The month of January was a mixed bag for many Aston Villa fans. A turn in results under head coach Dean Smith saw plenty feel that we needed to put down a marker in terms of how we strengthened as some old problems came back to the fore, but others were pleased with the change of direction we undoubtedly took.
No short term lurching, plenty of youngsters out on loan to learn and develop further, with specific signings to suit a role rather than our previous scattergun approach and overloading in particular positions.
There will be those who disagree with ‘the plan’ that we now have in place, but plenty of others are chuffed that we finally seem to have a ‘plan’ and a direction and that was the big positive for them.
Vital Villa member Langoe66 offered the following thoughts.
Have enjoyed reading through this thread over the past few days from the ‘what an embarrassment we are’ to ‘pretty pleased with the new recruits’…completely differing views as usual on Vital.
Myself, I’m pretty happy with Smith’s first window. Recruiting younger players with the potential to improve seems to be the new mandate and the window reinforces that.
Lovre Kalinic, early days but feel safer with him between the sticks and his height alone seems to fuel the feeling that he’ll command the box with more authority than Orjan Nyland.
Tyrone Mings, good signing. From what I remember he made a name for himself initially at left back with Ipswich, so I’d be more than happy to see him selected there rather than Neil Taylor, though Dean Smith long term clearly sees him as a centre back.
Kortney Hause…reserving judgement. If I base any assessment on his brief appearance at Wigan it won’t rate very highly…looked v rusty! But either way, I’m glad we’ve addressed the lack of numbers and balance in central defence and with Axel Tuanzebe returning it’ll hopefully help us to look more solid. Can’t get any worse that’s for sure.
Pity the French lad has returned to France, from what I’ve read he’s a very talented lad and fits the mandate perfectly. But if we hadn’t bought him now, we may have missed him in the summer so another sensible decision. Come August we’ll have a decent right back on the books.
Tom Carroll, from what I’ve seen of him, is a decent signing and again fits the bill in terms of how we’re looking to set up. Think we also need to remember that Smith and his coaches have shown they are capable of improving players. He didn’t have a pot to pee in at Brentford or Walsall but bought players to fit the system, got them playing as a cohesive unit and improved their level of performance, something Steve Bruce and co were unable to do.
So overall the Jan window is a thumbs up rather than down for me. If Bruce had been here it would have been Ashley Cole, Charlie Austin and Gary Cahill through the door. Short term fixes with no planning for the future. This Jan, if nothing else has shown quite clearly that we finally have some sort of strategy in place and that alone should be welcomed after nine years of having no plan whatsoever!
January Transfer Window forum thread. Usual caveats apply.