Where are we heading now?

stoke city 2-1 aston villa all goals and… by RapidGoals

I didn’t get to see today’s game, as I had to work, so I’ve been nosing around the various Villa blogs (including this one of course), to try and get a feel of what the fans thought.

It doesn’t make for very pleasant reading, with what seems like a large majority calling for Lerner, Lambert, the background staff and even the tea lady to be sacked.
Ok, I’m joking about the tea lady, but you get the point, I’m sure.

Which is something I find quite strange, as I’ve made the point before, but I just don’t get the same impression when I’m actually watching a game in the Holte end.
The hardcore are still very strongly supportive.

So what’s going on?
It seems there’s a very strong groundswell of blog readers, who have come to the conclusion over various lengths of time that Lambert just isn’t up to the job.
The reasons are varied, but range from poor tactics, poor substitutions, poor signings and recently, suggestions of poor motivation and man-management with high profile players.
Steven Ireland’s transformation as soon as he left springs to mind, here.

While there may well be mitigating circumstances, I tend to think that when a manager is accused of being poor in all areas, there may just be something in the accusations.
But that’s just my opinion.

So, it appears the fans on the terraces are reasonably happy.
Well, probably not happy, but still willing to give Lambert a chance. Which is fair enough.

But how long will it be before things change?
Will the fans on the terraces accept defeat against Palace? Against Swansea?
Both of these are at home, remember.

Here’s the next few fixtures in the next month;

Premier League

Aston Villa V Crystal Palace
Thu 26 Dec 15:00
Premier League

Aston Villa V Swansea
Sat 28 Dec 15:00
January 2014

Premier League

Sunderland V Aston Villa
Wed 1 Jan 15:00

FA Cup – Third Round

Aston Villa V Sheff Utd
Sat 4 Jan 15:00
Premier League

Aston Villa V Arsenal
Mon 13 Jan 20:00
Premier League

Liverpool V Aston Villa
Sat 18 Jan 17:30

How many points from that lot?
I genuinely couldn’t venture the slightest guess, as we’re capable of losing to anyone, but the optimist in me sees at least 6 out of 15.
Would that be enough to keep the stalwarts off Lambert’s back?
I’m personally not convinced it would.

Of course we could go on a run and rack up a few points, but does anyone really think that’s likely, given the performances of late, coupled with the notion that Lambert’s luck may have run out?

Our best bets for points come in the first three games and only the most optimistic would bet on us getting a result against Arsenal or Pool.

So for argument’s sake, what happens if we only gain a point or two in those first three games?
While most of us already believe we’ll spend next to nothing in the window, what would Lerner do after a poor run?
Help the manager out with some decent money, albeit probably for loan signings?
Or pull the plug entirely?

It could get interesting.

I saw a statistic today, that I can’t confirm, but it said under Lambert, we’ve won 15 games in 55.

Is that really good enough?


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  1. Colonius81
    Colonius81 December 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm . Reply

    I don’t think Lambert is any danger of losing his Job and I for one am glad.
    I am not totally convinced by his approach. the quality of player we have signed is pretty low or maybe undetermined at best.
    the football since the first few weeks has gone backwards although we still managed to pick up points.

    I can only hope that we improve. As mentioned above there is no amount of managers fans can ask to be sacked to make up for the fact that you need about a billion pounds to win the premier league from our current position.
    maybe 500m over a few seasons to have a decent stab at the top 4 with no guarantee of success.

    I am pretty sure that if 50 posters on here now say they want lambert out. 45 o them were fine with his appointment when it came.

    I realise that those 45 now state that we have gone backwards that Lambert has been found out, he has had his chance etc etc.

    That means that Lambert has had one season and 17 games to achieve whatever it is that villa fans think can be achieved outside the top 5/6 clubs. and without 500m pounds.

    We are 14th, 2 points off 10th place.. i don’t see the disaster yet .. (although i am as fed up and as pessimistic about our recent displays)

    So I am looking at this from a more long term approach.
    (something which i think all fans should do but there you go.)
    I am sick of chopping and changing managers every season without the 500m pounds that it would take for a new manager to make any real headway.

    I look at swansea, southampton and everton as clubs that we could study and possibly learn something from.

