Aston Villa have had a stop start beginning to the season but have made some astute signings and look like a side with some quality players, who should comfortably avoid relegation. They have a young enthusiastic manager and a squad with plenty of players who have a point to prove.
Best starting XI: Brad Guzan, Alan Hutton, Micah Richards (c), Joleon Lescott, Jordan Amavi, Jack Grealish, Ashley Westwood, Carlos Sanchez, Leandro Bacuna, Rudy Gestede and Scott Sinclair have so far proved to be the best options for Tim Sherwood, and despite not playing yet this season Jack Grealish should walk straight back into the first XI when fit.
Best performer: Jordan Amavi has been outstanding since making the move from Ligue 1 in France to the Premier League. The French U/21 full back has made the transition with ease and has looked to be Tim Sherwood’s best recruit of the summer. Amavi has recently received praise from former Arsenal defender Martin Keown. “Of the players coming in, I’ve been impressed by Jordan Amavi,” said the 49-year-old.
Most improved player: Scott Sinclair looks in great form recently and has a fantastic opportunity to kick-start his career again after a disappointing few years at Manchester City. A hat-trick in the League Cup against Notts County followed by a brace against Sunderland has once again proven that form is temporary and class is permanent. The international break came at the worst time possible for the 26-year-old.
Injury news: Gabriel Agbonlahor, Jack Grealish, Gary Gardner, Adama Traore, Jores Okore and Jose Angel Crespo are all currently injured but are expected to be back fit shortly after the international break.
Business completed in transfer window: Aston Villa had a busy summer with 11 players coming in and 11 leaving the club. Major singings included Micah Richards, Adama Traore and Rudy Gestede, while Christian Benteke, Fabian Delph and Andreiss Weimann all left the club during the summer.
Rating the manager: Sherwood is far from your run of the mill manager but he gets results. He impressed with his first major job, with Tottenham and has now been given another great opportunity, his record so far is an impressive 47% win rate. It’s been a slow start this season but Sherwood should have what it takes to keep up the Villans quite comfortably. Next season will be the massive for the Villa boss should he keep hold of his job until then, it will be decisive in terms of him proving that he has what it takes to be a manager at the highest level. Overall Tim gets 4/5
Weaknesses: Defensively Villa have been poor so far this season, which has led to the signing of Joleon Lescott from West Brom. The side have shipped eight goals in their first five games this season (four League games and one League Cup game). An experienced partnership of former Manchester City pair Lescott and Richards should cut out this problem though.
Forecast for remainder of season: I can see Villa just missing out on mid-table this year, a 12th or 13th place finish for Sherwood’s men would be a success following the loss of Benteke and Delph, as I said before, next year can be a very exciting one for the Midlands side if they build on this season.
Overall rating out of 5: 3
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