If you’ve been to a match at Villa Park this season, chances are you’ve have heard someone one having a go at one of Villa’s young players. Last year the main victims were Fabian Delph and Marc Albrighton, last month, it was Bannan, last week, it was Ciaran Clark, and this week it’s Andi Weimann for missing a sitter against the Hammers.
This was always going to be a season to sort out the wheat from the chaff in terms of Villa’s younger generation. Some players like Albrighton and Chris Herd have been unlucky with injury this season to properly stake their claim. Clark and Baker’s young shoulders have had to carry a Villa’s defence containing new young signings, with the experienced heads of Vlaar and Dunne injured for extended periods. While with some of Villa’s more experienced midfielders not manning up and taking up their full responsibilities, the likes of Bannan and Delph have also had to chew a little more responsibility than they may have expected too.
While some supporters would argue they pay for their tickets, so have earned their right to voice their criticism, it has to be remembered that these players need games to learn their trade and gain experience.
Of course, it’s unusual to have a top-flight team blooding so many younger players at the same time. This isn’t the players fault, more the actions of a manager trying to make up for a board’s previous mismanagement.
Mistakes do happen, but good players with potential, learn. Players that have chastised and written off like Fabian Delph, Ciaran Clark and Nathan Baker have shown signs of rising to the challenge. One things for sure, they need the fan’s backing in times of a relegation struggle. At least they’ll try and play for the shirt. If Villa stay up, the players that make the grade will have earnt it and be better for the experience.
Think twice before you start slagging off your own players…check out this classic video below of a smart-a**ed fan telling Harry Rednapp that a 18-year-old Frank Lampard just isn’t good enough (in front of Lampard’s face too). It’s a good job that some supporters don’t get a chance of managing their own clubs! UTV
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