Smith’s First Match Day

It is clear to see on social media and fan forums that the appointment of Dean Smith has given fans a lift. Although some were a little underwhelmed at first, you can’t help but be impressed by what he has to say. As the club keep telling us, he is one of our own and we are as desperate for him to succeed as he is. Here are a few things that could benefit on his Smith’s first match day:

The Atmosphere

There is no doubt there will be an entirely different atmosphere for our new Head Coach’s first game in charge. A sell-out crowd will welcome Smith who is being marketed by Villa’s media team as #oneofourown. Couple that with the return of John Terry to Villa Park and that will add to an already buzzing atmosphere.

There is no doubt the fans were the catalyst for the departure of Steve Bruce. But Smith’s Villa history not only represents a positive appointment but it is his positive style of play fans have been crying out for too. Add to that a remembrance for former Villa Chairman Doug Ellis and it truly will be a unique game. Let’s hope the performance on the pitch matches the performance by the club and the fans off it.

The Defence

Smith will pick TuanzebeSomething Sam Burnett touched upon yesterday, the defence. The big decisions in Smith’s first matchday squad will come in defence. The area of the pitch which Bruce made his name in football also put pay to his time at Villa.

I would be surprised if Mile Jedinak is still classified as a centre back under the new regime. In general, I think his game time will seriously deplete following the change of manager due to his deficiencies on the ball. Alan Hutton is another player who in my opinion will see his game time decrease.

In order to play an attacking style, a left-footer is necessary at left back, but before Christmas are there any other options? Neil Taylor is a player I have previously written about. Despite his attacking flaws, he will get the nod until at least Christmas I believe.

Ahmed Elmohammady seems a natural fit to continue at right back, but a enthused James Bree will offer competition. Such is the unbalanced nature of the squad, the only two centre-backs at the club, James Chester and Axel Tuanzebe, will have to play. With a gruelling fixture list ahead of us starting with 3 games in 6 days. Let’s hope they both stay fit.

The Dug Out

It will be interesting for a first glimpse of how the dugout will work. Just how much impact will John Terry have in his first game as coach? There is no doubt Smith will want to impress.

Friends and family will be in attendance and this game can really act as a reboot to the season. Of course it’s not make or break but it will also be a massive help to get three points. The coaching set up will take shape as the season progresses. It will be a learning process for staff and players alike.

The introduction of Jesus Garica Pitarch signifies a change and that this learning process will be afforded the time it desires. Smith’s appointment completes a pleasing triumvirate of a Villan in charge, a Villan playing number 10, and a Villain creating the kits. It won’t be the Swansea game that identifies how the dugout will work moving forward. But in just over a weeks’ time after the QPR game, we will have a good idea.


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