Villa’s Happy New Year Recipe

Clarks Call

First off, Happy New Year, all you Villans and Lifers. I’d like to think a better year is on the cards. After all, it won’t take much for 2013 to be an improvement on 2012.

But, as we sit here on New Year’s Day nursing hangovers both figurative and literal and waiting for the kick-off at Liberty Stadium, respite and even some joy are far from certain even though they don’t represent a big ask in relative terms for Villans.

Comfortably stay up, don’t get embarrassed, look like we know what we’re doing and have a way forward.

Not too much to ask for, is it?

Yet in the wake of the Wigan defeat, the attainment of such simple returns from our football seems almost Herculean in difficulty.

Or happy days may inevitably be coming our way even as we fume and fret. We just don’t know.

Running up to the Chelsea game, a string of results and more fundamentally solid performances had a majority of us thinking Lambert had indeed got it right, and that his young squad was coming together even without the likes of Ron Vlaar, Karim El Ahmadi, Charles N’Zogbia, Stephen Ireland, and Gabriel Agbonlahor, never mind Richard Dunne, Stephen Warnock and Alan Hutton.

And then just as suddenly as things were looking up, they took a turn toward the seemingly catastrophic: 8-0; 4-0; 3-0.

(At least the goals conceded are on a clear downward trend.)

What happened? A setback or a dive off the precipice? That’s the question. And there’s a two-part answer to my mind.

First and foremost, when you’re playing that much youth, you’re going to have inconsistency—of effort, application, confidence, concentration, cohesion, you name it. If it’s part of the game, it’s on the table. If the whole side is young, it can happen all at once and look bad, fast.

Why? The side of recent weeks does not have a lot of EPL experience to put it kindly. And more important, neither do they have the comfort of a lot of experience playing together.

They’re not strangers, of course, and have been playing football all their lives, but they’ve taken a big step up, and in many instances are still undergoing their first introduction to all the sides and players in the league while they’re still getting used to each other, the press, the pressure, the mental and physical toll—never mind adapting to key injuries.

This is a brand-new team, not one where you have 15 or 20 core players who’ve been together for a while in the same set-up with the same manager.

Vlaar, KEA, Benteke, Lowton, Westwood, Stevens, Bennett, Holman, even Guzan…This is the first time they’ve played in (or tried to)19 straight EPL games, the first time they’ve seen all the different sides, players, managers, grounds, and tactics. For many, it’s the first time they’ve been in a top-league first-team setup week-in, week-out. Psychologically it can be exhausting.

Clark, Baker, Herd, Bannan, and Weimann have played a number of Premier League games between them, and been around the first-team set-up, but in reality they’ve barely been blooded enough to count, and certainly not enough to make them old heads. They’ve never had a run of games like this, either.

Moreover, have Clark, Baker, and Herd ever lined up together in a three-CB formation flanked by Lowton and Lichaj and faced a defending European Championship side on the road? Nowhere near. We can talk about effort and application all we like, but let’s be realistic. Your average Championship side will have more history and cohesion.

So think about that for a moment. This is the context of the gamble Lerner and Lambert have made, right or wrong. We’re living through the ups and downs, and they can be dramatic. No one said it would be for the faint of heart or the fair-weather fan.

Me, I still think it’s the right move. It is high risk, but as I’ve written before, it’s largely what we asked for. Perhaps a tad more aggressive than we might’ve thought, but it is what the majority said they wanted over and over again: A progressive young manager, youth, cost-effective continental imports, tactical flexibility and playing the ball on the ground.

That’s the first part of the answer.

The second part is that after beating Liverpool and Norwich and seemingly weathering an injury crisis with our most experienced players, a chastened, proud, and veteran Chelsea side returned home from their Club World Cup loss with something to prove instead of a jet-lagged hangover.

Chelsea did what veteran sides do to inexperience: expose it, isolate it, attack it, and confuse it. Find the weak link(s) and keep at it. Spurs did the same. Both sides pressed and pressured and have quality throughout, and it was just all too much for this nascent Villa side. The youth movement ran up against it. We got found out.

