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This Could Be One Of The Biggest Moments In Villa’s History & It Depends On The Owners

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So, Aston Villa are safe. For this year. This could be one of the biggest moments in the clubs’ history; we have a real opportunity to move forwards. And it depends very much on how the owners see it.

Writer: McParlandTheGreat

Wes Edens and Nassef Sawaris are successful businessmen, and Villa is a business. They may not be looking for a big profit on it, but they aren’t people to throw money at it with no return. They’ve put a lot of money in, and they’ll want to see the value of the club grow to reflect that. Ambition is key to what they’re doing. And they won’t want to hang around for too long to realise that.

So how will they view the next stage? I suspect they’ll be looking for more than survival, or even relatively comfortable survival, next season. I think they’ll be looking for a big leap upwards. Having just survived, this is probably as good a time as any to do it. Also, given that a number of clubs will have financial problems, money-wise it’s probably a good time to do it. There isn’t really anything to be said for a more cautious approach. Tinkering with what we’ve got might make us a bit safer next year, but not a lot more. I think they’ll look for significant changes in key areas.

Where do they start? I don’t think they’ll be too unhappy with the squad as a whole. Last summer’s signings have been criticised a lot, but most of them have shown they have something worthwhile. Individually they have a year’s experience under their belts and should get better. Most of them.

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On the other hand, as a team they’re way below what’s required. Even with the experience of this season this team would struggle next year. What we need is a strategy, a vision of the sort of team we need to put out next year, a team populated with current players where we can, but bolstered by a few top class signings in the right positions which can put that vision into practice. And above all we need a hand on the tiller which can not only get the best out of the individual players, but can form the talent that is there into an effective Premier League force.

Which brings us to the manager. I think we all like Dean, and he deserves credit for both getting us up and keeping us there. But we’re talking about the top level, and the question is can he take us forwards in the way the owners are looking for?

My own feeling, for a number of reasons, is that he isn’t the person to do it. I think we need somebody of proven experience at the top level who we can be confident will drive us forwards in the way required.

I don’t know if the owners will see it this way, but judging from their ambitions I think they should.

With Survival Secured...

Smith Has Earned Next Season

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  • RL says:

    As a leader you can’t be everyone’s friend, you need to make tough calls, fire under-performers even if they are your family or best friends and hold people accountable for doing their jobs as demanded. I really like DS, seems a really nice guy and what’s more a fan. Could he be the person to take us to a top 6 position, unlikely. He did a great job in the last 4 games and by his own admission he used the Lockdown to fix what every one could see every week. Almost the worst defence in the PL. What was JT doing, handing out sandwiches and cracking jokes?
    We went into the season without a senior proven goal scorer – Jack is out top score at 8! A hard-nosed manager would have insisted on having a proven striker regardless. We can’t just blame Suso for the choices we need a manager that is shouting from the roof tops as to what’s needed to make us that force.
    Time for reflection will be short we are back up and running in a few weeks – how many targets are lined up right now? Man on man my heart could not take another year of this pain, so I doubt the team, manager of the fans could – our death nell will be bigger than this pandemic!

  • Tony J says:

    My hunch is Smith will stay. If he was to depart, the announcement would surely have been made at the same time as Pitarch’s demise.

    The impression I have formed of the manager is that of a nice guy, which may or may not fairly reflect the full range of his true management style, but does leave me remaining doubtful of his assertiveness m. Will he prove strong and insistent when change is necessary?

    I would also like to know where Terry sits in the Smith management tree because he seems to be very comfortable in the guise of ‘good cop’ within the group. Although this is traditionally the assistants’s role, there may be a problem identifyIng who will ever take the foil and play bad cop, especially when the chips are down. Certainly, it is not assisted with the selection of relatively benign captain in Grealish, who appears reliant upon working to the Beckham ‘role model’ style of skippering (yes, questionable credentials, I know).

    Fortunately, we can default to big Tyrone, who can hand out a rollicking or three. Nevertheless, the big question still remains though – is the leadership mix right and that is Smith’s responsibility to determine.

    From a tactical point of view, we have remained rather fixed to one fundamental style of play, with only minor tweaks being applied from time to time. To use of one isolated striker clearly doesn’t work, at least not with the calibre of player we currently possess. Yet we persisted with this approach all season, give or take the odd exception.

    Role selection has often been questionable too, often at odds with a player’s strengths. Wesley never had a track record as target man, preferring to run in at defences off the flank. Grealish is not a traditional number 10, running beyond the front man. Our wingers are not really adept enough at link up play at Premier League level. Yet, throughout the year we never really seemed to overcome the square peg problem.

    So, weighing everything up, I am not at odds with the thought of managerial change. However, from a practical point of view, finding the right person quickly is a big challenge, unless work has already been underway. It is also true to source a replacement from abroad with no prior Premier League experience would be a gamble. Although, if you are going to do it, you a best doing so from the start of season.

    Still, I think Smith will soldier on. If he does, I hope he recruits effectively and wish him well.

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