Aston Villa’s Premier League Restart Advantages Discussed

Aston Villa’s Training Ground Players

Shortly before the 2019/20 season was suspended, after a 2-0 defeat at Southampton, Aston Villa boss Dean Smith bemoaned Villa having “too many training-ground players”. The type of player who can impress on the Bodymoor Heath turf, but tends to freeze on the big stage in front of a crowd under game day intensity. With the Premier League restart on the horizon, will this now be an advantage for Villa?

Will these players that perhaps haven’t reached their full potential due to inhibition infant of crowds, suddenly feel freed of the pressure of expectation and, as a result, blossom and raise their game?

Are we as Villa fans just clutching straws at the notion?

In episode 106 of the podcast (listen above), we give this potential phenomena some thought and address how it could play out over Villa’s remaining 10 games being behind closed doors. Who are the players you could expect improvement from, in short, who are the Villa players that could be guilty of being training ground players?

While we’re on the subject of Villa’s potential restart advantages? Are there any other silver-linings the lockdown has served up? And how big a factor will the obvious benefit of the return of John McGinn be?

Also, the podcast looks at the Villa Women’s team’s promotion success and the resistance to the Newcastle United take over bid, which is warming up.

In a very entertaining ‘Overrated or Underrated’ section, the ex-Villa player trio of Mustapha Hadji, Earl Barrett and Saša Ćurčić are placed under the microscope, while we examine Juan Pablo Angel’s position on the Villa Pantheon of stars.

As usual, there’s plenty of laughs along the way.



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David Michael – @oldmansaid 

Dan Rodgers – @avfc_vilr

Chris Budd – @BUDD_music

Producer/Editor – David Michael

Editor/Producer – David Michael

Outro music – Phil Marten


  1. Advantages?? Well we can’t get any worse than the Leicester game. Difficult to think of a more appalling performance I have seen in over 60 years. We have the game in hand. We have a huge squad. We have on paper lots of players who were good before they came here. Can the manager motivate them to perform to the required level?? That’s the question. He has done it before! Come on Villa we can do it. Oh and Colin, Grealish has signed for The Manchester has beens many times. He may go but not to there.

  2. Just read that Jack Grealish has said that stay up or go down he is set on joining Man U I would like to know what’s going on if this is true why make these statements now ahead of our must win game on Wednesday, has to be completely de motivating for the team and a crass thing for the team captain to come out with, This is serious and Grealish ought to man up and make a statement to the fans, and it’s unbelievable that the manager and board are prepared to allow this to continue they too should come out now and tell the fans the truth and the facts of the matter. So come on Villa get a grip and sort this now. This rubbish could easily cost us the game.

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