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Exciting Times For Villa Fans, Busy Times For Paul Lambert!


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Found this decent comment on our renewed prospects:

Exciting Times For Villa Fans, Busy Time Ahead For Paul Lambert

Posted on: Jun 10, 2012 in Premier League

Paul Lambert has lifted the gloom surrounding Villa Park.

Well done, Randy, you’ve redeemed yourself. Two questionable appointments have been erased by one great one. Some might still hold a grudge for those previous errors, but most appear to be willing to let bygones be bygones, and this time it appears that he’s learned from those mistakes, by acquiring himself a talented, young and ambitious manager who has already got season ticket sales on the increase, and filled supporters with hope for the coming season.

I do have sympathy for Norwich, as whoever replaces Paul Lambert has big shoes to fill at Carrow Road, but they are a far more attractive proposition for any potential replacement compared to the position they found themselves in three years ago before Lambert propelled them from League One to the Premier League with back-to-back promotions. As I write this, Chris Hughton seems to be the man most likely to fill those shoes, so it’s not all bad for their supporters. Some Norwich fans are warning Villa fans that if a better job becomes available to Lambert, he’ll be on his way. To be honest, I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing. As much as I wish loyalty still had a part to play in the modern game, I’m glad he’s ambitious and wants to better himself, because that can only be good for Aston Villa. For him to get offered a bigger job in this country, he’ll have to get Villa back up the table challenging the likes of Everton, Tottenham and Liverpool for that fifth spot, who knows, maybe even better with adequate backing from Lerner.

I wouldn’t have been minded if we’d taken a few more weeks to resolve the manager situation, but by getting it done now allows Lambert plenty of time to prepare for next season, and he’ll need it. There’s a lot of personnel changes required if he wants to make Villa a force to be reckoned with again. He needs to get rid of the dead wood. The previous two managers have shouldered the blame for some dire performances and have since been shown the door, while some of the players have gone unpunished. There is always the clichéd ‘clean slate’ that gets mentioned whenever a new man comes in, but frankly, some of them don’t deserve it, whether or not Lambert agrees or not we shall see in the weeks and months to come.

The back line should be completely scrapped, we’ve leaked soft goals and been weak at defending set-pieces for two seasons running and for two seasons running the back line has been pretty much unaltered, with the exception of Hutton, who was brought in by McLeish, but even he never did enough to warrant being started ahead of the departed Cuellar or Lichaj, in fact Cuellar is the one defender I personally would have kept. I can never fault Warnock’s effort, but sometimes effort alone isn’t enough. Richard Dunne is capable of giving a solid 85 minutes, but you can never rule out a rash challenge or a lapse in concentration that ends up proving costly at the end of the game.

In midfield, Ireland was much improved under Big Eck, even if not quite the finished article and has done enough to deserve a chance under Lambert, and if anyone can get the best out of Stephen, I think he can. Petrov will most likely be out for the season if indeed he ever comes back at all as he continues his fight against leukaemia. For me he was having the best season he’d for us before he was diagnosed with the illness, and we certainly missed him towards the end as we were looking for battlers to stand up and be counted as we looked to be facing the drop. N’Zogbia was another flop McLeish brought in, but again like Ireland, maybe this new manager can get him going again. The youngsters Chris Herd and Gary Gardner did well when they were called upon, and look like they could have promising Premiership careers ahead of them, but they need some experienced heads brought in to help them progress. Marc Albrighton failed to take his opportunity to shine following Ashley Young and Stewart Downing’s departures last summer, leaving a lot of us wondering if he’ll ever again be the player we were excited by under Gerard Houllier. I’d also really like to see Barry Bannan live up to his potential next season. He was made captain of the reserves and deservedly so, but he needs to step up if he wants to start consistently for the first team.

Up front, Darren Bent was critical of himself for not taking more chances before he was injured and ruled out of the last few months of the season and Euro 2012. He may be right, but at the same time he was deprived of service for many of the games he played in, as the focus seemed to be more on not conceding goals, than it was to score them. Everyone knows with the right service into the box, Bent is lethal. Gabriel Agbonlahor started the season off well, but then went missing for the rest of the campaign. In his defence he was played out of position on the wing a lot of the time, but he needed a good season, as this now means he’s struggled for the last two. He has been linked to Sunderland as previous manager Martin O’Neill may just be the man to get him back to his best. Some fans are saying the club should cash in, but for me he could be worth just one more season. He’s Villa through and through, which means if he’s going to do the business for anyone, it’s more likely to be for the club he supports, and again, maybe Lambert’s motivational skills could work their magic on him. If not, Andreas Weimann covered himself in glory when he was asked to come in to cover for Bent and looks a real promising talent, I just hope he has as many chances under the new man, he certainly deserves it.

