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Can Tom Hanks inspire The Villans?

fromthestands
ANALYST
Modified 26 Jan 2013, 16:53 IST

Claret and blue might be his favourite colours. Speaking Bulgarian might be his forte, but when it comes to dwelling on Forex leftovers in a deserted and isolated island , there is no one better than him. Running from poachers even though having a disability might be one of his qualities but Victor Navorski aka Forrest Gump can live with talking to a face inscribed in a football alone for the rest of his life. Paul Lambert can spend an entire life sitting cosy on his couch and watching “Saving Private Ryan” but the fact that Aston Villa are “casting away” like “Angels and Demons”, it’s not long before teams like Bradford and Milwall taunt them with phrases like “Catch Me if You Can”. It might not be “Sleepless in Seattle” yet, but it certainly is at Villa Park for Lambert. As fans and supporters growing restless suggests, there is nothing right going on, and the Lions have a long way to go before they can proudly say “We are in a League of our own”. Having said that, life in EPL in the 2012-13 season for Aston Villa is like a box of chocolates.”You never know what you have until you have opened it”.

As he proudly says “Reach for the sky and reality is a thrill when it happens. It was supposed be hard. If it wasn’t everyone would make it. The hard part makes it great”. He continues “When the sun rises tomorrow you never know what the tide could bring, so believe in yourself”.

As you might have guessed it, Paul Lambert would be itching to bring lifelong Villa fan, Robert Langdon aka Chuck Noland at Villa Park. The reason? The last throw of his dice maybe, to keep afloat a sinking ship.

Back to back humiliations at the hands of low-tier clubs could send them in to oblivion unless Tom Hanks can spark an inspiration. Boos ringing might not be music to the gaffer’s ears but it is a reflection of the football Villa are playing on the pitch. Pathetic might be the apt word to use as they lie 17th in the season standings so far and the signs look ominous. A 3-1 win at Anfield against mighty Liverpool showed what they are capable of, but the ignominy of conceding 8 goals the very next week at Stamford Bridge showed the win was more of a fluke. They have conceded 21 goals in their last seven encounters in the Premier league and their defence at times resembles school-kids on the pitch.

What has gone wrong ?

  • Lambert has allowed much of his experienced players to leave, in favour of keeping young talent. This has seriously backfired. They have not been creating much as well. Lambert’s feud with Darren Bent has really hurt them.

  • Christian Benteke hasn’t really set the stage on fire though he has raked up quite a few goals. Brad Guzan, Andres Weimann, Gabriel Agbonlahor haven’t performed to their standards. Neither has Cieran Clark who is recognized as a top defender in the EPL.

  • They have been in winning positions but have let them blow away. When you can’t defend that’s bound to happen. What else  can happen when you let in almost 2 goals every game you play?

  • Charles N’Zogbia has been very poor and so has the whole of the midfield. Mr Lambert, if you can’t win the midfield battle, you can’t even dream of winning the match.

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  • Lack of funds to attract top talent across Europe. Even young players would not join Villa given the sorry state they are in.

  • Releasing experienced players like Collins and Carlos Cuellar and Stewart Downing and Ashley Young in the previous season has contributed a lot to this astonishing downfall.

  • Lack of ambition.Their body language don’t look good. Why? Have they forgotten their golden days? Is wearing the famous Claret and Blue so easy these days ?

What are the possible solutions ?

  • A change of formation. There is absolutely no balance and link between the midfield between attack. N’Zogbia in the middle with Agbonlahor and Weimann on the wings and one striker up front with a 4-2-3-1 formation will give them much needed stability and they will eventually create chances.

  • Someone has to be assigned as a leader not captain. Someone who can endure toughness and lead the pack.

  • Lambert needs to concentrate. He did so well with Norwich last season. Going back to the drawing board might help.

  • An inspiring history can instigate a resurgence late this season. Else they will be the public shame of Birmingham.

  • Last and most important. Everyone knows Tom Hanks is an Aston Villa supporter. So why not send him an invitation for a motivational session with the players. His film DVDs will surely help.

Aston Villa haven’t been able to capitalise on good starts and haven’t been able to maintain winning streaks. It takes a lot out of the players to perform in this excruciating league week in and week out.

The cynicism around the club is there to see. But it’s much more than that and as one of the club’s most famous supporter says and I quote,”We can choose to follow our fellow beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, and a dash of optimism. If it wasn’t hard there would be no joy achieving it”

Published 26 Jan 2013, 16:49 IST
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