AxL has submitted this article about transition and when the Aston Villa players will finally adapt to Lambert’s philosophy and playing style
In recent weeks, I’ve read many articles and comments from Aston Villa supporters, which suggest that the club is in a terrible downward spiral. I would like to stick my neck out and make a bold prediction: that in 18 months time, Paul Lambert’s Villa revolution will be recognised as a masterstroke.
I believe that that since Summer 2012 we have been watching a genuine football revolution unfold at Villa Park. Although other football clubs have invested in promising young players in the past, no Premier League side has shown the bravery to blood so many at one time, whilst at the same time removing the safety net of the overpaid, elder players on the payroll.
Many press articles have sought to argue that the older players have been moved on solely because of their large salaries. I think there is a much greater rationale; the quick, intricate passing strategy of Paul Lambert’s sides is difficult to learn, especially for older players who have spent the last season being required to play in the simplistic style of Alex McLeish. For those not convinced of the contrast with McLeish, please read Alex Hleb’s comments from April 2012 about training ground instructions.
When there is a change of manager, there is always a period of transition. Given the distance between the McLeish and Lambert styles, I would argue that this season will be somewhat similar to that of Houllier – early February is when we can really start to judge the system. That’s when Villa will get the momentum to drive them out of the relegation fight.
The second reason I’m so confident about Villa’s future prospects is epitomised by the Shawcross – Huth partnership. In my view this is the success story of the season so far. It has taken years of playing alongside each other to build that understanding, but the result is that Stoke have a defensive partnership that Man City, even with their billions, envy. To get that partnership, Stoke had to work with these players. Whilst they came from other clubs, neither was near their current performance levels when they arrived. Villa are also seeking replicate this across the team – to nurture players with potential, installing belief and good technique.
The final point I would like to make is that every fan has a role to play in Villa’s season. When the players step onto the pitch, we want them to have self-belief on par with athletes like Usain Bolt or Michael Johnson. Give them your full support. Do your part to make them play their best.