Clean Sheets but lack of goals
I have been writing on this website now for some time, and most people who read my articles on a regular basis probably think that I am one very depressing guy who constantly moans about Aston Villa.
November 8th, 2013
The fact is I am a very happily married bloke who loves nothing more than to go and watch my football club every weekend while enjoying a drink with friends but the past few years as an Aston Villa fan – it has been a very testing time to say the least.
After the O’Neill era (some of the best years in my life as a Villa fan), it was followed by Houllier, then McLeish before we embarked on the latest chapter – Paul Lambert.
The Scottish man was given the challenge of rebuilding an ageing overpaid squad while keeping their Premiership status and, as you know, the rest is history.
Lambert has achieved many things in his short time at Villa Park including getting rid of a lot of the club’s high earners, and maintained our league status – but one thing we struggled to do was keep a clean sheet.
Aston Villa went a whole season without a single clean sheet in the league but the thing that kept us in the best League in the world was being always capable of finding a goal. It was like the Keegan years at Newcastle – you score one and we will try and score two!
On Saturday 5th October we travelled to Hull and were able to secure our first clean sheet in a good thirteen months – however, the game was extremely dull. Steve Bruce summed it up in his post-match interview: ‘I could tell it had 0-0 written all over it after two minutes’.
The big problem with that day was we got over the ‘clean-sheet’ voodoo but appeared to stumble upon another – the goals have dried up. We have played three further games since then and have failed to score a single goal, with our star striker Christian Benteke even missing a penalty!
The free-scoring Aston Villa we saw so often at the back end of last season was great to watch and some of the football was fantastic to watch, but we always found ourselves on the back foot as we knew that a single goal wouldn’t win us a game.
This new tighter-looking side on the other hand is boring and would put even the most diehard supporter to sleep. So what exactly is the answer to our problems?
My personal opinion is that Paul Lambert still doesn’t know his strongest eleven or tactics to go with it. He is trying his hardest to get the right balance which sees us solid at the back while being able to score goals, but we are yet to get there.
We have a run of games coming up that fans will expect to see some wins from, and failure to do so could see the Villa faithful’s belief in the Scot start to dwindle.