From one extreme to another in eight days. Everyone was praising Aston Villa after the 3-1 win at Anfield, about their route to future success, not to mention comparing Christian Benteke to every great African forward possible. Then comes the 8-0 thrashing at Stamford Bridge, and all those words of praise can be thrown away.
What one win does to perception. Prior to the Liverpool away win, Villa had this string of reults: Losing to Manchester United, thrashed by Manchester City, draw with Arsenal, win over Reading, draw with QPR and Stoke. But after the win over Liverpool, which had a lot of luck to do with it because of Liverpool’s incompetence in the box during their first fantastic 20 minutes. True, Christian Benteke did very well each time he touched the ball, but Villa defended for almost the entire match. It’s comfortable when you have the lead.
But when this team needs to take the initiative? A lot has been said about Lambert switching to a three centre back formation, helping Villa defensively. Offensively? It just gives players another reason to skip over the midfield with a long ball to Benteke. It worked through counter attacking in Anfield, but after going down so early at Stamford Bridge, it wan’t going to bring Villa back into the match.
Truth be told, Villa are one of the weakest teams in the league. They don’t have a goalkeeper who wins points for them, and very few players besides Benteke and Weimann who can be starters on other Premier League clubs. They’re going to be fighting against relegation all season long.
Suddenly praising Randy Lerner for building for the future and all the good work done in the youth ranks came up only because of one win against a very unstable team that has a big name but are for from great in these past few years. A visit to Stamford Bridge with a shred of complacency to their game, a shred of over-confidence, doomed Villa right form the start, and makes us wonder what were people thinking when they praised this team for seven straight days.