Building on the core squad

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The Holte End

Aston Villa has been doing plenty of media work over the last few days. One video that has surfaced today is Dean Smith’s interview with BBC Five Live. The Villa boss spoke about Villa’s summer transfer activity and how he always wanted to build around the core of the squad.

He talks about how the club released 8 players and a further 6 returned to their clubs on loan leaving him with 8 players. Villa had to rebuild their squad but he wanted to keep his core with the likes of Jack Grealish, Tyrone Mings and Ahmed Elmohammady.

But just how well have Villa strengthened this summer?

Squad depth

Villa has built his square are the core groupSquad depth is a big thing in the Premiership and it appears Villa have tried to make sure they have competitions in all their positions.

Following the 12 signings to date (including Tom Heaton and Marvelous Nakamba), this is how our squad shapes up so far. This is based on a 4-3-3 formation.

Goalkeeper: Jed Steer / Tom Heaton

Right-Back: Frédéric Guilbert/ Ahmed Elmohammady
Left-Back: Neil Taylor/ Matt Targett
Central-Back: Tyrone Mings/ Kortney Hause
Central-Back: Björn Engels/ Ezri Konza

Defensive Midfielder: Douglas Luiz/ Marvelous Nakamba
Center Midfielder: John McGinn/ Henri Lansbury
Attacking Midfielder: Jack Grealish/ Conor Hourihane

Winger: Trezeguet / Andre Green
Winger: Anwar El-Ghazi/ Jota
Striker: Wesley/ Jonathan Kodjia

I have listed two players in every position and there are still plenty in the squad who I have not included. This isn’t to say those that I have not listed will not be included either. But this also highlights the depth and competition we are building.

I would expect a few who haven’t been listed to leave in some capacity before the transfer deadline though.

We are not Fulham

‘You are the next Fulham’. ‘You are doing a Fulham’. Bore off. We ARE Aston Villa Football Club.

There are a few reasons why we should not be considered the next Fulham. Apart from what I have already covered, we lost so many players this summer, we simply had to bring new players in.

The club has also done the majority of their business well before most of our rivals even thought about pre-season, let alone the full season.

Villa seems to have targetted players who fit into their way of thinking and Smiths style of football. And probably most importantly, the manager wants to keep the core of his team there.

Ups and downs

There will be plenty of ups and downs this season. It is expected that we will score plenty of goals but also concede plenty also. The style of football we play will leave us exposed to certain clubs.

Equally, I believe we will cause a few surprise results this season. Teams who are expected to beat Villa may come in for a shock.

The one thing we must do as Villa fans is to ignore the media. Rival fans are looking on with envy because we are spending money. They want their club to do what we are doing. We are Aston Villa Football Club, not Fulham. We must stick together. In the words of the legendary Ron Saunders: “Do you want to be against us?”

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