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Posted in Opinion
November 14th, 2017

Writer’s Round Table: Davis, Johnstone and Promotion Hopes

As it’s the international break – we’re going to get a bit on insight into the round-table (more of a square one this time) of our writers and the views we hold so far this season. This will be done over two parts, so check back for the second part tomorrow.

Regan Foy – (@findfoy)

1) At this time, Aston Villa have seven wins this season. In your opinion, what was the most impressive win so far?
I would say the 3-0 win at Barnsley. It’s a game I really didn’t expect us to win and figured I’d be happy with a draw.

2) Scott Hogan is the name on a lot of Villa fans lips these days. If you were the manager at Villa, how would you try and get Hogan back into form?
Honestly, I couldn’t give you a ‘perfect’ answer. There seems to be an issue with the kind of balls played to him as a forward, and he’s not used to that. I obviously don’t know what he’s like on the training ground – but I’d hope he’s putting in the extra effort to try and adapt to our style of play. He’ll come good soon enough.

3) Sam Johnstone has been the unsung hero for Aston Villa this term. How likely do you think it is for Aston Villa to sign the keeper permanantly at seasons end?
I can’t see his career progressing at Manchester United, even if De Gea was to leave. I’d like to think that we’ll sign him permanently in January before he gets tied down to another deal at Old Trafford.

4) Do you feel it is neceseccary for Villa to go out and stock up on centre-back depth in the Janurary, and why?
If we can afford to – yes. Terry isn’t going to be around next season, and if he is, he’ll be worse that he’s been this season. Whilst he’s a great player and leader, he’s on his last legs and we need to replace him sooner rather than later. I’d like to think we’d ship Richards (in my dreams) and Elphick off, and then bring in a new centre-back and promote someone like Easah Suliman to the senior squad.

5) If there was one result you could change on the season so far, what would it be and why?
Our draw against Brentford. I think that was our worst performance this season and things could have been much worse if we didn’t improve after that. The performance had no heart.

6) In the event that Aston Villa end their season in a playoff place, what other club would you not want to see in the playoff mix?
Sheffield United. Whilst we haven’t played them yet, they’re a team who know what they’re about, have a specific style of play and the squad is overflowing with passion. It’s a true underdog story – and they’re just as desperate to get back to the Premier League as we are.

7) Alan Hutton has been lights out during and after the suspension of Neil Taylor. Do you feel that Hutton now has a strangle hold on the left-back position at Villa?
No. I’d like to think that Neil Taylor will regain his place – but Hutton will certainly be in Bruce’s thoughts. I prefer Taylor just because he doesn’t make my heart skip whenever we’re getting attacked down the wing.

8) If Villas’ hand was forced for transfer funds, what member of the starting eleven would decide to sell? 
God, what a question. I don’t know whether we’re considering this a player within the first team selection options or our latest eleven to grace the pitch. I’d probably say Henri Lansbury – his set pieces are enough to put me off him as a player.

9) In the event that Aston Villa finish in an automatic promotion spot, which area of the field does Villa need to improve on first?
Finding a replacement for John Terry has to be the number one priority. We don’t need a new captain, James Chester is waiting on the sidelines. We just need a similar player, a ball playing defender that can distribute from the back. As well as that, I’d like to hope that we’d splash out on a marquee signing.
10) Keinan Davis is starting to turn some heads with his game. Even for a young man, there are rumors circulating all over the place that top teams want his services. Given his potential, what would be an acceptable fee to accept for Davis?
I’d rather not put a price-tag on his talents at this early stage, as anything can happen in football. He has so much potential, but whether he can live up to it is another question. I’d say no less than £10,000,000 at his current ability.


 

Mark Jirobe – (@VillaMarkPGH)

1) At this time, Aston Villa have seven wins on the season. In your opinion, what was the most impressive win so far?
It really felt to me that the match against Norwich showed our best side. Although the defense looked a bit nervous in letting two goals in, this specific game seemed to really jump-start Villa in a positive fashion.

2) Scott Hogan is the name on a lot of Villa fans lips these days. If you were the manager at Villa, how would you try and get Hogan back into form?
As with a lot of Villa supporters, I have the agree that when Hogan is on the pitch, he does not receive the best service. It is a little frustrating, but the core of our scoring is coming from players who have that individual flair to create something on their own. Hogan seems best if he was on the end of individual brilliance.

3) Sam Johnstone has been the unsung hero for Aston Villa this term. How likely do you think it is for Aston Villa to sign the keeper permanently at seasons end?
I think Steve Bruce is going to make a few phone calls to some old Manchester United friends and try his hardest to get this deal over the line. I think Johnstone stays at Villa long before other loanees like Robert Snodgrass and Joshua Onomah.

4) Do you feel it is neceseccary for Villa to go out and stock up on centre-back depth in the Janurary, and why?
I think it depends on what Steve Bruce attempts to do during the transfer window. He has said lately that Villa needs to be very smart with incoming transfers, which leads me to believe that there are a few players who we may get shipped out in the same way Nathan Baker did.

5) If there was one result you could change on the season so far, what would it be and why?
The result against Wolves. Although the result set a marker to where Villa is in comparison to Wolves, it would have been nice to see a little bit of fight from the team.

6) In the event that Aston Villa end their season in a playoff place, what other club would you not want to see in the playoff mix?
I’ll go with Cardiff City or Nottingham Forest, depending on each team trending in opposite directions. I think both teams have the ability to absolutely embarrass oppositions, especially when the opposition isn’t quite prepared for it.

7) Alan Hutton has been lights out during and after the suspension of Neil Taylor. Do you feel that Hutton now has a strangle hold on the left-back position at Villa?
Although Hutton may have a tight grip on the position for now, I cannot see him being the long-term option there. Although we have seen Hutton perform leaps and bounds over the past string of games, it would be wise to let him play out his contract and part ways.

8) If Villas’ hand was forced for transfer funds, what member of the starting eleven would decide to sell? 
Alan Hutton. As stated before, I don’t think he is the kind of player that Villa needs to keep hanging around, especially with James Bree waiting in the wings and being a very promising player.

9) In the event that Aston Villa finish in an automatic promotion spot, which area of the field does Villa need to improve on first?
I would think that John Terry would retire before he would willingly put himself in a position to go up against Chelsea. Add that to losing three loan players in Onomah, Johnstone and Snodgrass, there isn’t many places that shouldn’t be bolstered if promotion funds become available. I think Villa must make damn sure they secure the services for Johnstone no matter what, but I just can’t see Onomah and Snodgrass returning.

10) Keinan Davis is starting to turn some heads with his game. Even for a young man, there are rumors circulating all over the place that top teams want his services. Given his potential, what would be an acceptable fee to accept for Davis?
I think Keinan will be a fantastic footballer, I just don’t think it will be for Aston Villa. It comes down to which big club is willing to splash the cash for him, as Villa are not going to sell him for cheap. Just a knee-jerk assessment, but if I was to make a monetary evaluation for Davis, I wouldn’t accept a bid for any less than 20m.

 


 

Keep an eye out tomorrow for part two!

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