The Aston Villa squad has been added to and, according to many journalists and bookmakers, bettered this summer, thanks to what some view as Paul Lambert’s shrewd business. Thus far, we have added three fresh faces to the first team squad, all with experience in the Premier League, which is something fans have been crying out for in the past two years of Lambert’s rule.

The manager has reluctantly opted to bring in experience this summer after his lower division youth policy failed to work out as he had originally hoped. The fact of the matter is that Paul Lambert has reacted much later than expected to the pressure exerted by fans and the media to ensure there are more experienced players on the pitch wearing claret and blue.

I have been a little harsh on Alan Hutton in recent articles but I will happily support someone who wants to play for Aston Villa. He has clearly been given a second chance – and it is one that he must seize. Hutton has had a decent pre-season campaign but, as we know from often bitter experience, that will count for nothing come the opening game of the season.

The players brought in this summer so far have been much talked about. I am sure that all of them will be of some use in the coming season, none more so than Kieran Richardson. He can be one of the best English full backs on his day: unfortunately for him, those good days haven’t been as numerous as he would have liked. Richardson had an outstanding game at Villa Park last season, scoring a thunderbolt that gave Brad Guzan absolutely no chance. His goal gave Fulham a glimmer of hope when it came to Premier League survival but the damage had already been done and the writing was on the wall for the Cottagers.

Joe Cole may not be a regular in the Villa team next season but he will offer some quality and Premier League experience when he does play. However, if he does stay fit for an extended period of time, he will provide healthy competition for Charles N’Zogbia, who is another returning player who seems like a new signing.

As far the goalkeeping situation is concerned, I believe Shay Given deserves the chance to challenge Brad Guzan and he could have a few chances between the sticks in the 2014-15 season now that Jed Steer has gone out on loan. Given has started most of pre-season games due to Guzan having additional time off following his international commitments at the World Cup in Brazil. Given was superb in his first season with the Villans and I for one would be happy to see him regain the number one spot should he merit it.

With Aly Cissokho also signing for us, we have another left back who has much more quality than the ones we currently have on our books (with Joe Bennett and Enda Stevens being the main first team left backs). He is a player who has been involved at the top end of the table, following Liverpool’s title challenge last season.

Going into the new season with the likes of Joe Cole, Aly Cissokho and Philippe Senderos – players who have battled at the top end of the table with their previous clubs – gives us reason to be cheerful. Let’s hope we are smiling next Saturday when the season starts!


  1. It should be as simple as better players equalling better results but in short it’s not always the case.

    The players have to gel with each other know each others game and be played in the correct position and embrace the manager/coaches tactics etc.

    I like many fans hope we have a better season next season, my expecation is not high just to do a bit better than last season. That’s enough for me and by that I don’t mean top four or compete for europe or even finish top half , although ultimately thats where we could be. Just compete, play with some pride and stay away from trouble U.T.V


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