West Ham VS Aston Villa Review – 0:0

For a team that has lost their last 6, this is a decent result and it was genuinely an entertaining game to watch, even more so if you are a neutral fan. Having said this, the game means nothing if it is not used as a foundation to erect a pillar.

I’ve been unavailable to write for the past weekends due to work commitments now being schedule during the weekend, but I got home in time to watch this game of two halfs, so sit back and try to enjoy as I do have a lot to say.


Where better for us to start than the first half of the game? Short answer = Diabolical.

Aston Villa started the game with the intention of adding yet another loss to Victory sheet for Lambert and they come very close, several times in fact, to conceding in the first half. Luckily, for the most part, our defence and Guzan were spot on and managed to either clear the ball away or concede one of many corners.
We was well and truly ripped apart by a team that seemed to grow with confidence with every attack and was unfortunate not to get on the score board. The combination of Valencia and Sahko run us riot at times completely splitting us apart and challenging the defenders in positions that should never have seen them win the ball, but of course this is Aston Villa and they did get the ball. It just so happens that we were fast and at times lucky enough to regroup and recover what should have been stopped the first time around.

How about our attacking during the first half? We lacked majorly. Gabby looked passionate and threatening on the ball, but there is no point bragging about passion if it gets no results. Him a Wiemann struggled to get a connection and read each others plays which resulted in Villa losing the ball in positions that we should take more advantage of. The early shot that Gabby did get went way over the bar, and this just sums it up really. If we lack attacking threat, then we really need to takes these chances more wisely.

Alas, it wasn’t all doom and gloom because we finally started to rock the boat towards the end of the first half and you could see the Hammers did not like it and nor could they handle it. We had a really good piece of build up play around the 40 minute mark  and come very close to scoring as 3 different players had shots, 2 on target and the last over the bar. This was very positive but I can’t praise them too much because it should not take 40 minutes for a team to warm up and do what they practice day in and day out.

The second half was a different story, we actually took the game to them and I for about 25 minutes, I actually thought we was going to nick a goal and win 1:0. The major difference in this half was what I have been shouting about for weeks. If there is no option to pass the ball, do not hoof it in hope, pass it back and make space. We did this perfectly and at times, it looked beautiful. The ball went back, to the side and then forward again into the space that had been created and all of this was on the floor and not in the air! It worked, it truly worked.

The second half wasn’t all one sided though as the tide did turn and it looked as though West Ham would steal a winner in the final minutes which would have been the Aston Villa legacy of giving the down and out that confidence to carry them forward. That down and out came in the form of Andy Carroll. We did however prevail, and the defence played a miraculous part in that.


I love this club so much that I hate the with a passion because they emotional hurt me game after game but this time there was a little spark of what should be. I will not get carried away though and say this is the end of our end because that would be naive, but I think it can be used to help turn the bad luck around.

The defence was fantastic but it still needs improving. Cissokho played well, make a lot of challenges and sticking to the rule of thumb “When in doubt, knock it out”; he done his job. I still have the same issue with him though, he can’t go forward for toffee and this usually ends up in a wasted ball and loss of possession. This needs to be addressed because it is an obvious flaw to our team. During the match he showed again his lacking ability to cross the ball as each attempted drifted too far or just completely went out, it angers me to watch. He can’t do it, so don’t attempt and instead pass it to somebody that can. This will allow him to stick to his strengths and give the squad more time on the ball.

Nzog looked like he was coming into his form with a lot of solo play and taking players on. I’m all for this because I would love to see the Zog before he joined the Villa. He really worked his socks off and was a good addition to the team. Lambert made a decisive decision by putting Clark on near the end as a 5th defender and I have to give both of them credit because it worked. Clark did some very vital defending and played a huge part in stopping the onslaught in the dying moments. Credit where credit is due.

With all this said and the game done, we still have no real attacking threat and I wouldn’t get too excited with a point because even though it is better than a loss it will get us no where if we do not start to score and this should be priority number one during the winter window.


