Twelve goals conceded in two matches often indicates a crisis. Me? Well I like to look at the bigger picture before painting a picture of crisis. A young Aston Villa side is this morning hurting after a 4-0 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur, just days after an 8-0 battering by a persistently insolent Chelsea side, intent on wreaking dismay on a young Villa side. I tweeted during the match that Chelsea’s win was akin to watching a Lion tear a fluffy Rabbit to pieces.
Chelsea, a fully grown beast, murdered a young, precious, very pretty Aston Villa side who had no response to their technical superiority and power. A Rabbit may sometimes outrun its pursuer, but more often than not it’ll be caught in the teeth of something much larger.
Now, imagine that animals evolved from one species to the other. A Rabbit turns to a Fox, then a German Shepherd and so on. Twenty animals down the line is a Lion. A great big, bloodthirsty, rip your balls off, massive Lion. A sprightly rabbit Aston Villa may be, they are a long way from becoming a Lion and along that path, they will get ripped apart and have their intestines smeared over a football pitch.
I must move this article away from Rabbits dying.
Aston Villa are a very young side, full of potential. Of their back four, Matthew Lowton can claim to be the oldest of last night’s defenders at 23 years old by just a few months and the pattern is familiar throughout the rest of the side. I refer you to Fabian Delph, Ashley Westwood, Chris Herd and Christian Benteke. I look at Aston Villa and I don’t see a true leader. Normally, I hate visiting Villa Park as an Arsenal fan because I know it’s not a “guaranteed” three points and you always, always have to fight for anything you walk away with. I think back to past teams with Richard Dunne, Ashley Young, Gareth Barry, Stephen Warnock and James Milner and I remember dreading playing Villa. Now, I look forward to watching them on the TV because they entertain me, but with that, they’ve sacrificed what they used hold as a key strenth.
I admire Paul Lambert for guiding Aston Villa through a transition and having the courage to do that with prospects from their youth academy, but to do that, then they must play with experienced players. Injuries or not, their should be provisions made so that their young players aren’t put to slaughter by bigger teams. There’s nothing to be gained in receiving a hammering as a young professional.
To make the path from Rabbit to Lion with minimal mortality rates, then Paul Lambert must combine experience with ebullient players. Aston Villa are on the right path at the moment and have been beaten comfortably and embarrasingly by two very good teams. That happens to a young team, but to remain on the right path to joining those very good teams, Paul Lambert must sign experience to spare his young players a brutalisation every other week.