Date:Monday August 2 2010
Last weekend Aston Villa took part of the Guadiana Cup, a small pre-season tournament to boost fitness levels up. As I know this was just pre-season and a chance to boost fitness and give some younger players a chance to play with the big boys. We won our first game against Feyenoord 3-1, with Albrighton, Heskey and Sidwell hitting the net. In the final game, which would decide the winner we got hammered 1-4 by Benfica, Carew gave us some pride after he scored a goal in the final quarter. As for a team with no new faces, things are going to have to change.
Looking at the negatives. We played poorly pretty much in every game. Apart from the second half against Feyenoord. But when we played our team was unorganised and no ideas at all. Sidwell, apart from the goal was awful and doesn't add much to Villa's squad, which I hope that we can offload him. Downing did say that he would do better with pre-season under his belt; so far not a lot of results and his performance wasn't all the impressive. Beye was caught out of position a few times and while Shorey looks a better full-back at time, when faced against a winger with much pace he is exposed.
So what am I trying to get at? Well the truth of the matter is that we are going to have to bring some new faces to the team. The likes of Sidwell, Beye and Shorey all have to leave Villa and I deeply hope that some club will make a bid for them.
On the other hand, the Guadiana Cup was a successful tournament for Albrighton and Carew. Albrighton did a fantastic job in Portugal and was my player of the tournament, as he put in crosses, shots everything. Its a different player from the Peace Cup, a lot more confidence and I hope that we see him play more of a part in Villa's Premier League campaign. Carew gave 100% even when we where losing, he scored us the goal against Benfica which was well deserved. Also proved that not only Agbonlahor can play as a lone striker.
It was a good pre-season tournament to watch and I know this is just pre-season so the games are just about fitness levels. But I have a feeling that the team that we saw playing against Benfica are the team, which will start against West Ham, which is going to be a real tough match.
All the Villa fans know that we have to bring in at least one new face to the team if there is any chance for us to compete for a Europa League spot, because Champions League is out of reach at the moment.
Date:Monday August 2 2010
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