Listen to Episode 161
Aston Villa Make Do
In terms of the start of the 2021/22 Premier League season, Aston Villa have been a victim of their circumstances. Their preseason was far from ideal with Covid-interrupted friendlies and a late £100m transfer merry-go-round to replace their key player. Since the season started, their luck hasn’t changed.
Injuries have prevented Dean Smith fielding his likely strongest first XI, while in their last league game against Brentford, two of their potential starters were out with Covid, joining captain Tyrone Mings on the sidelines, who missed out with a cracked rib.
With Villa’s potential first XI missing half of its personnel against the Bees, the first international break of the season has been perfectly timed.
The likes of Ollie Watkins, Leon Bailey, Bertrand Traore, John McGinn, Tyrone Mings and Morgan Sanson should be available for selection when Villa return to action against Chelsea on Saturday, although the recent farcical situation of Villa’s Argentine pair of Emiliano Martinez and Emi Buendia, means Smith will have to wait until their home tie against Everton to pick from a full deck.
It’s obviously going to take a bit of patience in the next few weeks for this restructured Villa team to bed down its new personnel.
Villa are lucky to have the bedrock of an established defensive unit in place, and in Danny Ings, a lethal top class striker up top, which provides a basic equation to pick up points while they find their feet.
Despite Villa fielding weakened line-ups, it was important in the opening two home fixtures for Villa to pick up points against both Newcastle and Brentford and stay unbeaten. At least it sets up some momentum in terms of making Villa Park the proverbial fortress to provide the foundations for a successful league campaign.
On the latest My Old Man Said podcast (listen above), as well as discussing Villa’s start to the season and recent performances, we look at Ronaldo’s boost to the Manchester United share price, Ghanian principles and a French football battle between players and fans.
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David Michael – @oldmansaid
Chris Budd – @BUDD_music
Phillip Shaw – @prsgame
My Old Man Said – https://www.myoldmansaid.com
Editor/Producer – David Michael
Music – Philip Marten