    One thing that sticks out is Swansea and southampton have a DOF that keeps them moving in the same direction regardless of staff attrition.

    We don’t have that.
    every time we sack someone.. we hit the reset button. and there is yet more “deadwood” to clear out before the new man can start in ernest.
    so either we get a good football minded well respected and forward thinking DOF to safeguard our strategy in the face of turnover of players and managers or we go the Everton route.

    EVerton! ..
    how i enjoy watching their games! and on a pittance too! this is a club that is a real example of how to be as successful as possible (at least in the league) without the big budget. (or the trophies)
    all their purchases seem to be funded by player sales.

    Everton don’t have a DOF or even a chairman who is willing to spend half of what RL has done so far .. but he is a chairman who picked a manager .. young untested scot and gave the stability and say over the team for a decade even when they were facing relegation in the first few seasons.

    So anger at rubbish displays of late aside .. whats the point? .. clarke, AVB OGS .. either untested or all fired for failing to meet objectives, poor results or fan unrest ..
    How much better could they be?

    Even if we did fire Lambert and hire one of the names being mentioned .. they wouldn’t have enough time .. the going rate is a season and a bit at Villa park before another fan revolt

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath December 23, 2013 at 6:29 pm . Reply

      The main problem of course is Lerner. Even if we had mourinho in charge he wouldn’t do much better with that dross. Unfortunately for us it dosnt matter who is manager unless they have at least £50-100m to spend the club will never progress. I’d like to see someone like Benitez but he wouldn’t come in a million years unless Lerners changes tact. Unless Lerner sells mediocre dross is the best we can look forward to until Lerner sells which could be years. If you are happy with this shit for the forthcoming years fair enough pay your money and go. I will support the club if course but will not spend money to watch that shit week in week out

    2. BWS
      BWS December 23, 2013 at 9:00 pm . Reply

      COLONIUS sorry fella but you have a habit of being very wordy with your replies but having little to no substance to back and qualify your argument, for example above you use Moyes at Everton to spin your own little yarn.
      Moyes joined Everton on 14 March 2002 and his first full season in charge were edged out of qualification for the following season’s UEFA Cup on the last day of the season by Blackburn Rovers, following a defeat to Manchester United, and finished 7th in the league. Could hardly call that “facing relegation in the first few seasons”.
      Plus a Chairman that’s Everton through and through, hardly misses a game and his love for the club is obvious for all to see, could you say the same of Lerner ?And when was the last he honoured with his presence at VP?

      1. Colonius81
        Colonius81 December 23, 2013 at 10:44 pm . Reply

        Maybe its a quality vs quantity thing badger? 😛 In any case I am not going to apologise for the amount of words i use no more than you will apologise for the volume of posts or comments you leave.

        as for lacking substance?

        When you cited Evertons finish of 7th in Moyes first full season. you seem to neglect to mention Moyes finish in his second season….

        17th ..?

        thats out of a 20 team premiership ..

        so when i said that Moyes faced relegation in his first seasons

        7th in his first full term. As you rightly pointed out.
        Then all the way back down to 17th

        IS that substantial enough for you?

        interestingly enough he too broke a record that year for the lowest points total Everton had ever recorded in the premier league.

        he still holds that record.

        so Lambert faced relegation last year and is breaking similar unwanted records. He has or only uses a tiny budget ..
        say what you will.
        Everton backed their manager.

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath December 24, 2013 at 12:15 am . Reply

          They backed their manager yes but they still won fuck all. They fluked one top 4 finish and never won away v a sky 4 team. Martinez has taken that team to tge next level something moyes could never do.

          1. Colonius81
            Colonius81 December 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm . Reply

            That’s not really the point oohahh. We all know that unless you drop mega money ie 500m or something ridiculous like that you won’t win anything more than a league cup.
            Since that’s not going to happen for villa with Lerner there ( and 12/13 other prem clubs)
            Why not emulate a club that has done well in a similar situation – ie Everton.
            You and the fans of every club in Europe bar the elite top 4 in each top tier league can continue to lament the reality that we don’t have an oligarch or oil funded team or we can face facts and learn from those who have done better in recent times without this funding such as Everton.

