With Director of Football Steve Round’s update interview on the Villa Engine covered a short time ago, another issue he addressed was the overall philosophy that had been put into place at first team level and had now implemented in our youth levels.
Whilst Round’s first job was arguably to play his part in turning around the atmosphere at Bodymoor Heath and dealing with the ‘legacy of failure’ that he spoke about in the previous coverage – It’s Your Round My Lord – he also spoke with a little bit more depth about his role in formulating a vision for Villa that could be implemented from first team level and be filtered down to our youngest age group so our developing youngsters knew what style they were supposed to be playing to help their development further and ease a pathway into the first team.
Round admitted that with the ground work done on that vision, it is now being implemented in the first team via Steve Bruce and his backroom staff and it now applies all the way down to Head of Academy Coaching Brian Eastick and those at that level and although he feels fans will have started to see that vision come to the fore in recent matches as he becomes better adopted, clearly this is the first stage introduction of a common consensus at the club so it’s not like we are replicating Ajax’s Academy.
The starting point is attitude, focus, discipline and on ensuring standards are consistently held high and nobody accepts mediocrity in efforts any longer.
‘I can certainly pinpoint what we expect of an Aston Villa player now – and in the future. We want Aston Villa players who will play for the shirt. I know that’s easy to say. But it’s got to mean something. That claret and blue shirt has got to mean something to a player.’
Round went on to say that this would simply mean ‘pride’ in representing the club and always giving their all for themselves and their colleagues with full commitment in everything they do to ensure there is improvement at every stage of our work.
With the article above referencing Round speaking to people both in and outside of the club, as well as our former legends for what they felt Aston Villa should embody, it was clearly a case of returning to our former-selves – being on the frontfoot, aggressive and hardworking and more importantly a forward thinking team that strove constantly for greater.
The base point for that is in not accepted mediocre efforts on the training pitch, a lack of standards and discipline in how players conduct themselves both in and out of work and stamping quickly on players who have a poor attitude.
Everything will then follow from that as nobody, whatever the playing level within the club, is under any illusions as to what is asked and expected of them.
There’s a good argument to say that our recent improvements may in fact show that this fresh approach is starting to reap it’s own rewards when you see the spirit in the first team.
With the brand values being ‘Passion, Pride, Purpose’ it seems we finally have a touch of all three, even if it remains early days still!
Source: Official Site.
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