Many Aston Villa players, including Charles N’Zogbia and Gabby Agbonlahor, are making a brand new start under the new manager Tim Sherwood while others are proving to be the same old players they were under the regime of Paul Lambert. I feel that the main player I would have liked to have seen making a fresh start is Andreas Weimann.
Back in 2011, after scoring two hat-tricks for the reserves, Weimann was given the backing of the fans who wanted him to be part of the first team squad. After Darren Bent got injured in the 2011-2012 season, he was given a great opportunity to show what he was made of. He came on against Fulham on the 10th March 2012 and got his first goal in a claret and blue shirt, which came in the dying minutes and saw us win the match. He was young, exciting and had the potential to be a decent striker in the Premier League.
In recent years, Weimann has been part of Villa’s first team and he got himself seven goals in the 2012-2013 season. Perhaps that is not an amazing statistic but, considering he was twenty-one at the time, there was always a chance he would one day come good as he does have the ability to score goals. However, in the last two seasons we have seen a different Andreas Weimann. He’s made fifty-eight appearances for Villa over the last two seasons and he’s only managed to score eight goals in the league so there is evidence that he has declined since that first good season.
His poor form isn’t just apparent in the Premier League. He has been given the chance to show his ability in the Austrian national team and, despite being capped thirteen times, he hasn’t scored once. When he was playing for the U21s for Austria, he had ten caps and six goals. When comparing Weimann and Kane when they were both younger, it’s apparent they were alike. However, now that they are both in their respective teams’ starting line-ups in the Premier League, one has sparkled and one has faded away. To say that Kane seems to be doing a much better job in front of goal than Weimann is is an understatement. This is all done to confidence. Weimann should be scoring at least every other match but for some reason that is not happening. Now that we are scoring more goals as a team under Tim Sherwood, I would liked to see Weimann scoring again. I know he has been relegated to the bench but when he has come on he has made no impact whatsoever. He has to take his chances and grow in confidence. He is only twenty-three and still has many years left on him. If Tim Sherwood can get his confidence levels up and we see him scoring again then that will be good for both parties. If not, I fear he may be sent out on loan to a lower league side.
With the likes of Benteke and Agbonlahor improving and the forthcoming return of Kozak, Weimann has to prove that he is worthy of a place in the starting line-up. I have no doubt that Sherwood will bring in a striker in the summer so the remaining games in the Premier League are vital ones not only for Weimann but for all the Villa strikers.
The game against Manchester United on Saturday is a difficult one to predict. We might go out and completely surprise them or we might just get a scrappy draw. They are in good form now so it will be interesting. For our players, it’s a chance to show Sherwood that they can perform against a big team. If Weimann gets the golden chance to be subbed on, or even start, he has to up his game. Roll on Saturday!