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  1. Stan arrived at the club at the same time I was chosen to support the Villa, and quickly became my favorite player. After a time of settling in, he became a rock and a leader, and affirmed to me that I indeed was part of a special club. That settling in period, as referenced by many above, says a lot about Stan and the person, leader, and competitor he is. He never gave up, never put his head down, and kept fighting, all attributes that have and will continue to serve him well. All the best Stan, thanks for great example you set, and for helping me fall in love with Aston Villa. #19
  2. leaving the office early, off to the pub in NYC, nervous as hell. C'mon boys!!!!!! UTV
  3. Copey11

    Joe Bennett

    Has looked better recently, and coincidently when he doesn't have Clark next to him. On the flip side, Lowton has looked worse since Clark has been on the right. Hmmmmm.
  4.     I think you are right, but with one change: Westwood and Benteke, who weren't really around when Nzog was running into cul de sacs. I think he is getting the ball from Westwood in a little more space, and Benteke is providing hold up play as well as dropping deep enough to occupy some defenders. I think Charles has more options to run with the ball or play 1-2 with Benteke. I also think he likes playing with Benteke (I believe they have become good friends, or so I read on here) as it almost seems he is looking to pass to the big man, even when I think he should have carried on with the ball. When is the last time Charles made a pass he didn't have to?
  5. what I like most is how each and every corner he is shouting, pointing, and directing everyone as if he said "screw it, I am taking charge", and then backing it up by coming so bravely after every ball in the box. Just what we need in this fight.
  6. laughter is always the best medicine, so I turn to Jack Donaghy of 30 Rock for life lessons. “I believe that when you have a problem, you talk it over with your priest, or your tailor, or the mute elevator porter at your men’s club. Then you take that problem and you crush it with your mind vice. But for lesser beings, like curly haired men and people who need glasses, therapy can help.” "The Italians have a saying, Lemon: 'Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.' And, although they've never won a war or mass-produced a decent car, in this area they are correct." or, the incomparable Tracy Jordan from the same show: "I believe that the moon does not exist. I believe that vampires are the world’s greatest golfers but their curse is they never get a chance to prove it. I believe that there are 31 letters in the white alphabet. Wait… what was the question?”
  7. last chance saloon for NZog. The formation(s) we have been playing for the last month suit him perfectly and if he can't make an impact now, he never will. Hope he comes good because his skill set, albeit gone missing for a season and a half, is set up pefectly to play in Gabby/Weimann/Holman role, especially against sides where we will have a lot of the ball and need to break them down. Holman/Gabby/Weimann are great at tracking back, and on the counter, but are weaker when a bit of skill, beating a man, threading a pass are necessary. Good luck to him.
  8. Big John, I don't know if your question was in response to my post, but I actually I agree with you and think that is what Lambert is doing. I think what he values above all else is options to play any formation he chooses based on his squad form and the opponent. So therefore, I think he is looking to increase the quality of the midfield, and even the attacking options (currently Gabby, Weimann, Holman, Ireland) in a 4231, so that he can comfortably play multiple formations. I don't think he is comfortable yet, so he continues to try different partnerings but maintain more in midfield as it is our main area of weakness. So I think he will keep Bent and bring in quality, it just won't be solely "442 quality" geared only to accomodate Bent, but rather versatile so that Bent is an option. The question is will Bent a) force himself out before that plan is completed or be open to that plan going forward, where he isn't necessarily the first name on the teamsheet.
  9. I think Lambert wants to keep Bent, but can't use him RIGHT NOW. I think Lambert is trying to sort out the midfield, hence all the tinkering there, to be more consistent, to keep more possession, and generate more chances. But at the moment we just aren't that consistent and he is reluctant to take a body out of there to accomodate a 442 with Bent up front with a partner, either Benteke or Gabby. I think Lambert feels that is the only formation in which Bent can be effective RIGHT NOW, and his references to Southampton match seems to me to say not that he can't play Bent, but he can't play 442 right now. I suspect we will see some reinforcements in midfield, or perhaps some more consistency as the players gain experience and comfort in the system, and that will allow us to play 442, especially against lower table teams where we might get more of the ball. We just can't count on getting that possession consistently right now. Now I have no idea whether Bent is acting out because of this, I assume he's not happy because players want to play, and believe they can fit in any system, and Bent has played in different formations. But I think this is about what Lambert perceives as Bent's strengths, and his hesitation to take a player out of the midfield. When Bent hasn't made the bench I figure Bowery is as close to like for like with Benteke, Lambert assumed we wouldn't get as much of the ball and therefore didn't use Bent. I don't necessarily agree with it, as you never know how the games will progress, but if he doesn't envision using a 442, he doesn't use Bent.
