Star striker Christian Benteke has failed to hit the next in his last seven games now, his longest dry run for Aston Villa ever. Against Sunderland he was substitute off and Lambert has admitted that Benteke may be dropped in the coming games.
“You have to make a decision, do you bring him off, do you start him?
“You’re doing it for the benefit of him as well.
“But he’ll come through as a footballer.
“You don’t chastise him, he’s my player and you pick them up.
“That’s the way I try and do it. I’m pretty sure his team-mates will try and do it.
“It wasn’t really a difficult decision to take him off. You make decisions for the good of the football team and the club. He wasn’t up to scratch in the way that he normally is. I decided that was it.” – Paul Lambert
Paul Lambert will have to make a tough call, he knows he needs to rotate the squad in December and could give some other players a chance to shine. Kozak is our last forward to score and in my honest opinion, he has played better than Benteke in the last three games. He scored against Cardiff, where he played superbly, against West Brom he looked the more likely to score. Kozak is very good in the air, and if Aston Villa can give him some sort of supply I reckon he’ll score. And now I believe we have the player to just do that, Marc Albrighton. He played a few minutes against Sunderland I reckon he produced a few good crosses, Albrighton is now match fit as well.
But besides Benteke Aston Villa have loads of strikers to call upon. Agbonlahor may do well if he’s given a run in attack. Weimann brings loads of energy. What about forgotten Helenius? He scored twice in pre-season and looked very good, maybe if he is given a run he could display his potential and his talent. And lets not forgot Bowery, when he’s come on he hasn’t done to poorly, he created a few chances for himself.
Southampton isn’t going to be an easy game and Lambert will change up the starting 11 a little bit. Villa will play on the counter and if Lambert decides to play an attacking 4 of Albrighton, Weimann, Agbonlahor and Kozak Villa would offer a different threat upfront from previous games. Perhaps we’d be less reluctant on the long ball and instead seek passes to the wings and allow Agbonlahor and Albrighton to throw in a few crosses for Kozak and Weimann?
Would dropping Benteke will benefit him? Lambert has dropped Lowton and Westwood and I reckon they’ve been player better. Could it be the same story for Benteke? I think so, defenders now know the threat of Benteke and are marking him more closely then ever before. Changing tactics will make us a little less predictable and less reluctant of Benteke