Come on, admit it: Monday was great, wasn’t it? It was also a glimpse of what could be. I always felt we were going to beat Sunderland. PDC had given Villa all the ammunition they needed and just proved he’s not the messiah, he’s a very naughty boy. For me, we looked like we were in the mood to score goalsand we were lucky to come up against a slow defence that was overwhelmed by our attacking line.
This bodes well for the Norwich game. However, CH does like to set out his stall defensively and we have to be careful that we don’t get caught on the counter attack, a tactic which seems to work very well for ourselves at the minute.
So Benteke is breaking all sort of Premier League records for us and I think there is a real possibility that he may hit the magic 20 in the PL. This would be a welcome highlight in an otherwise disappointing season, but what were expecting from this season? Well, I remember predicting a mid-table finish, so we have come below that, but I would never have predicted a lot of our ‘bigger names’ not to show up this season. I think there can’t be any doubt that they will be gone at the end of the season.
Personally, I don’t agree with the way that Bent has been treated. I know he didn’t fit into style of play, but I do think he could have done a job for us. My concern is that next season Benteke will be a marked man and won’t be given the same level of freedom he received this season.
This means we will need to have other options available to us. PL is receiving all the plaudits now for keeping up the team with a very young squad and Lerner is receiving praise for sticking with the manager. However, I would ask what options do the club really have? Its a policy which nearly backfired. Yes I know we aren’t out of the woods just yet, but as a Villa fan I remain optimistic and the game at Norwich (as long as we beat them) will confirm our safety in my eyes.
So we need to look at building on the nucleus of a young squad. For me, our number one target should be Lescott. Yes, he is in his 30s but I think he can add some steel to our leaky defence and add the one thing we are lacking – experience. I still think we need a left back as I am not convinced about our current options. The players I have been impressed with this season have been Westwood, Delph and Sylla. Delph has had his moments, but I still believe he can do a job for us. Westwood has been outstanding and despite my initial reservation I am been greatly impressed with what I have seen from the young French man.
I really like playing Benteke, Gabby and Weimann up front but I still think we need other options up front and so maybe someone like Sinclair can do that job for us.
In the summer we need to spend well. I doubt we will have much more than 20 million to spend (including the revenue from sales). We may have gotten away with it this season, but let’s not chance it for a second season in a row. PL has done his part. Lerner, it’s over to you…