Leicester City vs Aston Villa reaction: Why the Premier League strugglers need reinforcements

Leicester City 1-0 Aston Villa: Both sides need new blood

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Aston Villa fans turned the screw on beleaguered boss Paul Lambert after the 1-0 defeat to Leicester City meant that his side slipped to within three points of the bottom three.

The hosts, on the other hand, made it three wins in four matches as Paul Konchesky's half-volley ensured Nigel Pearson's men continue their 2015 revival in fortunes.

Just three points off 17th placed Burnley, their unlikely recovery can be a comfort to others who may find themselves in a similar position in the future.

Sparked by the 1-0 away victory over Hull City in December, it's a patch of form which is slowly beginning to repair the damage done by 13 games and three months without a win towards the end of last year.

460715534.jpg
Nigel Pearson has endured scrutiny at Leicester City before

Not even a red card for midfielder Matty James was enough to dampen the mood around the King Power Stadium as referee Michael Oliver called time on a cantankerous Premier League clash in the East Midlands.

Ciaran Clark, whose reaction sparked a frenzied altercation in added time, was also dismissed.

However, both sides, now within four points of each other, find themselves in desperate need of a January spending spree. While Leicester fans can look forward to watching the talents of £9.5m striker Andrej Kramarić, it may prove to be a dry month in the West Midlands.

With American owner Randy Lerner still looking to tighten the purse strings at Villa Park, a winter of frugality seems likely. Chants of 'we want our Villa back', it would seem, aren't solely directed at Lambert.

In truth this was an disastrous display from the former Norwich City manager's side. Despite boasting the attacking talents of Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann, Villa failed to add to the mere 11 goals they've already scored this season.

461272990.jpg
Despite having Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke at their disposal, goals are a problem for Aston Villa

To put that into some form of context, Chelsea striker Diego Costa has managed 15 on his own. With no significant signings likely to arrive, Villa will have to find the goals required to keep them up from within their current crop.

One saving grace, however, comes in the form of Ashley Westwood who continues to excel alongside the industrial Carlos Sánchez in midfield.

Should Lambert be able to convince Benteke to stay with the Villains until the end of the season, it remains imperative that he find a sufficient strike partner to share the responsibility. One suspects that unless his men start finding the net, they will eventually plunge into the bottom three - possibly watching Leicester go in the opposite direction.

Pearson's troops look every inch a side who are yearning out for a man of Kramarić's talent. The 23-year-old Croat has agreed terms on a contact until June 2018 after scoring 28 goals in 31 games for Rijeka this season - but has to wait until he obtains a work permit before pulling on a blue shirt.

460691932.jpg
Shinji Okazaki has been linked with big money moves to Liverpool and Arsenal in recent weeks

Should the move fall apart, the Foxes remain keen on £8m-rated Japanese striker Shinji Okazaki.

It is believed that Arsenal and Liverpool have both been monitoring the 28-year-old's situation in recent weeks but Leicester are the only club to have registered their interest with a bid.

With Jamie Vardy linked with a move to West Brom, for £5m, the Premier League's bottom club may be forced into action this January.

Pick up another three points against Stoke City next weekend, however, and they can travel to Old Trafford at the end of the month with every chance of shocking Manchester United once more.

Villa, meanwhile, looked as poor defensively this weekend as they did up front. With clashes against Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea just around the corner, Lambert may have to utilise the loan market if he is to salvage anything from this campaign.

Comments