Submitted by: MarkDraperNumber8
A few posts recently about our problems and as I read I become more and more concerned as there are some very accurate points and comments being made by many of us. We still have a few blindly (no offence intended) positive posters but it’s clear to see, regardless of points advantages from this time last season, and how early it is in the season to judge etc, that there is a decline.
It occurred to me earlier that there is another very simple but problem we have when other teams play against us. The pyschological advantage the opposition have.
We have, not intentionally of course, put ourselves in a position now whereby we are seen as arguably THE team to pick points up against home/away. Maybe extreme to say THE team but we’re certainly in the same basket as Palace and Sunderland. I really think we are one of the three teams just mentioned who the other teams consider be the most beatable. Teams come to Villa Park and think they can win, right off the bat, without kicking a ball, they immediately start on the front foot, play harder, more aggressively and simply play better due to the confidence and belief they have that they can beat us. Teams like Cardiff, Palace and Sunderland and Norwich and Fulham to name a few are worse than us in my opinion but when we play these teams we’re all of a sudden playing an improved version because of our worry to lose and their confidence to win. It’ s a terrible situation and very difficult to remedy.
The otherside to this let’s not forget is the pyscological disadvantage our own lads are up against. After every loss (especially the losses we played well in and should have won) our lads are losing their confidence. The theory that you can pick yourself up easily after a loss when you play well is bullshit, I play (albeit at the lowest level possible) and a loss when you’ve played well is a toughy to take and the next week is difficult to go again in worry that the same thing is going to happen again. Imagine getting beaten week in week out in your own back garden…I wouldn’t want to get out of bed and have to lace my boots up. And added to all this are us the fans, we all feed off this which then bounces back onto the players, it’s a vicious cycle. Regardless of how we feel about things, especially behind the scenes we need to stay behind the lads when they’re on the field playing, they need that 11th man.
We need to get back to basics, the one good point so far this season and the clear improvement and positive change is the defence. It’s looked good, a lot tighter and notably I’m very impressed with Vlaar’s turn of form (that’ll be the deal breaker for oohah posting this up lol)
A solid defence, plus the fact we have a quality goaly are the first building blocks when building a strong team (arguably). So we need to look at that as our stand alone positive this season and build on that, start from scratch in a way. Change up the midfield, it’s so blatantly clear to all the fans that it’s not working, so bloody change it up a bit, please please please Lambert change up our midfield, don’t send Albrighton on loan, how about play him instead, he’s a winger who needs to find form. Drop a horribly out of sorts Weimann for a couple of games and let him get his head together. Give Tonev more time on the left. Switch to a 442 with good old wing play. We have quality and proven PL goalscorers in Gabby and CB and all they need is delivery of any kind to find the net. They’re not getting that delivery at the moment.
If we can change something up and we have to change something-I’m not talking managerial as I’m prepared to give Lambert more time-then we can start to overturn this psychological disadvantage and our fortunes in general. Catch a team off guard who think we’ll be a rollover and come out to play 433/451 counter attack. Keep the opposition on their toes, keep them thinking and most imrpotantly improve our own confidence when our lads see that teams look wary to play us.