Yes, some are fretting, but here’s a sober look about Villa’s summer business and season prospects.
Barrow was fun, but it all gets more serious today with Brentford at Villa Park. Further complicating matters, Tyrone Mings has picked up a knock, and John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey appear to be isolating. Welcomey to your first Premier League start, Carney Chukwuemeka.
The annual cup runs begin this evening with Villa traveling to Barrow for a second-round Carabao Cup tie on the heels of a 2-0 victory over Newcastle. It was good to get that first win of the season under the belt, and it will be interesting to see who features for Villa tonight given the niggling injuries, fitness issues, players to bed in and youngsters knocking on the door.
Aston Villa away to promoted Watford on opening day, and finding themselves on the wrong side of a 3-2 scoreline. It was an underwhelming start to the season that had Dean Smith fuming at halftime, and a lot of Villans shaking their heads. As I’d guessed, Dean went with his usual 4-2-3-1, which wasn’t the worst idea. The more familiarity the better for starting out after so much change and a disjointed preseason. However, the team sheet did surprise me a bit with Ashley Young on the left flank and El Ghazi wide right.
No surprise in Ings up top, or Buendia at 10. No surprises in McGinn and Nakamba behind. So what happened?
Have Villa done enough to replace Grealish and keep the five-year plan? Short answer, “Yes, probably.” With more business, it could easily be “Yes, no question.” Either way, a lot of it hinges on how Danny Ings changes the way Villa play.