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  1. ifiruledtheworld
    ifiruledtheworld November 9, 2014 at 1:58 pm . Reply

    I actually think our midfield is as strong as it’s ever been. Westwood has really come into his own, hopefully he can better his goal tally from last year and he always has an assist in him, I think.

    In the short time we’ve had Cleverley I’m praying the club snap him up in January on a permanent, however there are two parties involved and I can’t see him wanting to sign up if we are struggling near the bottom.

    As upsetting as it would be to see Delph leave on a free, I feel we have a ready made replacement in Sanchez who is certainly coming to terms with the English game, I’m convinced one of his rockets are bound to end up in the back of the net!

    Not to mention N’Zogbia who looks like he’s starting to hit form, grabbing an assist against Spurs and another strong performance yesterday, long may that continue!

    I think this point could be our turn to better things, however that said everything could go wrong when we play a very strong Southampton side.. but this could still be a very valuable point easing us into a run where we can get some points on the board and move up the table.

    I really think we have a strong enough side this year, here’s hoping they prove that.

    1. Simon James Mills
      Simon James Mills November 9, 2014 at 2:14 pm . Reply

      What a load of crap if it wasn’t for guzan we would have lost again the midfield is shit we get over run one goal in 7 means nzog and Co are not improving were getting worse to think how much we have paid these losers over the years most of our players are sick notes too what the hell do they do in training in looking at you lambert

      1. ifiruledtheworld
        ifiruledtheworld November 9, 2014 at 3:11 pm . Reply

        That’s what football is though, isn’t it? All if’s and but’s. We were winning comfortably against Spurs, but Benteke got sent off. We would have come away with a point against Spurs, if they hadn’t gotten a huge slice of luck with that deflection from their free kick. I’m not saying our midfield is world class, I’m just saying it’s as strong as it’s ever been, in my opinion, anyway.

        1. Lamberk
          Lamberk November 9, 2014 at 3:35 pm . Reply

          Ifiruledtheworld-thank fuck you don’t. Shocking piece.
          Westwood “amassed” a grand total of 3 goals last season.
          Then again, if you only move sideways and back your going to struggle to get into goalscoring positions and as the whole team have only scored 5 goals its going to be even more of a struggle.
          “I actually think our Midfield is as strong as its ever been”, from when may I ask?
          Cleverley does nothing in games and N’Zogbia is just greedy.
          There is no creativity in the midfield, none of them get forward.
          You also claim we ha e a strong side this season, sounds to me that Lerner, you have been brainwashed by our idiotic mumbling “manager”.
          We hardly score and always look likely to concede and that spells a recipe for relegation.
          IfIruledtheworld and Lambert OUT!

          1. ifiruledtheworld
            ifiruledtheworld November 9, 2014 at 5:26 pm . Reply

            You’re saying we’ll be relegated this season, and we’re just heading to mid november? Didn’t you also say we’ll be relegated last season? Yeah, keep saying it every year, it’s bound to happen right? Especially with this “idiotic” manager in charge. Who would you prefer, may I ask? I’m gonna take a wild guess and say someone we have no chance in hell we’d get in our current situation.

            1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
              OohAhPaulMcGrath November 9, 2014 at 7:06 pm . Reply

              Like I said earlier to get one point in 21 and 1 goal in 7 games and stay up which we prob will shows what a load of complete shite the prem league is.

          2. Lamberk
            Lamberk November 9, 2014 at 6:00 pm . Reply

            I was going to suggest you actually, as you appear to be so knowledgable about the game.

          3. OohAhPaulMcGrath
            OohAhPaulMcGrath November 9, 2014 at 7:04 pm . Reply

            Cleverley and Westwood are similar types both bottom 8 midfielders. Cleverly hasn’t a hope in hell of getting into UTD or any team better than bottom 8 tbh.

