A look at the potent strike force


Aston Villa Football Club has some of the best strikers in the Premier League this season. We have seen them score an eye-watering twenty times all season in the Premier League! Scott Sinclair, the Villans’ leading scorer, has an incredible six goals, with a difficult hat-trick against Notts County making up half of that tally. We are blessed to have such a potent strike force!

Having Rudy Gestede, Libor Kozák, Gabby Agbonlahor, Scott Sinclair and Jordan Ayew in the squad is enough to sell out Villa Park every other week – or so you might think.

Let’s cut to the chase and get back to reality. This really isn’t what we see at Villa Park, the leading goal-scorer chart is nothing short of farcical and the blessing that is our strike force empties the ground before full time every other week rather than fill it.

Rudy Gestede was brought in during the summer in the vain hope that he would suddenly become the next Peter Crouch – but better. Scott Sinclair and Jordan Ayew were brought in to support the belief that Gestede could be the next big thing.

It looked like a better love story than Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris’s when Gestede scored in Villa’s 0-1 opening day victory over Bournemouth. There was jubilation and the name ‘Christian Benteke’ was consigned to the history books. Since that day, we have seen a Swift and Harris break-up.

Gestede has looked almost lifeless so far in a Villa shirt and it is almost like he is saving himself for his idea of heaven, the Championship, where he seems to do a half decent job. His goals have dried up for Garde’s side, with his first touch being akin to a rhino’s and his heading being worse still.

I firmly believed that Gestede was going to be good for Aston Villa: he fitted the bill, having height, strength and supposed ability, but he has failed to deliver. The statistics show him to have done better than most, although I am yet to see him have a good game. I do not think that he is anywhere near good enough. However, my biggest gripe is his clear lack of effort when we have needed him to make a difference week after week. The fans wouldn’t care half as much about ability if he put some effort in. He will not be sold any time soon, though, with the Championship beckoning next season. He may actually come in useful there.

Fans may say the lack of creativity means he doesn’t convert much but I do not buy this. Villa’s creative outlets include Adama Traoré, Carles Gil, Jack Grealish and Jordan Ayew. Carles Gil is supposedly the ‘Spanish wizard’ and Jack Grealish is said to be one of the hottest prospects in British football. Adama Traoré is a Le Masia graduate and Jordan Ayew is by far Villa’s best player.

Scott Sinclair promised a lot when he first came to the club last January but his success was shortlived. His impact has been minimal, despite his position as our leading scorer. He has been totally lacking in confidence for some time now and it only seems right that he has regressed at Villa Park, along with every other player.

Jordan Ayew cannot be picked on this season bar his minute of stupidity which saw him sent off against West Ham United. Did he cost Villa any chance of surviving in the Premier League? Nobody knows. Everyone makes mistakes and without his other goals the situation could be even worse, if that is possible.

If you could model Villa players on anyone in the current squad it would be Ayew. His work rate is incredible. Although he found it tough in England to start off with, he soon found his rhythm. The Ghanaian has laid on chances aplenty in this campaign and has also found the net five times. It doesn’t seem like a lot but in reality that’s 25% of Villa’s goals in the Premier League.

Losing Jordan Ayew in the summer would be a catastrophe for Aston Villa. If he had more to go off up front, we would probably not be in the position we are in now. He is a different class and could easily go to a club such as West Ham United and challenge for a starting role.

I refuse to comment on Gabby Agbonlahor as any regular reader will know my feelings towards him and my opinions on what he has done in the last six years.

Libor Kozák has come back into the Villa fold after being frozen out by Tim Sherwood and he has not delivered. Some suggest he is still short of match fitness, which may be the case. Although his effort levels are considerably higher than Rudy Gestede’s, his overall ability and capacity to lead the line are questionable.

Kozák is likely to be sold in the summer. He was one of Paul Lambert’s signings and he really hasn’t had any luck during his time at the club. His wages could become a hindrance like Nikola Žigić’s were at Birmingham City so it is time for him to go.

The club has become a graveyard for washed-up, so-called, ‘strikers’ who can’t seem to score goals. You can blame the board all you like for the lack of investment in the squad, but the players we have up front should be doing far more than they are. If the club was well run and we had the current forwards then the focus would be on how little effort the majority of them put in. I believe they have gotten away with murder this year. It is my opinion that they’re robbing a living and only Jordan Ayew deserves to remain in Villa’s forward line.

It is virtually impossible to say who will leave in the summer but I sincerely hope a clear out of strikers is planned because the current ones are not fit for the Championship let alone the Premier League.


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