It has been a dismal premier league campaign for Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa. Half way through and currently in the relegation zone, it is not looking good for the midlands club. Here are a few factors of why they are in this struggling position.
Changes of management in recent years
Over the last couple of seasons Villa have had a succession of managers at Villa Park. Martin O’Neill left the club just one day before the 2010/2011 season was about to commence and since then Gerard Houllier and Alex McLeish have tried to bring success to the club, but to no avail. During O’Neill’s reign, Villa was a much stronger unit and challenged for a European place season after season. However, stability and consistency have been affected by the managerial changes.
There is no strength in depth in the squad with Benteke, Agbonlahor and Guzan being some of the big names within the team. To be successful, experience is needed and possibly a couple of strong leaders who have seen it, and done it, at the top, would be essential.
Money not being spent as previous years by Chairman Randy Lerner
Only two signings made from the January window, being unknown French Ligue 2 player Yacouba Sylla, and on-loan Tottenham Hotspur winger Simon Dawkins. This could end up being a factor of Aston Villa’s downfall as clubs around them such as QPR and Newcastle have strengthened their respected sides and have that momentum of the challenge ahead.
Lack of confidence on the pitch
Two embarrassing cup defeats in the Capital One and FA Cups shows signs that Villa has lost a lot of confidence and bottle within the side. Unfortunately the upcoming fixture list is not being kind to them and somehow Paul Lambert needs to find a way to get his players believing once again why they are a top flight team.
Can they survive?
Aston Villa still has every chance of survival this season if they knuckle down and produce performances to their potential. They still have the team to get out of trouble, but wins need to come now to build confidence and morale at Villa Park. The two domestic cup defeats hurt the club, and it will be interesting to see the sort of bounce-back-ability the team has to get out of this situation come the end of the season.