Aston Villa Focus – Wigan defeat adds to Villa’s problems

One Aston Villa fan said it was the worst defeat they had seen in 20 years of coming to Villa Park, and it would be hard to argue against it. The 8-0 loss away to former champions Chelsea suffered just a week before will go down as Villa’s worst defeat in terms of goals against, but it terms of performance and quality of opposition, the 3-0 home loss against Wigan Athletic will never be forgotten, for all the wrong reasons.

At half-time Villa were down 1-0 and had struggled to create chances against a Wigan team who had been on a poor run of form leading up to the game. At the start of the second-half the scoreboard, situated to the right hand side of the North Stand, stopped working, and after Wigan added two more early in the second-half, the home fans were glad they could not see the score anymore.

Just 10 days ago Villa were coming off a six match unbeaten run, and looking forward to a future match in the semi-final of the Capital One Cup against Bradford City; how quickly things can change. Since then Villa have conceded 15 goals in just three games, scoring none in return. The awful defeat against Wigan has now put them once more just one place above relegation, as the team looks bereft of all confidence and talent.

Paul Lambert was still in defiant mood after the match: “Everyone was positive after the Liverpool win but now there is a negativity after these three results. I understand that feeling, but I have a belief we will be fine. There are only two ways you can go; run with it and get going or roll over. We’re going to keep fighting.

The team on Saturday did not look up for the fight, and the 3-5-2 formation which served them so well during their impressive unbeaten run, now seems to look out of place with a very inexperienced back line. Lambert also went on to state that his team are struggling with injuries at the moment, with eight first team players missing through suspension or injury. That may well be the case, but Wigan played the much better football on Saturday and fully deserved their three points, a situation which is simply not acceptable for any Villa fan to digest.

There can only be one positive for this current run of form, and that is the timing of it. With the January transfer window just a few days away, this shocking run of defeats highlights the lack of depth of quality in this young Villa side, and surely must convince owner Randy Lerner to spend big to protect his investment. It is an old saying that you must speculate to accumulate, and that is certainly what is needed to revive a dying club. If a change of personnel and large investment is not sanctioned in January, then there is only one place this club will go – to the Championship.

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