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.
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.
Vital Villa’s Owners & CEO Forum Thread
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
Thanks But We Must Kick On