Around the 70th minute of today's match, I started having a bit of a philosophical argument with myself. The score was 0-0, and any of the three possible outcomes were still possible. I decided that a draw was the worst of the three, since it would mean Paul Lambert gets some extra slack and the team gets practically nothing. But then I genuinely started wondering if a late winner would actually be good for the club. I mean, for the whole of the match Aston Villa looked as dreadful as they have during this entire run. But a late winner would mean everyone would get the benefit of a win without any actual uptick in performance.
And Aston Villa DID look terrible today. In several sequences, West Ham attacked and Villa's defense did the real-life equivalent of spinning the poles in foosball. Somehow it worked, but it was mostly luck. Brad Guzan had a fantastic half that was helped by the fact that West Ham apparently took finishing lessons from Emmanuel Adebayor.
The second half was dreadfully boring. Both teams had a few chances, but the real losers were the people watching. West Ham looked like the West Ham we all know and love, not the one that has been on fire lately. And Villa looked like Villa.
I'm sorry I don't have much analysis, but there are only so may ways you can communicate Aston Villa looking like junk. Strikers who can't finish. A midfield that gives away possession as if it's a charitable tax-exempt donation. And a defense that, while it ended up being decent today, inspires almost no confidence.
In the final minutes, we got everything we needed to know about this team. With 0-0 the score, Sam Allardyce brought in Andy Carroll, presumably to try and knick the win. In response to that, Paul Lambert took off Charles N'Zogbia. For Darren Bent? No, silly you. For Ciaran Clark. His only non-injury-forced-substitution was Ciaran Clark in an effort to bunker down.
And all of that debate I had around the 70th minute came to naught, though, as despite the best efforts of Carroll, Brad Guzan made two great saves and we were left with a 0-0 draw. First point since September 13, but it's hard to see much upside there. At least we get a couple of weeks without having to watch this junk.