Why forcing Aston Villa forwards out wide isn't the answer for Steve Bruce

Aston Villa players look dejected

In an effort to fit an array of top players into his side, Steve Bruce has been forced to play one of his strikers on the wing recently at Aston Villa.

Aston Villa manager Steve BruceAston Villa manager Steve Bruce

Hovering just six points away from the Championship relegation zone, things haven't gone quite to plan for Aston Villa this season. After ditching former manager Robert Di Matteo following a run of poor form late last year, new manager Steve Bruce has so far failed to turn the West Midlands club around. 

It's not the start many Aston Villa fans were expecting this year, especially after the amount of quality players the club have brought in over the last two windows. In the summer, Aston Villa recruited proven Championship players such as James Chester, Jonathan Kodjia and Albert Adomah, and during January, also brought in top additions such as Conor Hourihane, Henri Lansbury, Neil Taylor and Brentford's Scott Hogan.

Despite possessing one of arguably the best squads in the Championship though, Aston Villa's form has been worse than teams such as Barnsley, Preston and Cardiff City this season, and this many well be down to the fact that Steve Bruce is currently struggling to balance his array of players.

Aston Villa players look dejectedAston Villa players look dejected

In recent weeks, in an effort to fit strikers Jonathan Kodjia and Scott Hogan into the side, Steve Bruce has experimented with a number of different formations, and has recently been deploying former Bristol City striker Kodjia on the wing.

Having played that position a few times at Bristol City, playing as a winger isn't something Jonathan Kodjia is totally unfamiliar with. However, as the Villans top scorer this season, bagging 11 goals in 24 appearances, moving the Ivorian out wide might well be more of a blow than a help to Aston Villa right now. 

Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia celebrates scoring their first goalAston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia

Rather than potentially sacrifice the goals of one of Aston Villa's best players this season, might Steve Bruce not be better off trying to find a system where he can play both Scott Hogan and Kojdia up top; positions they are both the most familiar with and ones that clearly get the best out of their game.

With a huge roster of talent to choose from, we're sure Steve Bruce will start getting it right eventually, but using their best goalscorer as a winger isn't the answer to Aston Villa's plight.

Aston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia celebrates scoring their first goal with Gary GardnerAston Villa's Jonathan Kodjia celebrates

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