitter. Could be complete BS."

    I'm voting for complete BS. Geez, the lad only has 1 French U21 cap and that was 2 years ago!!!

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