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Aston Villa Focus - Concentration must improve after another away defeat

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By Dominic Price

Tuesday 09 October 2012

It was another tale of away day blues for Aston Villa this weekend as they slumped to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Villa had their chances throughout the match but never really troubled Tottenham’s goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Paul Lambert

It was a result that many Villa fans may have expected, with Villa failing to win a match away from home for over nine months and Tottenham on a good run of form, recently defeating Manchester United at Old Trafford during their good spell. Darren Bent was on the bench again for Villa, and may well be questioning his manager’s choice once more after his replacement Christian Benteke wasted a couple of good chances during the match.

With only one win in and two draws in their first seven league games so far, it has not been a great start for new manager Paul Lambert. His spat with Bent in recent weeks will not have helped matters, but it will be in defence where his main concerns will lie.

In Villa’s last five fixtures in all competitions they have conceded 10 goals, with eight of those conceded coming in the first 26 minutes of the second-half of those matches. It was that poor start to the second-half that robbed Aston Villa of an away victory last time out, with Southampton scoring three of their four goals in the space of 13 minutes.

Against West Bromwich Albion last weekend it was a 51st minute goal that put the Baggies in the lead, only for Aston Villa to snatch a draw late on in the match. It would be the same story yet again for Villa against Tottenham, with Steven Caulker and Aaron Lennon’s efforts scored in a nine minute spell in the first 20 minutes of the second-half.

Following the crushing 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Everton back in August, Aston Villa have not been behind at half-time in any league game since. The half-time league would show Villa on 11 points this season, meaning that they have already dropped six points in the second periods of games during this campaign.

It is not a coincidence that Aston Villa struggle at the start of every second-half since the game against Everton, and Lambert must figure out a way to combat this. Villa currently have one of the youngest squads in the Premier League, and Lambert must improve the concentration of his young Villans if they are to keep hold of the points they have earned in the first 45 minutes of games this season.

The Premier League is a very unforgiving division, and Lambert’s young lions must learn that they have to perform and concentrate to the highest level for 90 minutes of every match if they are to improve on their current position just outside the relegation zone.

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