Aston Villa had a more than disappointing first season in the Championship ending up in 13th place and finishing far from where they would want to be, in a Play-Off spot. But with a full season behind them, a clean slate and new additions to the squad, could this be Aston Villa’s season to get promoted back to the Premier League?
So far this transfer window, Villa have made arguably the biggest name signing in former Chelsea captain John Terry. Adding some much needed experience and leadership to this young squad can only mean good things going forward this season and Steve Bruce clearly believes Terry still has it as within days of him arriving at Villa Park, he was named club captain, the duty being taken away from James Chester.
As much as I think Terry will help Villa in their promotion bid, mine and I’m sure everyone’s biggest concern is if Terry can stay fit. He has only played a limited number of games for Chelsea over the past couple of years and with the Championship having more games during the season, only time will tell if Terry can cope with the physical demands of 46 games a season.
Other other additions include winger Ahmed Elmohamady from Bruce’s former club Hull City, Stoke City midfielder Glenn Whelan, Christopher Samba and Tottenham’s highly rated prospect Josh Onomah and goalkeeper Sam Johnstone have both been signed on loan . Bruce is going with the trend of buying experienced players that won’t do anything flashy, but will provide solid contributions all over the park. Last season when things were going wrong, many Villa players seemed to lack composure on the pitch, which is why so many points were lost from winning positions. But with more experience and more level heads on the field, this should lead to more success and more points.
In many ways, Steve Bruce was thrown in at the deep end last year trying to steady an already sinking ship. After a disastrous start under Roberto Di Matteo, Bruce managed to save Villa from what looked like possible relegation. This will be his first full season as manager and that will come with more pressure and expectations. But if anyone is going to lead Villa out of the second division, it’s going to be Bruce. He has led teams to promotion on four different occasions and hopefully his expertise at the Championship level will get Villa back to where they belong.
In the January Transfer window last season, Bruce bought in seven new additions, most of them with proven Championship credibility. Some fans thought this might spur them on to a Play-Off position. But with all the new additions, came chemistry problems. You could see throughout the second half of the season the team were struggling to play together and understand what they wanted from each other on the pitch. But with that time playing together and an entire pre-season, fans should feel confident in seeing a team that now know how to play together this season.
As a Villa fan myself, I hate to see us in this sort of position after maintaining our place in the Premier League for so long. Bit I believe we have the right leadership in Steve Bruce and our new captain John Terry and I believe it’s simply a must for us to be challenging for promotion this season.
My heart says Villa will easily be able to grab an automatic promotion place this season and possibly even win the league. But my head says we could miss out on those places. However, I have complete confidence in this squad to be in the top six and grab at least a Play-Off place this season and get us back to where we want to be, in the Premier League.
Do you think Villa have a chance at getting promoted this season? Let us know in the comments below!