Frustration is at its height with a lot of Villa fans, and understandably so.
Myself, like most, would have expected a lot more signings with only a week to go before the start of the new season. Villa’s only current senior signing is Matty Cash – a right-back – a position many did not see as a priority. Our front three still looks as blunt as ever
Maybe frustration would not be as high had comments from the club’s owners after the end of the season not mentioned our aims is to get to the “height of European football”. Those comments are brilliant for raising expectation. Unfortunately, that makes it all the worse when those lofty expectations are not coinciding with players that those comments promise. Not to mention remarks by Smith stating a need to get transfers done early, which they obviously have not.Embed from Getty Images
However, how many signings have been made by other clubs in or around us that you think could get us to meet our owner’s ambitions? When I see people envious of signings like Rodrigo at Leeds (a player who managed just 4 league goals last season, cost £30m and who’s 29 years old), or envious of Callum Wilson at Newcastle (a 28 year old on £70k a week and who’s only got over 8 goals once in a premier league season) then I’d say it’s you who isn’t being ambitious enough.Embed from Getty Images
Now you might say it’s not who other clubs are signing it’s the fact that they are signing them and getting their business done early. Fair enough, but let me ask you this; would you rather sign Callum Wilson and Grady Diangana tomorrow or wait two weeks and sign Odsonne Edouard and Milot Rashica?
In no way am I saying that will happen, I’m not blessed with the ‘ITK knowledge‘ half of the Villa fanbase seem to possess, but the point is, if waiting longer gets us the better deal then I don’t care if it’s the last hour of deadline day before we sign the right people. One bad signing and you’re stuck with a Charles N’Zogbia and Scott Hogan for years.Embed from Getty Images
For people to question the owner’s ambition because they aren’t splashing money willy-nilly is ridiculous. Our last two owners (Xia & Lerner) were just like that and look how their regimes ended. Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens are not idiots. The latter knows also how to run a successful sporting franchise. They saved this football club and have already taken us a long way from where we were. Their comments about European football are not pipe dreams, they are plans. Plans, however, take time. If these are not the people to take us back to where we want to go, then who is?
Furthermore, Johan Lange was never going to dictate who we would sign this summer. He was probably planning who Copenhagen were going to sign 6 weeks ago. Did people really think he would immediately whip out his black book and reveal Lionel Messi’s personal number inside? The same goes for Rob Mackenzie. They will likely plan for future windows or maybe suggest one or two players, but the current signings will be down to Dean Smith which I am very comfortable with as if we had followed his suggestions last summer, we might not have faced such a tough season.Embed from Getty Images
Speaking of which…
I’m not sure what more Smith can do to stop people doubting him. When he was hired people questioned whether he had the know-how to get us promoted (me included) and he proved those people wrong. Next, people questioned whether he was tactically astute enough to keep us up (again I had my doubts) and again he proved us wrong.
Now people say he can’t attract top players. Any player I’ve seen mention having worked under Smith have said great it was to play for him and any potential deal for Ollie Watkins could come down to Smith and his previous relationship with the striker.
Plus, players don’t always sign for managers they like or have heard of, and if they do want to play under high profile names well, they don’t come much bigger than John Terry, not to mention Craig Shakespeare, a Premier League winning coach, so this shouldn’t be much of a stumbling block.
Finally, with all of us losing our minds over the current state of the transfer window and lack of signings it is worth remembering how lucky we are. Bear in mind that if we had gotten relegated that, in all probability, we wouldn’t currently have John McGinn, Tyrone Mings, Douglas Luiz and of course, the man who looks likely to stay, Jack Grealish. There on its own is something to be grateful for.
Also, the players from last season will have a year of top flight experience under their belts and we saw promising ends to the season from the likes of Konsa, Luiz, and even improvements from Trezeguet. Again, patience is crucial. I would not write of any Villa player, especially not after one season. As we have seen, player’s can improve.
In conclusion, CALM DOWN. Things aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. We were never going to sign everyone we wanted, stroll up to the new season and finish in the top 4. Yes, we would have all expected more signings by now, but expectation rarely meets reality. I’m grateful we are still in the Premier League and I am 100% confident we will be better next season than last. As long as the club keeps moving forward then that’s all you can ask for. I’ll leave it in the very capable hands of the people running our football club and if we aren’t all satisfied by the end of the window, then we riot. Deal?
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