An off day for Aston Villa to be brushed under the carpet

I tweeted something last night about laying off the players and maybe I should have put something in my post yesterday, because I think I read Brad Guzan coming in for some stick and it baffles me, it really does.

But you don't lay into the players. Players are, for the most part, not that clever and in need of direction. They need to be motivated and told what to do. You have to and I mean this in the nicest possible way, know how it works for each individual player and you must use that knowledge to get them to do what it is you want them to do.

Yesterday, the players played like Norwich last season and for that, you must look firmly at the manager, but this isn't me having a pop at the manager, I made it clear yesterday that it was an off day and it was and we know that because we've won a game this season and have less points than games played.

My point is, we've had a couple of good performances and three not so good performances, so lets, for the moment, side with the good performances as the norm and the bad performances as off days - it's a glass half full thing.

The manager speaks

Paul Lambert
If you're not bang at it, that's what can happen. We deserved to go one-up at half-time but you have to sustain that. In the second half it wasn't good enough.

Now we pick ourselves up and go again. I never get too high when we win and I never get too despondent when we lose. They [the players] gave us the effort and I can't fault that. We will keep cracking on. It's important to try and keep a level head. It's a long, long season and I'm sure there will be ups and downs.

I don't understand what he is saying. We were fortunate to go in at half time with the lead and we did sustain exactly the first half performance, the only difference is that the Southampton manager changed things about because of the way we were playing yesterday to be more effective in the second half.

The bottom line is we were playing the just promoted bottom of the table side that hadn't picked up a point all season and we didn't go at them. We didn't make them think. We didn't deserve to win yesterday and we gifted the game to Southampton.

I just wish the manager wouldn't talk of ups and downs to come and instead would just accept that that type of football doesn't work and if that wasn't what he wanted, that he takes responsibility.

But please, before I go, this is for everyone; lay off the players. They are not to blame and right now it is crucial that they are supported and not dragged into something. It's all about the manager right now and just a few days ago, there was nothing any of these players could do wrong for many and some, me included, were happy that some of the younger players were finally getting a run.

Lets not turn on them this season (the players that is) and certainly not after an off day.