It went all wrong for Aston Villa who have now suffered a third straight defeat in the Premier League. Aston Villa performed very poorly in the first half with Newcastle having almost all the chances. Newcastle controlled the game well and the pace of Remy and Ben Arfa tore Villa’s defence. Ben Arfa scored the first goal for Newcastle after Remy’s skill got passed Lowton out wide, he managed to pick out the Frenchman. Aston Villa lost defender Okore to injury after he chased on a long ball towards Remy, Clark was his replacement. The closest Villa came to scoring was when Clark volleyed a lose ball from Lowtons cross from a tight angle on the right.
In the second half Aston Villa massively improved, the team played higher up the pitch and controlled the majority of the game. However, Villa found it difficult to break down the Newcastle defence. It wasn’t until the 70th minute when Kozak’s substitute appearance may have interrupted Newcastle’s defence as Benteke headed in from a corner. Ben Arfa caused Luna problems all game and if there were to be a winning goal, it would come from Ben Arfa. Surely enough, one of his shots was parried by Guzan which went towards the way of Gouffran who made no mistake.
I was bitterly disappointed by Villa’s performance, Villa struggle to win games at home and it’s no wonder why. Villa can’t string together two good halves. The team is also one dimensional, with the attack focused on a counter or getting it to Benteke. It’s getting to predictable and if Lambert want’s the team to beat Norwich, we’re going to have to see changes to the starting 11.
First of all, Bennett deserves a chance back into the starting 11. Luna wasn’t pressing Ben Arfa, and Luna was clearly the weak link in the defence. I think Luna has played well over the last few games, but it appears as though he has taken his starting 11 spot for guarantee. Bennett played well in the League Cup a few weeks back and I think he should get a chance back into the starting 11.
The Weimann-Benteke-Agbonlahor combination also needs a change. The issue with Aston Villa is that the team is only playing in the centre. Lambert has brought in another forward Kozak, is there a similarity between him and Benteke? Yes, it’s height and strength. The best way to utilise this is by width, we haven’t got any. I think Weimann and Agbonlahor can play well away, but at home we’ve got to see some width. I want Lambert to play a 4-2-3-1 formation and play Tonev and Albrighton out wide, yes Albrighton. He hasn’t played for a while, but he offers valuable width.
Villa are missing an attacking midfielder at home, this would’ve been a good game to play either Tonev or Helenius behind Benteke. Someone to get those loose balls from Benteke and create an opening for either Weimann or Agbonlahor.
Until these things are addressed, I don’t think Aston Villa will see another home win anytime soon.