If we’d been more fortunate, the Liverpool match wouldn’t have preceded the festive season fixture congestion, and would’ve been followed by a match with Stoke (and maybe an international break). Nothing dramatic, a regular week, and a straightforward task.

But it wasn’t to be that way, and the new formation, and all the progress the side seemed to have made, was ripped to shreds. Neither Spurs nor Wigan were the same sort of mauling, but the weakness had been exposed, and with the injuries, the options for changing things round are very limited at the moment. The time to regroup has also been virtually nonexistent.

I’m not seeing disinterest or laziness out there by any means. Confusion and frustration? Certainly. The side suddenly seems to be playing in slow motion—thinking, hesitating, hedging bets, almost paralyzed and watching the game pass them by, like deer in the headlights.

Can this remedied? Yes. Was this rough patch almost inevitable? I think so. Not to say I expected us to ship eight, but it was always possible.

Now, can the “crisis” be remedied without reinforcements? I don’t know. I certainly think it’s possible for the side to rediscover themselves as rapidly as they unraveled at Chelsea, but someone has to step up and the side simply has to forget the last three. And we need to get Vlaar, Gabby, CNZ, and even Baker back. Lambert’s got to gauge the dressing room accurately. He’s saying certain things, but managers always say certain things.

Is he simply going to be stubborn and double down? That’s probably the biggest fear, that Lambert will fail to see things clearly out of arrogance or pride and fail to reinforce when doing so might well steer us clear of danger.

Regardless, for now, Villa have to get back to basics as some have said, try and go out with abandon to chase, press and shut down, denying Swansea the initiative or time to impose themselves and just will themselves back into results. Get open, make and receive passes, knock the ball around and get comfortable.

It’s getting back out there and trying to seize the game by the scruff of the neck. Character. Simply want it more, play without fear, and leave everything on the field. That’s the recipe for playing yourself back into anything.

 

About the Author

Avatar of John Clark

John ClarkJohn has followed Aston Villa since the 1970s. He got his start in journalism writing about professional cycling, and is currently at work on his first novel, which has nothing to do with football. He is, by most accounts, a very nice person.View all posts by John Clark →

  1. IanIan01-01-2013

    Morning John,

    First of all happy New Year to you and the family.

    Seems to be a lot of rumours swirling this morning that PL may get very little or no money for reinforcements this January. If this is the case it could be disastrous as without new faces and leaders I can see no other way for us than certain relegation!!

    However the one thing that I can’t get my head past is if this was the case why did we hire Michael Henke when we did? Pretty much it was the last day of the transfer window so he would have no real influence over the players (Benteke at most) and RL and PL wouldn’t be paying his wages to then not use his recommendations respectively. It seems almost ridiculous that we are in such a perilous situation and in desperate need of players and we have one of the top talent scouts in Europe yet we won’t use him as Villa management would like to wait till the summer.

    My point being in all this is that rumour is just that… Rumour. The proof will be in the pudding. I just hope if we are to sign players we don’t leave it till the last min again so wasting a further 31 days of games where we could have reinforcements.

    TBH I feel it’s almost as simple as get players in and we stand a chance of survival. Don’t bring players in and it’s certain relegation.

  2. Graham O'GaraGraham O'Gara01-01-2013

    Happy New Year to the Lifers…

    Personally I think Lerner is going to take another short term hit to ensure that Villa stay in the EPL. I don’t think it’s the money on transfers that concerns Lerner more the money on wages which is still close to out stripping revenue.

    Ireland, Bent, Given, N’Zogbia and Dunne… possibly even Gabby… will be moved on asap.

    Ireland, Zoggy and Bent pretty much as soon as an offer comes in. Dunne I beleive has an offer from the MLS but it would take a pay off from Villa to seal the move in January. Given… well he has another 3 years at £50k… depends what he wants to do… hopefully Arsenal want him… can’t see anyone else paying him the wedge.

