From a neutral perspective, many people would be shocked to see Aston Villa perched above the relegation zone so early in the season. But in truth, they have been woeful at times this season. With only five points and one win to their name, there is no hiding their dreadful form. Here are some stats that may explain their poor start.
- They have kept one clean sheet since the start of the season. This came in their only win to date which was 1-0 against Swansea at Villa Park on the 15th of September.
- They have recorded one point on the road which stifles their chances of picking up regular points.
- They have only scored six goals so far which is the joint lowest in the Premier League with Norwich and Sunderland.
- In their latest 1-0 loss against Fulham they had no players aged over 28. Their back four had an average age of just 23, which shows that there is inexperience in the side.
- Since their last European tie in 2009, only Brad Guzan and Gabriel Agbonlahor are the only survivors from the game against CSKA Moscow that also played against Fulham on the weekend.
I think we can safely say that the Championship is beckoning for them if they can’t improve on their shaky performances. Unfortunately for the Villans they have tough matches coming up with visits from Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal in November. If this wasn’t bad enough their star man Darren Bent has been linked with numerous clubs for the January market although Lambert has ‘laughed’ off these claims.
If Lambert can see his side through to a mid table position by January there could be an opportunity to bring in some invaluable veterans to guide them up the table. Whether Randy Lerner (Villa’s Chairman) will allow them to spend freely is yet to be seen. The minuscule budget that was given to Lambert in the summer has seen no improvement on his team’s performance this season which could sway Lerner’s decision to pump more money into the club.
It’s been a rough start to the season for Villa but with the challenging fixtures that loom over the horizon, things could get a lot worse very quickly.