yacouba sylla song

 

In our straw poll of Villa fans online, though, the name which cropped up most apart from Delph’s was that of Yacouba Sylla. Sylla was part of the Villa midfield three which drove the side on to an upturn in form in the second half of last season, and stakes his claim mostly through his strength and defensive duties.

Sylla adds extra defensive steel to the Villa midfield that Westwood and El Ahmadi do not possess. It would also mean that Delph could concentrate on playing more of a box-to-box role, knowing that the defence would be protected by Sylla sitting in front of them. It certainly appears to be a system that works as six of Villa’s ten wins last season came with Sylla playing alongside Westwood and Delph in the heart of midfield, and although a significant proportion of Villa fans wanted Westwood dropped for the time being, this is the trio that most Villa fans asked by MOMS said they would prefer as a long-term midfield.

The only issue is where the creativity comes from? Sylla would sit back, Westwood would keep the ball moving, and the onus would be on Delph to drive forward from midfield. If Delph can do this in the manner in which he started the season, linking the deep-lying midfielders with the two playing off the frontman, Villa could have a solid and effective midfield on their hands, albeit one that hasn’t scored a league goal between them.

There’s no doubt Villa’s midfield will need to chip in on the goal front, if they are to be considered a decent team. Villa does have potentially more prolific players in that department waiting in the wings though.

Gary Gardner should be eased back into action and when match fit, should be pushing for a start every week and could well threaten Westwood’s place if the latter’s form does not pick up. In his pre-Norwich press conference, Lambert revealed that he had not even considered sending Gardner out on loan, and once he puts a run of games together it will be difficult for anyone to take his place in the side – at 6 ft1, he adds a physical presence, and his prowess from dead ball situations is something that the side have been seriously lacking of late. Over the next few years, if he steers clear of injury, he could well become one of the club’s most important players.

It has been suggested that Nicklas Helenius, who has an eye for goal, could get a go attempting to play in the hole behind the frontman at home in order to try to crack the issue of the side’s hideous home form. It is something that may well be worth trying, but if anything this just shows how lacking the club’s midfield is in creativity.

The midfield that most Villa fans would prefer to see seems to be Fabian Delph and Yacouba Sylla plus one other, most likely a choice of Westy or KEA. For me, the Delph-Sylla-Westwood midfield of the latter half of last season is still the best option. Sylla adds the muscle, I am of the opinion that Delph could become more of a creative player with a bit of work, and once he gets back on form, Westwood’s role as the ‘quiet man’ is crucial to the side’s style.

It is, at least, still early days in the season, so Lambert has time to try out his options. It’s an issue that needs to be cracked soon though – the success of Villa’s season depends on it.

 

Follow MOMS on Twitter

Follow Tom on Twitter

7 COMMENTS

  1. Paulhedley – enjoying that first post I see.

    For me I would love to see a 4-2-3-1 but I don’t think we have the no. 10 to play in the middle of the three. I hope he addresses this next summer and brings back Carruthers who will deputise in this slot. I would then be looking at a holding 2 of Westwood/Sylla alongside Delph (backed up by Gary G).

    In the absence of a no. 10, I would play:
    —————– Westy (KEA back up) —————–
    Sylla (Bacuna back up) ———– Delph

    in a 3 man midfield.

    You need energy to compete in the EPL and KEA doesn’t bring that so the only role I see for him is back up to Westy. Sylla and Westy can interchange during a game as Sylla has a better engine but Westy is more deft when further forward.

    This is the three that was at the heart of the really good run at the back end of last season and I don’t really understand why it has been given a decent run so far this season?

  2. paulhedley Sounds like you’re advocating a 4-2-3-1 at home. Ordinarily, I’d think of that as a more defensive “away” formation, but for Villa, the 4-3-3 away provides that fast counter attack threat that has worked well for us, and our inability to break down opposition defenses at home does make the idea of a slower attack with 4 key players up front instead of three a pretty good idea.
    In the 4-2-3-1, I think our best 2-line would be Sylla and Bacuna, or perhaps Sylla and Lowton, keeping Bacuna in the right back spot (first clean sheet in ages with him there), but could also see using Bennett or Luna on that line, as they are both better supporting the offense than actually defending. Baker can play a better defensive left back, but I think so could Clark, and Clark is a better passer and better going forward than Baker, so I’d use Baker in the center with Vlaar and use Clark on the left.Delph needs work on picking out the right pass and executing it precisely. If we could develop that vision and incisive passing, combined with his energy and dribbling skill, he could be a top notch center attacking mid. As it is though, it’s safer to use him as one of the DMs or possibly as one of the wings in a 4-2-3-1, though with his sometimes rash tackling, I’d hesitate to assign him a DM role.
    I’d start like this in our next home match:
    Guzan
    Bacuna  Vlaar  Baker  Clark
    Sylla  Luna
    Agbonlahor   Westwood   Delph
    Kozak (assuming Benteke’s still out)
    and I’d be prepared to bring on Helenius for Westwood in the 60th minute and sub out Delph (Albrighton or Weimann) or Sylla (KEA or Lowton) in the event of a yellow card.

  3. Interesting piece which has inspired a first ever comment on the site from me.I think that what’s most important is to develop a tactical flexibility which allows PL to pick a team based on the opposition, rather than turning out the same midfield every game. Given the away form over the last 8 months, there seems little point in changing formation from 4-3-3 and picking from Delph, Sylla, Wwood and KEA depending on form and fitness. I personally think is potentially the best of the lot and offers a better defensive shield. However, for “easier” home games, having a midfield 2 (take your pick of the above 4) behind a more advanced 3 to include the very talented Helenius as a playmaker would give a greater threat. The 2 wide attackers would be slightly more withdrawn than at present to ensure that we’re not outnumbered in the middle, but with license to advance when in possession.

  4. Interesting piece which has inspired a first ever comment on the site from me.
    I think that what’s most important is to develop a tactical flexibility which allows PL to pick a team based on the opposition, rather than turning out the same midfield every game. Given the away form over the last 8 months, there seems little point in changing formation from 4-3-3 and picking from Delph, Sylla, Wwood and KEA depending on form and fitness. I personally think is potentially the best of the lot and offers better defensive

Comments are closed.