Dean Smith’s labour is beginning to bear fruit for Aston Villa, with a recent string of fantastic results providing ample evidence to suggest that the Villans are destined for a promotion push.
Clubs of Villa’s stature, for the Villa Park faithful at least, should be plying their trade at the top level. Steve Bruce was deemed inadequate to take the club to where they need to be, but the more progressive-minded Smith appears to possess the tools from which to achieve their ultimate aim.
Not only does Smith have a set of managerial qualities which align him with the expectations of the fan-base, he is also blessed with a group of players who are simply bursting with star quality.
Grit, determination and a winning mentality often prevail over technical quality at this level, such is the nature of an ultra-competitive division, but it certainly helps to have a player or two with a game-changing stroke of genius in the locker.
In the shape of Tammy Abraham, John McGinn and Jack Grealish, Villa have at least three players who match that description, and The Guardian journalist, Ben Fisher, certainly shares that opinion.
‘The on-loan Harvey Barnes, Mason Mount, Harry Wilson and Tammy Abraham have particularly excelled.
‘John McGinn has proven himself a class act at Aston Villa, alongside one of the most gifted players in the division, Jack Grealish.’
That’s quite the esteemed praise for Grealish and McGinn in particular, whilst Abraham’s superiority at this level has taken on a whole new dimension during his second loan spell in the Championship; one does get the feeling that Chelsea’s attacker is destined to thrive in the Premier League, even though he struggled for form at Swansea last season.
McGinn’s impact has been immediate and profound, and at just £2.8 million he is already looking like an absolute bargain for the club.
Grealish appears to be putting his disappointment over a potential summer transfer to Tottenham behind him with some mature and well-rounded performances in attacking midfield, and Smith’s arrival has already coaxed an extra layer of quality out of a player who seems caught in a twilight zone between fading into mediocrity – relatively speaking – and making a successful step up to top tier football.
Either way it’s clear that Smith is blessed with three talented individuals, who can make all the difference in the race for promotion, and Fisher’s praise is certainly warranted in the midst of Villa’s purple patch.
Aston Villa fans – thoughts? Let us know below!