After what turned out to be a dismal defeat on a cold Tuesday night to Norwich we have to turn our attention elsewhere. Dean Smith and his team will be looking at both the positives and the negatives from our 2-1 loss. One of those positives was our Manchester United loanee, Axel Tuanzebe.
I was one of those who made the long journey across the A14 to Norwich and I didn’t hear one bit of criticism thrown Tuanzebe’s way. His speed and agility for a centre-back are just sensational. This was highlighted on so many occasions at Norwich. His partner on the night James Chester would have been grateful for his efforts also. On more than one occasion he cleaned up where Chester couldn’t.
At 6ft tall, it is no real surprise that he is also a threat in the air winning a lot of the ariel duels. It is amazing how good someone can perform when they play in their natural position isn’t it?
Tuanzebe was also a root for many of our attacks. He would tackle players and then come out with the ball. He played a few delicious balls through to the wingers, it was just a shame the wingers didn’t make more of the ball.
Smith v Bruce
I don’t want to turn this isn’t a Dean Smith v Steve Bruce article but the question has to be asked. Why has Smith played Tuanzebe in his natural position when Bruce refused to do so?
In his two games for Smith, he has clearly been one of our best players in both games. He has highlighted to us what he is capable of and also got some United fans excited on social media. The problem with loan signings is the ability to keep hold of them. Can we make his loan deal from United a permanent one? I doubt it but I guess you never know what the future holds.
Another positive to take out the game was our high pressing. We really took the game to Norwich, especially in the first half. We pressed their defence into making mistakes, which on another day could have lead to more goals.
Tammy Abraham seems to be grown in a Villa shirt also. Another fine performance before he was substituted with a head injury. He was strong and knew when to hold the ball and when to release it. His quick burst of pace is also a big bonus. It looks like he will be fit for tomorrow night’s game at QPR so let’s hope we can build on what we have seen so far.
QPR are currently on a fine run of form so it won’t be easy. Hopefully, with over 3,000 Aston Villa fans behind them, we can spur them onto their second away win of the season.