Having endured a mainly wretched season in 2013/14, the Aston Villa faithful approached this new campaign with an understandable amount of cynical dread. Confidence in the squad sat at a Premier League low of 45%, while confidence in Paul Lambert stood at an only slightly less risible 47%.
Confidence in the owner, Carry On character Randy Lerner, sat even lower – a Premier League low of 24%, largely on account of him making clear that he’d had enough and was selling up.
In the aftermath of Villa’s 1-0 win at Anfield in mid-September, an air of unlikely optimism swept through Villa Park – confidence in Lambert rose to 69% and in his squad to 72% – even Randy Lerner clambered as high as 41%. But it couldn’t last, and it didn’t last.
Villa’s slow slide south since then has seen Paul Lambert drop to 36% and Lerner to a hammer-down-the-doors-and-have-his-head-on-a-stick 22%. Yet despite hovering right above the relegation places, the squad has bucked this trend, seeing their stock rise to 49%, five percent higher than at the start of the season.
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