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath November 9, 2014 at 7:01 pm . Reply

      Cleverly! Are you serious. Westwood? Are u again serious. 2 very similar mediocre players at best. Everton had a lucky escape with Cleverley

  2. kerryvillan
    kerryvillan November 9, 2014 at 2:44 pm . Reply

    Seriously must have been watching different games! We were battered by West ham for 90 mins we never deserved a point in that game, our midfield is shite cleverly and Westwood are just passengers receiving the ball and passing backwards and then not moving forward into space just giving our defenders no option but to hoof it! One of them in a team is fine but 2 of them is a waste of a place, how anybody can think cleverly is a better player than delph is beyond me. Overall we ate better defensively but midfield is still shit and up front without benteke we have nothing! Can’t understand how lambert is still in a job that 4 year contract is haunting us because Lerner is too tight to pay him off! This season worrys me and I’m not like ooh ah who says every year we will be relagated but this year we look diabolical…

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath November 9, 2014 at 7:02 pm . Reply

      What amazes me is that we get one point in 21 and chances are we will still stay up. Shows how shit the premier league really is

  3. Lambert Apologist
    Lambert Apologist November 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm . Reply

    On a different note I see Pocchetino (the manager who oohah was creaming himself over) is working his magic at Spurs. Great choice oohah. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath November 9, 2014 at 7:07 pm . Reply

      Think we all would of took him last year Spurs arnt the easiest to manage with levy breathing down ur neck. I’d still take him over lamberk as you don’t become a shit manager overnight

      1. Lambert Apologist
        Lambert Apologist November 10, 2014 at 9:50 am . Reply

        “Spurs isn’t the easiest club to manage with Levy breathing down your neck”….And you think Villa with the restraints that Lambert has at to put up with is easy? #FOOL.

  4. Jay Dee
    Jay Dee November 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm . Reply

    We are shit,we were lucky and we are going down this season

    GIDDYVILLAN November 9, 2014 at 6:24 pm . Reply

    I have to agree JD I can’t think of 3 teams worse than us in the league,so I suppose it’s the inevitable imo.

  6. jvillan
    jvillan November 9, 2014 at 7:09 pm . Reply

    swansea didnt hide when they where 1 down just read cascarino column saying what we are grealish is not lamberts type of player its more like kea cleverly westwood overated shite he also said villla players are discouraged from taking a chance

    1. Hitchens 60
      Hitchens 60 November 9, 2014 at 7:58 pm . Reply

      well if Cascarino says it then it must be so!

  7. Badger123
    Badger123 November 9, 2014 at 8:05 pm . Reply

    IfIruledthe world,
    wow, that’s some statement.
    As good as a midfield in the last 3 or 4 years, I might agree with; but that’s really not saying much at all. The current midfield is mediocre at best.

    I do tend to agree with your points about the Spuds game though.
    That said, Spuds demonstrated just how good they are this season, by losing to Stoke.

  8. Benno
    Benno November 9, 2014 at 10:41 pm . Reply

    IfIruledtheworld…mate I can only presume you work for the Villa PR department or you are the ultimate optimist!

    Nzogbia was absolutely dire yesterday, in fact I would love to see the stats for his bad passes/unsuccesfull dribbles. Cleverley has been average at best and offers very little going forward. 7-8m would be ridiculous for us to pay. He is no better than Westwood thats for sure and they basically play the same position.

    I do agree about Sanchez though. He seems to have potential. At times he looks like a top player and at other times like he should be playing Sunday league.

    What pisses me off more than anything though is seeing Weimann stuck out on the wing. The bloke is our only natural finisher and yet he is stuck out there, where lets be honest he is rubbish!

    We gotta get Lambert out even if it means buying out his contract. I think with Delph and Vlaar they need to sign by Jan or we have to sell them…we are not in the position financially to let them leave on frees (especially if we have to pay Lamberk off)

  9. OriginalLondonLion
    OriginalLondonLion November 10, 2014 at 1:45 am . Reply

    I watched the whole game. My bete noir Guzan was our outstanding player, he was not required to outguess the attacker, which is his weakness, he was forced to display his agility which was superb. The rest of the defence really worked hard also.

