Yet Another 2010/2011 Premier League Preview: Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Merson: Ace Ash will star for England

After consistently finished in sixth place for the last three years, Villa have been left in a precarious position with the sudden departure of Martin O’Neill, the manager who had masterminded their emergence as a side guaranteed to qualify for European football.

Having looked like possibly being usurpers for a Champions League place two seasons ago and getting to the League Cup final last season, O’Neill’s successor will have a hard time on his hands keeping the good ship Villa floating in the seas of improvement and better hope that the tide doesn’t turn against them, sending them back to mid table mediocrity, or that a big kraken doesn’t come out and swallow the ship whole.

The Manager – ?

I’m not entirely sure what the last kraken analogy means, but I imagine it’s something along the lines of; if there’s one thing Villa’s new gaffer wants to avoid, it’s the sea and being eaten by giant mythical octopuses, which is a valuable lesson for us all.

Strengths

A solid all round squad and Ashley Young, Nathan Delfouneso and Gabriel Agbonlahor are three of the country’s most gifted attacking talents. Plus with Nathan Delfouneso’s nickname being the ‘Fonz’ and Steve Sidwell being as ginger as Ron Howard, the squad could easily re-enact much loved 70’s sitcom ‘Happy Days’, although this would not be of any use to anyone.

Weaknesses

With the departure of Gareth Barry to Manchester City last season and his more than adequate James Milner replacement seemingly set to follow in his footsteps, there is a danger that Villa will regress into a stepping stone club, losing their star players each season.

Did you know?

On his days off, goalkeeper Brad Friedel works part time for the local zoo, using his bald head to pretend to be a shiny rock in the otter enclosure’s scenery.

Best Chant

Gabby Agbonlahor” (To the tune of Karma Chameleon)

Prediction

All depends on the manager they get in. Currently unemployed managers for Villa to chose from include Raymond Domenech, Sven and Glenn Hoddle, none of whom bode well for the Villans chances this season. However, they have a good enough squad quality wise, so Shilts will go for a mid table finish.

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