When Paul Lambert walked through the door at Villa Park our fan base went into a state of hysteria. Perhaps because we'd just got rid of Alex McLeish or because of the new manager's arrival. But after ten games of the 2012/13 campaign there seems to be an air of questioning.
With just two wins under our belts and seventeenth in the table we are not in the positions we found ourselves hoping to be in.
For one minute forget the chairman, the CEO, the manager, the referees, linesmen and forth officials and focus on the players. We have top quality footballers at our club; yet we have to ask ourselves, are these players performing? You can't knock the effort, commitment, pride and passion of some of our players. But those big wage earning players, need to start pulling their socks up and making themselves count. No names mentioned, but just because they don't like the squad rotation doesn't mean you have to continue to be lazy on the pitch and complain when they're sat on the bench. We can stand around arguing about Darren Bent all day long but he needs to prove the doubters and the haters wrong and perhaps win round Paul Lambert.
Winning becomes a habit in football, a habit that we have forgotten in the year of 2012. With Villa failing to win in their last ten Premier League games last campaign, and winning only one of their first nine this season, losing was the only trick Villa had been practising.
Villa fans may now start to believe that this bad run is finally coming to an end. A last minute victory in the cup against Swindon, with a Christian Benteke brace, was followed by a battling display away to Martin O'Neill's Sunderland side, grabbing a deserved 1-0 victory through Gabby Agbonlahor's first goal in the league for almost a year. The back to back victories earned this week in all competitions were the first Villa had achieved since August 23rd 2011, when they beat Hereford in the cup 2-0 after having beaten Blackburn 3-1 in the league a few days previous.
After achieving these two results, you would imagine Villa fans to be full of optimism coming into their next fixture this Saturday. Unfortunately, the fixture list has dealt a cruel blow to Villa's optimism, as they face in form Manchester United this weekend followed by a trip to the Etihad to face Champions Manchester City. They then take on Arsenal at Villa Park on the 24th of November, three fixtures that will strike fear into the hearts of the Villa faithful. Are we right to be pessimistic, as last season Villa failed to gain a point from these three fixtures they face in the upcoming weeks?
Football has always been a story of underdogs, as Celtic heroically proved with their victory over Spanish giants Barcelona in the Champions League on Wednesday night. Gabriel Agbonlahor has scored two goals in Villa's recent victories, and he believes Villa have what it takes to cause an upset in the upcoming weeks.
|Villa's Shining Light, quite literally in that shirt.|
Paul Lambert will share Agbonahor's view, as he must install the rest of his young team with that same belief if they are to get anything from these next three fixtures. It has been a very slow start for Lambert as manager of Villa, as even with the credible victory earned at the Stadium of Light last Saturday, his team still sit just one place above the relegation zone. A victory in any of his next three games may just be the catalyst he needs to kick start his, and Villa's Premier League campaign.