'There are only five Aston Villa players I would be sad to see leave'

Aston Villa’s current squad is riddled with inexperience, prone to costly mistakes. A depressed Simon Bunn suggests that there is little that can be done to change that characteristic without the acquisition of experience.

I departed from Villa Parkon Tuesday night displaying characteristics that psychiatrists would diagnose as depression. Villa had failed to repeat the exploits of ‘Big Fat Ron’s’ ‘94’ team, embarrassingly incapable of defeating a League Two side over 180 minutes of football. After manfully joining in the Holte End chants of, ‘we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again,’ not only was I depressed, I was a liar.

More than 48 hours later little has changed to sooth my inner pain. In fact Villa’s open showing of an inability to learn has possibly made matters personally worse.

It appears that the much reported defensive midfield target, Moussa Sissoko, is all set to join Newcastle United’s French revolution, and the latest player to be linked to Villa is Derby’s 20-year-old Jeff Hendrick.

Hasn’t anybody at Villa realised yet that another youngster is not what the club needs right now? There has been little indication that Randy Lerner is prepared to spend this January, so why waste what money Lambert may have on another adolescent.

Sure Hendrick may have a very decent future ahead of him and over 80 caps for Derby already but, I am over certain that he does not possess enough current quality to protect Villa’s immediate future. What Aston Villa need is experience. The “missing ingredient” is more obvious than an erection on a first date.

There is no hiding the fact that Aston Villa has an incredibly weak squad, without question one of the weakest in the league. When reading the team sheet I am ashamed to admit that it does read like a Championship team. If Villa were to be relegated (it sickens me just to write that) there are only five players that I would really be sad to see leave.

Those being Benteke, Weimann, Vlaar, Guzan and Agbonlahor, the latter mainly because he is a Villa fan. Westwood was also close to making that list because I do believe that he will grow into a decent player but, right now I would sacrifice him for an experienced signing.

Barry Bannan has come nowhere near fulfilling the reputation he had built in Villa’s academy and fans are beginning to get on his back. The frustrating thing about Bannan is that if, for example, he were to move to Manchester United (you may scoff loudly but it was only a season ago that he was a target for them) he would probably shine.

I say that because he would be surrounded by quality and not completely exposed by a collectively fragile midfield. I can’t recall a Villa midfield that has been bullied as much as the current set up. Delph has been better of late but loses the ball in equal measure to Bannan. El Ahmadi has turned non-existent, Stephen Ireland is talented but rarely shows it, and seems to think that having an £80,000 a week contract automatically makes him void from tracking back.

The defence can’t even do the basics right. I like Vlaar, but he was at fault for failing to successfully mark Hanson for Bradford’s goal. Clarke maybe better suited to a defensive midfield role (like David Luiz,) Lowton’s Villa career started brightly enough but his form has dipped of late, and Joe Bennett is the worst left back that I’ve seen at Villa Park since, well, Edna Stevens.

Despite my criticism of the current team I do still believe that Lambert is the right man for Villa.

After all I was one of the huge numbers of Villa fan’s that wanted him to be McLeish’s replacement. I appreciate his foresight for the club and one day his youngsters might develop into a good team.

Us Villa fans need to understand that we are stuck with this crop of players for now; a change of manager would do nothing. The problem of a squad seriously lacking in quality and experience would still exist. This grand old club might just manage to avoid relegation but, there is no denying that the majority of the team at present is made up of turd’s.

Even if it were possible to polish turd’s it cannot be done as quickly as Lambert needs. At this rate only good fortune or a mysterious unlikely sudden click within the team can salvage Villa’s Premier League status.

… Please bring in some experienced heads; I’m tired of being depressed.

images: © ell brown, © ell-r-brown

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