Alan Hutton is a player who will split opinion amongst the Aston Villa faithful. His work rate is applauded by all while his actual ability is often in question.

The full-back looked to be heading for a season as back-up when Ritchie De Laet joined in the summer but, since De Laet’s injury, Hutton has became a regular in the Villa line-up.

My argument when it comes to Hutton is that I could give my all in a Villa shirt and applaud the fans at full time but I would possess no ability. Sadly, that is the case with Alan Hutton.

He is forever the professional and hasn’t complained once during his time at Villa Park. Even when he was thrown into the abyss by Paul Lambert, Hutton came back fighting and will always be remembered for his try hard attitude. Nevertheless, for me, Bree’s arrival marks the end of the road for the Scot.

In the summer, Hutton will be out of contract and there are currently no signs of a new deal being offered to one of Villa’s higher earners.

James Bree has been a regular starter this season for Barnsley and I would imagine that he will be starting our next game tomorrow evening.

The nineteen-year-old has a burgeoning reputation due to his marauding runs forward and solid defensive work at such a tender age in a tough league.

Some fans may suggest it is disrespectful to drop Alan Hutton as soon as a new man comes in but I disagree entirely. There have been times this season when Hutton has had decent games but he has not played well enough to be a guaranteed starter.

Hutton makes mistakes that I would expect of a young defender, not an experienced professional who has played at the top level of the game for so long and earned numerous international caps.

I respect Alan Hutton and will thank him for his time at Villa when he does leave but, really, he is a poor player. His runs forward could well be useful but he is often wasteful after doing the hard work and he is far too inconsistent with his delivery.

His main job is to defend and that is something he has let us down with at numerous key points, with one key example coming against Preston North End at home. His ability to mark is on a par with a schoolboy’s and his rashness is also a major downfall.

There is no doubting that Hutton has experience that Bree cannot offer, although the latter offers plenty of promise unlike the former whose career is slowly tailing off.

Bree will make errors, as will any other young defender. Giving Bruce the chance to play a new defender rather than allowing a mistake ridden one to maintain his place is surely common sense, especially when Hutton is out of contract in the summer.

We should be looking to continually strengthen our side and having a solid right back alongside the ever present James Chester, Nathan Baker and Jordan Amavi will be pivotal to that.

Bree will potentially need a little bit of time to fit into the Aston Villa side. As long as the Villa faithful give him that leeway then I am confident that he will come good.

Many fans will not have seen Bree in action yet but I believe he will be the answer to the issues we face with Alan Hutton, especially when going forward.


  1. Bree is very much one for the future but with DeLaet injured he’ll be competing with Hutton for starting slot which might even be tomorrow , but that depends on Bruce who with a new midfield might want to stick with the regular back 4

  2. Bree’s time will come, firstly Hutton has the position to lose. Agree with the marking and end product but bree needs to be brought through in a few weeks after the team has trained together and he has trained with the defence and they are all as one and with so many changes in the side we need to keep defensive continuity just for a short while. Bruce might just chuck him in but I expect him to be eased in via the bench.


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