In what seems like many moons ago now, I wrote a piece for this blog that was very optimistic. Villa were playing a passing game, even if there wasn’t much end product, and our new signings all looked like they could do the job for us that we wanted.
Since then it's been a decline of epic proportions, and it's difficult now to be positive about anything with our great club. My positive outlook has turned to that of a hopeful outlook, and after the Bradford defeat even that hope is now diminishing at a rapid rate.
Aside from a brief run which culminated in our 3-1 win at the bin dippers, we have witnessed a kind of ‘shattering’ of our spirit, confidence, tactics and style of play.
In the Premier League, gone is what we saw in the season opener at West Ham where we kept the ball for long periods, and in its place is a desperate long ball game, a long ball game that neither Benteke, Wiemann or Gabby are particularly good at. With such great passing goals against Liverpool it's hard to fathom why we are looking long for our goals so much now.
As a former striker myself I know when confidence is down, that finishing becomes very difficult, it seems when a midfielder loses his confidence he starts knocking the ball long. Bannan's confidence must be totally shattered at this point. His performance against Bradford was a further notch down and the poor little fella must wish he could hide away for a while. The frustrating thing for a Villa fan is that we simply didn’t have another midfielder to play in his place on Tuesday.
I built Lambert up to be almost the great savior for us in the first piece I wrote, but since then we have seen him tactically destroyed by Benitez, AVB and Martinez. Sticking to a system that leaves our wingbacks badly exposed in defence and sometimes totally isolated when trying to go forward. This system is making Lowton and Bennett who have obvious skills and potential, look weak and indecisive.
The only two fullbacks I have seen that could handle the demands of Lambert's system are Roberto Carlos and Cafu. Two freaks of nature who were physically capable of covering the whole side of the pitch.
Lambert is asking the impossible of our two young lads and it is hurting them and the team significantly. With Sir Charles finally coming into form, and Gabby's pace we have the option to go wide now and stretch teams. I’m not a religious man, but I pray that we show some width against Newcastle because otherwise, Pardew, like the rest of the managers in the Premier League will have figured out how to deal with our narrow game.
End the Silence
I believe there is only one man in the world that can save us from relegation, and that is Randy Lerner. He needs to end his silence. The club need to end their silence.
Us fans know that Lerner likes to operate late in the transfer window, and this is really the last ray of hope we have. For if he doesn’t spend in the next week, our club could be destined for oblivion. Our current youngsters aside from our strikers do not look like they could brings us back up in one season.
To be honest, I don’t know what I’ll do if we get relegated. It will leave such a gaping hole in my weekend, and bitterness will stop me from enjoying the Premier League for a good while. Without my weekly Aston Villa stream life is going to go down a notch.
Right now, our chairman has to get his checkbook out.
It's time to show your face Mr. Lerner and make a statement.
Hope is the last thing we have, and it is fast running out. That hope will soon turn to hate.