Aston Villa’s hopes of a first Premier League home win over Manchester United since 1995 may have ended in disappointment on Friday night but manager Tim Sherwood still took plenty of positives from the game.
Speaking to AVTV after witnessing Adnan Januzaj’s deflected 29th-minute strike condemn his side to a 1-0 defeat, Sherwood highlighted the performances of summer signings Jordan Amavi and Idrissa Gueye, who both stood out as Villa’s star players on the night.
Amavi, in particular, looked exceptional in front of the sell-out crowd at Villa Park, proving a terror down the flank from the left-back position, while also putting in a solid defensive shift.
The other players to arrive from Ligue 1 this summer, Jordan Ayew and Jordan Veretout, appeared a tad off the pace but Sherwood stressed that it will take time before all the new faces are gelled into his revamped squad.
Asked about Amavi’s showing, the Villa boss said: “He’s played very well tonight. I think Gueye’s played very well as well so there are a lot of positives. It’s another 90 minutes in the English Premier League for all of them.
“I think it’s unreasonable for us to expect so much from them so early, though. It’ll be a work in progress and we’re heading in the right direction.”
Continuing on his side’s overall performance, Sherwood said: “The team gave me everything. They left nothing on the pitch and tried very, very hard, but we need to carry more of an attacking threat going forward.
“We have to realise that we’re trying to bed in a lot of new players here so it’s no shock that we’re not as full-flowing as possible going forward, but we’ll get better.”
Villa’s home opener also saw their latest signing, Adama Traore, paraded in front of the claret and blue faithful ahead of kick-off after completing a £7 million switch from Barcelona.
The club’s 10th summer addition, the Spanish winger arrives in the Midlands having established himself as one of the Catalan giants’ most exciting prospects in recent seasons and Sherwood is hoping he can solve some of those aforementioned attacking problems.
“We hope so,” he added. “He’s an exciting young talent but he’s still a young man who’s developing so we’ll add him to the rest of the guys.”
The 19-year-old’s debut could now come next Saturday, when Villa travel to Crystal Palace in the search of their second win of the season.