It’s fair to say that the 2013-14 season was a rocky one for Aston Villa. I am sure none of the Villa players would have wanted it to play out as it did, especially with the Workd Cup just around the corner and some of them hoping to represent their national sides.
Despite Villa having a particularly poor season, two players have made the provisional sides for their countries. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan will be representing the USA in Brazil and Ron Vlaar will be representing the Netherlands.
Guzan, who won the Villans’ ‘Player of the Year’ award in 2012-13 for his impressive displays and fine goalkeeping, is poised to be Klinsmann’s number one after offering further proof this year that he is a consistent shot-stopper.
Skipper Ron Vlaar has been one of the better players to put on the famous claret and blue jersey this season. Arguably second best to Fabian Delph over the course of the season, Vlaar has nevertheless been our most solid defender. It is safe to say that without Vlaar we would have had an even more disorganised mess of a defence this year and the Villa captain has deservedly been selected by Van Gaal.
There are also a few Villa players who aren’t going to the World Cup who I could argue a case for. The likes of Fabian Delph and Leandro Bacuna have both had impressive seasons but unfortunately haven’t done enough to earn call-ups. Delph won the club’s ‘Player of the Year’ award for some very impressive displays throughout the season and was Villa’s key player in many of our games. Bacuna was the winner of the ‘Young Player of the Season’ award after a great debut season at Villa Park. He won this award despite playing out of position for the majority of the season. Rather than playing him in his favoured right wing position, Lambert preferred to play Bacuna at right back, where he struggled at times. Despite this, Bacuna had the second highest tackle success percentage in the Premier League.
I’m sure that striker Christian Benteke would have been packing his bags and making his way to Brazil if it hadn’t been for his misfortune in picking up a nasty long-term injury towards the end of the season. The big Belgian was our top scorer in the 2012-13 season but was unfortunately plagued with knocks throughout the campaign.
Hopefully, we will see the two Villa stars have a good tournament and perform well, although not too well should their sides meet England at any stage of the competition…