Author Topic: NFR: Dean Smith let down by Aston Villa duo  (Read 664 times)

Offline Logicalman

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NFR: Dean Smith let down by Aston Villa duo
« on: March 24, 2020, 01:57:18 PM »
Not certain if this has been previously reported on this forum, but it is a lesson on who you buy might not be the savior you expect... a lesson for many clubs (including our own)

Dean Smith let down by Aston Villa duo brought in to help him
By Russell Youll | Aston Villa | Published: Mar 14, 2020

They were the experienced Premier League campaigners needed to add nous and stability to an otherwise young and callow Villa squad.

“We’ve managed to secure a player in Pepe who has a wealth of Premier League experience,” Villa head coach Dean Smith said when they signed goalkeeper Reina to cover for the season-ending injury suffered by Tom Heaton.

“Pepe fits our criteria not just because of his experience, but also because of his leadership qualities.”

Likewise, Premier League winner Danny Drinkwater arrived with similar fanfare. “Danny was a key member of Leicester City’s title-winning team and has represented England, so he is a vastly experienced player,” Smith enthused. “He will strengthen our squad significantly.”

The Villa head coach saw, in those two seasoned professionals, the necessary skills of two tried and trusted top flight performers.

But, for very different reasons, each has let down their new boss. Reina on the pitch, Drinkwater recklessly on the training ground.

Reina started brightly, looking an assured presence and providing some excellent saves. But his fallibility has shown through worryingly in the last month.

His venture upfield for a corner to try to save the game at Southampton ended in ridicule as his slow-motion ‘sprint’ back to his own penalty area saw the Saints gifted a goal into an empty net to seal victory.

That was followed up in Monday’s defeat to Leicester with the kind of rush of blood to the head Smith would have expected of a teenager, not a man with a World Cup winner’s medal.

Worse, it was the opening goal of a game Villa had started brightly and handed the initiative well and truly to the Foxes in what then went on to become a confidence-shredding shellacking.

Drinkwater, though, is a whole different kettle of footballing fish.

There were warning bells the midfielder’s career was running off track during his previous loan at Burnley.

A man reputed to have a short fuse, Drinkwater’s spell at the Clarets saw unsavoury accusations of a fracas outside a nightclub which led to an injury and a lengthy spell on the sidelines. That in itself had followed on from an earlier a drink-driving conviction.

Drinkwater left Turf Moor having played less than two-and-a-half hours of football for the club.

For the England international, the chance to re-establish himself at a club of the stature of Villa should have been one seized with two grateful hands.

True, the one-time £30million player was not helped when first pitched into action by Smith when clearly not match-fit.

But he has looked no nearer reaching his best form since.

His chance at Villa now looks to be over after allegedly head-butting team-mate Jota on the training pitch at Bodymoor Heath earlier this week.

Sent home by Smith, the head coach can understandably feel badly let down.

Smith has made errors this season and found his position under scrutiny with Villa rooted in the Premier League drop zone.

What he needed was help from big-name, big-wage loanees. Instead he has been repaid with hindrance and headaches.

Offline Colton F.C.

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Re: NFR: Dean Smith let down by Aston Villa duo
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2020, 11:00:19 AM »
At least Dean Smith can take solace that these highly paid players came on loan.

He didn't make the same mistake as the previous manager who went big (£12,000,000 I think) in purchasing outright a highly regarded Scottish international striker whose form was so poor they had to transport to Australia. 049:gif

Offline Logicalman

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Re: NFR: Dean Smith let down by Aston Villa duo
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2020, 12:33:14 PM »
Good point, I should have said buy/load instead, thanks for putting the perspective right.