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Football News: Team Review - Aston Villa

Team Review - Aston Villa
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Team Review - Aston Villa

 

League Position: 10th

 

Goalkeepers:

Emiliano Martinez
Tom Heaton
Jed Steer

The arrival of Martinez has made a huge difference to the team. While he is not a huge improvement on Heaton, Martinez is someone who can be relied on to stay fit, unlike Heaton who has struggled in recent years with injury. Both are excellent keepers at this level, but having one regular first choice available constantly makes a huge difference and the whole team looks better for it.

 

Defenders:

Tyrone Mings
Ezri Konsa
Bjorn Engels
Kortney Hause
Matt Targett
Neil Taylor
Matty Cash
Frederic Guilbert
Ahmed Elmohamady

The first-choice back four is a very solid unit, though I do have my doubts about Mings and his tendency to make errors out of his desire to overplay. Konsa, in particular, stands out, though the full-backs have improved so much throughout the season that it feels unfair to pick out just Konsa. The issue they have is the drop off in level of the back-ups, particularly in full-back areas. Taylor is barely good enough at Championship level and they will need to find better in that position for longer term success.

 

Midfielders:

Douglas Luiz
Marvelous Nakamba
Ross Barkley (on loan)
John McGinn
Morgan Sanson
Henri Lansbury
Jack Grealish
Jacob Ramsey

They have a good midfield unit there now, with it more about getting rid of the surplus in Lansbury. The only worry I would have with this group of midfielders would be the long term wisdom of keeping Barkley and Grealish together, with both having a tendency to party overly hard at the detriment of their fitness. As Barkley is on loan, even that worry could seen be ended. This is now a very comfortable Premier League midfield.

 

Forwards:

Trezeguet
Bertrand Traore
Anwar El Ghazi
Ollie Watkins
Wesley
Keinan Davis

While the unit has done well as a whole this season, I do have my fears over this group in the long term and it does look in need of improvement. Only Watkins looks to have the combination of workrate and ability to be a consistent long term success in the top flight. The rest are a mix of not quite good enough try hards and talented by slightly lazy players. The problem is this is the hardest area of a team to recruit quality, which is why there are so many teams that are struggling to find a goalscorer. So long as they hold onto Watkins and he stays fit, Villa will be fine, any long term injury and they are facing a real battle to get the goals.

 

Manager: Dean Smith

Smith has to take a lot of credit from the way he has managed to turn things around with Villa. Before the initial lockdown, Villa looked almost certain to be relegated, but he took the time out to bring in help, in the shape of Craig Shakespeare, and work on getting the team organised. Now they are a well-drilled and organised unit who look settled and comfortable in the Premier League and capable of giving anyone a game.

 

Conclusion:

They have come a long way since promotion and now look like a side that will be settled in for a long term run in the Premier League. Mid-table safety is easily attainable in the long term, but Watkins' fitness is key to their chances. They will need to improve their forwards if they are to push for European places on a regular basis, though they are not quite as overly-reliant on one man as say Crystal Palace are, their fortunes are very much tied up in Watkins' long term fitness and availability. So long as they keep the nucleus of their squad together and build upon it, rather than being picked apart from the vultures with more money, they are in a good place for the future, with their players mainly being of a good age.

Written by Tris Burke January 29 2021 08:12:05

 

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