        2. BWS
          BWS December 24, 2013 at 8:04 am . Reply

          Sorry COLONIUS but you still haven’t mentioned our absent owner/Chair and his feelings/commitment towards the club compared to Kenwright at Everton, there’s simply no comparison.

          And what’s he worth £33m? And Randy £630m? Again no comparison.

          1. Coloniuis81
            Coloniuis81 December 26, 2013 at 1:34 am . Reply

            ha one thing at a time BWS, i thought we were talking about Lambert s performance as manager and whether he should be sacked or not.

            lol as for a comparison with kenwright, there is some twisted logic here!
            Using just the criteria you mentioned .. money, attendance and appearance etc.

            You are saying that whereas Lerner has spent hundreds of millions, kenwright has not .. Lerner is by far the worse chairman. (somehow?)
            or you believe that he should have spent more?
            you believe as Lerner is worth more he can spend more therefore he is the lesser of the two chairmen.

            Whats more he has spent more without making the public appearances or by talking directly to the press or fans.
            Kenwright funds player purchases with player sales and says as much while attending games and broadcasting how little money he has.

            So why is Kenwright not at fault. surely if he was as selfless and as much of a champion of the peoples club he would sell it? surely mere price wouldn’t be the sticking point if he was he really cared about the club?
            or if he truly is the better chairman/owner why would he buy a club he couldn’t afford to fund in the first place?

            It seems one has more money, has spent more money and remained quiet and absent while doing it versus one having much less money .. not spending any money but constantly talking about it … ? therefore he is the better chairman?

            Unless the much trotted out Lerner is pocketing millions buy running the club on the cheap is also your mantra here?
            show me the accounts please .. show me the maths … because that flies in the face of every publicized account for aston villa in the last 5 years that i have ever seen.
            If you are so eager to dismiss the actual financial records that have been published in black and white.. why are you so eager to believe Mr Kenwrights?
            what is this man paying you!!!

            That all said … its quite funny.

            Because the ironic thing is that all my posts in this thread have stated that we should be following one of Kenwrights main decisions as chairman of Everton .. he backed his manager long term! through thick and thin .

            And yet maybe even funnier again is how you hold our chairman up as the problem but harp on about ridding ourselves of Lambert!

            Realistically the whole chairman and manager thing is an either or scenario.
            If the owner is the problem because he isn’t funding Lambert or backing him then surely a change of chairman/owner would see Lambert given more of a chance?

            Or if that’s not possible then what will Lambert getting the sack mean if the next manager doesn’t get the financial backing either?
            Whats the point of getting rid of him after just a season and 17 games. Won’t it just mean that you will be on the soap box again a year and a bit down the road? for the same reasons but with a different managers name..? like a bunch of villa Fans have been for the last 3 managers … I say lets change the record.

            It has worked at teams like Everton in recent times(under the very same incomparable Mr Kenwright.

            As for full shit! .. the only criteria that qualifies me for that title is that i differ from your opinion it seems.

        3. BWS
          BWS December 24, 2013 at 8:59 pm . Reply

          COLONIUS I have plastic Manc mates that sound like you with their one eyed cyclopic fingers in ears going lar lar lar I’m not listening view.
          Merry Xmas but you are full of shit.

        4. BWS
          BWS December 26, 2013 at 5:04 pm . Reply

          And its all gone quiet all gone quiet all gone quiet over there.

          1. Colonius81
            Colonius81 December 27, 2013 at 2:32 am . Reply

            haha i take it this in light of yet another brutally inept performance at home .. lets have it then!
            i won’t defend that display. It wasn’t good enough. as for palace they were even worse than us in my opinion .. but a little bit of genius by Gayle and boom ..

            either way .. there is nothing to brag about from a Villa point of view.

  2. Colonius81
    Colonius81 December 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm . Reply

    “…Steven Ireland’s transformation as soon as he left springs to mind, here….”

    Can that be fleshed out a bit more. ie as in what transformation ?

    as far as i know, he has scored a couple of goals so far for stoke .. a team all 2 points of off us.

    i am not sure that’s a transformation yet.
    He had 3 seasons and about 5 different managers all with different styles and approaches on one of the highest wages at the club

    Are you saying Mark Hughes is the manager we should have got for so as to unlock this mesmerising return from S Ireland ?

