Excellent piece from Jake today that I imagine will strike a chord with many.
When times are bad and you have made mistakes and when things are going against you in life I have always found that the best thing to do is to face up to your mistakes, admit you are wrong and remedy the situation as soon as humanely possible. I believe Randy Lerner and Paul Lambert need to do this to help save Aston Villa.
Let`s start with Lambert. He came in with a record that was impressive, he has had three seasons in a row of unqualified success, he therefore has not had to deal with failure. David Moyes commented that in his first difficult year at Everton he did not know what to say when the team went on a bad run as he had never experienced failure as a manager. I believe Lambert is in the same situation now.
His belief that youth, enthusiasm and his ability to motivate are enough to create a winning formula has been found to be fatally flawed. It doesn`t work at a massive club, particularly one which is experiencing a steep decline. The club expects more and when a big club is in a tailspin they drop harder and faster. A big club needs the fans to believe, it needs a good sized squad, it needs to be organised and sure of its direction and it needs a style of play that it can be proud of.
Lambert now needs to start using all of the resource he has available.
He needs to galvanise the squad and create a feeling of togetherness. He has to stop ostracising senior pros like Bent who he has treated disgracefully. How can a man of his talents not even be included in two match day squads in a row when he was fully fit? Lambert did this to him and it sends out a message of arrogance and naivety. He has to stop doing this.
Similarly sending two experienced pros, like Warnock and Hutton, to train with the youth team when we are stretched for talent is criminal behaviour. We are paying these players wages so we should use and motivate them. They may not be top drawer but they are better than Stephens, Lihaj and Bennett. To discard them and disrespect them in this manner is disgraceful.
If we have no money to spend then Lambert needs to use the entire squad at his disposal – including Gabby, Bent, Dunne, Warnock and Hutton. He needs to start again, admit that his current direction is folly and his experiment has failed.
We just have to get through this season, he can start again in the summer and create the squad he wants but now is the time to use all at his disposal and forget the policy of divide and rule.
Similarly Randy Lerner and Paul Faulkner need to stop concentrating on the bottom line and once again reinvest into this squad. Three years of asset stripping and balancing the books has brought about the loss of key personnel and drained the squad of the quality required to stay in the Premier League. They need to bolster the squad and insist that Lambert uses all his senior pros instead of trying to make their life so intolerable that they will hand in a transfer request.
There can be no more ‘bigger picture` policy for the remainder of the season. We need to regroup, re-galvanise and admit that the management of this club have got it very badly wrong. We have the three weeks of January to do this or it will truly be too late.
Finally we fans have to keep going down and supporting the club. To date we have been magnificent in backing Lambert despite his glaring errors and tactical inadequacy.
Perhaps we need another 12th man campaign. It worked last time, perhaps it can work again. Over to you Mr Fear!
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