Is Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert paying the price for summer failings?

Paul Lambert finds himself under pressure at shot-shy Aston Villa, but are his current Premier League struggles of his own making?

Only four sides scored fewer goals in the Premier League last season than Aston Villa.

Paul Lambert’s side were able to break the one-per-game barrier, but hit just 39 in 38 fixtures.

There was clearly an issue there to address, with goals winning games.

It is all well and good being hard to break down and keeping plenty of clean sheets, but if you fail to make an impact in the final third then there is only so much progress that can be made.

Villa supporters would have been expecting the acquisition of a proven marksman to have been a top priority when the window of opportunity re-opened.

Admittedly, uncertainty surrounding the future of owner Randy Lerner did little to help the cause, with there reluctance on his part to commit substantial funds to an enterprise he was trying to offload.

Lambert, though, should have been forcing the issue and making it clear what was required.

He knew he was short of options and that Christian Benteke would miss the start of the season after rupturing an Achilles tendon which dashed his World Cup dream.

Villa have, however, stumbled their way forward with their coaching team seemingly left in the dark as to what is required.

A miserly 11 goals have been scored in 21 top-flight outings this term, with that easily the worst return in the division.

Lambert finds himself under pressure as a result, with the previously mentioned inability to generate positive performances when short on firepower coming back to haunt him.

  GoalsTotal Scoring AttOntarget Scoring AttAppearances
Aston Villa 11 215 56 21

He may well get the January window to put things right, with the BBC reporting on a deal struck for Carles Gil, but you get the feeling that he is on borrowed time.

Once supporters turn, there is only so long a manager can expect to remain in office before his board start to listen to the calls from the stands.

The awarding of a new four-year contract in September appeared a little premature, and that decision is now being made to look rash.

The chances of Lambert seeing that deal out are remote to say the least, with serious doubt cast over his ability to make it to January 18, never mind 2018.

His problems do appear to be of his own making, though, and that means that only he – regardless of calls for players to take on more responsibility – can put things right and prove that his long-term plan is better than his short-term one.

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