Thoughts and issues regarding the past and present of a great football club by "The Chronicler".

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Are Spurs the Model For Villa to Emulate?

Two brilliantly taken goals this week by Gareth Bale have sent Independent journalists scurrying for their notepads to declare: "[The] Best since Best? Bale makes a convincing case."

But the journalists (James Lawton and Richard Rae) go further. Lawton states:

"Levy held the brilliant Luka to his contract ... With a degree of financial prudence that is unlikely to cause problems with the FFP regulators, Tottenham have built a team of authentic quality. They have displayed a workable flair for the art of the possible, which means that we cannot dismiss too brusquely Levy's claim that he will keep Bale as he did Modric."

'Arry says about Bale, "I played him free [against Norwich], him, Rafa and Luka; I played three midfielders rather than sticking him out on the left wing, because when he picks it up and runs at you through the middle, when he pops up in positions in between midfield and in between their back people, it's difficult to pick him up, and when he turns and runs with the ball, like he did there, he's unstoppable."

You can sense the feel of 'Arry's statements: he's living the experience of working with and guiding talented players in Spurs' relentless drive to prove that you do not give up hope in challenging the top-3 to the degree that they're in a convincing third place themselves, and have a game in hand. And 'Arry - in a cool sort of way - is loving it.

The beauty of it is that the new-generation Spurs bring back a reminder of their teams of the 60s ... teams that played lucid football to the extent that it sometimes made the mouth drool.

In football the impossible is attainable, and though Spurs probably won't win the championship they'll be there for an EC place, I'm sure. And playing good stuff to earn it as well.

To Mr. Lerner: Please take note. Have you the will and the manager in place to transform Villa into a Spurs clone?

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Signs of Stopping the Rot ... ?

When a 5' 2" opposing forward drops in to head a winner with 3 minutes to go then you really feel that Villa's season has become a big tester, and Albrighton's record of scoring the PL's 20,000th goal suddenly lost its lustre.

The fact that Villa showed that much more commitment is the biggest factor to draw from this match in which Arsenal fielded a weakened defence. As their defence is their Achilles Heel anyway, more the shame that Villa could not have found the accuracy to convert their performance into a win.

We have to hope that with two very difficult matches on the road, now, that Villa's commitment continues to be raised, for you have to make your own luck and not wait for the other teams to take over as seems to have been the case in the previous games against teams above us.

Not to make the effort can only be disastrous. Villa are now down to 12th and ... with Wigan fighting well and getting a point off a team Villa gave way to on Sunday ... there is now only a worrying 5 points between Villa and Wigan in 18th (relegation) place.

Come on the Villa, though we have had bad periods before in the club's history at least there's generally been a spirit to hearten their supporters. So far the season has been insipid ... please use the Arsenal performance as the turning point and get the season onto some kind of track so that we can see that this season has been just a transition and not a preview of future calamities.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Is there room for hope?

Well - success! An away win against now bottom Bolton has at least brought some satisfaction, not least after their disposing of the Villans in the League Cup at Villa Park.

Big Eck at last took notice of the harangue thrown in his direction for the lack of enterprise and spirit shown by the Villa for most of the season, and introduced two wingers. This helped to produce a marked improvement in Villa's play with swift attacking by the pacey forwards and his action is to be applauded. However, the midfield still does not show the quality needed and this was against a team that has been losing a lot of games this season. And Bent is missing chances.

Big Eck was obliged, really, to make some alteration in his game plan, and at least he's done something. I still doubt very much that the team will get much success from their remaining December matches, and the rest of the season is now going to be more difficult having had a comparatively easy fixture list for the first 15 games.

But we have to live in hope. I don't see the extreme event of relegation occurring, and I hope that this season will act as a basis for future developments. Whether Big Eck should remain as the pilot of that future development I have my on-going doubts.