Paul Lambert’s long-term future as Aston Villa manager looks seriously in doubt after another loss to fellow Premier League strugglers Hull City last night.
The defeat means that the Birmingham club has still not won a Premier League game in 2015 and fans were visibly angered by their side’s run of form.
Supporters turned up the heat on Lambert by holding up a banner aloft that read “Lambert Out.” When you lose the fans, there is nearly always only one outcome.
The Villa manager told the BBC after last night’s game that he was ‘aware’ of supporters’ frustrations.
"I was aware of it months ago," he said. "I try to do my best. I've told the players, they've got 13 cup finals - that's how they have to look at it."
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Randy Lerner equally to blame for Villa's fortunes
However, Lambert is not completely to blame for his team’s run of poor form. Since arriving as manager from Norwich City three years ago, the Scotsman can point to a massive lack of investment from American owner Randy Lerner.
He has had to sell players before he has been able to invest in his squad and has had to look for bargains and cheap deals in the transfer market in order to do business.
Prior to Lambert’s arrival, Lerner splashed out on big money signings. He signed the likes of Stewart Downing, James Milner, Ashley Young and Darren Bent all for eight figure fees.
Since 2012 the Villa manager’s record signing has been Christian Benteke for a relatively modest £7 million. Tom Cleverley has arrived on loan, while Joe Cole, Philippe Senderos and Kieran Richardson were all bought for free. Carles Gil arrived for £3.2 million in January.
It is clear that Lerner wants out of Villa. While Lambert has made several gambles in the transfer market that just have not worked, such as Nicklas Helenius, Antonio Luna and Aleksander Tonev, the investment that the American initially graced the club with, has not been there recently. Aston Villa have stagnated as a result.
Speed is the answer
Lambert must ignore the fact that he has suffered in the transfer market and get back to playing quick football, since part of Villa’s problem is that they have no speed.
Their recent run in front of goal is atrocious for a club of the Villans size and the haul of 12 league goals this season is the lowest total after 25 games in Premier League history.
When they have used three strikers up front in the past it has worked well for the club. Playing a quick front three of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann either side of Christian Benteke is a gamble as it leaves the club open defensively, but it has brought goals before. That is what the fans in the Holte End are crying out for.
Without goals Villa are going down.