Aston Villa Need to Address Growing Pains
At the Emirates, Aston Villa served up one of their worst performances under Dean Smith in their 3-1 defeat to Arsenal.
It was if the game carried on directly from the disastrous last 10 minutes against Wolves at Villa Park, the week before.
The answers to whether the 3-5-2 formation was designed to be the way forward for this season will no doubt be answered in the next few weeks. It’s understandable that it’s been reverted to considering Villa have had away trips to Chelsea, Manchester United, Spurs and Arsenal in the first nine games. There’s also injuries to key wide players (Leon Bailey, Bertrand Traore and Trezeguet all haven’t started this season), which the formation helps compensate for.
But were Danny Ings and Axel Tuanzebe acquired to purposely play it? Was it an intended formation despite Villa’s injury issues?
There’s no doubt that the wing-backs have struggled with the defensive requirements of the formation, with club’s already working it out. The centre-backs too have struggled, with Konsa and Mings having to come wide to the full back position to cover their wayward wing-backs.
While largely astute in their positioning in a centre-back pairing, Konsa and Mings have been all at sea at times in their positioning within a back three, while Tuanzebe has been far from assured.
With players returning back to the fold for the winter months, supporters will soon get insight into how Smith really wants to set up.
At this point in time, reverting back to a back four should cue the fundamental problems, while we see what works best up top.
In the latest My Old Man Said podcast episode, the MOMS team looks at the situation rationally and explains while the performance at the Emirates is far from acceptable, it’s not actually time for panic stations just yet.
Also, there’s triple Media Muppet activity, a ‘Three Points’ section that includes a 40-0 win and much, much, much more.
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