The press, perhaps predictably, have linked Grant Holt for a switch to Villa Park. He impressed last season, and could well do a job for us, my only concerns are that he’s 31 and has two years left on his contract. How much would he cost? We have a reported transfer kitty of around £25 million. If Norwich want any more that five of that I’d leave it and look for a bargain elsewhere. We do need another striker, but the bulk of the kitty needs to be spent on the defence and maybe another midfielder. We will already have the services of the returning Jean II Makoun next season and new signing Brett Holman. I’m certain Randy will fund a ‘marquee’ signing to add another boost to the returning feel-good factor at Villa Park, who that will be might not have even been considered yet by the new manager.

Whatever the comings and goings as far as the playing staff are concerned, it’s certainly looking like we’ve entered a positive new era with an ambitious new manager at the helm backed by a board who’ve admitted they’ve made mistakes and are looking to push the club forward once again. We’re not going to be challenging for a Champions League place that’s for sure, and probably won’t even be thinking about a Europa League place just yet, but at least we’re heading in the right direction. If Paul Lambert can lead us to a mid-table finish next season (with a few more than just four home wins), we’d be happy, particularly as we all know he wouldn’t be content to just repeat that the following season. He’d be looking to improve further, and who knows, in a couple of seasons we could be back in Europe. For the first time in a while, it’s an exciting time to be a Villa fan.

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Good read. Wouldn't be expecting a 'marquee' signing though. Also wouldn't keep Warnock for his effort as it is rumoured he is one of a few who has had a bad attitude. Get those fu£kers out regardless of what they bring to the team.

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Good read. Wouldn't be expecting a 'marquee' signing though. Also wouldn't keep Warnock for his effort as it is rumoured he is one of a few who has had a bad attitude. Get those fu£kers out regardless of what they bring to the team.

Your totally wrong about Warnock.Its the total opposite with him, Kevin McDonald had nothing but praise for him when he played in the reserves after Houllier binned him. KMac said his attitude and commitment was first class.

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Good read. Wouldn't be expecting a 'marquee' signing though. Also wouldn't keep Warnock for his effort as it is rumoured he is one of a few who has had a bad attitude. Get those fu£kers out regardless of what they bring to the team.

Your totally wrong about Warnock.Its the total opposite with him, Kevin McDonald had nothing but praise for him when he played in the reserves after Houllier binned him. KMac said his attitude and commitment was first class.

That still doesn't take away the fact he just doesn't have the right ability to play for us.

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Good read. Wouldn't be expecting a 'marquee' signing though. Also wouldn't keep Warnock for his effort as it is rumoured he is one of a few who has had a bad attitude. Get those fu£kers out regardless of what they bring to the team.

Your totally wrong about Warnock.Its the total opposite with him, Kevin McDonald had nothing but praise for him when he played in the reserves after Houllier binned him. KMac said his attitude and commitment was first class.

That still doesn't take away the fact he just doesn't have the right ability to play for us.

I wont argue about his lack of ability, I was just saying he isnt a troublemaker or have a bad attitude.

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He was rumoured to have made v.disparaging comments about the fans and club under Houllier, obviously we aren't there so we never know but if you asked me to guess who the 'bad eggs' were, I'd probably predict him being one of them.

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Lambert seems to be someone who knows what he wants and will do whatever is needed to achieve this. I dont not envisage players taking the mick out of him and the fans anymore. They will be on their bikes. Only trouble is on the wages they are, no club will want to pay that.

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Its very difficult to know how Lambert will view the " clean slate"

My suspicion is he has been briefed and he has done his research, but he will inevitably say " I need to have a look at them"

He will be aware our flirtation with Relegation and may also be aware that despite 9th placed finish during Houliers reign and taking into consideration Young and downing was in the line up...it was only the final few good results that made the 9th place credible.

The sad fact is in a general sense we have been awful for 2 seasons ( under 2 different managers)and that will not have escaped his notice.

I am fully behind what ever he does... as for some of the players deserving a second chance....not so sure about that,had enough opportunity for me.

