Aston Villa at Norwich: Lexington, Watergate and Lambert

Sometimes, there are moments that define periods of time. It is easy to look back at them today and see exactly what they were but most of the time and at the time, nobody knew how important they were.

Take the Battle of Lexington in 1775. It was the first military engagement of the American Revolutionary War and what ultimately led to the American Declaration of Independence a year later.

Or we could look at how someone saw flashing lights at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, that ultimately led to Nixon resigning.

Okay, part of that second example was from a film, but the Nixon administration did try to cover it up and he did resign. My point is this; Aston Villa have been playing better of late and there are reasons for this, but I truly do believe that if we stay on this path, better things are to come.

I've banged the drum for a long time about the need to develop our own players, play our own players and strengthen with quality brought in from other sources and while we haven't played all of our young players this season, we have have played with a core of Aston Villa players this season and while not all have come through the ranks, this manager gave many their opportunity in the Premier League and that type of loyalty can not be purchased.

And many people will suggest that the Sunderland performance was a fluke or we got lucky, but it has been coming and we didn't get all those goals through luck; we actually went looking for them when in previous times and managers, we might have sat back and played for a narrow three points.

Something changed this season. Paul Lambert tried things that didn't work, but recognised that and moved on. He played with certain players that again didn't work and again, he moved on.

I'm not saying he has it completely right at the moment, but I am saying this; he has his core players that are playing for him now and that, is a crucial ingredient.


If West Brom can beat Wigan, a tough ask, but a possible one and we beat Norwich, something I believe is more than possible, then I think we are safe, but more than that, I think for the manager anyway, it is his way of confirming everything that he has done this season has been for a reason.

The truth is, we don't know if Randy Lerner said there was no money. For all we know, it could have been Lambert that came in and said he wanted to do exactly what has happened. I'm not becoming a Lerner apologist, don't get me wrong, but in his defence, we just don't know why our season started so badly and when looking for positives, I think a lot of people have missed that it could all be down to Lambert deciding to do it this way.

And if it is, kudos to Lambert, because it looks like it could be working, because since we left the three centre backs and started playing a variation of 451, our football has looked very good.

Okay, lets not take anything away from specific players or the role they are playing, but what we are looking at today is something new. I'm really looking forward to the match today because if we win and win by what I think is possible, then we'll have pundits all over us for a few days telling us that they've said all this for a long time too.

Updates, team news and links

So, with that, I leave you but this is the match post so as and when we get team news I'll try to beat you and get it up and if we find any links of interest, we'll post them below and during the game, I'll be on Twitter and here.

And on that, I should end with this; just because I think we will win and with a swagger, doesn't mean we will. And if we don't it doesn't matter in the bigger picture. Naturally, I don't want last Monday and the last few weeks to actually become a fluke but that is why I don't think it is; it wasn't just a one off. But a win would be important, especially if West Brom and West Ham could win too.