Aston Villa’s squad has been one of the best in the Championship for several months now. The personnel assembled by Roberto Di Matteo and now Steve Bruce is one that over clubs in the division must envy and the most recent arrival of Robert Snodgrass only to the experience we currently have at B6.
Why the club isn’t sitting in the upper echelons of the league is bewildering to Dr. Tony Xia, Bruce and especially the fans. Sitting in 18th place and with one win and 5 points to our name, we are currently averaging a point per game. Di Matteo made an identical start in the first 5 games of last season. Villa then went unbeaten for 5 matches but didn’t win any of them which resulted in his sacking.
The International break now gives Bruce an early chance to get his troops together and work on the problem areas that are costing us results. Whether it is tactics, game plan, the player’s confidence or something else. There is now an opportunity to put some concerted work in on the training ground to improve all areas and the new players with priceless experience should only help.
The most exciting thing for Villa fans so far this term has been the Academy players coming through giving us a mixture of youth and experience. Keinan Davis and Andre Green have been taking the main plaudits but also several others who are gaining experience in the cup matches.
Another young prospect, currently on loan to us, Josh Onomah has caught the eye too. The worry for their development is that they will struggle to game time in the months ahead.
It looks like Bruce is going to rely on experience to get Villa climbing the league. Snodgrass looks set to challenge and probably replace Green, while Kodjia’s return will make it hard for Davis to fit in the team.
The youngsters are certainly knocking on the door but they may be integrated slowly and gradually. The longer the cup run goes on the more chance the youngsters have of gaining valuable game time.
The players at Bruce’s disposal are some of the best in the division and surely no other club can pick at a team with as many high-profile and star names as Aston Villa. Let’s hope that the gaffer manages to get it right in the key period following the International break.