    Anyway the way back fortunately is just as quickly recovered as the seemingly downward spiral we’ve struck on for the exact same reasons stated in the article… the inconsistancy of youth… However something needs to spark it, that early goal from Wigan took the wind out of our sails… you could see the disappointment across the team as Ramis ran off… first time i’d seen heads drop in the team.

    The spark I feel needs to come from a new source, most likely from a transfer.

    There are plenty of bargains out there this January, McCarthy, DiSanto, Hangeland, Diame 4 players that would help our team immensely all available for under £4m and all importantly come with Premier League Experience.

    I do not want to take a citeh player on loan and do what we did for Spurs with Walker… and iron out the mistakes in his game before sending him back.

    There is a factor that I don’t want to pin too much hope upon, but he is certainly the most talented of our youth (IMO anyway) Gary Gardner is weeks away… At 6ft 2, with an eye for goal at every level he’s played and a natural old head on young shoulders I do feel in the AM role we have struggled with this season he would have more than filled it with creativity, physicality and a few goals… I do rate Gards.

    The spark could come from anywhere… Jordan Graham and Jack Grealish… Samir Carruthers? could any of them have a 15 minute cameo that turns a game and our season?

    I’ve always agreed with the “plan” since MoN left… but I’ve always had a slight problem with the way we intended to do it… but thats a different article.

    I’m struggling with todays games… i’d accept almost anything if we can come away with something… Of course i hope we get an early goal and terrorise the Swans… but i know just as easily the same could happen to us… I’ve gone for a 2-2 draw with hopefully a rousing come back by Villa… and not a crumbling, hanging on from dear life squeaking out with a draw… but I’d take it anyway. Thankfully Soton, Reading,QPR, Newcastle and Wigan all face tough games in this fixtue group… WE NEED A RESULT…

    Come on You Villa Boys… do us proud today and Tank the Taffs

  3. SuperBoxSuperBox01-01-2013

    Happy new year to all. Lets hope it starts better than 2012 ended for Villa!

    John, I agree about the youth. They need to find that spark to come back as quick as they faded. That’s the advantage if youth, they should be able to it.

    The longer today stays goalless, the better for us. An early Swansea goal and I fear we will struggle. I’m going for a draw 1-1.

  4. The DroydThe Droyd01-01-2013

    We’re about 5-1 to win today. If you were at the game on Saturday you would say that 12-1 might be more realistic.

    How can this shambles improve? I think we need some of our more experienced players back obviously. We miss Vlaar – Herd is nowhere near good enough to deputise. I thought Lichaj would be great at right wing back but he is turning out to be rubbish as well. I will be glad to see Lowton moved back there ASAP.

    Unfortunately injuries mean the likes of Herd and Lichaj will retain their places. I think we must stay with 3-5-2 as I think Swansea will destroy us if we opt for 4-4-2.

    I’d like to see Delph play today and also El-Hamadi. Ireland is a total waste of space and I think we have wasted enough time on him. Bannan wasn’t one of the worst players against Wigan so I think he should start too.

    There is absolutely no need to not play Weimann and Benteke together. Some service for them would be nice though.

  5. Graham O'GaraGraham O'Gara01-01-2013

    Delph, El and Westwood in the middle. Will Williams get a start? Will Carruthers be involved?

  6. The DroydThe Droyd01-01-2013

    On 2nd thoughts Graham – I agree. Westwood for Bannan. Should be fresher and will do the hard graft in midfield.

    I don’t think now is the time to be throwing in even more inexperience but in truth, could they do any worse than the shambolic performance on Saturday?

    I am still shocked at the level of performance in that game. We won’t even beat Bradford with that sort of performance.

  7. B62 VillaB62 Villa01-01-2013

    Morning all and a Happy New Year, lets hope we have a better 2013 than 2012, because in the last calender year we were possibly the worst team in the league.
    I have to agree with Ian, without serious additions relegation is a certainty , and the rumours of having no money are worrying to say the least. I also think this is the month PL will have to stop using the same old excuses re youth injuries etc and start accepting some blame for his purchases and tactics.
    Onto today, and I can’t see anything other than a defeat, we have no midfield and a poor makeshift defence, Swansea should fill their boots against such poor footballers. I’m actually struggling to see where our next points will come from.
    Interesting debate on Talksport last night, asking if Randy Lerner and Co are cheating the Villa fans by purchasing a team of league 1 and championship standard players and playing them in the top flight. They were basically saying the fans are charged Premiership prices to watch a lower league team.

