A fortunate well fought point for Aston Villa against West Brom

Last season, I wouldn't have been surprised if Paul Lambert got the sack after going out in the League Cup. There were calls for it but I think most were happy for him to play out the season and survive it. Aston Villa fans however are not happy with just surviving the season and most expect a club of our size and stature to be doing a lot better.

And Aston Villa fans, once they turn on a manager, there is little or no chance of them changing their mind. That's mostly because we're all a stubborn bunch and that's growing up in the Midlands for you. I'm not saying that many are turning on Lambert, but you can sense there is a growing frustration.


But he can hide behind Lerner for a time, but it's not just about money, it's about how Aston Villa play football and while we all love the fight and determination, there is more to it than that.

And that is why Paul Lambert has to drop this three defender experiment and transfer it to the youth and reserve sides. He'll say it wasn't that tonight and that it wasn't that against Cardiff until Lowton came on, but it was.

Four defenders please, defending and supporting

I watch all our games twice, sometimes three times and I can tell you with absolute confidence, that Bacuna, although put down on the team sheet tonight as right back, played too high up for the first ten minutes and for periods in the first and second half, we played with three defenders.

And we don't win games that way. We didn't last season and we wont this one. And sure, there will be the odd one, I'm not saying it will never happen, but we're better with four defenders defending and supporting.

We only scored against Cardiff when Bacuna could actually play further up the field and we had Lowton at right back. More to the point, we only started our good run last season when we went to four at the back and had enough of a run for it to start happening as it should.

And yes it takes time, so you could argue this three at the back takes time and he's bought the players to give it a go, but I just cant see it working for Aston Villa.

I see full backs attacking though, but with a player in front of them that they can support and that can support them, but that's just me. I'm a huge fan of 4-5-1 .... or a slight variation of that. But always four at the back.

And tonight, when we went to a clear 4-3-3 after bringing on Weimann, Gabby and Delph, the game changed again and the momentum was ours. With 13 minutes to go, there was a real belief that we could win after goals from El Ahmadi and Westwoon put things at 2-2. But we weren't unlucky not to win, we were fortunate to end the game with a point.

And that is what most will remember; the fight back. I just hope that Lambert recognises that it was when he went to three up front chasing the game and four defenders defending and supporting the attack.

But before I go, like I suggested above, I can understand him wanting to experiment, but if he continues with it and we struggle again, Aston Villa fans will not like it and he has not got a 'this is my first season' excuse any more and no matter how many times he mentions how good the support is, it might not help.

Ending with some positives

A well fought out point, but like I wrote above, we were fortunate not to lose. Hopefully that performance and last weeks, will put an end to this three at the back tactic. And, Tonev had three shots tonight; all on target. That is progress.

But I'll take that point after the way we started and I look forward to the comments about fight, not giving up and determination. But I want to see better, not just hear the right things and I believe it will come under Lambert; he learnt last season and I'm sure he'll learn again this one.

Hopefully next season, he'll not even consider three defenders over four.