In any football match, goals win games. Scoring goals is an extremely fundamental part of the difference between winning and losing. Keeping clean sheets is also pivotal for a team to progress with relative success. With forwards in the shape of Christian Benteke, Darren Bent, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann on the books at any club, scoring goals should quite frankly be elementary. Yet this is not the case for Aston Villa and their goal shy frontline.
Scoring just five goals in 11 games so far in the Premier League, not only are Paul Lambert’s men the lowest scorers in the English top flight, but they are also the lowest scorers across all four divisions in England. Cancelling the October goal of the month award due to not scoring a single goal in four games over a four week period really made their struggles evident. With 11 points on the board and sitting in 16th place, the Villains are in serious danger of another relegation scrap if their strikers don’t buck up their ideas and start hitting the back of the net. It’s safe to say that the days of Martin O’Neil, where the Villa Park outfit were a force to be reckoned with and a top eight finish was simply a routine every season, are long gone.
Benteke is arguably Villa’s best forward and is most likely to score the goals they so desperately need. The powerful target man is not only good in the air, but can also produce moments of brilliance when getting the ball on the floor. With his undoubted quality, it’s quite surprising that he chose to stay at a confidence ridden club. Had it not been for that torrid knee injury that has ruled him out for the past six months, as well as other niggling injuries since he arrived from Belgian side Genk, then the Belgium international would definitely have more than his 29 goals in 61 games over a two year period for Aston Villa.
Quite frankly a legend amongst the Villa faithful is Gabriel Agbonlahor. The pacey forward has notched 279 appearances for his boyhood club, and has been an ever present in the first team since 2006. Despite being blessed with electric pace, Agbonlahor’s goal scoring record is nothing to boast about. With 69 goals to his name, the one club man has always struggled in front of goal, and if he had his shooting boots on more often, then he may have been a regular England international.
Another striker who is looking to follow in Agbonlahor’s footsteps is Andreas Weimann. The Austrian has the same attributes as Agbonlahor, but unfortunately, the same goal scoring record. In 92 games, Weimann has netted 17 times. His age helps him though, considering he is still only 23 years old, Weimann has plenty of time to improve. Meanwhile, Darren Bent looks like his days as a Premier League footballer are numbered. The goal poacher, who has proved at the likes of Ipswich Town, Charlton Atheltic and Sunderland that he is deadly in front of goal, his spell at Villa Park has been one to forget, and is the reason why Lambert has ousted him from the team.
For a club with such massive stature, tradition and fan base, Aston Villa should not be in the position they are in now. When the January transfer window comes calling, a proven goal scorer should be there priority. However, it pains to say, their main focus looks to be keeping hold of star defender Ron Vlaar.