The strength that we have in depth is really starting to show. Signing Axel Tuanzebe on loan looks like an astute move by Steve Bruce. A young, hungry player who is desperate for minutes to prove his quality, he will add dynamism, athleticism and power to the squad.
The player is a defensive minded player, capable of playing at centre-back as well as a defensive centre midfielder. With the team currently on their best run of form for several years, he may find his chances limited for the immediate short term.
Birkir Bjarnason is making the defensive midfield position his own. He seems to have finally settled into the team and looks far more composed than when he first joined the club.
Glenn Whelan and Mile Jedinak are also direct competition for this role but with their ageing bodies, it makes sense to have a regular starter who can play week in, week out.
The James Chester and John Terry partnership look unable to be broken and on current form should not be altered. If injuries happen to Bjarnasson or Chester/Terry, then surely this will present Tuanzebe with his opportunity. Until then, he may well be limited to substitution appearances.
We all know that Bruce was assembling a squad of big names, experience and quality. It’s taken a while for them to gel. There is still room for improvement but the most important thing is that the team get used to winning and can do what all successful sides do and win whilst not playing well. Villa has proven they can do this in recent weeks and with two home games against Burton and Blues to come, fans will expect this run to continue.
We have quality options in every position, alternatives that can make a difference. The team is balanced and there seems to always be a match winner ready to step up. For the start of the season that was Albert Adomah and now Scott Hogan and Robert Snodgrass have taken that responsibility. In Jack Grealish, we have a player who is keen to control games, drive at defences and create. It’s funny how things can change in football. Not so long ago supporters were calling for Bruce’s head, now they’re dreaming of automatic promotion.
Keep the faith with Bruce and the team and let’s get behind the boys for the rest of the season.