Aston Villa’s Training Ground Players
Shortly before the 2019/20 season was suspended, after a 2-0 defeat at Southampton, Aston Villa boss Dean Smith bemoaned Villa having “too many training-ground players”. The type of player who can impress on the Bodymoor Heath turf, but tends to freeze on the big stage in front of a crowd under game day intensity. With the Premier League restart on the horizon, will this now be an advantage for Villa?
Will these players that perhaps haven’t reached their full potential due to inhibition infant of crowds, suddenly feel freed of the pressure of expectation and, as a result, blossom and raise their game?
Are we as Villa fans just clutching straws at the notion?
In episode 106 of the podcast (listen above), we give this potential phenomena some thought and address how it could play out over Villa’s remaining 10 games being behind closed doors. Who are the players you could expect improvement from, in short, who are the Villa players that could be guilty of being training ground players?
While we’re on the subject of Villa’s potential restart advantages? Are there any other silver-linings the lockdown has served up? And how big a factor will the obvious benefit of the return of John McGinn be?
Also, the podcast looks at the Villa Women’s team’s promotion success and the resistance to the Newcastle United take over bid, which is warming up.
In a very entertaining ‘Overrated or Underrated’ section, the ex-Villa player trio of Mustapha Hadji, Earl Barrett and Saša Ćurčić are placed under the microscope, while we examine Juan Pablo Angel’s position on the Villa Pantheon of stars.
As usual, there’s plenty of laughs along the way.
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David Michael – @oldmansaid
Dan Rodgers – @avfc_vilr
Chris Budd – @BUDD_music
Producer/Editor – David Michael
Editor/Producer – David Michael
Outro music – Phil Marten