Before the game started, I predicted a Villa win and I thoroughly thought that we would win 1:2 but alas, we didn’t.
THE STARTING 11
Once again, the starting 11 was the best choice of the bunch and it really added to what is starting to look like a growing team.
The introduction of Joe Cole over N’Zogbia was a fantastic choice, and Lambert should be applauded for that decision, even though it has taken so long to get to it. Joe Cole added a new dimension to that game as he showed creativity, good choice of passing, control on the ball and most importantly, he scored. Not the greatest goal in the world, but it was a tough goal and it was he who scored it. From this match alone, it looks as if he has earned himself a starting place in the match 11 and nobody should disagree with that. I was slightly mythed as to why Lambert took him off in the 70th minute, but I can only assume it was due to match fitness. Either way, Lambert did something I never thought I would see and that was make a good substitution. He swapped Cole for Grealish and like Cole, Grealish showed a natural ability on the ball. he was very confident, passed well, pressed well and I still think given the right chances, Grealish will go on to be a huge player with massive ability.
After last week, I really thought that Wiemann would be swapped for young Robinson, maybe not to start but at some point during the game. This is when Lambert showed his true substitute colours again and instead brought Richardson on. Maybe I am biased here and you all think this was the best substitution for the team, but we will talk about that later on.
I thoroughly enjoyed the game, but would be writing this drunk had the last 10 minutes not occurred. The first half was well thought by both sides with a lot of chances going either way and in all honesty, it could easily have been 2 nil us, 2 nil them but could have been is not doing and we was the team who went into the 2nd half leading with a Joe Cole goal.
We built on our previous performance against Southampton and managed to look like the team we all witnessed at the beginning of the season. We attacked, and not just counter attacking, it was creativity and well worked attacking. I remember thinking that this game would have been ideal for Benteke because it complimented his abilities in every manner and if the style and passion is continued, his return should be something of a marvel. But lets not get a head of ourselves.
Burnley played well and looked dangerous whenever they attacked. You have to give extra credit to Ings (who I wish we would have signed) because he is great to watch and even better to have on your team sheet. Not only did he score the penalty, he also had an individual moment straight after that hit the post but should have been one of the highlights of his scoring career. It was simple and beautiful football that didn’t quite make it. So let’s talk about that penalty…
Our defence had a really good game for the most part, but I think they should from here on out be known as the Aston Stranglers as on more than one occassion, Clark had his hands/arm around a players throat, Hutton followed suit as did Cissokho and then Okore went against the grain and took a standard kick at the legs allowing Burnley a penatly and the draw to be conceded. It should not have happened, but it did.
There are a lot of positives to take from this game if we look beyond the penalty.
- Firstly, even though we only scored one goal, we found our attacking form and looked as though we could score during any given opportunity.
- Joe Cole is a great player and will go on to have a key role in our team (provided he stays fit and healthy)
- Clark and Okore are great players and work well together which shows that we can rotate our CB’s
- Grealish is still a confident and great player
- A draw does not give Lamber immunity to being sacked
- Benteke returns next week
- Cissokho still can’t cross a ball.
- Wiemann and Gabby played and attacked a lot better but still need to convert more
- We lack a lot of proven choice on the bench (Youngsters not included here)
- **EDIT** Richardson being put on for Wiemann was a slap in the face. Wiemann played well today and I thought it was Gabby who should have been replaced and not by Richardson, who I feel has no part in this team. It was the time of Robinson. One striker off, one on. Show the attacking intent and not the settling of the draw.
We still came away from the game with a point which is more than most of you thought we was going to get and credit to the 4000 Villains that made their way up north. I wanted a win, but the draw is good enough especially if we can continue to build on this fresh energy. With Benteke back next week, I hope it see more goals, but not just from the giant, I want all round goals from other strikers and the midfield. Even though he may seem like our best shot, I do not want an Aston Villa team built up around one player, because it is bad for the rest of the team and even worse for the future if said player decides to leave and we cash in.
Whilst on the subject of cashing in, I hope Vlaar does go in the winter, because I do not like the lack of confirmation or dedication from not just him but any player. We are proving that our other centre backs are not just capable of stepping up but also show dedication to the team. He will be a loss, but i’d rather lose him now and get some cash than have him not sign a contract and leave on a free.
LAMBERT OUT and I still think we will win against Palace.UTV.