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Paul Lambert's Villa Revolution


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by VillaJay

A look at why Paul Lambert's arrival has increased optimism for this Villa Fan.Summer of 95 Aston Villa had just narrowly avoided relegation with Brian Little taking charge midway through the season, Mark draper, Gareth Southgate and the bandana wearing Savo Milosevic the key signings of that summer. I don’t know if it was blind optimism but there was a feel good feeling around villa park that summer, Villa opened the season at home to Manchester United and beat them 3-1 it was to set the tone for the season as Villa finished the season in 4th place, league cup winners beating Leeds 3-0 and Fa cup semi finalists.

Fast forward and Villa have had ups and downs, numerous top 6 finishes as well as bottom 6 finishes, it seems Villa do things in cycles, relative success followed by mediocrity and then repeat. The last two seasons have been mediocre especially under McLeish whose anti Football tactics turned the fans on him as well as nearly relegating his second Birmingham club in successive seasons. Despite what the media will tell you the Villa faithful gave McLeish a chance but it was clear to all that Villa massively under-achieved last season playing some of the worst football in the league.

Paul Lambert’s appointment was perhaps not a huge surprise despite Randy Lerner’s apparent interest in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and he has all the makings to be a great manager and a perfect fit for the Sleeping Giants of the Midlands. Lambert has been quite successful in his management career so far and arguably has shown far more than Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez, two managers Liverpool had sought out this summer. Lambert’s football career was impressive including a champion’s league winner’s medal and without being too glamorous, much like his management career so far, Lambert has gone about his business quietly just getting on with the job like he always has with a determination that he also demands from all of his players.

Links to Martin O’Neill are lazy in relation to their management styles, Lambert has shown he is a modern manager with modern Ideas, he has been known to change formations to suit the opposition as well as during a game one such instance being against Swansea’s passing game last season as outlined in an excellent piece in the guardian last season. He will demand that his players give their all for the team and go out to win every game and Villa fans can at least expect to be entertained this season.

With him Lambert has brought great optimism to Villa once again with his football philosophy of attacking the opposition and playing attractive football something Villa fans haven’t seen properly in a long time. With Darren Bent, Gabby Agbonlahor, Charles N’zogbia and a number of promising youngsters at Villa the signings of Karim el Ahmadi from Feyenoord, the playmaker a snip at 2m, Brett Holman, Matt Lowton and the rumored signing of Imposing Dutch international Ron Vlaar added to an already decent but under-achieving squad, this is just the start of what promises to be a busy rebuilding summer for the club.

Villa should be easily challenging the top 10 this season and with a few more smart signings Villa could surprise many, Newcastle last season proved you can be competitive on a budget. The Premier league is more competitive than it’s ever been but Paul Lambert is a manager on the up and with him he will drag Aston Villa back out of their mediocrity and back to success.

Chief Football

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I too will be looking for the improvement in performances first and results second....If the performances are there the results will undoubtedly come.

There will be set backs for sure, because as of now the team is not strong enough to challenge for anything.

Improvement is the key for me, the improvement in our quality of football.

If the improvement is generally sustained and consistent the improvement in the quality of recruit will follow without "paying through the nose"

Lets hope the progress is steady but assured.

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Exciting season ... if only because we have managed to rid ourselves of McLeish.

I am really hoping that he can develop the likes of Carruthers - who I thought looked really lively and exciting when he came on for a cameo at Old Trafford last season - and Gardner - who I am personally unsure about at this level but am desperately hoping he can bring his U-18 and reserve team form to this level. I am also hoping that DJ can be brought through as well. I would love to see the three of them out on loan for a season at, say, Coventry, Forest or Wolves - big local clubs that should be competing at the right end of the table that they are in - but I suspect our squad size means they will be kept at VP.

I hope that Lambert can continue the return to form of SI who I think will be key for us this season. The second half of last year, everything that was good offensively went through him. I also think he could be the player to unlock the Zog as they do seem to be on a similar wavelength and, importantly, feed Benty. Hollman seems to have made a pretty decent start as well and I think the three combined could be very good with Benty in front if Lambert can work his magic. Gabby, Weiman, Albie, Carruthers and, in my dream world (although not too far stretched as that would be Sinclair or Adam Johnson), Matt Phillips in reserve would be decent back up/options.

Lots of work for Lambert to do - and that excludes continuing the rebuild of the Back 4 and sorting out a partner for Kea - but I think, and desperately hope, that he is the man who can do it.

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