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Friday, 15 July 2011

The summer so far - Aston Villa

One of the most talked about teams of the summer by far. New manager in charge, departure of key players, and also linked to some good players too. Even though it has been described as tough times at Aston Villa, it must also be pretty exciting for them with a complete change around of personnel. The loss of Ashley Young to Man Utd and Stewart Downing to Liverpool will be tough for some fans to take. But those signings alone brought in £40 million to the club, which for any team, let alone Aston Villa, this is a lot of money. It's important for Randy Lerner to re invest this money and give it to Alex McLeish in order for him to re build the side and certainly give some much needed strength in depth too. This to me was Villa's problem last term, their lack of depth. They did very well to cope and it also gave the opportunity for some bright young players to get their chance in the first team, like Barry Bannan and Cieron Clark. Also, the emergence of Marc Albrighten was another bright spark in the Villa squad last term.

First signing was a much needed one to replace the departing Brad Friedel. Villa have certainly successfully acieved this by signing Shay Given, who a couple of years ago was rated one of the, if not the, best keeper in the Premiership. He is experienced, agile and is a fantastic shot stopper. Villa fans couldn't have hoped for a better replacement between the sticks. Now on to the replacements for the wide players and one name keeps cropping up in the papers and on the sports news, Charles N'Zogbia. I believe he is a very talented player when given the freedom to play further forward. He was a huge reason why Wigan kept their Premier League status last term, with his ability to run with the ball and strike it so cleanly with his left foot. We shall have to watch this space to see if this transfer will develop.

The replacements are important for Aston Villa, as is the form of the current squad next season, in particular whether Darren Bent will continue firing on all cylinders. But McLeish must bring in some additional players and bolster the suad up as much as possible. Villa are a team that should be competing closer to the top of the table and certainly challenging for 5th, 6th and 7th. The league will be far more exciting this coming season if Villa can improve their squad just like teams around them last season are doing so. Sunderland are a prime example of this.

Villa fan's would love to hear from you and get your opinions. Is McLeish the right man? What players do you want coming into your squad?

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