  8. B62 VillaB62 Villa01-01-2013

    We haven’t won at the Liberty, since they came up, hopefully michu won’t pass his late fitness test(apparantly we were one of the clubs
    who turned him down). I think Laudrup will out think Lambert, but in Lamberts defence he only has the same players that have shown there not up to the standard of this league. My prediction is 3-0 Swansea

  9. FremFrem01-01-2013

    He has to ditch the 3 5 2 for ever. It’s horrible and swansea will rip us apart again if we play it but lambert keeps bloody playing it

    Just play 4 5 1 today, take a 0-0. A loss today and against wba and Lambert won’t have many fans

    Drop Holland and bannan, play delph kea and carruthers

    Is be amazed if we don’t buy a few players this month, if not its good night

    Any way happy new year and a 1-0 villa win

  10. FremFrem01-01-2013

    Holman not Holland

  11. FremFrem01-01-2013

    Delph should play today to add some bite along with kea, westwood, wieaman and carruthers

    The reason i think pl is pulling back about the window is because I dont think he will be with us much longer if we lose our next two or three games. He said yesterday football is a results bussines, right after a meeting randy

  12. IanIan01-01-2013

    Is Delph a magician at making people forget how unbelievably bad he is?

    We don’t see him for a week, people start calling for him to start, he does, he is so poor you might as well have Mittens out on the pitch, we all slate him and then he works his magic and the next week people start calling for him to start again…

    I would rather start with 10 men than have Delph start another game for AVFC. Whilst we’re at it Holman, Ireland, Bannan, Albri, Lichaj and Herd all fit into the same bracket. I would rather start with 6 than any of those jokers in the team!!

  13. FremFrem01-01-2013

    I think albri might start as well today.

    Ian- at least delph gets his foot in, know one else does

  14. B62 VillaB62 Villa01-01-2013

    Ian,
    I agree we have the makings of a very good 5- aside team, the rest are awful , I reckon we would do great in the power league.

  15. steamersteamer01-01-2013

    Hello John, happy new year mate.
    The paper i glanced at had PL quite confident about signing experienced players.
    I would expect Lambo to make quite a few changes, confidence has been destroyed and some players will take weeks to get over the last three results, PL isn’t scared to throw in kids, although obviously it’s not the ideal time, so Williams for me. I’d like to see, Guzan: Lowton, Williams, Clark, Stevens: Carruthers, Westwood, Delph: Bannan: Weimann, Benteke.
    Apparently Vlaar should be fit for the next game, on the downside so should Zoggy, he’ll have to invent a new knock. Anyway, definitely not a clean sheet again and another defeat for us, 2-0 if Michu plays 1-0 if he doesn’t.

  16. FremFrem01-01-2013

    All the guys on ssn saying we should get lescot and there spot on. TIM cahill being linked as well

  17. B62 VillaB62 Villa01-01-2013

    Frem ,
    I’d love Lescott to come, but forget it, we can’t afford him or pay his wages.

  18. FremFrem01-01-2013

    B6- 8 mill price tag and we are paying massive wages to 4 or 5 players, get them out and get a couple of top players in

    If not us the likes of qpr and sunderland will get top players like milner, lescot, parker etc, even full get berbatov

    The prem is moving on big time, even stoke and swansea are our of our league and we just keep going backwords

    They were saying on ssn how randy has ripped the fans of buy paying prem prices to watch championship players

  19. Graham O'GaraGraham O'Gara01-01-2013

    f**k ssn… Jesus when have they ever had a good to say about villa?

