The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of a Villa Week of Positive Steps

The Bad

Yeah, Tom Cleverley. If I’m being brutally honest, based on his performances thus far in a Villa shirt, I’m yet to really see the point in him. Tidy in possession at times with a decent passing range, that’s about where it ends, for me. To say the £7m that was reported earlier in January to sign him this month would have been steep – particularly with only six months left on his United deal – would be a rather large understatement.

Villa are light on options in midfield and so he will likely continue as a regular starter for the majority of the rest of the season, but many fans will probably be happy to move on from him after that. Despite what has been an insipid season in Birmingham for the midfielder so far, he is likely to have a number of suitors once available on a free transfer in the summer, and there are undoubtedly better options to be pursued for Villa, as long as Lambert and the club can find them.



Another slight cause for concern in the midfield lately has been Carlos Sanchez’s minor dip in form after an excellent few weeks over the festive period. The Colombian has begun to give possession away and linger on the ball too long again as he did in his first few months at the club.

However, given that he is a South American who was playing in Spain until five months ago, the entirety of 2014-15 will be something of a settling-in period for Sanchez. He clearly has the quality to succeed, and should hopefully return for a second season as a far more confident player than in the current campaign.


The Ugly

Although Villa have at least now ended the long run without scoring, it is by no means problem solved. Goals desperately need to be found in the league, not least because Villa have been quietly sliding down the table in recent weeks.

A combination of a dismal lack of service from midfield and Christian Benteke’s tendency to lean towards laziness in certain games has meant that Villa have been offering virtually no threat up front. Gabby Agbonlahor, I think it’s fair to say, is getting to the stage where he may well serve better as an impact substitute in games, and a return to a partnership of Weimann and Benteke up top in central roles could be the best course.

The issue with playing two strikers is that Villa have an almost absolute lack of width in the midfield (apologies Charles N’Zogbia, but you just don’t count any more). The solution may be Gil being allowed to roam in a free attacking role behind the attack – the Spaniard certainly seems likely to become our greatest threat in midfield.



However, the fact that Gil remains the club’s only January arrival, coupled with Lambert’s concession that there are unlikely to be any further additions to Villa’s squad in the remaining days of this month, is worrying. Villa’s squad, although better than some sides in the Premier League, is two or three injuries or suspensions away from looking desperately short on quality, and really could have done with some more options to pick from throughout the final four months of the season.

What the Bournemouth win did bring Villa was momentum. Unfortunately, they are now met with the thankless task of facing Arsenal and Chelsea in consecutive matches. If Villa can get points from those two games while also showing an improvement in their recent league performances, they should go into a crucial run of league games from mid-February and a distinctly winnable FA Cup 5th round tie with Leicester City with confidence. UTV

Follow Tom on Twitter here

Follow MOMS on Twitter here


  1. i urge eveyrone to watch the highlights on you tube,, watch bacunas contribution going forward and think
    back to when we saw one of our midfielders be so positive going forward and with an end product
    with some love and nurturing he could turn into an extremely good rh mid of the three
    but its a new position for him and he will need time to adapt to it

    i know plog will probably revert back to cleverly and against the arse and chelsea i can understand the defensive side to it, and if we sit back i can also understand gabby being bought back in for his pace

    but inside i hope he plays bacuna and the gummer,, they had a positive effect going forward

    and the 433 451 is probably the way to go for the next prem games

    diamonds arnt forever

  2. I don’t beleive the press/doom & gloom merchants interpretation of Lamberts coments ! there’s a little under a week untill the window slams shut & Villa apparently are stil looking to bring 2 players in . Don’t know who but I’m guessing one is Sinclair ,who contary to what is being said the problem is with ManC as I understand Sinclair wants a termination of contract fee from them & it is that which is holding things up & not a disagreement over fees between the clubs !

Comments are closed.