Aston Villa have lost their opening two Premier League encounters as they welcome Everton to Villa Park on Friday night.
It has been the start the Aston Villa fans would have dreaded, but reality has hit Dean Smith’s side following their return to the Premier League.
Two defeats in your opening two matches isn’t anything to worry about, but slight desperation will now be kicking in because they will be very keen to put points into their so far empty bag.
To put it simply, Villa have been punished for their mistakes, both against Tottenham and then at home against Bournemouth last Saturday.
But despite the two defeats, and with it five goals conceded, two players in Tyrone Mings and Bjorn Engels have been outstanding and have not deserved to be on the losing side.
Following his successful loan spell last season, Mings put pen-to-paper on a permanent contract in the summer, with Villa seemingly paying Bournemouth £20 million for his services [BBC Sport]. Added with that, Engels joined for £9 million from French outlet Reims [Sky Sports].
Despite being unfamiliar with each other’s games, the defensive duo have fitted in well together and it is one of the exciting aspects of Villa’s team.
Both players have stood out, with Mings, in particular, keeping Spurs’ front line as quiet as possible on the opening day, only for a Tanguy Ndombele’s wonder strike and silly mistakes costing Villa the three points in the capital.
Then against Bournemouth, before Villa could even get warmed up, they already had a mountain to climb, with two more individual mistakes seriously hurting Smith’s side.
But, once again, Mings and Engels looked impressive at the back, with the latter’s reading of the game and calmness on the ball standing out.
Villa fans have already seen in the Championship what Mings is about, and it is fair to say that he has been able to transform those performances from the second-tier it into England’s top-flight.
If the duo continue in their ways, and with it Villa cut out those individual errors, then Smith’s side will be more than fine this season.