What could the future hold for Aston Villa?


Embed from Getty Images

Aston Villa’s third season back in the Premier League since their Championship promotion in 2019 has been rather tough going.

The Villans parted ways with Dean Smith just three months into the campaign, the man who helped them to seal their return to the top flight of English football. Steven Gerrard is now at the helm, with the former Rangers boss joining the side in just his third coaching job since retiring as a player in 2016.

Despite spending around £90 million on attacking talent in the summer, the former European Champions are currently sat 12th in the Premier League table. They have been unable to win more than two consecutive games in the league, and with their form not yet showing many signs of improvement, fans may already have their sights set on next season.

Embed from Getty Images

Villa won three of their opening six matches, including a shock result away at Manchester United. However, their form soon took a massive dip and they went on to lose their next five games in the league, with Smith being sacked just two days after their away defeat to Southampton.

The international break followed their poor display on the South Coast and therefore gave Villa two weeks in order to find their new manager. Gerrard, who won the Scottish Premiership with Rangers last season, made a surprise mid-season move from Ibrox to Villa Park and was announced as their new boss.

His reign at the helm of the Villans got off to a great start as his new side picked up crucial wins against Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace. Defeats to Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea came after, but they were mixed in with victories against Norwich City and Leicester City.

Results were therefore fluctuating and wins were crucial for their league position but losses against the top three were probably expected given the difference in quality.

Their FA Cup run was also short-lived as they lost at the hands of the Red Devils, with a Villa goal being ruled out by VAR in controversial circumstances. Domestic cup success was now off the cards, with their defeat at Old Trafford following their early exit in the Carabao Cup to Chelsea in the opening months of the season.

One win in their last five has further halted improvement, especially with successive losses to relegation-threatened Newcastle United and Watford in their previous two games. The question is though, how do they improve?

Embed from Getty Images

Bold steps were taken in the January transfer window as Villa signed former Champions League winner Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona, a move that saw him and Gerrard reunite after their days together at Liverpool. They also brought in the experienced left-back Lucas Digne, who became an outcast at former side Everton.

Coutinho made an instant impact at Villa Park, coming off the bench and netting against United on his debut to level the score at 2-2 after his side were two goals down. He also picked up a goal and two assists in their 3-3 draw against Leeds United.

While in the short term these signings will be enough to help them through to the end of the season, in order for the long term to look bright they should utilise the strengths and promise of Jacob Ramsey.

The 20-year-old is competing in his second full season in the first team, having worked his way up through ranks in their youth system. He has come on leaps and bounds in the current campaign as he has scored crucial goals for his side, with his 23 appearances proving he is a useful asset to the side.

Danny Ings was signed in the summer from Southampton to bolster the attack alongside Ollie Watkins, but they have only scored nine goals together in a combined 41 appearances so far. While Villa are by no means the lowest scorers in the Premier League, results would obviously be improved if they were more clinical in front of goal.

They have only conceded 37 goals in the league but a lot of their results have been decided by just one goal, with fine margins, therefore, deciding their fate in games this season.

Villa are a wealthy club and have proved that in previous transfer windows, but they may need to spend more in the market in the summer if they want to improve on this season’s showing. It is a lot easier said than done but a lack of goals and narrow losses are letting them down, and these problems will need to be addressed if they are to progress next season.

Gerrard has done fairly well in his limited time so far, but his true success at the club will surely be determined after the summer and once he has partaken in a full campaign at Villa Park.

Follow us on Twitter @ProstInt


[column size=”1/2″][blog type=”timeline” posts=”10″ cats=”59″ heading=”EPL” heading_type=”timeline” /][/column]

[column size=”1/2″][blog type=”timeline” posts=”10″ cats=”351″ heading=”Aston Villa” heading_type=”timeline” /][/column]



About Author

Comments are closed.