Date: 1st September 2012 at 4:32pm
Written by:

Benteke, Westwood, Bowery, Bennett, Vlaar, El Ahmadi, Holman, Lowton….

What do they all have in common?

Answer: They all look bloody delighted to be here.

I understand that some of the names we’ve signed in the transfer window may have been a bit of a surprise, and unfancied by some, but boy isn’t it refreshing to see players in a Villa shirt grinning broadly, looking excited, looking forward to the opportunity ahead of them?

Over the last couple of years, I’d kind of fallen out of love with the game. I saw too many players picking up huge salaries and going through the motions – you know the type, players who’d been bred into the Premiership’s academies, handed everything from a young age, had a good season or two then basically dined out on their potential for the rest of their career. It was galling, seeing guys getting paid thousands a week for basically turning up for training and not doing much else.

But it seems like Lambert and I are on a similar page when it comes to that. He wants players with enthusiasm, drive and a desire to prove themselves at the top level – not people who are simply living off their reputation or potential. And when these lads are given a chance, they’ll respond. Because they’ve not been born into the Premier League’s riches. They’ve had to work to get here. And instead fo going through the motions, they all look like they want to make the most of the opportunity they’ve been given.

So, for the first time in a long time, I’m looking forward to seeing a Villa team in action. Instead of a bunch of glum, sour-faced mercenaries turning up for a paycheck, we could have a team of excited, upbeat lads wanting to prove a point.

I can’t wait to see what they can do.

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