Villa Blog

Aston Villa A Pragmatic Look At Our Progress

Since Aston Villa’s game against Newcastle was postponed there has been a tendency for some blogs to sway off topic. There has been so much talking about BLM, Covid & Brexit or the clown moving out of the White House. I thought it would be good to take a pragmatic view at Aston Villa and at what stage of our development we are at.

NSWE

We are all aware of the shambles NSWE acquired a little over two years ago. AstonVilla had too many aging players, way too many loan players and a manager stuck in the dark ages. Although many criticised NSWE at the time they showed the experience & patience of astute businessmen to fix the foundations at Villa park before sacking Steve Bruce. They cleared out the old management team, employed Purslow, fixed the corporate structure of the club and made Aston Villa professional again. This was far more important that sacking Bruce and tinkering with the team. They also had the common sense to give Jack a new contract and keep him at the club. It is still hard to comprehend that some saw this as a PR stunt.

Our First Season

Year 1 went better than expected and we won promotion to the Premier League thanks to Dean Smith and the team. This was brilliant for Aston Villa but it also created a new set of problems. The most noticeable being that we were miles away from having a squad to compete in the Premier League. The loanees returned to their parent clubs. 140m was spend on 14 new players and getting some of the loanees back. We had a really tough year and it was a very strange year, but Dean Smith managed to guide Villa to Premier League safety. Fittingly, Jack scored the goal against West Ham which guaranteed our survival.

Into Season 3

We are now in year 3 and with the positive results we have achieved so far expectations have increased. But what is realistic for this season? We need to remember that a few months ago we just avoided relegation on the last day of the season. So we should not be thinking ahead of ourselves as every other PL team will be doing their upmost to stay in this division.

We have added a few players to the 1st team but we need to remember that two of our new players (Watkins & Martinez) were brought in for 50m to cover for long term injuries to Wes & Heaton. Our 1st 11 is starting to look decent but still has a few players that are below the quality I would like to see. The benchmark of quality I would like is what I see from Douglas Luiz each week. That is the minimum level I want to see as an Aston Villa player. If we can get more players like Jack and Barkley then great but I don’t want less than Luiz. 

The bottom line is that we don’t have the strength of quality in our 1st 11 and then when we look to the bench the options become quite depressing quite quickly. So, what would be realistic for this season? I think in our about midtable is a reasonable aspiration and avoiding a relegation scrap. If we avoid injuries to key players, I believe that Smith will deliver this. Will this make Villa fans happy? Probably not! Will it make me happy? Yes! 

A Balanced View

We need to have a balanced view when assessing our capabilities. Simply saying we spend hundreds of millions on player or we have Jack or whatever else is too simplistic. Maybe We need to recognise and appreciate just what we actually have. Afterall we have a half decent starting 11. But we have virtually no strength in depth. Also we have a head coach that has a particular style and has his frailties. It”s inevitable that we will get injuries and we are in a battle with 19 other clubs all hungry to stay on the PL gravy train. To expect anything more than a midtable finish is more aspirational than thought through. 

The thing I liked most about our last transfer window was that we bought players that would improve the 1st 11. I want to see us continue to do this in Jan and next summer. Then some of our current 1st 11 could be relegated to the bench and made to earn their place back in the team. I would like to see most of our current bench moved on from the club.

On The Right Track

As a fan I am really happy to see Villa is on the right track and each season since NSWE have become our owners we have delivered and improved. If we continue this in the next 3 to 5 years, we will become a very good team. Will this be with Smith at the helm? I do not know, only time will tell.

As you know, my personal opinion is that I would like to see Smith upgraded. This is nothing against Smith or what he has accomplished, it is the same way I view our players. If we could sell any player, including Jack, and replace them with better I would do so in a flash. If you offered me. Son Heung-Min as a replacement to Jack I would bite your hand off. Just like I would bite your hand off if you offered me Pochettino over Smith. It is not saying I want to get rid of Jack or Deano, it is just saying I would replace them with better if given the opportunity

Reflection On Other Teams

To emphasise how far we have come under Dean Smith we just have to look at the Baggies or Sheffield United. They are both in big trouble this season and will struggle to avoid relegation. Fulham and Burnley too, they are both very concerned about relegation as it is a very stark reality for them. Yes, we could still be relegated this season, but it is looking more unlikely every time we take to the pitch. We are playing good football and even if some results do not go our way, we will get wins and we will have days where we pick up 3 points for a performance like we put in against Karen’s boys.

UTV

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HenleyVillain
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HenleyVillain
1 month ago

Another sensible post Begley, keep up the good work !
Mid table will do for me. We have been competitive in almost every game so far and, injuries aside, should achieve that comfortably for me.

jcv
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jcv
1 month ago

excellent leader post Begley.
cant add much to it.
so for me,i expect a mid table finish,anything below would be failure in my eyes.
anything above will be a great bonus for this season.

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
1 month ago

I watched the utd game earlier, was impressed with rb liepzig, Nagelsmann is some manager, has them playing some fast paced, passing football, not too many superstars in that team either.

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
1 month ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

NSWE really planning for the future, plans look great.

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
1 month ago

I’ve always liked Lingard, yes for me, my only gripe would be he doesn’t add height, battling ability, heading to midfield.
Surprised you are talking about moving Trez on he’s been a success and a real deal.

Bigfatron
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Bigfatron
1 month ago
Reply to  Begley

Need to stop signing players that are past it

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
1 month ago
Reply to  Bigfatron

Think Lingard is only 27, better option than anything we have now with Barkley out.

Bigfatron
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Bigfatron
1 month ago

Our saying for years not hard to improve on managers players,but we are getting there just not fast enough would love to see us competitive while we r about lol

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
1 month ago
Reply to  Begley

Yes we do need to sell some on, but not as a “selling club” as duch if that makes sense.
Right now I just don’t see Traore as an upgrade on anyone, love to be proved wrong.
Lingard would offer another option in midfield, he may not be the big box to box player I still think we need (doesn’t every club) but he would allow for some rotation with Barkley & McGinn. We desperately need some more options in MF and I think he’d bring that.

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
1 month ago
Reply to  Begley

Would if Tuanzebe was left footed 😎
I know what you mean though selling to upgrade or get younger is a good idea. I think we might see more of that when Lange gets his feet a bit further under the table.

Bigfatron
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Bigfatron
1 month ago
Reply to  Begley

Axel looked well dodgy last night in but I seen,think Ming’s gets unfair stick,2 full backs are weak centre of midfield too

Bigfatron
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Bigfatron
1 month ago

I find it hard to believe we can’t pick up free signings from Europe or like of lampay brighton took from chelsea

Bigfatron
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Bigfatron
1 month ago

Do you get a point a word lol

AVFCVillablog
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1 month ago
Reply to  Begley

You can swap them for some Karen implants that way you can polish your shoes as you walk 🤣

Vancouvervillan
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Vancouvervillan
1 month ago
Reply to  AVFCVillablog

With the deluxe set he’ll be able to shin the heels as well 😉
Big ass bonanza implants 🤣

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