Aston Villa man is back on form
Aston Villa midfielder Charles N’Zogbia says that he feels like a new player this season, mainly down to his bond with manager Paul Lambert.
The Frenchman signed for the Midlands club from Wigan Athletic for £9.5million in the summer of 2011 but struggled to live up to expectations in his first season, scoring two goals in 32 appearances in all competitions.
He also famously tweeted last February: “For the first time in my life I’m not happy playing football.”
This season though, he has scored the same amount of goals in nine less games so far.
Although it is not the form he showed three years ago at Wigan, it is an improvement.
One of the theories behind why N’Zogbia struggled to settle in his first season at Villa was that he left behind a very multicultural dressing room at Wigan for one with a more British outlook at Villa.
“It is always difficult. You know when you stick to one team you know all the players,” N’Zogbia told Express & Star.
“When you come to a changing room and you don’t know anybody, you have to get to know them one by one.
“For me, Aston Villa is a big club with good players, good fans and all I have to do is be consistent when I play.”
The midfielder says that his growing understanding with boss Lambert is a lot better than his relationship with Alex McLeish, the man who bought him last summer.
N’Zogbia added when asked if he had a better relationship with Lambert than his predecessor: “Yes, definitely. Communication is good.
“Before the communication was a bit lost and this manager is fine. It’s good.
“It is the manager’s choice if I play and I have to accept that, I can’t argue about it if is what is best for the team.
“As long as I am involved and we have a good line of communication then there is no problem.
“All I have to do is accept his decisions and work hard in training.”
The former Newcastle United man has, in fact, found himself left out of the starting line-up recently but realises that he must work hard in order to force his way back in.
The 26-year-old continued: “If he (Lambert) thinks you are not good or fit enough to play at the time you have to stick to it and work harder.
“It is good to have a manager like this. Sometimes you can have a bad game and you know in your head you’re not going to work hard, you know you are going to play (next time).
“When I am on the pitch I will do my best for the team and make sure I take my chances when they come.”