Aston Villa Must Develop Confidence If They Are To Avoid Further Losses

Terrace Talk

First off a little humour goes a long way in taking the edge of what was a poor weekend.

During the war against France, captured British officers were asked why they wore red tunics as they were very easy to see. The answer was: so the troops can’t see when we are injured thus leading to a drop of confidence and morale during battle. The French officers thought about this for a while and to this day they continue to wear brown trousers.

Our club leaders last Saturday were wearing those brown trousers. They lost sight of the game and became timid and were unable to rally the troops. Regardless of their pay scale, this is a young team that can be cowed by teams with more experience. Until they become comfortable in their skins and not until a couple of leaders step to the front on a regular basis, Aston Villa is going to yo yo back and forth from good games and poor games.

Nobody made Southampton pay for their success, it was given to them. Last week against Swansea, there were some tackles that garnered yellow cards. Some of those tackles were a follow through that were a little late. This shows a no surrender attitude and in my opinion, a worthwhile card. Swansea were looking over their shoulders. Not so with Southampton. Villa lost confidence, laid back and lost the game plan. Regardless of the score, the other team needs to know they were in a game. Villa didn’t do that. They didn’t leave a reminder for the return trip to Villa Park. (except for Guzan’s frustration card)

Confidence is a strange mental state. It’s usually a long time coming and can disappear in an instant. Everyone is susceptible to a loss of confidence. As fans we witness it almost daily. (and then hound said player or team mercilessly. I have been guilty of that) Players can’t take on more than they can chew or they will be like beaten dogs. Paul Lambert, in my opinion, gives his charges just enough to challenge them.

Nathan Delfouneso going to Blackpool is a perfect example. He has gone to a team where he is given every chance to succeed and succeed he will as his confidence increases. Something that I have noticed is that level of confidence should be equal to level of pay scale. It just doesn’t work that way. Several players have arrived at Villa over the last couple of years and they have tailed off from previous levels. I’m sure they didn’t discover two club feet overnight. A loss of confidence is a big part of their performance for Villa. Lambert’s job is to restore that.

Players have to have confidence in their team mates too. To know that Holman will be tireless, that Vlaar is impenetrable, Guzan commands his box, or Bent is a magician with his feet gives players and also the manager a feeling of safety and thus they are less tentative with their play.

It’s a big puzzle, one that can go either way in an instant. But to fold your tent is unforgivable. Players need to keep their heads regardless of the score. As we have said countless times, if it’s good footy then a loss isn’t so bad.

Increased confidence, a more in your face attitude, and a never surrender mind set–something to work on.

About the Author

Avatar of Ian Gibson

Ian GibsonI'm an Aston Villa fan who lives in Magna Bay BC CanadaView all posts by Ian Gibson →

  1. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil24-09-2012


    Well it`s no more OB then?Well done Mr Gibson.
    A good debut(it is your 1st isn`t it?)and a good topic.How do you get or acquire it though,from yourself,others or from performing and praise?A real balancing act.I coached a lad who was v,good but always doubted himself and lacked confidence no matter how good he was,yet other lads were full of confidence had only a tenth of his ability.He`s now a PL player and an international.

    Steamer,a pastel is the closest to a pie here,good tasty,cheap street food.
    I suppose the suet article I described is a pudding not a pie.
    I have it on good authority that Alex McLeish was working the day you got served with that pie.

  2. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey24-09-2012

    It is Ian’s debut for writing yes B6.

    It is a bit of a shame that I have had to put it up late but with John up tomorrow and the article discussing the game, I wanted it up sooner rather than later.

    Good piece Ian and thanks again for contributing.

  3. bibulusbibulus24-09-2012

    Think you are right Ian – summed up how a lot of villa fans are feeling about the team right now and gave me a laugh at the start.
    At least we have a couple of very recent good football performances to build on rather than being in the middle of a defensive genius’s falling down moment.
    Fingers crossed for at least a fight tomorrow – got to believe we do now have a manager that wont allow the team to go into the game thinking defeat is an option and that itself must be huge confidence boost.
    Glad someone pointed out there were articles on here as well as comments – enjoyed that one!

    Steamer B6 – buns rolls quiche flan – you will be telling me casserole is stew next..

    10-1 for a villa win tomorrow at most bookies – anyone having a tickle on that??

  4. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil24-09-2012


    And you`ll be telling me a pudding is a dessert next.
    I always thought a dessert was a huge sandy dry place with no rain.

    Ian/OB/Mr Gibson,a very well written debut,look forward to your next piece.

  5. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil24-09-2012

    The lateness is a bit of a shame but for us in other continents it ain`t late yet.Did I just say incontinent?

  6. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey24-09-2012

    If you are incontinent, I can sell a wide range of Villa branded nappies if demand is high B6 ;)

  7. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil24-09-2012

    They should be BCFC branded,Steamer would buy a few dozen I`m sure.A definite best seller.

  8. Ian GibsonIan Gibson24-09-2012

    Thanks for the comments gents

  9. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil24-09-2012

    Ian Gibson?Far too sensible.Sir ,I hereby christen you`Gibbo`

  10. Ballyd100Ballyd10024-09-2012

    Hello all

    Good debut Ian

    Confidence is indeed a tricky thing. It takes so long to build up and one instant can wipe it out.

    No doubt confidence is built throu winning and being sucessful in the system you use. As an old manager of mine used to say “winning is a good habit to get into”

    10/1 in two horse race has to be worth a small bite.


  11. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey24-09-2012


    Gibbo, hey? Better that than Gibbon. Small things chap, small things :)

  12. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey24-09-2012


    BCFC nappies would be great, barring the fact they would have to be permanently full of cr*p :)

  13. Alan DidionAlan Didion24-09-2012


    Success breeds confidence. I don’t think we’re there yet. Too many players with long memories, wondering when the other shoe will drop. It will come.

    I agree, Villa went down way too easy. Besides Guzan, the other two yellows I remember were Lichaj giving a Saint a shove off the pitch out of frustration, not out of intimidation. And Vlaar got one when the other guy tripped over his own feet. Not exactly the result of announcing his presence.

    Loved the story. One thing we can all agree on is taking a little backhand to the French.

  14. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil24-09-2012

    Yes Chicago we`re a bit like Monica Lewinsky at the moment-we go down far too easily.

  15. TrinityTrinity25-09-2012

    Nice article and I must say that Ian is a fantastic name.

    Definitely, as soon as the lads have more confidence in one another the better.
    It’ll be a yo-yo season, but I have confidence in the claret and blues to come through.

  16. southwestvillansouthwestvillan25-09-2012

    Gibbo, nice piece at least it brings some balance to the weekends result, i think we will see more results like this and the season will give us more ups than downs, i agree that just running around chasing the ball is not enough we need to put tackles in to let the opposition know we are in the game.

    Just to clarify in regards to Steamers comment yesterday – Mansfield circa 1972, first of all in 1972 i was only six years old and why an adult was taking me away from my parents to a football match and treating me to beer and pig snacks and not ending up on a register god only knows, just putting the record straight.

    RIP Mittens.