Although Aston Villa were swept aside at Everton, the fact that Rémi Garde is trying to stick to a set team (rather than being a tinkerman), offers some hope in the club’s fate turning around. When you look at the following table, published by Sporting Intelligence, of which teams have had stability in their team selections, Villa’s problems this season are clear for all to see.
What’s immediately apparent from the table is with Aston Villa having the lowest amount of ever-present players in the first 12 games of the season, it suggests that Tim Sherwood well and truly took the ‘Tinkerman’ crown off the new Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri, who the phrase was originally coined for during his time as the Chelsea boss a decade ago.
Rainieri is now Mr Consistent as the above table labels him, with nine Leicester players appearing in every game this season, and six of them starting every game. Such consistency of player selection has certainly helped Leicester City’s surprise table-topping success this season.
As the Foxes’ top-spot in selection stability reflects in the Premier League table, Villa’s bottom position also mirrors their lowly Premier League table position. Only Brad Guzan has played in every Villa game at this stage.
Only Watford bought in more players than Villa in pre-season, but even they have had seven players play every game, and it’s fair to say the Hornets have been a much better organised team than Villa. Yes, Villa have had some injuries, but their overall planning in building and preparing a team for this season seems to have been poor.
Moving forward, Garde will certainly be striving to create a more settled and balanced team, but the big question remains – is there actually the quality there in the current Villa squad to actually compete at this level? The current league table, suggests not.
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