Raise your hand if you're excited that football is back.
Welcome to our new Monday feature! Our goal here is to get you situated for the coming week in Aston Villa news. We'll take a quick look at what has happened in the last week and then preview a few stories that may be important in the coming week. We'll also be sure to give you the important facts that you need to know to keep up with the team. There will be plenty of links and a little bit of analysis, too, though if all you do is read what's here, you should be set for some conversation at work. Think of this as your one-stop-shop for Villa on Monday mornings. Be sure to check back every week to stay abreast of all the important goings-on.
Just The Facts, Please
Form (Last 5): - - - - L
Results Last Week: West Ham 1-0 Aston Villa
First Team: Everton - Saturday, August 25, 1500 GMT, 1000 Eastern (SBN Blog: Royal Blue Mersey)
- Reserves: Stoke - Wednesday, August 22, 1300 GMT, 0800 Eastern
Aston Villa Depth Chart
New Injuries Last Week:
The Week That Was
- We partook in our now-traditional preseason roundtable (Parts 1, 2, and 3)
- Shay Given retired from the Republic of Ireland. He now plans on focusing on club play.
- Villa were drawn against League One's Tranmere Rovers at home in round two of the League Cup. The match will be played on Tuesday, August 28th at 1945 GMT.
- It seems that Jean Makoun will be headed to Ligue 1 side Rennes on a one-year loan. The move isn't official yet, but you can pretty much expect not to see the Cameroonian midfielder play for Villa this year.
- Aston Villa hired Michael Henke - a former assistant at Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich - as their head of European scouting.
- The youngsters lost their opening match of the NextGen Series 1-3 to Sporting Lisbon. If you've still got questions about the series, be sure to check out our review of Villa's brightest players here and the series in general here.
- Villa lost a disheartening match to newly-promoted West Ham, 1-0. A 40th-minute goal by Kevin Nolan was all the Hammers needed to secure the victory. Despite the final result, however, Lambert's squad showed some signs of what we can expect: possession-based football that is anchored by a stout defense. Ron Vlaar, especially, lived up to his billing. The real problem came in not being able to sustain an attack. I think we all expected that, so it will be interesting to see what Lambert does to address the issue. It's not what we wanted, but it's hard to panic too much after just one match.
- You can find Aaron's match recap here.
- Mat Kendrick - one of the best journalists covering Villa - has a write-up on the match here.
- Timothy Abraham, my other favorite Villa journo, submitted this report.
- WhoScored.com has a bevy of statistical information on the match. To me, the most telling statistic is that 69% of Villa's shots came from outside of the box. It makes sense, though, if you look at the player position chart. The team played with no width outside the back four, and it's hard to charge straight into the box against a team that has pretty much parked the bus. Hopefully that number - and the lack of width that led to it - can change. Shots outside of the box are much less successful than those taken from within.
- The number-one storyline for the week will be, of course, how Villa handle the season-opening loss. I expect that Lambert won't be too happy with the listless late-match performance he saw on Saturday and we'll probably see that emerge as the week goes on.
- Also, be sure to keep an eye out for any transfer news. Given some of the depth issues the squad has, it wouldn't be at all shocking to see someone else brought in. Of course, that may mean someone heads out as well. If anything solid happens, we'll be sure to have it for you.
It's great to finally have the season underway, and we're grateful that you're joining us for it! If you've got any comments, be sure to leave them below. And if you've got any questions you'd like us to answer as a group, do the same. We might pick the question for our weekly Friday Feedback column.
Thanks again for reading!