Why They’ll Do Well…
Tim Sherwood is a passionate manager who got them playing at the end of last season, and was relitively unlucky in his spell as Spurs manager. He has to be careful and keep that passion in check, but the way he gets strikers performing (Adebayor at Spurs and Benteke at Villa) will certainly give their new signings hope of bagging some Premier League goals.
They are a young and improving side who now have a few years of Premier League experience, so its time for them to kick on. They have made some shrewd signings this summer, but again there are a lot of young players with big potential coming in, rather than experienced heads. It’s up to Sherwood to help them realise this potential and help Villa to a mid-table finish.
Why They’ll Do Badly…
Three massive losses for Villa are likely to have a big impact on their season. The man who has been involved in half of their goals in the last 3 seasons, Christian Benteke, finally got his move away from Villa park for £32.5 million. He will be a huge loss for the Villans, and it will be tough for them to replace his goals, presence and ability to link play.
The club has also lost energetic and inspiring captain Fabian Delph who was the engine of the Villa midfield last season. He was often the driving force, and after his back and forth transfer saga with Manchester City he finally made an £8m switch, which could well be classed as a bargain. He will be a big loss in midfield, along with Tom Cleverly who did not make his loan move permanent, instead opting to join Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park.
What They Still Need…
Villa have bought well this summer, bringing in young talented players to fill the void left by Benteke and Delph. Jordan Vertetout is a much touted Frenchman from Nantes, and they will hope he will bring some Delph-like energy to the midfield. Jordan Ayew (brother of Swansea City’s Andre) and Rudy Gestede have been brought in up top, with Gestede a strong, tall goalscorer who should do well in the Premier League. With all these young stars and Ron Vlaar’s uncertain future, Villa are in desperate need of some experienced heads to guide younger players. Shay Given has departed along with Darren Bent, so Premier League experience is at a minimum in their squad. A signing in the ilk of Esteban Cambiasso could be the missing piece in their jigsaw, especially considering the effect he had at Leicester City last season.
Key Player: Jack Grealish
The youngster burst on to the scene last season and impressed many. Whilst he may still be deciding between Ireland and England, he is certainly a creative player who could be key to Villa’s success. If he shines he will bring players such as Gestede and Ayew into games and give them the chances they need to score goals.
1. Sherwood Needs to Keep His Cool
Tim Sherwood is a fiery character, but that doesn’t always mean good news for the team. The players will want to see a composed, calm manager when things get bad, and if Sherwood goes into a full on rant it could have an adverse affect. He will be brutally honest which could be useful for his players when they are in need of a boost, but he will need to manage bigger egos well.
2. New Signings Need to Settle
Villa have lost a few key players, but on paper have bought well. These new signings need to settle quickly however, especially Gestede and Ayew who they will be looking to for goals in Benteke’s absence.
3. Rock Solid Defence
Villa had a great start to the 2014/15 cmapaign in part due to a solid defence. They crumbled later in the season, but if they’re to be challenging for mid-table they need to keep their backline solid for longer.