What do we want? BLOOD
When do we want it? TOMORROW
With the taste of victory fresh in their mouths after this weekend, Aston Villa are hungry for more. The blood is in the water and Paul Lambert insists that the club will be doing their utmost to win at the Etihad against Manchester City tomorrow. "We're not going there just to make up the numbers, we're going there to try to win."
Now, this could be a mere platitude. "No, of course we're not giving up." I'm pretty sure you're required to take that attitude as a manager. But in Lambert's case, and the case of this club, I think it could be sincere. Lambert has had one of the worst seasons of any manager in Villa history, and with the possibility of a takeover looming over the club, he could do worse for himself than to secure points in the season's final three matches. If they managed to somehow pull the double over City, that would look awfully good too. But for all we know, Lambert may be managing for his job tomorrow.
As for the players, now that there's little pressure on them, we may see the squad who have impressed us so much against Chelsea, Arsenal, and yes, Manchester City. This team has seemed to play its best when there is nothing to lose (in retrospect, all of those wins were vital, but at the time they were unexpected points from nothing). And that's what they face tomorrow.
In addition, many will likely be eager to silence a season's worth of critics. If you think they haven't heard us, just look at Andi Weimann's first goal celebration on Saturday. After scoring, he cupped his hands around his ears, said a few choice words to the fans in the North Stand, and soaked in the adulation that was in such stark contrast to what he's heard for most of the year. To him and the rest of the squad, results in the last two matches would be excellent ways to put a tough year behind them.
So yes, Lambert and everybody else may just be saying they want to win. But given the circumstances, I think they actually mean it. And given what we've seen this season, City may want to be careful.