Are we writing players off too quickly?

We'll be relying on the powerhouse Kozak until Benteke returns from injury

Over the past few seasons we have brought in many new players, most of whom we hadn’t heard of before they signed. This meant we hadn’t seen them play in the Premier League so we had to watch highlights on YouTube. Those highlights always showed the players at their very best.

Helenius has played 53 minutes overall in the Premier League in three matches. Last season, he scored sixteen goals in thirty-three appearances, which shows he is a finisher. He is 6ft 5” but he is not a target man like Benteke. He uses his feet, likes to dribble at opponents and prefers to play behind the striker. Helenius likes to be involved in the build-up, as we saw during the pre-season friendly against Walsall in which he was in involved in the Benteke and Grealish goals. We surely cannot judge a player on 53 minutes, or can we?

Kozak scored ten times in eleven appearances in the Europa League. He scored for the Czech Republic in the World Cup qualifiers and also in a friendly match this season for his national team. He is a target man due to his height but not for his pace. Yet we have been playing him like Benteke, which means we have been playing in through balls expecting him to run on to the ball. His game would suit natural wingers running at their full backs and crossing in the ball for him. Are we expecting too much from him?

Bacuna is a highly-rated Dutch under-21 international. He is versatile in that he can play at right back, central midfield, right wing and he even played as a left wing-back against West Ham. After the Liverpool home game, he was named ‘Man of the Match’, to the disbelief of the home support. After the game, I heard people describing him as “awful”. Now look at him: he has jousted Lowton out of the team when we wouldn’t have thought Lowton would be dropped after his performances last season. He has even shown he is capable of scoring magnificent goals: I don’t need to remind you of the free-kick against Manchester City.

Another player who was written off at the start of last season was Benteke, with people dubbing him “the new Heskey” after a fair few misses. He missed a chance against Fulham while Villa were 1-0 down, which had prompted this branding. However, he soon turned his game around and he finished the season as Villa’s top scorer, leading to reported interest from many teams. In fact, during the summer, it seemed like he was linked with a different club every day; many suspect this all came from the London press, to try to unsettle him. Were you one of the supporters who doubted Benteke at the start of last season?

Tonev hit the back of the net on four occasions in twenty-six matches. He was recommended by Petrov to Aston Villa. He has been criticised by many for the number of shots he has taken instead of passing to his team-mates.  He uses his pace to his advantage by dribbling with the ball into space. In recent weeks, his shooting has become less frequent, which means he has passed more. This resulted in calls from supporters for Tonev to be starting matches.

Joe Bennett was a scapegoat for Villa fans last season. With any goal we conceded, we’d look to see if Bennett was involved. Last season Bennett had to deactivate his Twitter account, due to the amount of abuse he received. He was given a full season in which to develop and it seemed he was gaining confidence, which resulted in better performances (bar the Norwich game).

As Villa fans, do we expect too much from players too soon? We set incredibly high standards because of our past. In the present, with Lambert, who I think can take this club forward, we can try to become a threat and break into Europe but fans need to be both patient and realistic.

How do you feel about the players who have come in this season? Who has surprised you the most so far? Who can excel in the latter stages of the season? Share your thoughts by commenting below.


  1. Its the new breed of Villa fan unfortunately. Fickle, impatient, lacking knowledge and in need of instant success.

    Bring back the the working class supporters of the 80s, they got behind every player no matter what. Back then you would never of heard of a player getting booed before a game like Bennett has been.

    Do us a favour if you don’t want to support the team, go down the road to Stan Drews and support the SCUM.


  2. i Agree with Anon Amos, to many negative vibes from the youngsters who think they know about football, perfect e.g. was the loss to everton. People calling for lambert to be sacked. Really! and replaced by who? We played some of the best football we have played for 3 years in the 1st half and it could easily been 4 -2 at half time.
    We have a young squad who are improving, and they and Lamberts big picture needs to be given time to come to fruition. The players who were brought in the last transfer window need more time to settle into the Prem league and the Villa. I have seen us in the old 3rd div when things were really dire. Therefore DO NOT BOO your own players, If u r that negative towards our team, save your money and stay away. We may not be a rich club but we don’t need your money to slagging the team is so detrimental in the short and long term JUST stay away or go and follow the blue scum. VTID

  3. Thanks for your replies, I agree 100% with both of your points. Lambert is still young, in which means he’ll make mistakes just like the top class managers do. We have literally a brand new squad, in which was made in two seasons, so the players still need to adapt their game to the English game, and also to gel in which seems that they are gelling. We should not boo any player of ours even if they perform badly as it can affect their confidence, meaning it’ll result in much poorer performances.


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