Aston Villa go into tonight’s Championship clash with Bolton Wanderers at Villa Park looking to get back to winning ways under new head coach Dean Smith following back to back defeats to Queens Park Rangers and Norwich City.
QPR, in particular, saw a number of improvements and had we been able to put the ball in the back of the net we’d have taken all three points given our play, but Smith has been clear in the buildup to tonight’s clash that he wants further improvement as he looks for more than a result himself.
With confirmation that Birkir Bjarnason hasn’t recovered in time for this one, these fans at least want to see Conor Hourihane come back in to partner John McGinn in the middle of the pitch as the assumption is Mile Jedinak is a little too defensive for a home game.
With Bjarnason out, I'd bring in Hourihane. Him & Mcginn play just a little bit deeper, and push Jack on a bit further forward. Of course they have the legs to get forward and help out in attack. #avfc
— J__T__T (@J__T__T) November 1, 2018
If Bjarnason isn't fit Friday I would bring in Hourihane. No need for a DM for Bolton at home.
— Chez Avfc (@AvfcUTV1) October 31, 2018
I think one player who will really struggle in Dean Smiths system is Mile Jedinak. Smith seems to like his holding midfielder to be smaller and more mobile with good distribution ability. Sadly for Jedinak, mobility and distribution aren’t his strengths. #avfc pic.twitter.com/2u7Nz4dsJW
— Total Villa (@Total_Villa) October 30, 2018
And if Smith is to prefer the more mobile midfielder then Hourihane should be getting in ahead of the iceman, neither are brilliant but Hourihane offers goals and a good set piece which was missing the other night
— Villa Patriot (@bigeddo63) October 31, 2018
We're also a different side and play with so much more pace when McGinn plays. Have to find a way of getting him, Jack and Hourihane in. Bolton at home could be chance for that.
— John Leavy (@JohnRLeavy) October 26, 2018
I’m not sure I agree, although I can see sense in the argument being that Jack Grealish can push further forward and cease coming so deep as Hourihane is more mobile than Jedinak. I just think the Jedi’s strengths are better suited to this one as I doubt the middle of the park will be pretty.
I still can’t not have a partial thought on those Under 23 players who missed out earlier in the week.