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 got off to a fast start with goals from Ollie and Buendia (deservedly MOTM) to glide ahead 2-0 inside of 12 minutes. But unlike league performances under Emery, it didn’t turn out to be a lead Villa could hold. There was a bit of sloppiness, bits of luck good and bad, and the usual attacks on the high line. But there was plenty to like, especially going forward.
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.
Villa returned to action following the midseason interruption and lost an entertaining, wide-open game against an on-song Liverpool. It was great viewing for everyone but Villans, though it really wasn’t that rough for us, either. There were encouraging signs.