Can Aston Villa Thrive in 2019/20?
Despite spending £127m in fixed fees on 12 players in the summer transfer window (not counting add-ons), a total confirmed by Villa CEO Christian Purslow this week on Sky Sports News, Aston Villa have begun the season with a growing list of doubters.
Villa supporters have heard everything from their team being compared to a certain club that begins with ‘F’ (yes, it’s got that tiresome) and despite impresssing in their defeat at Spurs, being told by one pundit they will crumble and be relegated at the end of the season.
While there has been a large turnover of players during the summer, with 12 players coming in to replace roughly the same amount leaving the club, the recruitment by and large has been considered. Where they could, they got players in as early as possible and there are connections between the players – from being ex-players under Dean Smith to former teammates (three ex-Club Brugges players).
Against Spurs, Villa only fielded four new players, which demonstrates how Smith is carefully transitioning his newbies into the first team and showcasing there is an element of continuity in the team from last season.
There is also a stat that the mainstream media seems to have ignored. Out of the last six sides to be promoted to the Premier League, that spent over £50m in the summer transfer window, five of them stayed up. Fulham being the only anomaly.
Wolves, Brighton, Bournemouth and Watford are still flourishing in the division and seemed to have used that initial spend to build their foundation in the Premier League.
Aston Villa Betting Odds 2019/20
Villa are 9/4 for relegation, but there are three other teams on shorter odds – including Newcastle. On the flipside Villa are 1/3 to stay up.
Considering they were out at 9/1 to win the first game at Spurs, Villa performed better than outright outsiders at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
Their odds in their upcoming home games gives you some kind of indication where they’re placed in the scheme of things. They’re 5/4 favourites against Bournemouth, while the bookies fancy Everton for an away win at Villa Park at 10/11, with Villa out at 12/5 for the home win.
Villa has brought in a handful of young and exciting players this summer, and if two or three really perform, than the spectrum to where Villa can potentially finish will increase.
The holy defensive trinity of Tom Heaton, Tyrone Mings and Bjorn Engels have already for MOMS money, made a mockery of the above odds on Villa’s chances this season.
How good Villa can progress on top of the solidity the trio bring to the defence, will be down to Villa’s record signing Wesley hopefully notching up double digits in goals.
Brazilian U-23 captain Douglas Luis and Marvelous Nakamba could make a big difference to Villa’s midfield, if either or both turn out to be the real deal. Although further improvement in last season’s midfield primer movers could equally be as influential.
Remember how David Platt kicked-on after Villa were last promoted, playing a big part in the team challenging for the top tier title within two seasons.
There’s the same potential for improvement in John McGinn and Jack Grealish to help fast-track Villa’s progress in the division.
Trezeguet could also provide Villa with something a bit extra too, if he adjusts swiftly to the league and is a consistent performer.
Can They Gel?
Most of Villa’s new signings have never played in the Premier League before, so it might be a few weeks, or perhaps months, for them to have a real impact. Even the likes of Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings don’t have too many games under their belt in England’s top tier.
However, Aston Villa has kept a core of their players that helped them gain promotion, so the new boys don’t have to be rushed in with any urgency. As they settle down, you’d certainly expect Villa to perform better in the second half of the season, then the first.
In episode 80 of the My Old Man Said podcast, we look further at all the different departments of the team and how Villa size up as a squad, and what their potential ambition is in this season’s Premier League.
Can we be bullish about the season ahead?
Well, we give our predictions in the podcast episode too…just don’t quote us on them!
Episode 80 Notes:
Aston Villa Premier League Transfers and Squad Assessment
It’s the last show before Aston Villa begin their Premier League campaign at the impressive new stadium of Tottenham Hotspur. We look at how Villa look in all departments – goalkeeper, defence, midfield and attack – after their big summer business.
Also, MOMS caught up with former Villa midfield favourite Ian Taylor to get his views on the current Villa squad, the club’s transfer business and his hopes for the season.
As well as providing predictions for Villa in their return to the Premier League, the title winners and the relegation three, we also take a look at Harry Maguire’s record transfer, crisis clubs like Bolton and how a harmonica was recently used in a game of football.
Plus, as always, lots more.
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David Michael – @oldmansaid
Dan Rodgers – @avfc_vilr
Chris Budd – @BUDD_music
Producer/Editor – David Michael
Thanks to Ian Taylor