    I do not know which planet “ifiruledtheworld” had in mind for his pen name, but it surely isn’t the planet I am on. The midfield is Villa’s glaring weakness. If we had a strong midfield we would be getting the 60 to 70% possession figures that are the mirror image of what we do get every week. Stats do not lie. It is measure of how far we have fallen that Delph was an embarrassing weak-link when he first joined Villa’s midfield. Now he is the best of them, but he hasn’t improved much.

    When the front three did get the ball they were having to work it forward from near half-way with solo runs. The midfield was no help in building a platform on the edge of the Hammers’ area and supplying crosses or precision passes.to the strikers.

  10. Andrew
    Andrew November 10, 2014 at 5:02 am . Reply

    Going to agree with ifiruledtheworld on one thing, Westwood has been impressive, at least for me. Averages a 1.7 key pass per game, then you go to everyone’s favorite Delph who’s supposedly creative, and he averages a .6 key pass per game. Cleverley averages a .9 key pass per game. Westwood has been our best midfielder for me this season so far, although Sanchez as a DM is impressive and slowly creeping up. I don’t quite think our midfield is really that bad, it’s the furthest thing from dominant, but it does what Lambert has asked them to do, pitiful to fans or not, they do what’s asked.

    It’s also nice to see Guzan not being slagged off by OriginalLondonLion. Although his pass success record is awful, it’s what happens when you average 7.9 long balls a game from 27.5.

    Also found this quite entertaining on whoscored.com

    Gabriel Agbonlahor’s Characteristics
    + Strengths
    (Player has no significant strengths)
    – Weaknesses
    Holding on to the ball
    Aerial Duels
    Defensive contribution

    GIDDYVILLAN November 10, 2014 at 7:02 am . Reply

    Gabby is a nonentitie.

    1. BWS
      BWS November 10, 2014 at 9:41 am . Reply

      Aint his old man a Doctor or something? If was him get on Jeremy kyle and get a DNA test cause somethings definitely a miss there.

  12. Mr_cheese
    Mr_cheese November 10, 2014 at 10:24 am . Reply

    Loving all of these opinions and the arguments being generated. Does anybody actually fancy writing an article about how they feel the club could progress in its future? New manager etc…

    It’s all comments at the momen and would be good to see some well thought out articles from fresh minds.

  13. ifiruledtheworld
    ifiruledtheworld November 10, 2014 at 10:40 am . Reply

    I’m not saying our midfield is the best the league has to offer, what I am saying is I think it’s the best midfield we’ve had under Lambert. I seriously think we have a great player in our hands regarding Westwood.

    Sanchez is only getting better and better, look at how he’s playing now compared to when he was playing opposite Arsenal.

    I have a lot of United fans who feel that while Cleverley wasn’t great in his final appearances for them, they tend to remember how he had played for them in the past. The one that got international call up’s. While he hasn’t turned it on for Villa just yet, he hasn’t been bad either.

    While making arguments about N’Zogbia you’ve made the very point I’m trying to make, look at all his dribble attempts. While he’s not always successful in doing so, at least he’s taking players on and bringing the game to the opposition. Just look back at the Man City game, he glided past 3 or 4 of them as if they weren’t even there sadly he let himself down with poor decision making by trying to carry it on rather than pass. It looked at times to me against Spurs that he had Rose right in his back pocket. How many other of the players we have actually even try this, to take players on?

    The only one I can think of is Weimann, who runs wrecklessly right into them..

    I’m far from being in Lambert’s corner, my only worry about getting rid of him now is could we really hope for any better, with the club up for sale? Especially with Lerner still in charge, his managerial appointments have been brutal, to say the least.

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