Aston Villa must atone for humiliation, says Paul Lambert

 

Paul Lambert will have had a difficult Christmas. The Aston Villa manager has had to re-focus his young team after the humiliation they received at Stamford Bridge on Sunday evening.

After losing 8-0 to Chelsea, Villa have had just two days – Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – to reflect and regroup ahead of this evening's home game with Tottenham Hotspur. But with 18 points from their 18 league games so far, Villa are just three clear of 18th place Wigan Athletic. They do not have the time to feel sorry for themselves, as Lambert pointed out, nor do they have they the chance to ease their way back into form.

"They know my feelings on it. I don't think you don't need to be Einstein to tell them what's went wrong," said Lambert.

"But we told them they've got a few days to get over it and then get going again on Wednesday. I don't think it will affect them long-term. It's up to myself and my back-room staff to ensure they don't."

Intensity and application are central to Lambert's view of the game and he is sure that his players will play with the right tempo. "They'll come out of the traps on Wednesday, I know," he said.

"I expect a reaction. Whoever's playing, we have to atone for that. We've been on a good bit of form, so I won't make excuses. Chelsea played exceptionally well, so credit to them."

Lambert is working hard to instil the right mentality at a club that was too soft for too long. He pointed to how his players responded to a 5-0 defeat at Manchester City last month with a five-match unbeaten run which ended on Sunday. Now they need to do it again.

"They've done it before" Lambert said. "They were beat heavy at Man City and then went on that little run. You take the criticism and you bounce back. You have to bounce back. There's no point feeling sorry for yourself. There are too many people coming to watch us on Wednesday, so we have to bounce back.

"I've experienced that a few times. I've been absolutely tonked before. As player and manager, absolutely. You just try and win the next game. It's how they react now, that's the mark of good players and a good team. It's up to me to get the players up for Wednesday. I won't have a problem doing that, because they're really hurt by that. None of them will be feeling great after that."

After losing so badly Lambert may move away from the 5-3-2 system which had been working so well up until then. But whichever formation he uses he will not be able to add more experience instantly. Villa's centre backs on Sunday were Chris Herd, Nathan Baker and Ciaran Clark, a three-man line with a combined age of just 67. Wing-backs Matthew Lowton and Eric Lichaj are 23 and 24 respectively.

Villa could bring the slightly older midfielders Karim el Ahmadi or Stephen Ireland into the starting XI but that would not in itself solve the issues of Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur will have good memories of this fixture, having won 2-1 at Villa Park on Boxing Day 2010. Rafael van der Vaart, now at Hamburg, scored twice that night and Luka Modric, who signed for Real Madrid this summer, was excellent. While Spurs are performing well enough this season, currently out of the Champions League places only on goal difference, they have not adequately replaced those two creative players they sold in the last transfer window.

After some poor games with 4-4-2 recently, the manager, Andre Villas-Boas, may choose to drop one of his strikers in favour of an extra midfielder to get some of that creativity back.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition