Before a ball was kicked this season, fans were optimistic and excited about the season ahead. Even the bookies were getting in on the offers with Sky Vegas promo codes 2017 offering great offers. Talk of promotion was on everybody’s lips.Now after three disappointing results and abject performances, the mood has turned to doom and gloom and changes are required and fast!
We quite simply don’t have time to wait for a manager to get it right, for players to start performing and for results to turn in our favour. That was what last season was for. The urgency of now is unfortunately very real.
Dr Xia’s pockets aren’t deep enough to keep buying more players in the hope that they are the missing part of the jigsaw. Nor is that a sustainable approach to managing a football club.
With the parachute payments set to finish at the end of this season, the club quite simply has to gain promotion this year or face losing several high earners next year to balance the books. That or for Dr Xia to bankroll the club.
We should be expecting more from our glittering squad. We didn’t have a poor season last year because we conceded too many goals. We had a poor season because we couldn’t control games and couldn’t outscore our opposition. We all knew the problem and we all knew that Bruce has to make changes in this department.
We have midfield enforcers in Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan who make us hard to beat but we are missing a midfield general, someone to boss games, take charge and lead us forward. Someone who can turn a game when your backs are against the wall.
The players brought in to provide the midfield creativity and hustle and bustle, have so far flattered to deceive. Conor Hourihane and Henri Lansbury have shown little signs of being able to be that type of player.
You only have to think of recent players in that position who could really stand out and take the game by the scruff of the neck – the likes of Gareth Barry, Fabian Delph, Ian Taylor and even Steven Davis fleetingly. We have no-one in that mould now. We are currently far too pedestrian and ineffective in that position.
Up front, we can’t keep relying on Jonathan Kodjia. Scott Hogan, when he is fit, is a decent striker but he is being hampered by inept service. The wide men offer little in terms of assists or goals too. Adomah and Elmohamady being the best contributors amongst them but both right footed meaning that when one plays on the left, they become easy to defend against.
The wide men offer little in terms of assists or goals too. Albert Adomah and Ahmed Elmohamady being the best contributors amongst them but both right footed meaning that when one plays on the left, they become easy to defend against.
The team looks very unbalanced and the majority of them are used to different styles of play. That being said, we should still have more than enough quality on the pitch to overcome teams. The worry is that the issue lies with the management. Deja-vu anyone…?
Yes, it has only been three games and yes, Newcastle United lost two of their early games last season and still won the league but that doesn’t do anything to dispel the warning signs that we are all seeing.
Last season started badly too and by the time we took action to sack Roberto Di Matteo, we had left ourselves with too much to do to try and rescue any hope of reaching the top 6. Something has to change and quickly.
Finally, it has been great to see the youth players get game-time in the cup against League 2, Colchester. However, calling for these players to be starting or expecting them to make an impact in the Championship, two divisions higher, is a completely different matter.
Their induction should be gradual and in a manner that allows them to develop at a good pace. Throwing them in at the deep end with the pressures of turning our fortunes around (get us promoted) is far too high an expectation to have of them.
Besides, that is why we have spent millions on ready-made alternatives who have been able to perform at other clubs but not at Aston Villa for some reason. I can’t express enough how many changes should have been made in the summer and for one reason or another, they haven’t.
What changes would you make and why? Comments below.