  20. FremFrem01-01-2013

    Never but there right

    We pay to watch s**te like Holman try and fail to pass a ball a few yards every week

  21. FremFrem01-01-2013

    Guzan, Lowton, Clark, Bennett, Herd, Weimann, Delph, Stevens, Westwood, Benteke, Albrighton

    3 5 2 again

    PL just dont have a clue

  22. IanIan01-01-2013

    I can’t even se e how we can get a draw with that team.

    It comes to something when I’m praying for opposition players to either be injured or dropped, in this case Michu, to think we stand a chance.

    Why must we persist with Albri? Get rid of him and start Carruthers. It’s not like there’s anything to lose at the moment is there? We won’t all suddenly round on Carruthers if we lose (or Williams) as we know the rest if them are pretty average – poop anyway…

  23. FremFrem01-01-2013

    Ye it a very weak line up. Very similar to AM starting Warnock LM a few times

    We need Zoggy back, we need Vlaar back and and at least 3 Midfielders this month

  24. FremFrem01-01-2013

    and Lambert saying we can still attract players ??

    does hew mean league 2 players or Top players ??

  25. FremFrem01-01-2013

    0r could it be a 4 4 2

    AW and Benteke up top, Bennet and Albri on the wings

    i hope it is. Bennet can dribble with a ball

  26. IanIan01-01-2013

    Thing is SSN and TalkShite ate actually correct (for once). Randy is essentially charging fans Premier League prices to watch Championship players play insipid football way out of thier depth.

    I know this isnt by design (is it?) but all the same it is exactly that. You wouldn’t pay the same price for a similar Skoda and VW model even though thy are essentially the same car? Of course not, one carries a name for quality, the other used to be the butt of skip jokes…

    In that case RL needs to either spend money or reduce entry fees. Being part of a project or being in a transition season seems to be something I have been in as a Villa fan for nigh on 20 of my 30 years supporting them!!

  27. FremFrem01-01-2013

    Its a younger side than that even started against Pool

    It sounds like a 4 4 2 formation so thats ok

  28. FremFrem01-01-2013

    Looking forward to seeing Bennet and Albri on the wings

  29. Matt_B20Matt_B2001-01-2013

    Happy New Year all,

    I would like to say i see us improving ahead of today’s game but i don’t, having seen the team news once again we are playing with a back 3 of Chris Herd (CM), Ciaran Clark (CB) and Joe Bennett or Enda Stevens (Both LB) as well as once again we appear to be relying on a 22 year old striker to keep our heads above water and if we do find ourselves a goal down late on what do we have on the bench? 6 players we can’t name the regulation 7 and the only real attackers are Stephen Ireland who has had 3-4 good games in 2 and a half seasons and Jordan Bowery who has played 17 minutes for our first team this season.

    I hope I am wrong i sincerely do but I can not see a good result today…

  30. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil01-01-2013

    Frem

    Are you ever happy?.You constantly slag,Gabby and Holman,neither start yet you still aren`t happy.
    Being born and dying,we have little say in.But Frem,you know the bit in between?It`s called living,try and enjoy,don`t let your happiness be governed by AVFC team selections.

  31. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey01-01-2013

    Ianthevillan,

    Randy already subsidises tickets. We are one of the cheapest in the Premier League in terms of individual tickets and season tickets.

    Why should he reduce prices? Because we are doing badly? You and I know it doesn’t work like that, much the same as it didn’t get massively more expensive when we were sixth.

  32. FremFrem01-01-2013

    Yep, its time for him to go or we are going down

  33. FremFrem01-01-2013

    they should be 4 nill up already

  34. IanIan01-01-2013

    Lol I knew I should have had money on Routeledge to score against us today.

    Looking forward to venting my spleen at another 4,5,6,7-0 loss later…

  35. IanIan01-01-2013

    If Lambert comes out after and says ‘the kids are all right’ or ‘we just keep on fighting’ I will drive Hom back to Norwich myself…

  36. IanIan01-01-2013

    Could already be 3-0 down.

    We are the proverbial house of cards

  37. FremFrem01-01-2013

    Routleage scored his first ever prem goal against us last season, is that now his second ??

