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Guardian Premier League Preview - Aston Villa


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Talk is cheap. But I do like the idea that Lambert has told them we'll have a right good go at all opposing teams.

Plenty of losses to come, but seven wins before the year is out.

Totally agree, it was embarrassing last year especially against Man U and Tottenham.

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Odds to win the league: 1500-1

I'm putting a tenner on :lol:

All of which means that progress on the pitch over the next few years will need to come through shrewd recruitment, astute management and the development of more homegrown talent from the club's excellent academy. Ambition, however, can still burn brightly.

Hopefully, all of this is what will follow. I feel we're capable of all of it.

At the very least the club will be unified.

Obviously hasn't read this forum :lol:

"There's real optimism about the season ahead. We felt it in our first session when Paul Lambert came in and told us how he wanted to play. It was great because he said he wanted us to play with real freedom. He wants us to be an attacking outfit… he wants us to have a right good go at every single team. That's how it should be."

- Darren Bent

The fact of who is saying these words is crucial.

The big challenge for Lambert is to turn Villa into a vibrant, entertaining team that also gets results -

Yep, that's the thing, he needs to do both, not in one season but he has to marry those two together obviously, and look to be working towards it straight away. Which he is.

- on the basis of the shortage of genuine quality and depth in the current squad, promises to be no easy task.

Don't think that's true. Depth maybe, but there's a fair few in our squad that have under-performed/lackd confidence/not enjoyed the tactics, but they are quality.

Lambert could certainly have done without losing Richard Dunne and Gabriel Agbonlahor to injury for the first month of the season and possibly longer.

it's going to be very interesting to see how we perform without these two, they could very well lose their spots.

Bent remains Villa's greatest asset, although he will need much better service this season as well as a far greater contribution from his team-mates when it comes to weighing in with their share of the goals.

Bang on. :thumb:

Although there is an obvious need for another proven centre-forward to ease the burden on Bent's shoulders and provide more firepower.

Yep, or at least provide top-notch service. I don't think Bent feels any burden to score goals, he just wants ten men behind him that are good enough to provide him with the chances. He'll slot them away no problem.

I think Bent would be very happy if our end of the season goal tally looked like this

Villa Goals Scored

Bent - All of them.

In central midfield...

I'll make a prediction Ireland and El Ahmadi will both get the very best out of each other and be amazing. Others will rotate around these two in an attempt to keep a first-team place.

El Ahmadi seems to have restored in Ireland the thing that seems to have been missing for the whole of his Villa career - Enjoyment.

Further back, the defence feels like a jigsaw puzzle missing a couple of pieces.

All we need is right back, centre back and (Possibly two) left back(s)...that's all, don't worry :shock:

Villa's defensive frailties were collective as well as individual last season. They conceded 25 goals from set pieces, which was more than any other Premier League team and more than twice as many as Norwich, Lambert's former club....

That is bad :(

Norwich, of course, had no shortage of aerial strength, which also helps to explain why they registered three times as many set-piece goals as Villa.

That's alright then :)

It would be a surprise if such damning figures had escaped Lambert's attention.

He's not McLeish. :detect:

So, all in all, the new Villa manager has quite a job on his hands, although it is one that he should relish. The fans will be right behind him and the only immediate pressure Lambert will be under is the pressure that he puts on himself. Serve up some expansive football and avoid being mentioned in the same breath as a relegation battle and Villa, after two miserable years, will be heading in the right direction.


That, together with some more good news about Stilian Petrov winning his battle against acute leukaemia, should give Villa supporters something to smile about.

>>>> :mrgreen::flag::clap::flag::cheers:

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