This season, every Villa player will have a point to prove and will have to fight for a place in the first team. One player in particular will have to step up his game this season if he is to ensure a future at Aston Villa Football Club. That player is Andi Weimann. The twenty-two-year-old striker played the majority of last season as a winger, supporting the central forward Benteke or Kozak. As Aston Villa fans, we have seen many players with ‘potential’ do well for our youth teams who didn’t quite make it at Premiership level. Luke Moore was tipped to be a future star after winning the F.A. Youth Cup in 2002. We all had high hopes for Marc Albrighton but injuries and a lack of first team opportunities over the years saw him released by Villa this summer before signing for Leicester. Nathan Delfouneso was another bright young star, who, like Albrighton, was released by Villa this summer. However, let’s hope Weimann doesn’t suffer the same fate.
Weimann is a quality player: he has great pace and his commitment to run back and support our defence is incredible but he has been playing in the wrong position. Weimann doesn’t have the trickery or the crossing ability to be an effective winger. He is more effective through the middle and, given a good opportunity at goal, he is likely to score. He only scored five goals last season and 2 of them came against Hull City at Villa Park, when he played as a central forward.
Overall, just like the team, Weimann had a disappointing season. He did have some excellent games, such as the Liverpool game at Anfield when he effectively took Gerrard out of the game. He also scored some important goals – the brace at Hull confirmed safety in the Premiership and his unforgettable goal against City in a 3-2 win at Villa Park back in September secured the victory. However, his overall statistics for the season were poor. At times, he ran around like what could be only described as a headless chicken. He needs to use his energy more effectively and be more decisive.
This season is a make or break season for Weimann. He must produce some quality performances and goals to ensure he has a future at Aston Villa. Joe Cole should give our team a more attacking outlook with less direct passing and, hopefully, he will create more chances for our forwards. It is up to Weimann to take these chances when they come to him and finish them. He must work on his positioning and his composure in front of goal if he wants to have any success in the future. The biggest benefit to Weimann in training could be the return of Darren Bent and the rest of the ‘bomb squad’: Bent has a habit of being in the right place at the right time and he can certainly finish when given the opportunity. Weimann could learn a lot from Bent and this could prove to be crucial to Weimann’s success this season.
Weimann is still young but that shouldn’t be used to protect him. It is not good enough for us to say that he’ll come good in the future. It is time for Weimann to deliver this season. He not only needs to show Paul Lambert and his staff why he deserves a place in the team but must also get the fans back on side and there is no easier way to do this than to score or assist goals.
Overall, I like Weimann as a player. He has the right attitude and work ethic but he has to improve his forward play if he is to be a success.