As the transfer deadline drew nearer last night, we soon realised that we weren’t going to sign anyone else apart from Libor Kozak, a striker from Lazio in Serie A.
When I first heard of the signing I was a tad confused. I didn’t know the player well and the only information I had was that he is a striker who stands tall at 6 ft 4 in. As I looked through links on Twitter, some facts about the 24-year-old started filtering in. He was the top scorer in Europa League last season, bagging 10 goals throughout the tournament, which is a very impressive feat.
What was disappointing to learn though was that he made at least fourteen appearances for Lazio last season and scored no goals in that time. Now I know some strikers do go through ‘dry spells’ during the season but fourteen or more games without a goal seems quite poor for a striker in Serie A. Fortunately, I also read that most of those appearances were from the bench, which explains why he didn’t get many goals in the league.
I also went on YouTube to see him in action, and found this video:
The video doesn’t really show him a brilliant light. He scored a few decent goals, most of which were tap-ins. It is fair to say that this signing really didn’t make sense to me. We signed Helenius, another tall striker, just a month ago and it seemed to me that there were other areas on the pitch which needed strengthening because up front we were in very good shape with Benteke, Agbonlahor, Weimann, Helenius and Bowery.
I honestly thought that Lambert was going to sign a playmaker, someone in the mould of Coutinho. We were linked with a few players like Kiyotake, Boudebouz and even Tom Ince, all of whom are the type of players who could pick up the ball from midfield and run at defenders or lace a through ball to the strikers. It was evident that we needed a player like that in our last home game against Liverpool because we struggled to break them down.
When we play away, we hit teams on the counter-attack and we do it very well. That’s when we play 4-5-1 when we’re defending and 4-3-3 when we’re attacking. At home, though, it’s a very different story. As the home team, we’re expected to dictate the play and make the opposition press us. This was the whole reason why I, and a lot of fans, thought we needed someone to play in the ‘number 10’ position.
At the end of the day, we are just fans. The only opinion that matters in this situation is Paul Lambert’s opinion. If he feels we don’t need that type of player in the squad at this moment in time then I’m going to trust him. His other signings haven’t turned out to be all that bad, have they?
Maybe he’s going to play 4-4-2 at home. Maybe Kozak was bought to be Benteke’s replacement if/when he leaves next year. Maybe he saw that Benteke wasn’t applying himself enough and decided to bring someone in to keep him on his toes. Maybe finances played a part and we couldn’t afford two more players.
There are so many questions but only time will reveal answers.
Anyway, do you think we need a ‘number 10’ type player or will we be okay without one?
In Lambert we trust. UTV!
You seem quite knowledgable and I would agree we are missing something through the middle. I for one fear we like composure and ability in the centre of midfield. Westwwod shows glimpseys of an ability to open up a defense with a through ball but not consistantly. In large parts he goes missing during games. Karim isnt act minded his greatest asset is breaking up play in a sefenaive role. Delph just isnt good enough I know some fans rave about him and you cant knock his effort but I think it borderline out of control never far away from a red card his passing is wayward, he’s a headless chicken. With thw pace on the vreak of Gabby and Weimenn we need a player who can pick out their intellgent runs with a pass between the fullback and cb. We need a playmaker a passer of the ball. They are a rare player to find anyway not something we’ve had at villa for a long time. I remember the american Bradley being able to do it the breif time we had him. So I for one would have likes to have seem an older wiser cm bought in the transfer window. All i hope is weimenn and Gabby are being trained as wingers with benteke and kovak up top and two depo lying midfielders in kareem and syllva/westwood. In a 4-4-2 when defending and a 4-2-4 when attacking. HOLTEENDERS!
Perhaps he’s looking to train an existing Villa player in the number 10 role. My guess would be Weimann, Helenius, or even Delph.
That’s a good point. Maybe even Gary Gardner or Tonev?
Yes that’s a good shout.
If we had signed a no. 10, where would we put Gardner, Tonev, and Curruthers when they’re all fit and want to play?