  10. One of our subs had only one leg, or worse, all of our subs had only one leg? No wonder we are getting these guys on the cheap. I don't like this cost cutting policy. Lambert out, Lerner out.
  11. 100% agree with this post, and I think Lambert does too. Gabby and Weimann are good center forwards with strengths of their own, but I think Lambert wants more skillful playmakers and/or players that can take on a defender in those roles. I believe this is why Bent can't get in the side because he can't do anything the front three are doing right now, even if they are not perfect for the roles. It seems that Lambert has a vision of how he wants to play, and is looking for the players to suit that vision, but can't find all of them in one window. He purchased KEA and Westwood to see who could fill the role of deep lying playmaker, and Westwood is making it his own. He purchased Benteke to hold the ball up, and he is playing his role. He purchased Vlaar, Lowton, and Bennett, inherited Clark and Baker to have a more athletic back four, jury is out on that one as it will take time to adjust and gel as a unit. He inherited Holman and Ireland, Gabby and Weimann who have some of the traits he is looking for up front, but not necessarily the whole package. It would seem to suit N'Zogbia perfectly, and we may see him upon return be played there. I know his form has been terrible, but we weren't necessarily playing this formation as effectively as Bannan and Westwood have prior to his injury, so there's hope he could slot in, but overall I think the three forwards sitting behind Benteke is where Lambert will spend some cash.
  12. I find the 50 appearances theory a little weak. When you spend 24MM you would expect Bent to be first name on the teamsheet, and 50 appearances is about two seasons, maybe less. It would seem to be a silly clause to have, something that would almost certainly be met. I don't feel like it is about money. Bent is under contract, so we are on the hook to pay him at this point, and any transfer will be decent money, but not what we paid for him so it isn't like we are making a ton of money on the transfer. Like Big John said, whether you agree or not with Lambert's choices, we might as well use the money to buy someone that he will play. I was so happy when we got Bent, and love when he scores for us, but it has been a long time since I felt he was certainly going to score when he was in the side, and his goals seemed to pop up out of nowhere after anonymous performances, and not nearly often enough. Yes, service and tactics play a part, but it really seemed that if he wasn't heavily involved early in the match he would never even touch the ball. If he goes, best of luck to him. If he stays, well there will be times I am sure we could use him. Should be an interesting soap opera for the next two months (personally believe we have a striker replacement lined up already).
  13. I agree that Bannan's play was poor last night, but part of that comes down to Holman, who should not have started over Ireland. I feel Ireland provides not only better outlets for the ball, but also gives it away a lot less than Holman in the middle third, which puts Bannan and Westwood under pressure quickly. That being said, I have never been a big fan of Bannan, but his performances over the last month have been consistently good when he plays a smart game. His margin for error is very small given his size and pace limitations, so he absolutely has to make good decisions. Last night he did not, and ended up giving away possession in general, and too often in dangerous areas.
  14. Copey11

    Joe Bennett

    I think the potential of Bennet and Lowton as fullbacks that can get forward is why they were brought in despite the fact that Lichaj was playing fine defensively last season. In the game against Sunderland I thought it was unfortunate that Lichaj came in cold, and even more so that he picked up a ticky tack yellow so quickly. I think Lichaj is trusted as a backup where you don't lose much, if anything, defensively but you will sacrifice a bit going forward, at least on the left (his limited time on the right showed him going forward far more aggressively). One thing I really liked against Johnson was how physical Lichaj was against him. I felt the yellow was harsh, as well as a few other fouls he gave away, but he was tough against Johnson and I think it disrupted his game.
  15. I am not a huge fan of BB, but credit where it is due. That was his best performance to date, he worked tirelessly but smartly (which has been an issue for him in the past), played a limited number of "hollywood balls" compared to other appearances which made them somewhat more threatening, but more importantly made more simple passes, not necessarily sideways (I am looking at you Delph), that kept possession and got the ball to the attacking players quickly and with some space. I hope he can keep playing this way, because with his size and average pace his margin for error is very small. The above are what he brings to the table effectively, along with free kicks and corners, and if sticks to it he can have some success.
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