I think there will be a major clear out.

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Whilst I have more excitement this year than last, and I have bought my season tickets, I have a very big worry that expectations have been lowered considerably and we're now happy to be a midtable team. Even as fans.

I'm not saying we have a divine right to be higher but I do feel we should at least be fighting for Top 6/ Europe.

I hear talk of keeping the wage bills down, selling Given because we can get better value with inferior players, letting go of Ireland because we can't afford his wages and his perceived on-off performance levels and replacing our experienced players with promising youngsters from the Championship. That all smacks of a mid-table team. You could say it smacks of being West Brom!

I know that this is a more complex issue than just throwing money at the situation and wanting multi-million pound purchases. But I just don't like fan expectation being so, for want of a better word, dreary. We are almost saying we don't want any star/luxury players because they don't fit our wage structure.

How can fans want us to sell the likes of Bent, Ireland and Given to get in younger/cheaper/less skilful players simply because they are 'honest' and 'hard-working' etc. I want to be excited and Lambert has brought some of that back but if we get rid of all of the star players, or dare I say 'house-hold names', then we become nothing more than a standard BORING midtable team. And I don't think we are yet - we're an underachieving, low on morale team that should be fighting Top 6.

I hope what I'm trying to say is coming across as it's meant. I'm all for big change, it's needed, but fans at the very least should be pushing for more. I feel as though Lerner has achieved his aim of stifling expectation to such a low level it's depressing!

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I can't speak for everyone, but for me it's true, my expectations have been lowered after the last couple of seasons. But that's only because I'm trying to be realistic. At the moment we don't have the players who can achieve a top 6 finish in my opinion. We have to start again. When MON first took charge we improved a lot but we didn't get a top finish straight away.

That's my thinking. My expectations are lower for Lambert's first season. In one or two seasons time then hopefully we will keep getting better and better until we're fighting for a Europa League spot or perhaps even better than that. We're not going to go from finishing 9th, to finishing 16th and then next season shoot straight back up the table. All of our problems will not be fixed in one season, let alone one transfer window.

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Good read. Wouldn't be expecting a 'marquee' signing though. Also wouldn't keep Warnock for his effort as it is rumoured he is one of a few who has had a bad attitude. Get those fu£kers out regardless of what they bring to the team.

Your totally wrong about Warnock.Its the total opposite with him, Kevin McDonald had nothing but praise for him when he played in the reserves after Houllier binned him. KMac said his attitude and commitment was first class.

That still doesn't take away the fact he just doesn't have the right ability to play for us.

I wont argue about his lack of ability, I was just saying he isnt a troublemaker or have a bad attitude.

Then I shall agree, apart from the rumours he said some stuff under the houllier era, but we never really know what exactly was said.

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I can't speak for everyone, but for me it's true, my expectations have been lowered after the last couple of seasons. But that's only because I'm trying to be realistic. At the moment we don't have the players who can achieve a top 6 finish in my opinion. We have to start again. When MON first took charge we improved a lot but we didn't get a top finish straight away.

That's my thinking. My expectations are lower for Lambert's first season. In one or two seasons time then hopefully we will keep getting better and better until we're fighting for a Europa League spot or perhaps even better than that. We're not going to go from finishing 9th, to finishing 16th and then next season shoot straight back up the table. All of our problems will not be fixed in one season, let alone one transfer window.

Yeah, that's pretty much summed it up really.

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I can't speak for everyone, but for me it's true, my expectations have been lowered after the last couple of seasons. But that's only because I'm trying to be realistic. At the moment we don't have the players who can achieve a top 6 finish in my opinion. We have to start again. When MON first took charge we improved a lot but we didn't get a top finish straight away.

That's my thinking. My expectations are lower for Lambert's first season. In one or two seasons time then hopefully we will keep getting better and better until we're fighting for a Europa League spot or perhaps even better than that. We're not going to go from finishing 9th, to finishing 16th and then next season shoot straight back up the table. All of our problems will not be fixed in one season, let alone one transfer window.

I agree 110%

Lambert is a good manager BUT you can"t expect him to work miricles.Also when talking about the current players performance, dont forget they have been playing and following the instructions of a loser,a manager who was not interested in winning.

So I say, with a different manager, and a winning attitude who knows how much the team will improve.As an example I am SURE that Gabby will get back on the goalscoring trail now that AMC has left.

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