“Aston Villa’s lack of real leadership will cost them”
Nerves will be shredded as grown men (and women) become quivering wrecks for 90 nail-biting minutes. That’s what Premier League relegation six-pointers do to people, and this weekend’s crunch clash sees Aston Villa entertain QPR in the mother of all basement battles. The Life’s a Pitch crew look ahead to the big game at Villa Park.
Footballer-turned-journalist Adrian Clarke is convinced QPR are better equipped to handle the pressure-cooker situation than the home side. “I feel that in a game of this magnitude, Villa’s kids might be a little too nervous,” says Adrian. “We’ve seen them at times this season getting to the last 20 minutes of games looking to hang on to points and they’ve capitulated. When you’ve got so many young and inexperienced players, then mentally they might fall down – and they have fallen down many times this season. That could be their undoing this year.”
With transfer policies that are polar opposites, is it splash-the-cash QPR or prudent Aston Villa who are doing things the right way? The Guardian’s Dominic Fifield is hedging his bets. “We can’t judge which is the most sensible strategy until we know where they’ve finished,” he says. “If QPR stay up and are part of a £100m TV deal, then that money spent will have been worth it. The Aston Villa strategy is high risk. Buying all those players from the Championship and League One and expecting them to get through this season was a big ask. A massive ask.”
David Walker of the Sunday Mirror has no doubts as to where Aston Villa’s biggest problems lie. “I fear for them. Whatever [good work] Paul Lambert is doing off the field and with his coaching, within the games themselves they’ve got a real lack of leadership, and I think it will cost them.”
Watch the full video discussion by clicking on the play button in the image above.
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Watch Aston Villa and QPR live on BT Vision:
Aston Villa v Liverpool, 1.30pm, 31 March, Sky Sports 1
Fulham v QPR, 8pm, 1 April, Sky Sports 1
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