A nerve-racking first season for Aston Villa in the Premier League certainly gave fans a few heart attacks or two, but the massive sigh of relief by the 19/20 EPL seasons end wasn’t obtained through fluke performances. The defensive switch-up post-coronavirus-break helped Villa secure their position as a Premier League side.
After £118 million spent attempting to secure Aston Villas future in the EPL, executives were expecting the gap between relegation to be higher than one-point but have wasted no-time in eradicating the problems before next season.
A new Sporting Director of the club in Robert Mackenzie is an apparent attempt to boost the clubs future, secure the talent Villa require and focus on building a squad that can exceed far more than one-point outside of the relegation drop.
Relief With No Remorse
Manager Dean Smith went on record to say that Aston Villa’s Premier League survival was more satisfying than their promotion into the division. Somehow, it doesn’t seem like the board of directors feel the same as substantial club improvements continue to develop post-season.
“I’m emotional, pleased, proud – all the adjectives to go with it. It’s a magnificent achievement,” Smith told the BBC.
“My condolences go out to Hayden Mullins and Watford and Eddie Howe at Bournemouth. I can only think about how they feel now. Eddie is a fantastic manager, coach and person.
“But it had to be two out of three go down, and I am proud of a magnificent achievement by Aston Villa.
“It feels better than getting up through the play-offs last year. We will now have a few drinks and celebrate.”
It’s hard to knock manager Dean Smith, in hindsight would one or ten points made a difference so long as Villa were able to survive that first crucial year fighting for your position in top-flight football.
The evidential change for Villa came through the COVID-19 pandemic break the Premier League saw during the end of March through to the beginning of June. A defensive restructures from Dean Smith, and his Villa squad cost them fewer goals than they’d conceded all season long, which I presume will be a highlighted area to focus on heading into the new season.
“Up to the pandemic, a lot of people had us relegated,” added Smith to BBC Sport. “We have had to work extremely hard.
“I thought we used the pandemic well. We’ve been solid defensively; we have looked strong and managed to stay in the Premier League. It is something to build on.
“We sat down in Minneapolis [on a pre-season tour] over a year ago and came up with three words between us as to how we wanted to be known – and they were: togetherness, prepared and relentless.
“It takes a long time to build a culture, but we are growing into that,” Smith told the BBC.
After spending more money than Real Madrid, Juventus, Athletico Madrid and Barcelona in the summer of 2019, it’s no surprise the club is attempting to fast track their successes from relegation hopefuls.
The odds aren’t favoring the optimism at the Villa Park board room, as Fulham, West Brom and Aston Villa are favoured for relegation in the new season.
The positive is the fact that Villa is the best price from the clubs in question, and the least expected side to be relegated from the three.
Some of the best sportsbooks that cover the English Premier League will differ in price during transfers that take place at the club; I fancy Villa to have a great season and will be looking for the best price available.
The 2020/2021 EPL season for Aston Villa
It’s hard to gauge where Aston Villa will stand at the end of next season. Still, I’m confident in the managerial expertise of Dean Smith to continue making the defensive improvements needed at Villa Park.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) August 12, 2020
Rumours have floated about some dreaded departures at the club, such as crucial star Jack Grealish and Manchester United are the giants looking to snap him up. A worrisome thought for Villa, as they’d have the money to replace Grealish, but the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Once the transfer arrivals and departures have been settled, and pre-season training is underway, we should be able to gauge how high our Aston Villa can place this season.