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Setting the Table: Greener Pastures as Villa ready for Reading and QPR

Aston Villa survived their stretch of nasty scheduling and now look to move on to some matches where three points wouldn't be a total shock.

Julian Finney

I'm sorry to do this to you for the second week in a row, but I've got to be quick with this week's Setting the table. I've got 30 papers left to grade and they aren't getting any easier. To make up for the brevity, there are three delightful gifs below. Please enjoy!

Just The Facts, Please


Position W D L GD Pts
Aston Villa 18th 2 4 7 -12 10

Form (Last 5): D W L L D

Results Last Week: Aston Villa 0-0 Arsenal (EPL)

Upcoming Fixtures:

  • First Team:
    Reading - Tuesday, November 27, 2000 GMT, 1500 Eastern
    at Queens Park Rangers - Saturday, December 1, 1500 GMT, 1000 Eastern
  • Reserves:
    at Sporting Lisbon (NextGen Series) - Wednesday, November 28
    at Newcastle (U21) - Sunday, December 2, 1100 GMT, 0600 Eastern

Injuries

New Injuries Last Week:

  • N/A

Returned from Injury

  • Darren Bent - "foot"

The Week That Was

  • Paul Lambert received a ban from the touchline against Arsenal for apparently using some unbecoming language with the unbecoming referees from the Manchester City match. Totally worth it.
  • Darren Bent returned from his foot injury, as did Eric Lichaj. Only one of them saw action in Saturday's match, however, and it wasn't the really good one.
  • Aston Villa legend Peter Withe resigned from his position as the manager of Stockport Sports FC, a non-league side on the 9th level of the English pyramid. Explanation was not forthcoming from either the team or Withe.

Match Notes

Aston Villa 0-0 Arsenal (EPL)

  • Well, the streak of three terribly terrible matches is over, and Villa managed to snag a point! Arsenal didn't look themselves, and the terrible weather played to Aston Villa's advantage. I don't know how the rest of the world felt, but to me this was a really fun match. Villa's defense looked stout, the counter attack was working, and Ashley Westwood pairs well with Barry Bannan in the center of the pitch.
  • Paul Lambert, as mentioned above, was banned from the touchline for the match. The cameras, however, sought him out and gave us a moment that might represent the results-based look at Villa's entire season. To wit:

    Sad_lambert_medium
  • Villa's best chance came on a 78th minute shot by Brett Holman that was just barely tipped over by Sneeze (my new nickname for the unspell-able Wojciech Szczesny). And boy, had that shot gone in it might have been a contender for goal of the season, at least at the club level:

    Holman_shot_medium
  • Ashley Westwood, by the way, completed 91% of his passes. He's got some serious potential, and I am really excited to watch him.
  • Here, primarily for the amusement of Andrew, is the world's most delightful Arsenal fan:

    Arsenal_pirate_medium
  • You can find our recap here.
  • The WhoScored recap is here.

Looking Ahead

  • With the stretch of three matches from hell over, Villa get a slightly easier week as they play the only two teams below them in the EPL table: Reading and QPR. Hooray for patsies!
  • That said, as much as we saw good in the Manchester United and Arsenal matches, if Villa can't start getting some points soon, expect the rabble to begin rousing. Take both matches and things will be peaceful for at least a couple of weeks hours (edited to reflect Aston Villa fans).

Last Thoughts

Be sure to stick with us all week. We're working on a big interview that (cross your fingers) may come through soon, and we'll have coverage of both matches. It should be a lot of fun after the dread of the past 14 or so days.

Thanks, as always, for reading!