Top of the Table
Aston Villa U23’s 4-1 away win at Southampton this week saw the team hit the summit of the U23 Premier League 2 Division 2 table (aka second tier of the U23’s).
In recent years, Villa’s youth set-up has slipped a little from their previous mantle of having one of the best youth set ups in Europe. You only have to go back a few years to when Villa were the toast of Europe, winning the NextGen tournament back in 2013 against the cream of Europe, when Jack Grealish and co, beat Chelsea in the final in Lake Como.
Recently though, underwhelming league table finishes have left them short of getting back to the top tier of U23 football. They finished 7th last season (out of 12 teams) after scraping into the play-offs the previous season.
While Keinan Davis has been a welcome recent product of the youth set-up, the importance of feeding more players through the academy will certainly increase if Villa fail to gain promotion this season. First of all, Villa’s parachute payments will fizzle out and FFP will restrict any kind of splash-the-cash rebuild the Villa team will need again.
Ideally, both the senior team and U23 will be looking to clinch a double promotion for Villa this season.
It’s potentially on the cards with Bruce’s men rallying in recent games to currently sit in 4th position, while Villa’s U23 lead their division too.
By Any Means Necessary
Hopefully, Villa U23’s maintain the focus to gain promotion, even if it means pulling a few tricks like Arsenal did against us a couple of seasons ago in the U21 play-off final.
MOMS and 100 other Villans were there at the Emirates to see Villa play an Arsenal U21’s team that included Joel Campbell, Francis Coquelin and a 31-year-old Santi Cazorla. It proved too much for Villa, as the hosts ran out 3-1 winners.
Maybe the likes of John Terry and Mile Jedinak fancy a bit of fun later on in the U23 campaign, if there’s some must-win games?