The new season will soon be underway and many will be expecting a much better campaign than the disappointment of last year. It’s not all doom and gloom for Villa fans and here are five reasons as to why the Villans are in better shape and could finish this season in a stronger league position.
Experience has finally arrived
Joe Cole, Philippe Senderos and Kieran Richardson are the three most recent Villa signings and all three come with bags of experience, each having played for a top four club at one point in their careers. Villa fans were crying out for experience to be brought in to play alongside our young players and this did not happen last season, which is one of the reasons why we have struggled under Paul Lambert. Experience has finally arrived and with our younger players becoming more mature I am sure we will see many cooler heads on the pitch come the start of the new campaign.
The Vlaar and Okore partnership
It’s been a long time coming but it will be worth the wait. Okore and Vlaar featured alongside one another during the first few games of last season before injury struck and our star centre-back was forced to remain on the side-lines for the rest of the season. Right now, Ron Vlaar is looking better than ever following a tremendous World Cup and with “Concrete Ron” alongside the very pacey yet strong Okore we could see the perfect partnership that we have all been craving. This could spell the end for the error-prone duo of Clark and Baker, who were at fault for many of the goals we conceded last season.
Roy Keane will take no nonsense
Keane is a man who often wears his heart on his sleeve; that has been evident throughout his career. Usually one to say exactly what is on his mind, he will not be afraid to tell the Villa players what he thinks of their performances. This will be an improvement on Lambert’s post-match interviews in which he defends the players without fail, even when it is evident that the performance has been poor. A kick up the backside could be exactly what this team needs and Keane’s passion may start to spill out on the pitch.
The rise of Robinson and Grealish
One, if not both, of these players could play a significant part in the new season. Many fans were calling for Grealish to be used last season but instead he was sent out on loan to Notts County to gain some experience, which proved to be a good decision in the end. It is expected that both Grealish and Robinson will feature in the Premier League next season and there is no reason why they shouldn’t. Both players are fantastic prospects and when they have a few more Premier League games under their belts anything could happen.
Out with the stragglers
Last season, there were a number of players who did not perform to the standard that was expected. It seems as if Lambert is keen to get rid of the under-performers, having already shipped out Bowery (£250,000) and Sylla (on loan). Other players who look likely to leave the club include Antonio Luna and Alan Hutton. This could raise some transfer funds and enable Lambert to sign more able players, as well as making many fans happy.