Attack is the best form of defence

Samatta departure leaves Villa light in the Striker area.

Attack is the best form of defence‘ is a bit of a cliche in football but its a cliche that certainly applies to Aston Villa this season. Villa have scored 34 goals in the Premier League this season, the 12th highest in the division but have conceded more than any other side with 52.

It has been no secret that despite spending more than £50 million in the summer of the defence that it has been Villa’s weakness this season.

The best formula

To me and I could be wrong but I worry that Dean Smith still doesn’t know our strongest formation and starting eleven. There has been plenty of tinkering this season, a lot down to inconsistency from players but we are in the business side of the season now so we must get this right.

Engels and Mings look like our best partnership in defenceVilla have used a system with five players at the back and its a system I admittedly called for earlier in the season in an attempt to prevent the number of goals we conceded.  I hold my hands up, I got it wrong, It doesn’t work. We are still conceeding goals that we are not as effective going forward.

In our defeat to Manchester City at the weekend, Smith reverted to four at the back with Tyrone Mings and Bjorn Engels being the centre half partnership. We looked more comfortable and were more effective in going forward against one of the best teams in Europe right now.

Score more than you

Smith has to work with the players he currently has at his disposal. We need to take the old ‘Kevin Keegan‘ approach of ‘We will score more than you‘.

Aston Villa will continue to concede too many goals no doubt but we are a threat to anyone going forward when we get it right. So I believe we need to take this approach for the remainder of the season.

Elmohammady adds something in attack that others don'tI actually like the idea of playing Ahmed Elmohammady as a right-winger. He is arguably the best crosser of the ball at the club and in Mbwana Samatta we have a player who is capable of getting on the end of these crosses. Anwar El Ghazi and Trezeguet have been way too inconsistent for my liking so we should look at giving the Egyptian a run in the side.

Villa take on an out of form Leicester side on Monday and needs to look at exploiting their form, just as Norwich did last weekend. We can’t go to the King Power Stadium, sit back and try and snatch a goal. Villa need to look at taking the game to them because its all or nothing now for Villa so let’s look at playing to our strength in attack!


  1. I respectfully disagree…The headline is widely used and has some merit, but you have to be able to defend as a team, particularly in this league, where it is so hard to score.
    Its not by chance the top 10 have by and large the least conceded goals….Sheff Utd cottoned on last season by conceding only 41, getting ready for the Prem with their current miserly 25 goals conceded….against our 52….Crystal Palace have scored a miserable 25 goals 9 less than us, but sit on 11 points more…our team is too open, its naive football…and we have failed to address it.
    It is fanciful to think we can out score teams in this league, particularly as we have to score 3 to win…that is a tough ask of any team, never mind us….I thinks its a bit late now, for wholesale change, so your proposal maybe the only choice we have.
    I think we have been naive in not signing a powerful, dominant CDM to protect the back line and stop the opposition, from gaining Initiative in a game…..Attack is the best form of defence, don’t the opposition know it.


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