PREVIEW: Tough times ahead for Sherwood & Villa?

Best case scenario for this season?

Refreshing, attacking football combined with a top ten finish. For too long, Villa have been skirting around the precipice of the relegation zone, with a style of play fans would lovingly describe as mind-numbing, or just downright terrible. Sherwood has loosened the shackles Lambert fastened so tightly, and with a few more smart signings in the transfer market, the Villains could be gracing the top half of the table with their presence.

Worst case scenario?

Sherwood can’t find an effective way of playing without Benteke or the engine room of Cleverley and Delph, they fall to pieces at the back without Ron Vlaar, their new signings don’t adapt to the Premier League, and after threatening for a few years, the Villains are relegated. Be prepared.

Which youngsters are about to break through?

Jack Grealish has seemingly broken through, but this season is all about proving he can go the distance in the Premier League. Any player can look good for a few games, Grealish’s task is to maintain consistency and learn the game, while also finding a way of dealing with defenders who will be keeping a closer eye on him this time round.

Doing all that whilst recovering from his summer hangover could prove tricky for the young English/Irishman, but the boy’s got talent.

Which player from a rival team would fit perfectly at the club?

At the moment, Christian Benteke or Fabian Delph. In all seriousness, Scott Dann would be a phenomenal signing for Aston Villa. The 28-year-old is harshly overlooked by everyone but Palace fans, he’s strong in the air, he reads the game well, he would add Premier League experience and leadership to a backline that still has a gaping Ron Vlaar shaped hole, he’d be perfect. The hypothetical signing would also be getting one over on Birmingham City, whom he played for not so long ago.

The gaffer’s status?

Sherwood is loved by many in the Midlands. His cheeky-chappy charisma won over a few doubters, but keeping the club up when many supporters were almost resigned to relegation is the real reason for his popularity. That and the small matter of reaching the F.A Cup final, but it’s best not to touch on that afternoon.

Where will they end up?

A season of transition awaits as Sherwood builds his team. Consolidating their Premier League status with a bit of vigour and swagger would be thought of by many as a good season for the Villains. 13th.



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