With Villa set to play Hull City tomorrow, the makeup of the team is yet to be decided. Yes, injuries haven’t helped in allowing Bruce to play his favoured eleven, but there are still more questions than answers when it comes to who our best eleven and although we may be defensively solid, the lack of goals is an issue.
Nothing seems to have been done to address the fact that the team rely on Jonathan Kodjia too much to get the goals. Last season, he got nearly 40% of the team’s goals and it is clear that Scott Hogan and Gabriel Agbonlahor have a big opportunity to try and fill his boots while he is injured. The trouble is, last season both players managed only one goal each in their limited number of appearances.
I’m a big fan of Hogan and believe that if we play to his strengths then he can score plenty of goals for us. It’s when you look at other areas of the pitch for contributions that the figures are worrying.
The injury to last term’s second highest scorer, Jack Grealish, is a real blow for a player who will be keen to prove his doubters wrong and start showing his potential. Hopefully, he can come back stronger and ready to make a real impact.
Looking at the attacking options that played the final pre-season game against Watford, there was a distinct lack of goals in the team. My concern is that we need more players to be scoring to take the pressure of our strikers. It’s hard to see who will add more firepower.
The new signing, Ahmed Elmohamady is a tricky winger who likes to get to the byline and deliver crosses. He looks like he will bring some dynamism and excitement to the team which is much needed. However, in 190 games playing for Hull City, he only scored 10 goals.
Albert Adomah, the player competing for the right wing slot, managed to score 3 last season. The other options for the attacking wide positions, Bjarnason, Green, Amavi and Bree have never scored a goal for Aston Villa.
The situation doesn’t appear any rosier when looking at the midfield. Glen Whelan has been brought in to solidify the midfield and he already looks fitter and more mobile than Mile Jedinak and a player I am tipping to be our player of the season already. It’s up to the players alongside him to find the net. Conor Hourihane has scored once for Villa and Henri Lansbury is yet to get on the score sheet.
This is why last season we were unable to finish teams off when we had spells of possession. Too often the games would slip away from us or become stalemates due to the lack of ideas, creativity and scoring ability. No-one can argue with the quality of the squad at Bruce’s disposal. My question is, do we have enough goals in the squad?