Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughAston Villa’s lifeline - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Aston Villa’s lifeline - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Aston Villa’s lifeline


Sunday afternoon saw Villa improve their chances of survival with a narrow win over West Ham, now West Ham’s away form has been sketchy all season, so Sunday saw an opportunity for the home side to take advantage of this and edge closer, or improve their chances of staying in the premier league elite. Since it was established in 1992, there have been only seven teams never to leave the top flight, Aston Villa being one of them, they’ve had some close shaves only all too recently and it’s seems they have been doomed since Martin O’Neil left them back in 2010, a week before the start of the new season, Gérard Houllier being the man chosen to take over, the steady decline has been apparent, the losses of core England international players, most definitely played its part, Ashley Young going on to join Manchester United, James Milner to Manchester City, both of whom are playing at the top of the premier league, Milner with a league medal in his cabinet, but also the loss of Stewart Downing to Liverpool played it’s part. Every team loses key players, it’s how a team, board, owner and manager replace and make do with that situation which keeps teams going, Villa haven’t managed that and right now, they’re teetering on the edge.

From when O’Neil was manager, three consecutive 6th place finishes saw Villa as a top end, nuisance of a club, but since his departure they’ve managed a 9th place finish and last season’s standing of 16th wasn’t good enough and it’s not looking too rosy now for the midlands club, with no guarantee to bounce straight back up from relegation secure anymore, look at the decline of Bolton, Birmingham and Wolverhampton, they’re failure to secure top flight status has seen them sink. Wolves and Bolton are in their first season of trying to recover, but signs of that happening at this point in time look slender, Villa are in danger of going down that route too.
With an average of 25, the youth does out way the experience in Paul Lambert’s squad, the expression “You never win anything with kids” has been proved wrong, spectacularly, but there is a hint of truth in Villa’s case. Christian Benteke has proved a source of hope in another wise bleak season and is often preferred to than Darren Bent, firstly to outrage and head scratching, but now Benteke seems the wiser, more dependable choice of striker, and while Bent has to play second fiddle from the bench his hopes of an international call fade month by month. All that aside Villa’s problem hasn’t been about scoring, they have that solved, it is defending which has caused their most troublesome headache, Lambert has tried to a few different combinations, but the lack of experience, lack of a leader is apparent, Ron Vlaar looked a good signing and he’s been the most dependable man at the back, but one man can’t make a defense, Lambert has been unnortunate with the absence of Richard Dunne but as a top flight club you have to deal with these problems. It’s getting closer and closer to the finish line and excuses and time are running out.
The strength at the bottom of the table is apparent, QPR boasting a squad full of decent players on paper, but football isn’t played on paper to use that cliché. Wigan, seem to escape by the skin of their teeth every year, but Reading I can see struggling, Villa too, as one place above them is Newcastle, who and this is going out on a whim, will be fine, but you can never be too sure, only thing that is certain is that Aston Villa are in a dog fight, they gave themselves  lifeline on Sunday, they need to string a few more of those performances together to even give themselves a shot a staying in this division.

Michael King