On social media sites, there is one name that fans keep on mentioning. Libor Kozák has not been forgotten by the Villa supporters but the last time the Czech forward played in a Villa shirt seems like a distant memory.
Currently plying his trade with the Under-21s, and scoring goals, he is being overlooked by yet another Villa manager.
Last night, the Czech international scored a brace in a 2-1 victory over Derby County’s Under-21s. Goals bring confidence, something the first team lacks, and it wasn’t just his attacking threat that impressed either: his desire to help the team defensively, something that Garde wants to instil in the team, was admirable. Against Southampton, Garde gave Gestede the job of zonally marking the near post, which is something that Kozák could do, as he showed last night.
Kozák is a more technical player and better with the ball at his feet than Gestede. He is able to flick it in his teammates’ direction whilst Gestede is more suited to playing the ball in the air, which is something we are not making the most of. Last weekend, Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes wasn’t having the best game of his career, dropping the ball on a few occasions, but the Villans didn’t capitalise on this obvious Watford weakness. We needed Gestede on as a substitute in order to get the ball onto his head, make Gomes more nervous and increase the chances of the goalkeeper making errors while coming to get the ball.
As Richards has said, the team is too “nice”. Players don’t risk yellow cards, taking one for the team, and we allow our opponents to break, even giving them ample opportunities to do so. The team needs to realise how bad the situation we are currently in is.
Can Kozák come back in and make a positive difference to the team? There is no reason why Garde can’t try him out as, at the moment, we need as much help as we can get. We need our strikers to be firing on all cylinders. We need several strikers to share the workload and to score the goals needed to keep Aston Villa Football Club in the Premier League.