Observers of Aston Villa would tell you that their team has improved from last season’s frequently disappointing showings, but those who look at the league table would suggest otherwise.
Following their win at Arsenal on the opening day, Villa have now lost three Premier League games in a row, a sorry run which has culminated in the weekend defeat at home to Newcastle which sees Paul Lambert shortened to 20/1 to be the next top flight manager to leave his job.
The Scot won’t be pressing the panic button just yet of course, but the manner of that defeat to the Geordies will have brought back uncomfortable memories of last term’s relegation struggle.
In the previous one-goal losses at Chelsea and at home to Liverpool, Villa did at least show some promise and could be considered unfortunate not to pick up any points.
But the Newcastle defeat echoed plenty of their home reverses in 2012/13, when Lambert’s men suffered nine losses at Villa Park and picked up maximum points just five times.
Things are about to get tougher for the 44-year-old too, with a trip to old club Norwich, a Capital One Cup tie against Tottenham and a visit from Manchester City on the horizon before the end of the month.
Despite the setbacks, Lambert isn’t yet under the kind of pressure that Paolo Di Canio is experiencing at Sunderland.
The overwhelming 7/4 favourite be the next Premier League manager to bite the bullet, there was already money coming in on the Italian to leave prior to Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Arsenal.
That ensured that the Mackems have picked up just one point from an available 12 this season, and given that Di Canio was sent to the stands in the loss to the Gunners and faces matches against Liverpool and Manchester United in the near future, things could be about to get worse before they get better.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication