So here we are, start of a new season, and this one’s full of hopes and expectations. Me, I’m cautiously optimistic. Which is probably what I’ll have put on my gravestone. As Emi Buendia’s injury illustrates, football can be cruel no matter how well you look to be set up. But. Emi’s only one player and Emery’s reaction has been excellent. Villa were never going to live or die based solely on Buendia.
Preseason is now history, and Villa have come through the summer’s six matches unbeaten. Not a bad showing given the competition and some of the conditions, and from the outside, it seems to have been a very useful training camp.
Villa’s summer tour in America came to a close with another 3-3 draw, this time against Brentford. Good game for the neutrals, and a lot of hard minutes out there. So, three PL-level games and five points out of nine against Newcastle, Fulham and Brentford. Not the worst return from training, and Emery seems upbeat enough about it all.
Target areas? It’s all about priorities, how to stretch your money the furthest while getting better and deeper. I would think wide right, another striker, and a midfielder or two. Clearly, there’s no way Ramsey, McGinn, Luiz, and Kamara can play every match. Can’t see not having another striker option besides Duran, likewise a better backup keeper.
For Villa, so much of what we admire in other sides is the range of passing, control, decision-making, and awareness. Villa just don’t have enough of it. We also don’t have enough aggression, pace, and perhaps stamina.
May sound like a lot, but after some clear-outs that set the stage for the summer, I can see us getting four, maybe five players that could transform the squad.