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Setting the Table: Villa Get Week Off After Disappointment at White Hart Lane

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Aston Villa were disappointing in Sunday's 0-2 loss to Tottenham. Luckily, they get the week off to work on making it all better.

Shaun Botterill - Getty Images

Another week, another disappointing result. I don't think it's time to panic yet (heck, I don't even think we're close to that), but man this hasn't been as fun as we all wanted, has it? Just remember, for every match like Sunday's, we'll see one like the League Cup match against Manchester City. This is a growing team, but we already know it can be fun.

For now though, we get the week off. Below, we'll catch you up on everything you need to know to start your Villa week off right.

Just The Facts, Please


Position W D L GD Pts
Aston Villa 16th 1 2 4 -6 5

Form (Last 5): D W L D L

Results Last Week: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Aston Villa (EPL)

Upcoming Fixtures:

  • First Team: Week Off
  • Reserves:
    Newcastle - Monday, October 8, 1900 GMT, 1400 Eastern

Injuries

New Injuries Last Week:

  • Joe Bennett - knee (no estimate yet on return)

The Week That Was

  • The big story of the week was the controversy surrounding Paul Lambert's decision to play Darren Bent from the bench in last week's West Brom match.
  • Gareth wrote what is - in my opinion - a fantastic article dissecting the issue, and if you haven't already, you'd do well to read it.

Match Notes

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Aston Villa (EPL)
Steven Caulker (58'), Aaron Lennon (67')

  • Paul Lambert assured that another week (at least) would be spent dissecting his decision to leave Darren Bent on the bench. I can understand the logic of doing so every once in a while, but I certainly hope that Lambert isn't doing this to prove a point. Whatever that may be isn't worth letting our best striker languish on the bench.
  • The issue was exacerbated by Christian Benteke's continued problems with finishing. He had two prime opportunities to give Aston Villa a lead - and change the dynamic of a very passive match - and could not capitalize. It's silly to say Bent would have finished those shots because we can't know that he would have. But we do know that Bent is, if nothing else, a clinical finisher. And Benteke? Obviously still working on that. The problems from the Belgian will make it even harder for Lambert to keep sitting Bent.
  • One story line that I think is worth following is the fan outrage over Benteke's finishing issues. I will admit that it may be just in the echo chamber of twitter, but a number of fans were already giving up on the young star there. Sure, he's been frustrating, but he's still young. All signs point to him figuring it out before too long, but I worry that many fans will have turned on him before he even gets the chance. Give the guy some time. If he's still doing this in a year, then we should probably grumble. Until then, just remember how young he is.
  • The goal by Steven Caulker really wasn't his, regardless of what the official statistics say. You can see the strike by Jermaine Defoe (as well as Aaron Lennon's that made it 2-0) here. The ball may not go in if Caulker isn't there, but if we call this Caulker's goal, I'm going to have to start seeing stats for "(Goalpost, 71')" soon. Heck, Caulker didn't even know he had scored it, as the whole team went to celebrate with Defoe.
  • Joe Bennett received a nasty knee injury in the 76th minute. Luckily, it seems to have been a laceration rather than some sort of ligament strain. I say "luckily" lightly though, because that is one nasty cut.
  • I will never, ever, get enough of this image from the match:

    Globej_medium
  • I hope someone will do a more thorough look into this, but Ron Vlaar had one of the best days I've seen him have yet. He was, at least twice, the only reason that Gareth Bale didn't get to have a one-on-one encounter with Brad Guzan. The man is nothing if not tenacious.
  • Fabian Delph, you will not be surprised to learn, picked up another first-half yellow card. This one in the 27th minute. I do not speak for everyone on this site when I say this, but: Paul Lambert, please don't play Delph any more.
  • Former Villan Brad Friedel saw his astonishing run of 310 consecutive EPL starts come to an end, as Hugo Lloris got the nod in net for Tottenham instead.
  • You can find all of our match-day coverage here.
  • The WhoScored recap is here.

Looking Ahead

  • Villa get the week off, and will not have another match until they travel to the Craven Cottage to face Fulham on October 20.
  • It'll be interesting to see how Darren Bent and Paul Lambert handle the former's position on the squad this week. Bent was very calm last week, but can that last forever?

Last Thoughts

Thanks, as always, for reading. Be on the look out for a bunch from us this week. We've got the Stockport Report, player ratings, and another Fan Confidence Poll. Also, if you aren't already, please give us a follow on Twitter. We send out our latest posts, commentary throughout the week, and have somewhat-related-to-the-match posts on match days!