    Boyce, Biard, Turner and Routledge have all scored against us

    Reading doing well against spurs

    We are shocking, really really shocking

  38. steamersteamer01-01-2013

    Another Chelsea ?

  39. IanIan01-01-2013

    Matt, well it makes no difference as we really will be paying for championship football next season…

  40. IanIan01-01-2013

    Maybe when Randy took over and said he wanted us playing Champions League football in 5 years he has got mixed up with the Championship?

    Can someone send him a text and explain his mistake please?

  41. steamersteamer01-01-2013

    I don’t know about subsidising tickets, he won’t be able to give them away soon.

  42. FremFrem01-01-2013

    He just doesn’t know how to set up a team to defend

    He didn’t at Norwich and today we are so lucking there not 4 or 5 up

  43. steamersteamer01-01-2013

    One of the dog walkers told me that at Man Utd last week the Olbyun supporters began clapping on eight minutes taking the P out of our battering at Chelsea.

  44. IanIan01-01-2013

    Even the BBC are taking the p*ss out us know..

    “Aston Villa may resemble a child playing a computer game on too difficult a setting at the back, but in Christian Benteke they do possess a goal threat of their own”

  45. FremFrem01-01-2013

    steamer- they did it today as well and started singing there’s only one PL

  46. FremFrem01-01-2013

    do you thinkL will walk or get the sack if we lose again today??
    It wouldn’t surprise me

  47. steamersteamer01-01-2013

    Bet Delph gets himself sent off.

  48. steamersteamer01-01-2013

    Frem,
    If he’s got £££ to spend i think he’ll stay, but a big defeat today may change that.

  49. FremFrem01-01-2013

    it sounds like there is very little for him to spend

  50. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey01-01-2013

    Frem,

    Why would be walk? What is in it for the manager for him to walk?

  51. steamersteamer01-01-2013

    Racking whats left of my brain thinking about if this is the worst AVFC team in my 50 years of watching, do you know what ? by a country mile, thanks Lerner.

  52. FremFrem01-01-2013

    i dont think he will want to be the manager who sends villa down and as we are going, we are going down with out a fight

  53. FremFrem01-01-2013

    if your not playing well, at least be hard to beat. we aren’t and s**t players keep scoring against us

    we have scored the least amount of goals this season and conceded the most. Your gunna go down if that the case

  54. AndrewAndrew01-01-2013

    Just got in…..pheew just the one goal down.

  55. AndrewAndrew01-01-2013

    Ignore the villa, qpr, saints, reading and wigan must loose.

  56. FremFrem01-01-2013

    the bookings are coming left right and centre now

  57. FremFrem01-01-2013

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Wieman, lovely finish

    is that our first shot ??

  58. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey01-01-2013

    Fourth attempt, third on target Frem.

  59. FremFrem01-01-2013

    fair enough

    At least we have two decent players in Wieman and Benteke

    We need to be more tighter in the second the half

    what a win this could be

  60. IanIan01-01-2013

    Andrew – you should ‘just get in’ more often mate.

    Seems Weimann heard your front door shut and obliged a goal for you :)

  61. steamersteamer01-01-2013

    Very worried about the possibility of a sending off, Delph favourite, Clark second favourite.

  62. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    frem- of lescot, milner, and parker,

    u have 2 players 30 or older?! do u want another retirement home for players looking for their last pay day?

    milner is a great idea… but someone else needed in defence, Kjaer maybe?

  63. FremFrem01-01-2013

    Results going our way at the moment

    id get delph of for KEA, we dont want him getting sent off

    as long as he doesn’t bring holman on

  64. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    and frem- go smoke a joint, chill the f**k out man, games not even over.

  65. FremFrem01-01-2013

    fastback- we could do with a couple of really experienced players. parker, dawson, lescot is just whats needed

  66. FremFrem01-01-2013

    fastback- it should be though

  67. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    frem-, so ud be ok with dawson, parker, lescot, and ooo berba for like 20 mil and 60kweek for each of them?

