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If you read only one post to begin your week of Aston Villa fandom, make it this one. We round up the news of the past week, including the 4-1 loss at Southampton, and look forward to the week ahead.
Well, Saturday was... unpleasant. After an exciting - if not confidence-building - first half, Villa decided to abandon the field and pursue other interests in the second half. Or they might as well have done that. Below, you'll find an amalgamation of the coverage of the disaster by the sea (including gifs of the first four goals), some recaps of the past week's news, and a look ahead at the surprisingly busy week to come. There's a lot to get to, so let's not waste any more time.
Just The Facts, Please
Form (Last 5): L L D W L
Results Last Week: Southampton 4-1 Aston Villa (EPL)
at Manchester City (League Cup) - Tuesday, September 25, 1945 GMT, 1445 Eastern
West Bromwich Albion - Sunday, September 30, 1600 GMT, 1100 Eastern
at Sunderland (U21 League) - Monday, September 24, 1400 GMT, 0900 Eastern
New Injuries Last Week:
- Stephen Ireland - arm
Returned from Injury
The Week That Was
- Marc Albrighton is nearing a return to full fitness and should be ready to play with the team soon. But, given what we've seen, how does the young winger fit into Paul Lambert's plan for Aston Villa?
- It was reported that Stephen Warnock might be taking his wages and his bad self to Bolton on a season-long loan. Then, it was confirmed. Afterwards, there was much rejoicing.
- After the development we'd seen in the Newcastle and Swansea matches, Villa regressed and regained the form we saw from the Everton match.
- The first half wasn't great, but it also wasn't absolutely atrocious either. Villa were playing a lot of long balls, but seemed to be at least threatening. It all paid off when Darren Bent scored the most Darren Bent goal of all time in the 36th minute to open his scoring for the season. Don'e believe it was Bent-y? Have a look for yourself:
- After the goal, Villa seemed to become more focused and ended the first half with some great play. But when the second half opened, things became terrible. Rickie Lambert scored, and minutes later Nathaniel Clyne added a second. Both were the result of some absolutely terrible defending. Here are those two goals, including the defending breakdowns. You'll have to click, because these make me too sad to post on here. (Lambert goal) (Clyne goal)
- Then, in a bad stroke of luck for him, Ciaran Clark was charged with a 72nd minute own goal. I'm not sure if I'd call it that, as it seems a bit harsh. Instead, I think of this as a Jason Puncheon goal, regardless of what the stats say. But judge for yourself:
- The final goal came on a penalty stupidly given up by Villa. I didn't gif that because, you know. Depression.
- A pretty miserable match, but it's just one. This is me trying to be optimistic. Man that stunk.
- You can find Aaron's recap here.
- The WhoScored recap is here. My favorite part is that under "Aston Villa Strengths," we find this: "Team showed no significant strengths." Yep.
- As Villa get set to play Manchester City on Tuesday, be sure to check out Bitter and Blue, SB Nation's City blog.
- The Tuesday match likely means more to Villa than it does to City, so I'd expect to see something close to a normal Villa lineup. City should use a lot of second team players. Which, normally, would be great. Sadly for us, City's B-squad would probably still finish in the top 6 of the EPL.
- After the four-goal debacle, does Shay Given get another shot at the starting keeper's job? I really don't think Guzan was all that terrible on Saturday, but swapping the keepers would be an easy way to be seen as doing something. It may become an interesting storyline.