Last season was not a pleasant one if you were a villa fan. For the first time in years, they saw the prospect of European football sail steadily away while the sharks of relegation circled. It is summed up by their lowest points tally in 25 years- just 38 points. And a mere seven victories. A very low figure for a club whom are used to fighting for a European place year in year out.
The New Boss
Paul Lambert joining from Norwich offers an exciting prospect for Villa fans yet he isn’t proven in the top of english football for a long period of time. They would have seen him last season and should be intrigued as to how he is going to manage. The board have said that he will have some money to spend- at least more than Norwich. Expect all his efforts to be put into rejuvenating a jaded squad.
Aston Villa’s Tactics
Plan A: Similar to last season, a stable 4-4-2 with attacking full backs pressing high up the pitch. I can see Lambert trying out a number of systems early on to help him understand the best strategy for the coming season.
Plan B: There second strategy will be based on counter attacks. Which will suit Bent and Agbonlahor up front. I would assume they would use the wings to exploit this pace and try to get both Agbonlahor and N’Zogbia into the game. Because on their day they can be game changers.
4-4-2 (with attacking full backs)
Hutton, Dunne (C) , Collins, Warnock
Albrighton, Ireland, Herd, N’Zogbia
Lessons From Last Season
Villa will need to score a few more goals this year- provided Bent stays fit this should be achievable. Since making his Villa debut, Darren Bent has scored 18 prem goals, 10 more than any other Villa player. If they can overcome mid-table sides and finish off a few more of the easier sides then a European place shouldn’t be a harsh target. If they can also make use of there young talent whilst mixing with the old guard then Villa could be a match for most teams.
The capture of Lambert may prove brilliant for Randy Lener (Aston Villa chairman) but unless they loosen the purse strings I can only forsee a top ten finish at best.