Foxy has sent in this little article about how Villa can go around transfers and why new tactics and maybe new training drills could change our team dramatically.
We have a poor defence and poor midfield but most importantly tactics and substitutions are both unfathomable and generally counter-productive.
Taking off N’Zogbia when he’s playing well (unless because of injury) for example or not starting Wiemann when he’s arguably our most influential player. Choosing Given over Guzan for a cup game we have to win to see us through to Wembley but also prevents complete humiliation. Too often we see a great big gap in the middle of the field between defence and attack, encouraging us to lose possession whenever Benteke can’t control the long ball or nod it on to a Villa player.
We don’t play wide except with Lowton and Bennett, who aren’t good enough to both attack and defend. Every opponent – including those from the 2nd Division – can read our game and punch holes in it. If we’re sticking with the players (well, apart from the ones we’ve alienated) and manager we have is it too much to ask to bring in people capable of a) training our defence and midfield and b) analysing how we and our opposition are playing and work out game plans, including separate plans for if a player needs to be substituted and for planned substitutions.
I will repeat this until I’m blue in the face, we can’t lose Benteke and Wiemann and Wiemann must be made captain. He works his balls off and does exactly what he’s paid to do and more. We must build the team around them. We have excellent strikers and Guzan has been superb despite the best efforts of the defence in front of him. We don’t pay good money to go to VP because the seats are comfortable for a nice nap or it’s the only place we can find chips and curry sauce.
The basics need addressing, the team isn’t winning anything and we have accepted the upheaval to a certain point but no one has bothered to tell us the plan. We assume Randy is slashing funding and that’s why Lambert and lower league/foreign players have come in. If this is the plan then great, but it’s not being implemented terribly well and seriously needs addressing. Who, seriously, would want to pay to watch Villa at VP as it stands? Not the 10,000 to 12,000 people there last night expecting us to thump the minnows 6-0 with some mesmerising football and thumping goals but not coming to PL matches, i.e. everyone but the diehards and season ticket holders.
A radical suggestion here, if we’re sticking with the manager and players then why not fix the training and tactics. If not, and the plan is to continue serving up dross, hanging around the bottom quarter of the table and having little or no ambition to play entertaining football then why not rebuild VP with a 32k capacity so the place is full and has an atmosphere? Too expensive or ridiculous? I have another idea. City are going bust, why not buy St Andrews and paint it claret and blue. It’s about as likely as the mighty Villa being knocked out of a two-part semi by a second division team but what the hell?