Ahead of Monday night's game against Aston
Villa at The Hawthorns, we caught up with Villa fan David, from My Old Man Said.
He gives his views on the Villan's start to the season, Paul Lambert,
and more. You can also find My
Old Man Said on Twitter @oldmansaid.
It’s been a
mixed start results wise for Villa, how have performances been?
The performances at the very start of the season against
Arsenal, Chelsea and
Liverpool, were more than decent, but they've dropped a bit since. What is
noticeable is Villa are much more solid at the back (despite the blow of losing
Okore to injury for the season), they've cut out a lot of the cheap mistakes of
last season and also are no longer nervous when it comes to the last ten minutes
(see Hawthorns last season). Beating Arsenal and
were obvious positive signs of our potential. The main problem is they still
haven't worked out how to play at Villa Park. We've had a tough run of home
fixtures, but should have picked up at least two or three more points. But, yes,
a mixed bag so far.
Paul Lambert? Anything he needs to be doing better?
Well, he seems to have abandoned his noticeable passing game
from the early part of last season, to a more functional brand of football. The
long ball has become a bit of a focus and our possession in games seems to
always be lower than our opponents. Most teams are now prepared for the obvious
threat of our counter attack, so Lambert needs to add more dimension to Villa's
overall play. There's a few players returning from injury and an 'easier' run of
fixtures up to Christmas, so hopefully see they'll be an improvement in style
and a few more points on the board. In terms of being happy with Lambert, he's
fine by me for the moment, considering his plan is a long-term one. I wish he'd
show a bit more ambition in the transfer market though (see answers below). For
other Villa fans, when we win, it's 'In Lambert We Trust' and when we lose, it's
"Lambert Out". Another mixed bag!
agree with the club’s transfer policy of targeting ‘young and hungry’ players as
opposed to the route you’ve gone down previously by signing big names on big
I have no problem with it and I actually think it is probably
the best approach to build a proper, together team, to eventually challenge the
top guns. The key though to that is the foundation of 'young and hungry' players
has to be supplemented with a few true quality acquisitions, who can do a job
from the off. Southampton have got that equation spot-on and are reaping the
rewards quicker than Villa have, because they've been willing to spend to bring
in a better class of young player in key positions.
the season so far?
I would go for Fabian Delph over a much-improved Ron Vlaar.
Delph had plenty of promise, but injuries over the past few years have all but
destroyed his career at Villa, after joining from
Leeds. He adds a dynamism to the midfield that has been missing
for a while. If he could just add goals to his game, he would then be knocking
on the door of the
England team. Doubt he'll make the World Cup
England squad, to do that, he'd probably have to score a
hat-trick in each of the upcoming Villa v
Okore's injury was a massive disappointment, as he would have
been one of those quality additions, I mentioned above. He was regarded as our
defensive Benteke, in terms of being the signing of our summer. Of the players
fit, Weimann has cut a frustrated figure at times and only has one goal to his
name this season. He needs to step up his contribution asap or risks falling out
Villa finish the season ?
I said 10th at the start of the season, and I'll stick to
that, if they buy a decent midfielder in January. We'd probably also need the
likes of Weimann, Delph and Tonev to contribute more goals. I don't think
Benteke will carry us like last season, as he's more of a marked man.
Albion finish the season?
Mid-table and obviously below Villa. It'll be close though.
I'm still unsure if
Albion will be as good as last season. By Christmas we should know.
Who do you expect to be
Well, I used to live in
when Stephane Sessegnon played for Paris St Germain, so I saw him play a few
times for them. He was definitely a player I wanted Villa to sign (along with
the then PSG left-back Sylvain Armand). Sessegnon is a player you can build a
team around, so Albion did very well to get him.
Prediction for Monday’s game?
Our nervous defence has let you off the hook in recent times,
but that they have improved this season. The problem is going forward Villa seem
less of a threat in the last few games. If Villa's forward line click, then they
have a chance of finally getting three points from the
Albion, but of course, the safe
money would be on a draw. So, I'll go for another draw - 1-1
Well, I thought
Chelsea at the start of the
season with their squad and the return of Mourinho. I don't know if it's just
me, but he seems to have lost a bit of his edge though. If Arsenal add another
top-class striker to their squad, then maybe they'll be able to stay out in
front to the end. But
Chelsea have battle-harden toughness in their locker, plus top-class
midfield talent to call on. They've never lost at home under Jose either.
Whether Liverpool, Arsenal, City and United have the stamina and consistency, remains to
be seen, so I'll stick with Mourinho's men.
Norwich, Crystal Palace
and...probably Cardiff or Sunderland. Poyet would do very well to galvanise that
team, after the amount players that have come and gone in the past year.