One of the questions that Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert must answer this summer relates to the club’s record transfer Darren Bent. The England international forward has been frozen out of the team following the signing of Christian Benteke, and is in dire need of regular first-team football.
Although Bent looks odds-on to leave Villa Park with bwinbetting.com, there is a case to be made that the forward could still rekindle his career in Birmingham. The player’s future may well be linked in with Benteke’s fate, as should Villa sell the Belgian forward Bent could be in line for a recall.
Aston Villa fans have been looking at the Premier League fixture list with trepidation over the last month, with the prospect of travelling to take on Wigan in a winner-takes-all clash at the DW Stadium on the last day of the campaign an ominous prospect. The Latics have become renowned as being relegation escapees over the last number of seasons, however Roberto Martinez’s men’s luck ran out this week.
Villa can go into the last game of the season resting easy, with Wigan already relegated after their 4-1 defeat to Arsenal on Tuesday night. Villa were relegation candidates with Unibet in April, however positive results against Stoke, Sunderland and Norwich have assured the Birmingham-based side’s safety turned the odds in their favour.
Aston Villa fans were forced to endure a frustrating and at times relegation-threatened campaign in 2011-12, but the club maintained their Premier League status and are in the process of rebuilding for a more productive 2012-13. Alex McLeish has been shown the door after failing to win over the Villa Park faithful, with energetic and ambitious coach Paul Lambert his replacement. Despite an opening-day defeat to West Ham, there is seemingly more of an air of confidence around the club this term.
To say the last couple of seasons have been miserable ones for Aston Villa and their fans would be putting it mildly as, beginning with then-manager Martin O’Neill’s decision to resign days before the 2010/11 season began, the club has fallen from challenging for Europe and honours, to fighting simply to stay in the league. However this coming season brings a new hope for fans of the Birmingham club, as new manager Paul Lambert looks to get the club back on the right track.
To say that 2011-12 was a blow-par season for Aston Villa is something of an understatement. The Midlands club avoided the relegation places by two points, struggled to score goals (despite Agbonlahor’s fancy new soccer cleats), and with the lowly total of seven wins all season, the Villa Park faithful suffered at the hands of mediocre performances for the bulk of the campaign. However with Alex McLeish being shown the door, what does 2012-13 hold in store for Villa?
Villa’s season seemed doomed from day one, as ex-Birmingham City boss McLeish’s appointment was treated with contempt from the fans, a lack of money was spent in last summer’s transfer market and main creators Stewart Downing and Ashley Young left the club. Despite a plucky start, the club quickly spiraled into lacklustre performances, too many draws and not enough goals.
Aston Villa have 12 points after 10 games, the exact same tally as last season, and despite sitting 9th, could be in a dangerous position were they to lose, or even perhaps draw with Norwich. With United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal all to come in the next two months, Alex McLeish will no doubt have hoped to have amassed more points by this stage after a friendly looking start to the schedule. Read more
After a summer of cutting costs and cutting corners, Aston Villa are unexpectedly in a position to do well this season. Currently in 7th place in the league, They have every reason to contemplate a top-six given that Newcastle will invariably suffer some loss in form and Arsenal, currently out of the top seven, may never recover enough to move ahead of the Villains.
It may be wishful thinking this early in the season but without any domestic or European cup football to contend with for a while, Villa will be able to ensure that their first team does their best going into every game. And how Villa play in their next three Premier League games will be a big indicator on where their season is heading.
The votes have been counted and verified and the eagerly anticipated award for Aston Villa Blog’s Player of the Month for August, as voted by the fans, in association with Bernard Matthews wafer thin turkey ham and sponsored by the PedEgg, goes to…Gabby Agbonlahor! Read more
Aston Villa Blog’s Ollie Scrimgeour discusses the mentality that Alex McLeish has brought to the club early on in his reign as manager, as well as giving his opinions on the club’s deadline day activity.
Filed under: Aston Villa, Match Previews, Pre-Match Predictions
Aston Villa host their most common enemy of the past few seasons in their opening home game of the Premier League campaign against Blackburn. Read more