Kodjia’s no Benteke. Where’s Tshibola? Why can’t Villa beat better sides?

Aston Villa Podcast Episode Discussion

Catch up on all of the current matters affecting Aston Villa in our latest bite-size podcast discussion.

Episode 14.5 covers serious ground and is jam packed into a little over 25 minutes, featuring:

Jonathan Kodjia

The Kodjia penalty salvaged a point after Leeds could have long put Villa to the sword.  The strong and powerful striker is different to Christian Benteke, namely his directness often means he overlooks better options around him.

McCormack has been the unfortunate victim of Kodjia’s single mindedness on more than one occasion this term.  Perhaps January will allow us the opportunity to compare?

Against Leeds we again witnessed JK’s “greed”.

How do we as Villa fans want Kodjia playing?  As a free spirit, charged with nothing other than selflessly terrorising defences?  Or, a with greater emphasis on playing for “the team”?

Plan B? What about A?

The discussion then moves to consider what Steve Bruce’s Plan ‘A’ actually is?  The Christmas period has seen some squad rotation employed.

Ayew, McCormack, Westwood & Adomah have all swapped in and out.  Has this lack of squad depth hindered us previously in key games where we’ve failed to secure all three points? (Norwich, Leeds x2 & Brighton).  Were we fortunate against Burton, QPR & Leeds?

There are two schools of thought: play ugly and win or playing amazing and lose.  It’s important to remember that these aren’t the only styles of play!  Are we satisfied at this juncture narrowly beating the likes of Burton, but being unable to overcome sterner tests like Leeds?

Whilst all wins are to be welcomed, Villa are still unable to overcome the better teams in the division.  The facts are that despite an upturn under Bruce, 6 of our 8 wins have been against the bottom 6.

Villa Basics

This seems, in part, to be as a result of Villa players simply getting the basics wrong.

Count the amount of miss-placed passes after all of the hard work to get the ball back.  Compare how long it takes us to move the ball forward.  Effort is no substitute alone for quality, professional football:  Alan Hutton is the perfect example of this.

Bruce has acknowledged we aren’t playing well in post match interviews.  Understandably there’s an adjustment period and the January transfer window cannot come quickly enough.  We desperately need to make provision for a playoff push.

Jedinak’s Form

Jedinak is under the spotlight after suffering from a drop in form recently.  It’s a worry given that previously we could attribute this to his repeated long haul flights and the jet lag that follows.  The “Aussie battler” is an effective disruptor, but leaves much to be desired as long periods of matches pass him by.

We then move the discussion to ponder what we need to improve our midfield as the transfer window opens.

Absent Aaron

Where is Tshibola?  Where is Green?  Both players were cited as being pieces in the jigsaw of solving our midfield limitation.  We then briefly revisit the state of an under-performing Villa academy, which looks bereft of faces who threaten to break through.

Finally we ponder the African Cup of Nations.  Kodjia’s goals look an obvious loss, but presents Ross McCormack with a chance to have a sustained run as the focal striker.  There’s also some debate as to what loss Jordan Ayew will be, if at all, in a run of “winnable” January fixtures.

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5 thoughts on “Kodjia’s no Benteke. Where’s Tshibola? Why can’t Villa beat better sides?

    1. There’s some debate I think. We saw glimpses early season. Some good & some not so good. He’s also injury prone & struggled in the U23’s (which is a worry). I find it a big concern that he can’t even get near the matchday squad given our limitations in midfield.

  1. Agree Tshibola should be in, can’t understand Bruce’s thinking, also getting more and more concerned at our striker problems, we’ve lost Kodjia and Ayew for a few weeks and now Gestede has been sold, I think we are in trouble, why can’t we P/X Gestede for Rhodes albeit not too good in the Premiership, a better bet than McCormack. Be ironic if Ayew scores today just before he leaves.

    1. It’s interesting that Tshibola hasn’t featured at all under Bruce. In fact, given that he’s fit and that Bruce has been watching him in training and the U23’s it perhaps speaks volumes.

      The striking options do need addressing. Ayew has been inconsistent, Kodjia goes to Africa Cup of Nations & Gestede with a swap for Rhodes seems good business [if it comes off]. McCormack’s chance is January, our challenge will be keeping him fit and providing service.

      Don’t mind who scores today to be honest!

  2. Why did we let Sanchez go? was not 100% but was a hard ball winning midfielder, way ahead of Westwood and Gardner, don’t understand why Bruce has not considered bringing him back considering our weak lightweight midfield,and where are, Green & Tshibola ,not to mention RHM, to say he is too young is rubbish, let him play and encourage him to take the new contract offered. Good man management, sign or you don’t play,questionable. We have not improved that much, been lucky I would say. I cannot see any method to the madness of our formation or tactics, kick and run, we should be better than that, much more but it has all been said before.

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