As Dean Smith plays out these final matches, it’s clear he’s taking a long look at what he’s got and basically auditioning the squad in advance of the summer. I’m not expecting him to unearth any surprises, as I’m pretty sure they know what they’ve got. But, you keep faith with your players by giving them every chance to finish what they started. And there’ll be some big decisions to make. It’s a tricky moment. Stalwarts and ever-presents may becomes substitutes in three months.
The season’s winding down, another match without Jack, and calls for the youth after another impressive Cup performance. And all eyes are turning firmly to the summer window. Naturally, I understand the calls to blood some of the kids at this point. It’s one of those things that seem to make sense. Me, I have no idea whether it actually does. Some obvious pros, but also a couple of cons, to be fair.
That was quite a ride, wasn’t it? The European Super League’s short, abominable, and controversial life lasted about 48 hours. It ended in an ignominious and rather churlish fashion in the face of widespread outrage, condemnation, and fan unity. Naturally, of course, an undermanned Villa will host one of the more tepid traitors, the Sky Blue Manchester Team. Is there enough pride and fight to get a result?
Following a late, three-goal outburst against a fragile Fulham to get their second win without Jack, Villa will go without him once again today. Trouble is, Liverpool are a slight step up in quality.
One of the criticisms in Jack’s absence is along the lines of “Villa don’t have much to show for £250 million.” Which is a tad unfair, I think. We are still sitting 10th with just 10 to play. So, once again, a little perspective on where that money went, and why, to me, it’s nothing like what it seems.