Aston Villa Focus – Will it be a happy new year for Aston Villa?

The year of 2012 is finally over, and it was a year to forget for Aston Villa. There was Alex Mcleish, terrible performances both home and away and dressing room unrest but will it be a different story in 2013?

In 2012, Aston Villa won just six games out of 39 matches played in the league, scoring just 30 goals and providing the fans with very little reason to cheer. Paul Lambert was hired to bring in attacking flair, to provide the club with fresh belief and enthusiasm. After just over six months in charge, Villa are in a worse position than they were this time last year, and almost all that enthusiasm has now seeped away following crushing defeats to Chelsea, Tottenham and Wigan to complete the year. The final result of 2012 summed up what a poor year it has been for the club, a 3-0 home loss to Wigan.

The start of a New Year always brings fresh optimism, where New Years resolutions are made, goals are set for the upcoming 12 months, and self improvement is on the forefront of most minds. A 2-2 result away to Swansea perhaps suggested that this year may not be so bad, but a look at the performance once more still shows very worrying signs of decline. Swansea should have scored six goals in the opening 30 minutes of the match, and it was Villa’s first attack of the game that they scored from to level. Villa did improve in the second half, but their defence looked weak and clueless throughout the match, and every time Swansea attacked you could see a goal for the side from Wales.

So what is the outlook for 2013? There is only one man who can answer that question, and it is not any fan of the club, or even Paul Lambert himself; it is Chairman Randy Lerner. For several years now we have seen every one of Villa’s great talents sold to rival clubs, losing the likes of James Milner, Gareth Barry, Ashley Young, Brad Friedel and Stewart Downing.

Players nowhere near as talented have replaced them, and for that reason alone the club have now slipped into a position where they are one of the favourites for relegation. With the January transfer window’s arrival, it is now time for Randy Lerner to invest in a squad that lacks any real talent or depth. The Villa first 11 against Swansea was the youngest in their history, and for most other clubs the team that faced Swansea would be their youth team or Reserve team line up, but for Villa it is now all they have. Although some of the youth players may well turn into top professionals, for now they are still too young to cope with the day to day pressures of playing for a top flight Premier League club. Without major investment this transfer window, Aston Villa look almost certain to drop into the Championship, a division which several previous giants of this game have found tough to climb out from. 

See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Aston Villa v Southampton

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