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Come “Out The Shadow” – Villa Star With “Everything” Is Quickly Becoming Our New Talisman For This Former Player

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Although Steve Bruce’s tenure at the club came to an unfortunate end with everything he was dealing with both on and off the pitch, his snip capture of midfielder John McGinn continues to go down as an absolute masterstroke and new head coach Dean Smith has taken full advantage of that as we stormed back to the Premier League.

With the Super nickname given to him by fans in recognition of his energy and tenacity in the middle of the park, the endlessly running Meatball had a mixed first season as everybody adjusted to the top flight, but despite the squad’s midseason wobble in 2020/21, we saw definite signs that McGinn was getting back to his consistent best as time went on and the likelihood that he could in fact step up another level.

With Jack Grealish’s departure and given their strong friendship, the 26-year-old was one of the first players out to restate that European football was still an aim for the year, and more importantly he called on his colleagues to step up a level, take more responsibility and prove that there’s more to Villa than he who won’t be named twice.

Although we had a wobbly start to the 2021/22 campaign, much of that can be put down to a Covid interrupted pre-season as the players simply didn’t get enough game time and with injuries on top, it’s only been the last couple of games we’ve looked fit and sharp and even then, there are doubts about a few lasting 90 minutes still. That’s without factoring in the formation switch.

Vital Villa’s John McGinn Forum Thread

These last few games though have seen good improvements in our play – even if there’s clearly plenty more still to work on – and with Meatball looking leaner and sharper, nobody can doubt he hasn’t followed his own demands as he’s clearly stepped up further as our vice skipper so far this year.

With McGinn going toe to toe with Manchester United’s multimillion midfield, former player Micah Richards was full of praise for his individual showing last weekend as he spoke to BBC Radio Five Live’s Football Daily Podcast.

“Yeah, Villa were brilliant. Matty Cash down that right, they’ve changed to a new system with three at the back, Targett as well on the other side. John McGinn he’s really, really impressed me. He was a bit in the shadow of Jack Grealish and he’s not as technically great, but he gives so much to that team, energy, he runs in behind, he tackles and he’s got everything, he really has.”

Whether or not he’s actually come out of ‘the shadow’ like Richards suggests is open to debate as it could just be as easily argued that with steady improvement anyway, McGinn is just now confident enough to ‘lead’ like he has been now he’s got greater experience. But aside from that debate, Richards is spot on about how his overall work ethic is an absolute asset to us and it seems there’s a very good understanding developing between him, Douglas Luiz and Jacob Ramsey and it should bode well for the future.

Especially when we see where other pieces of the jigsaw will slot into place.

Has McGinn Stepped Up A Level For You?




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