    I don’t get it.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath December 23, 2013 at 7:39 pm . Reply

      Tbf Ireland played quite well for last year then lamberk dropped him for no reason for……wait for it Steve Gerrard no, toure no but KAE/Brett Holman ffs. No wonder he didn’t want to know. Lambert cannot handle big players end off. Lambert must go now.

      1. Colonius81
        Colonius81 December 23, 2013 at 9:31 pm . Reply

        The last game Ireland played was in the infamous night of our league cup exit to bradford .. I know everyone was shit that night .. but to my mind has we not just endured one of the worst periods of results in our recent history?

        Ireland was part of that too. his job is an attacking midfielder .. we scored a lot more goals in the second half of last season with him playing
        just another manager (that would of been #4 in 4 or more seasons in a row) that dropped Ireland due to underperformance

        Lads .. i am sorry but stephen ireland are you kidding me?

        I understand the frustration with results and the football on show and its a matter of debate between the lambert out vs lambert in crowd .. but

        stephen ireland is not evidence to any kind of managerial failing.

        he simply doesn’t have the application to match his talent

  3. Morgan Villa
    Morgan Villa December 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm . Reply

    Do not understand why we are having the Ireland and bannan it was not working out for either at the Villa and now they have moved on i hope they do well. If they do we should not reflect on if they should have stayed, maybe both needed a kick up the arse.

    our predicament is completely different we are playing some of the worst football i have seen, i have neever seen a team go so tactically backwards in such a short space of time as Villa have this season, something is wrong the players are all inexperienced and possibly punching above weight playing in the prem. Even so we look completely out of sorts out of balance and how long can it take the coaching staff to see our midfield is weak and our left side is useless.

    The hoofball is awful too watch and Lambert told us to expect exciting football even that is not happening

  4. Colonius81
    Colonius81 December 24, 2013 at 3:24 am . Reply

    long story short, this article is getting a bit long.

    I agree that we are playing rubbish right now. Its not pretty and the results aren’t good either. It would be one thing to jam a few results out while playing badly but against Stoke the last day we were toothless absolutely toothless.

    I think i differ from most here in thinking that a change of manager will not make things any different. we might have the new manager impetus or we might not. we might even have the same old problems arise after the honeymoon period wears of.
    irelevant to me. If we want to aim for top 6 with a new manager – we need 500m over 2/3 seasons. and still no gauarantee.

    Considering thats the least likely option then lets get on with it. This isn’t Lamberts default style of football its not how we played last year or even at the start of this one.
    So lets just get behind the team and try and push on.

    1. BWS
      BWS December 24, 2013 at 8:23 am . Reply

      “So lets just get behind the team and try and push on”
      We’ve all been doing that for 18 months now and we are going backwards.
      Lambert s brought in lame ducks and shipped out or ostracised any experience, quality or any player paid over two bob and it’s simply not working and the stats back that up (least goals at home in all 4 divisions, most long balls, least possession etc. etc.)
      New manager and £550m gives no guarantees agreed but the way we are going only one thing is, we will go down!
      Ask any Coventry, Birmingham or Wolves fan, if you keep flirting with relegation season upon season you eventually get dragged down.

  5. Andrew
    Andrew December 24, 2013 at 3:35 pm . Reply

    So Benteke to Atletico for 25m is what’s going around. Would anyone take that? I’d be happy to see him leave the EPL when we do sell him, and Atletico are a fantastic club to watch play, but is 25m really the asking price or is it a bit cheaper because of the team he’s leaving too, compared to say… Spurs?

  6. DSVilla
    DSVilla December 24, 2013 at 9:52 pm . Reply

    Ireland is a total waste of an undoubted talent. He will have a couple of good games at Stoke same as he did for us. For all Lambert’s faults getting shot of Ireland isn’t one.

  7. Adam
    Adam December 24, 2013 at 10:29 pm . Reply

    I know we all want lots of spending but let’s not forget bent, Ireland, fonz, given, are still very much villa owned and we still pay their wages probably at least 70% of it then we still have Hutton. So until they are officially off the wage bill I don’t think we will see bigger players on bigger wages. So realistically we can write off January spending. Also can’t stand Ireland he is a waste of space and Stoke will realise that once he signs for them at the end of the season.

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