As football fans, we have often heard the saying ‘One step forward, two steps back.’ Whenever anything positive happens then a negative is only around the corner. After obtaining a draw, against a team vying for the Premier League title, in Garde’s first game in charge, frustrated fans had hoped that this point might signal the start of a revival at Aston Villa Football Club. However, losing key players to injury isn’t going to help the cause.

International games during the season cause club managers nightmares and Garde will now be having sleepless nights after seeing several of his new players injured on international duty. Jordan Amavi, an outstanding performer for the club this season, who had wrongly been the scapegoat during troubled times under Sherwood, has now unfortunately been ruled out for the rest of the season after he ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament. This means that Garde must now look at his squad and see who can fill that void left by Amavi. Kieran Richardson is the player Tim Sherwood and Kevin MacDonald selected over Amavi, to the supporters’ disbelief, and Amavi’s injury might mean that the former Manchester United man will deputise at left back once again. He is not the only player who could fill in at left back, with Lewis Kinsella, a natural left back, having impressed while playing for the Under-21s.

Speaking to AVTV, Garde said:

“It’s a big blow for everyone. As a club and a team we have to react. We have other players here. Some of them will have chances to play. We will see in a few months if we need someone else or not.”

Rudy Gestede is another international casualty, with the Benin international returning from international duty to be checked by the club’s medical team. Gestede offers the team another dimension: while he isn’t the most technically gifted of players, he is a player who will offer the team a much-needed physical presence. Gestede will also give the side an extra threat in the box during set pieces. Libor Kozák can also do a job, with some fans arguing that the Czech forward should be in the team ahead of Gestede. If the former Blackburn man is ruled out for the Everton game, I would like to see Kozák back in the match day squad, as he is a player with a lot to offer, especially at a time when the team needs goals.

Fans will be hoping to see the club’s fortunes change for the better. It really is swings and roundabouts at Aston Villa Football Club, although the club isn’t really getting the ‘rub of the green’ from the footballing gods at present.


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