How have the first eight games been from a Villa perspective?
Exhilarating, terrifying and everything in between. The wins over Arsenal and Manchester City were fantastic, of course. Even the losses to Chelsea and Liverpool weren't disheartening, because the team played well, and had the chips fallen differently, Villa may have come away with a few more points. But we looked horrible against Newcastle, and the team really didn't look so hot against Spurs last week, either.
What are you hoping for from the rest of the season?
More consistency, really. It would be nice to see this squad build on their performances rather than swinging wildly from one end of the pendulum to the other. Oh, and no relegation battle would be nice.
Just how good is Christian Benteke? And can you keep hold of him?
You might be asking the wrong person -- I'm not madly in love with Benteke. He's got a good eye for goal, obviously, and keeping him through the end of the season is essential, particularly when looking at our other "strikers". But when he goes -- and he will go -- it'll likely be at an inflated price. Which is just fine, as long as the funds are used wisely.
Is Paul Lambert the right man?
Can there be any one better for a team of youngsters? He's got a good eye for cheap talent and so far, seems to know how to develop it. But patience remains essential, as Aston Villa are still in a rebuilding process, and sometimes it takes awhile for the talent Lambert finds to really assert itself.
And does he have the right plan?
For the most part, yes. Although he seems to lean too far toward a possession-based, attacking game, which is, of course, fun to watch, yet the sit-back-and-hit-on-the-
Who should we keep an eye on that we might not be familiar with?
Well, hopefully by now every Premier League observer is aware of Fabian Delph, yet he must be mentioned. The midfielder is finally turning into the player Villa supporters have hoped he'd be for years now, a box-to-box midfielder with an eye for a pass and the ability to stop an attack in its tracks (although he's not so great at evading yellow cards). Also, if Aleksandar Tonev gets any time, be sure to keep an eye on his shots. It's fun to count the number of rows they fly by on their way out of Villa Park.
They've retained a lot of Moyes' defensive solidity, but Martinez has grafted on an attacking flair that Moyes is obviously not capable of. Having Romelu Lukaku probably helps too.
What do you think the Villa line up, and the score, will be on Saturday?
I think Lambert will change it up a bit on Saturday, particularly since Ashley Westwood gave a dismal performance. Plus, Benteke is back (we hope). This is actually stolen from WhoScored but I liked it and I want to dream big:
Guzan; Luna, Clark/Baker (one will most likely come in for the other after the original starter gets injured either in warm ups or 10 minutes into the match), Vlaar, Lowton; Delph, El Ahmadi; Agbolahor, Weimann, Bacuna; Benteke
PS -- I don't do predictions. I'm terribly superstitious. Sorry!