Date: 21st August 2020 at 4:30pm
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On Thursday morning, Aston Villa learnt that we wouldn’t open the 2020/21 Premier League campaign with a clash against Manchester City, but with the fixture list now at hand, it does mean football’s return edges ever nearer – and that means the anticipation/excitement/dread of what we will and won’t do in the transfer window is now front and central.

With plenty of believable rumours, allied to total inventions, doing the rounds on the rumour mill there are a good few questions that fans can mull over as we reflect on our narrow survival last season.

Vital Villa forum member Chieftoast raised a few of those points recently and I can only imagine fans will continue to have differing opinions on where and what our focus should be over the next three odd weeks.

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With the new fixtures out, scanning through the sequence of fixtures to see if we have any nightmare run-ins, I can’t help but compare games vs results last season…then the reality kicks in and we really did just survive by the skin of our teeth.

Sure we played better in the last 9-10 games and last season should give players that experience…but we need to be better all over the pitch…and on the sidelines too.

New assistant coach to help with tactics and substitutions – check

Develop the youth set up – check

New keeper to replace Reina and challenge/cover Heaton if not fit – TBC

New defenders to improve on being the second worst defence in the league – TBC

New forwards to improve our goal scoring record – TBC* (“poised” for last 3 weeks to prepare a bid)

New wingers to actually cross the ball to new forwards – TBC

New midfielders to help the team defend/push on and be a better option than Lansbury – TBC

Improve the scouting network to achieve the above steps – TBC

There are still an awful lot of steps needing completion before we kick off in three weeks time.

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What's The Top Priority For You?

Goalkeeper

Goalkeeper

Defence

Defence

Midfield

Midfield

Attack

Attack

I’d imagine there won’t be many fans who haven’t been pleased with our renewed Academy focus, and on a player front, the arrivals of Rob Mackenzie and Johan Lange helps bolster us there but it’s certainly time for additions as we all know where we fell short last season.

Whatever the thoughts on Wesley, we clearly need a double figure striker and someone who can lead the line to bring our midfield into play in an attacking sense and I’m with Chieftoast on the other areas he sees as requiring improvements.

My biggest question, striker aside, is simply if we are looking at 3/4 quality starting XI additions, so we can keep some of the momentum we built up last season, how to rank the priority of other positions.

And that’s the one I don’t have an answer to…

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