  68. Ian GibsonIan Gibson01-01-2013

    Happy they got a goal. Maybe that monkey is off their back now. Just watching the results, do I dare turn on the laptop and watch the second half? I’d give Lance Armstrong’s left nut for a win–the one in a jar on the mantle.

  69. FremFrem01-01-2013

    fastback- id take lescot and parker.

    we are paying massive wages to players not worth it. ship 300 odd grand a week out and get those two in. they wont be on more than ireland and bent are

  70. FremFrem01-01-2013

    reading now losing

  71. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    but we would be returning to the idea that more means better!

    that type of overpaying for players too old to be sold is what has put us in this mess!

    dont u realize that?

  72. FremFrem01-01-2013

    fastback- we had a whole squad of that. yes get bent, given, ireland, dunne, warnock and hutton out.

    then just get a couple of top players with the rest being youngsters from europe

  73. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    why not buy top, and a little younger, like right before the peak, not on the way down the hill,

    milner, Holtby, moris lietner

  74. FremFrem01-01-2013

    agree on milner and holtby, dont know who the other chap is.

    thats what i mean, buy young talent from around europe for a fairly low amount but you also need a couple of real experienced players

  75. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    i agree experience, but not guys on their last leg.

    leitner is at brusso durtmund, cm, young.

  76. FremFrem01-01-2013

    we are so lucky

    we cant keep playing so poorly

  77. FremFrem01-01-2013

    we are gunna win though

  78. steamersteamer01-01-2013

    Why make that substitution in a tight game ? the thought of Bennett and Holman on the left flank scares me.

  79. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    man has this game turned around!

  80. FremFrem01-01-2013

    he hasn’t put holman on has he ??

  81. FremFrem01-01-2013

    carruthers surly should play ahead of holman.

    feel sorry for the kid, hes got ability

  82. FremFrem01-01-2013

    please please please score

  83. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    fuckyea!!!kw[
    efmq
    lkwern
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  84. FremFrem01-01-2013

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS !!!!

    hold on boys

  85. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey01-01-2013

    Keep the faith…

  86. IanIan01-01-2013

    Brilliant Bentekkers!!!

  87. FremFrem01-01-2013

    youngest ever side

    please hold on boys

  88. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    i believe!

  89. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    i believe that

  90. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    i believe that we!

  91. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN! I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN!

  92. FremFrem01-01-2013

    f**k it

  93. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    fcuk!!!

    sorry guys. its my fault.

  94. FremFrem01-01-2013

    our defence is horrible

  95. IanIan01-01-2013

    Oh for crying out loud

  96. FremFrem01-01-2013

    we never win unless the teams bellow win as well

  97. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    A. we wouldve taken a tie with two hands before the game.

    b. its my fault.

  98. AndrewAndrew01-01-2013

    One of the worse feelings in football. The last min goal…..hope 2 dropped points dont haunt us.

  99. B62 VillaB62 Villa01-01-2013

    If we’re honest, we were robbing Swansea, they should have massacred us and were unlucky not to get a penalty, for most of the game we we were awful, that said winning with 5 mins to go + injury time we should see the game out. But our defence is shocking we have let in 41 goals, far more than anyone else. A win would have been just the ticket, however it would over the cracks how s**te this team really is.

  100. B62 VillaB62 Villa01-01-2013

    Andrew out GD will haunt us not just the dropped points, we need Arsenal to batter Saints

  101. Ian GibsonIan Gibson01-01-2013

    After the past 3 this is more than OK. There was fight in them right to the end. Just bad luck. A tie was the best you all thought would happen and 2 hours ago WE would have given Lance’s left nut. Hopefully they will settle down and put a few more points on the board in the latter half of January. I’m definitely happy with the point.

  102. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil01-01-2013

    Vital point.
    McShambles sprinles his stardust on Forest today.0-3.

    Late goals are not bad luck etc,we always concede late-says a lot about our lack of mental strenght.Well done Lambert,hang in there.

