I have a theory to explain Aston Villa the past few seasons:
1. Lerner wants to continually reduce the wage bill to either maximize profits, or perhaps to sell a financially viable club which is still technically a Premier League club.
2. Lambert took the position because he thought he could pull it off, since he brought Norwich up with relative unknowns while playing attractive football to boot.
3. Lambert now sees he can't do with what he has, so he's trying to get himself fired, which (via contract agreement) is a financial boon compared to him simply quitting.
The last item in this theory would appear to account for recent abysmal form and his increasingly ridiculous statement, which seem intended to infuriate the fan base against him. He also has taken to the "hoof & hope" tactic which he knows will also turn the fans against him. He's probably thinking, with poor results and a fan base screaming for his head, Lerner will have no choice but to sack him and cough up the large payout.
Ostensibly, instead of trying to get himself fired, he could be increasing his pressure on the owner to provide more transfer money (see his glancing back & forth between the pitch and the bench, in apparent histrionics about not having any good options). This may also account for his "hoof & hope" strategy, in an "I have no quality players, so we have to keep the ball out of our end" display.
Now, one might (should?) ask why Lerner bought Villa in the first place, since he seems so entirely aloof to our travails. We also know that he owns the Cleveland Browns, and as I've only learned recently, is likely to amount to a significant tax reduction, as the NFL (inexplicably) is, for tax purposes, a non-profit organization. One then wonders if owning a team abroad offers similar benefits; perhaps those benefits increase as the team one owns becomes more financially stable? I'm just vamping here, trying to explain his motives, since it's clear that Lerner neither has a passion for the club nor possibly even the sport itself.
So, what should we Villans do about it?
What I'd like to see in 2014 is that the fan base:
1.Keep voicing their frustrations with the team as a whole. Booing when a general lack of effort, etc, tweeting & whatnot. You all know the drill. However, I'd also like to see us...
2. Keep from getting personal about the players, managers, owners. Even though the players make boatloads of money, they are still sheltered kids who are (probably?) trying to play their best, at the very least to further their own individual careers. They are likely taking their marching orders from Lambert, and if they don't play his (current) way, they simply won't get playing time at all. As regards the owner & manager, for goodness sake, let's not start throwing around homophobic or unnecessarily coarse language at them, as I've seen some do.
3. Stick together, and push each other to more clever & innovative ways of jeering this abysmal time in Villa's history. I have taken great pride in reading how the in-person Villans find sarcastic ways to cheer the tragic on-field displays, so let's keep at that. For those of us who are not able to attend in person, let's keep making each other laugh. Instead of mere moaning, let's try to give each other reasons to laugh about this spiral into footballing ignominy. For instance, I know I can find plenty of great commentary from @7500toHolte and @SlakyFoot, which makes watching the game with them worthwhile.
And just remember: Surely this too, shall pass.