London Lions Making Headlines

When the Daily Mail wanted to hear the voice of the fans regarding the manaergial changes at Villa Park, they contacted the London Lions directly. South London Lions Chairman, Cameron Hall was all to happy to put pen to paper as he writes exclusively for the Mail Online. Here's what he had to say....

Remi Garde must unite Aston Villa and get the best out of the club's summer signings... if he doesn't then we're heading for the drop

"There's no sugar coating it, Remi Garde's appointment as Aston Villa manager is a complete gamble.

The new boss is welcomed by fans but we wait with bated breath to see how his reign will transpire. The feeling among the Villa faithful is that it will either be a complete masterstroke or an absolute disaster.

A home game against table topping Manchester City is a tough test to start with, but there's no margin for error. It's all or nothing from now on as we fight to maintain our Premier League status.

Sherwood proved to be our saviour last season, and in many ways he was exactly the right man to keep us up.

His motivational skills got the best out of Christian Benteke, whose goals keep us in the league, and Tom Cleverley, who until Sherwood's appointment had been a complete ghost in Villa's midfield.

The football we played was gung-ho, thrilling, swashbuckling stuff at times, epitomised by our sensational display against Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final. But with the spine of the team stripped, and Benteke's goals gone, summer recruitment was critical if we were to avoid another relegation scrap.

Sherwood himself had been quoted saying he had never had a summer in management to bring in his own players, and to a large extent that still seems to be true.

The acquisitions made during the transfer window were exciting but there was an obvious lack of Premier League experience among the unknowns from Ligue 1. A policy of buying anyone from France named Jordan was adopted and so we waited to see what they could do.

Who had the say on signings doesn't really matter once the season starts. Sherwood had to get the best out of the squad and we all believed in his ability to do just that.

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli scores his side's second goal in their 3-1 victory at White Hart Lane

With Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Sunderland, Leicester, West Brom, Stoke and Swansea all within our first 10 fixtures, many fans looked at our start to the season as the easiest we've had in decades. Yet, to be 11 games in with only four points on the board is beyond poor and much of that blame lies at the door of Sherwood and his tactics, or lack thereof.

The sad truth is that all the teams we see as easy opponents have overtaken us and long gone are the days when we were a team to be feared. Alongside Sunderland, we have become the whipping boys of the Premier League and that is sad for a club of the size and stature of Aston Villa, who should be recognised as established challengers to the top teams alongside the likes of Everton and Tottenham.

Yes, there have been individual errors that have cost us games, no more so than our once invincible goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who has had howlers against Palace and Chelsea.

However, the obvious tactical failings of Sherwood have hindered our points tally. None more so than when his inept substitutions made against Leicester City - bringing on two attacking players when we were leading 2-0 rather than flooding the midfield to protect our lead - left us exposed and we lost the game 3-2.

Having taken a coach full of supporters up to Villa Park for our home game against Stoke City, we were completely dismayed to arrive in B6 to see we were playing five across the back, with an unproven summer signing - Jose Angel Crespo - making his first start for the club.

Five at the back, against Stoke at home... football doesn't get much more negative than that! It seemed 'Tactics Tim' was playing for a point before we'd even kicked the ball. How things had changed from that FA Cup semi-final day a mere five months earlier.

Garde's task is clear. He needs to unlock the best of the new signings, pure and simple. The former Arsenal midfielder comes with a good reputation but Aston Villa can't afford to wait. He must get the players to perform and find a way to win.

We need to find a formation that suits the players we have and we need to find our best starting XI and use it. There has been too much chopping and changing in the line-up, with some of our most creative players often left on the bench or out of the squad entirely.

In Jack Grealish, Adama Traore, Carles Gil and Scott Sinclair we have some talent and flair and it's these players than must fill the void of goals until a proven Premier League striker can be purchased in January. Charlie Austin would be ideal.

Garde also needs to ensure we have a happy camp, with rumours rife in the stands at White Hart Lane that the Ligue 1 signings were being isolated from the rest of the squad.

We need unity and if Garde cannot establish that in the dressing room, then our fate - a fall into the Championship - is all but sealed.

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