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, the Baggies 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 Manchester City 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.

Happy with 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!

Do you 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 money?

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.

Player of 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 Albion games!

Anyone been particularly disappointing?

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 of favour.

Where will 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.

Where will 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 Albion’s dangerman?

Well, I used to live in Paris 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

Premier League Champions?

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.


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