Dave Woodhall ponders on Villa’s weekend defeat.
You don’t see many open letters nowadays. At one point they were all the rage, particularly amongst columnists pretending that they knew someone in the headlines better than they really did and wanting to ‘help‘ them in whatever predicament they were landed.
They would invariably start out by reminding the subject of how far back their friendship went and continue with homespun advice along the lines of sorting yourself out “for your own sake. Before it’s too late”
Anyway, I’ve never gone in for such over-dramatics, but just in case Paul Lambert is reading this, I’d like to pretend I know him and ask a question.
The “We’ve been friends a long time and I can remember when…” stuff isn’t true and nobody would believe it anyway, so instead I’ll point out some of the good and bad times about the past eighteen months. Last season the bad times – Chelsea, Bradford x2, Millwall – were very bad indeed. The good times – winning at Anfield, Sunderland and the early part of the League Cup run – were pretty good. Towards the end of the season there appeared to be a semblance of a plan, something hinting at a reasonable future.
This season started off well enough and the plan appeared to be working. Then things went wrong. But even so, there were signs that it might be back on track, not least in the recent games away at Liverpool and at home to Albion, when the team’s attacking potential and resolve were in evidence.
Then came Saturday afternoon, where Villa were at home to a West Ham side who seemed to have spent the entire week leading up to the match in a futile attempt to get Andy Carroll’s suspension lifted. Sullivan, the Golds and Brady moaning that they have to obey the rules – where have we heard that before? They needn’t have bothered because their bottom three, seemingly doomed, team were better than Villa, tactically more astute and deserved the three points.
Which leads to the question I’d love to ask Paul Lambert:
You can, when you put your mind to it, send out an attack-minded team that plays football. You’ve proved you can do it, and when you do the crowd tend to respond. So why don’t you do it more often?