A busy week has seen more new arrivals at Villa Park. Again, there has been a lot of sceptical comments especially towards Ahmed Elmohamady. I have said on several occasions it would be nice to see fans getting behind the team and new arrivals and then judge. The Egyptian has played over 150 times in the Premier League and has twice gained promotion to the Premier League with Hull, being a regular starter.
Glenn Whelan similarly is an experienced Premier League midfielder. Over 275 Premier League appearances and has been an integral part of establishing Stoke as a permanent fixture in the Premier League.
We desperately need players that have the bottle and the experience of how to get us up to the top flight and as much as we want to see exciting, fast paced, winning football we need to stop and reflect upon what we have lacked in the last few seasons.
We went down with a midfield desperately lacking the experience of the Premier League. We looked to the French top flight for many of our arrivals.
Now ask yourself how many Premier League appearances Henri Lansbury and Conor Hourihane have. You won’t need more than one hand to count those.
I’m not for one minute saying they can’t be key players and I actually believe they will be but we have lacked a blend of experience, flair and youth.
Chris Samba will also add a depth to a team that we can argue has two players for each position. Vital in building a consistently competitive team.
On the flip side of these points comes the news of a trio of players that seemingly are on there way out of Villa Park.
It may be for other reasons but you do have to wonder why the likes of Gary Gardner, Aaron Tshibola and Ross McCormack have all been left behind with the passports tucked away as we embark on a preseason tournament in Germany.
Gary Gardner has always shown a love for the club but for me the injuries have come at crucial times and unfortunately for him, it may be the right time to look elsewhere. It’s also important for us as a club to start thinking about the separation between supporting the club and wearing the shirt. It’s great to have homegrown, local lads and we all love a local hero but this shouldn’t get in the way of progress and fresh ideas. I’d say this for any player. We have several in Gardner, Grealish, Agbonlahor, Green, Baker etc. but does this mean we have to show more respect and patience to any of them? Of course not.
Aaron Tshibola had a spell at Nottingham Forest last season and again injuries seemed to hamper his time with us when he first joined. With the sheer numbers in central midfield and the aforementioned arrivals, again it looks like his time may be up soon.
Finally, Ross McCormack. I’m not going to dig up old ground and balance the points out on him as this has been a popular and repeated debate across the site and in every pub and conversation on match days.
McCormack ultimately has an ability at Championship level and he may go on to do so again. However, I still think the fall out with Bruce last season outweighs the efforts to get back in favour in Bruce’s eyes.
With other suspected departures in Veretout and Elphick, maybe these were some of the players hinted at moving on in Dr Tony’s latest equation.
For anyone off to Germany, safe travels, have a great time and Up the Villa.