Aston Villa look like a team ready to compete for a top-half finish this season after two highly-positive performances.
Paul Lambert rightly felt aggrieved on Wednesday as his Aston Villa side were unlucky not to earn a point at Stamford Bridge after losing 2-1 to Chelsea in an entertaining affair.
However, there are many positives the Scot can take from his side's opening two matches, including three goals for sought-after striker Christian Benteke. The Belgian forward scored two at the weekend to sink Arsenal and bagged a classy equaliser against Chelsea to level the game.
After starting his managerial reign at Villa in turmoil amid a legal dispute with former club Norwich City, Lambert had to win the fans over and he consistently spoke of the potential within his young squad and the style of play he was attempting to implement.
Lambert has clearly proved his coaching ability as Villa now look like a settled and gelled outfit who are confident in their style of play.
Last season, Villa won just two of their first 13 games in the Premier League but won five of their last ten matches as they avoided relegation at the expense of Wigan Athletic.
Brilliant counter-attacking football and a few slices of luck earned a 3-1 victory at the Emirates in their opening fixture and on Wednesday Lambert's side forced Chelsea into a hard-fought victory. Villa should have had a penalty as well as letting Chelsea off the hook as Petr Cech was forced into saving two great chances.
The Villain's finished 15th last season, just five points off the drop zone but it's hard to see them finishing in a similar position this campaign. The new four-year contract recently signed by Benteke means the club will receive a sufficient sum if he were to depart but while the striker remains at Villa Park, goals are a certainty.
The average age of the squad is just 23 and the acquisition of defender Jores Okore from F.C. Nordsjaelland at centre-back, along with former Sevilla left back Antonio Luna, is an attempt to improve on the 68 Premier League goals conceded last season .
It seems Lambert has dispensed with the players outside of his plans as eleven first-team players left over the summer, including Darren Bent and the long-serving Richard Dunne.
Lambert now has continuity and stability within the squad but more importantly he has a top goalscorer who the team can be based around.
It now looks like fortunes at Villa Park are changing for the better and if the performances continue at this level, then Benteke and company could easily break into the top half of the Premier League come the end of the season.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/130seMa
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.