  103. FremFrem01-01-2013

    gutted, especially as results went our way

    we are in trouble, as B6 says swansea ripped us apart first half

    if we are going to stay up we have to hold on to them leads but our defence is so so poor

    it keeps lambert in for another game.

    now go and buy 6 new players before southampton game. 2 CB’s, 2 CM’s, a striker and winger

  104. FremFrem01-01-2013

    how horrible would it be if mcliesh got promoted and we went down ??

    defence is a massive problem but they need help from midfield to. parker and milner please

  105. IanIan01-01-2013

    First of all I’d have taken a point at the start of the game…

    However a little perspective needed. We were terrible. We could have been 5 down after 20 mins (like all the over games) and to be honest we were wretched for large parts of that game. I’m not sure if live streaming made it worse but Christ our defence is awful.

    Much to worry about at AVFC…

  106. The DroydThe Droyd01-01-2013

    Two massive points dropped. That is a real b*****d.

  107. IanIan01-01-2013

    No probs there Frem Forest lost 3-0 to a Blackburn team that had only won once in 8 previously…

  108. B62 VillaB62 Villa01-01-2013

    Frem
    No way will we be buying 6 players this window let alone before the Saints game. The window has opened and the merry go round has started, I’m hoping players start arriving very soon, we should have enough to beat Ipswich sat, but we need to get some quality in and fast. I’m not holding my breath tho as I have no faith in any of the imbeciles running this club.

  109. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey01-01-2013

    The father-in-law will be happy B6 ;)

    Be my turn to tell him his team are s**te :)

  110. SuperBoxSuperBox01-01-2013

    A point, some goals and we move up a place in the table. Not all bad.

    Glad to see we showed some grit after going down early on.

    Ship steadied I hope.

  111. IanIan01-01-2013

    B6 – your bang on there… how many times have Villa over the years lost their bottle and conceded late?

  112. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey01-01-2013

    Unlucky at the end but stopping the rot was important.

    On we go.

  113. FremFrem01-01-2013

    We need a really busy month. If we dont strengthen big time in defence or Midfiled, we dont stand a chance

    Palocius, Parker and Milner we should be desperate to go and get to solid us up and help the defence out

    If PL cant see this then he needs to go

  114. Matt TurveyMatt Turvey01-01-2013

    Should have, could have. Yes, we could have been beaten. Should we have been beaten? Subjective at best.

    Forget what may have happened – we got a point whether we deserve it, none, or three.

  115. FremFrem01-01-2013

    The thing is the players will be gutted, it wont feel like a good point to them conceding that late on, or PL.

  116. FremFrem01-01-2013

    at least we changed from 3 5 2

    4 4 2 does seem to suit us better and with a few better players in this month and with Vlaar and Zoggy coming back we should be ok

  117. IanIan01-01-2013

    Matt – should we have been beaten? Yes

    A point is a point is a point and hopefully will bring their confidence but OH MY GOD WE NEED DEFENDERS BADLY!!

  118. John ClarkJohn Clark01-01-2013

    Right, first point of 2013, thank god. Match review is up.

  119. FremFrem01-01-2013

    Do you think we will have new players in by the Siants Game ??

    Some people say there is money, some say there isn’t but we do need players or we dont stand a chance. If we had Milner or a parker or Lescott in our side today we would have won, even just one of them

  120. B6toBrasilB6toBrasil01-01-2013

    Frem are you smoking crack?Palacious-sorry spelling-is a beast ,a great physical presence,but he can not pass a football.He makes NRC look like Cryuff.
    We stopped the rot.PL is doing a great job,with this team we should be bottom of the league.
    Frem,we can`t lose PL he is part of the solution,not the problem.He has inherited dross,let him build his own team.He`s mad mistakes sure,but back him,he`s the only gaffer we`ve got.

  121. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    fromb2b-bravo, just bravo for seeing the light.

    PL is the answer. Give him time, not 19 games, not even 50 games, like 3 years.

  122. J.P. WilsonJ.P. Wilson01-01-2013

    ps frem- qpr has 10 points!!! ten!!! with all that SO-CALLED QUALITY,,,

    why r they not coming good?