With Paul Lambert as manager and a few new arrivals at Villa Park the only way is up for Aston Villa but considering Alex McLeish was manager last season, Villa fans would see John Gregory being re-appointed as a step forward.
Lambert had a fantastic season at Norwich last year and will be looking to show what he can do with a club that has expectations beyond finishing above the bottom three.
Already a few players have walked through the door to make Villa fans happier but until a first class striker and centre back has been found the Villa fans will not be sleeping easy at night.
According to Sky Sports the Scotsman has found a new centre back, he is Feyenoord captain Ron Vlaar. The tall 27 year old has been a key member of the Feyenoord squad for the past 3 seasons and has even managed to go throughout those seasons without a red card but is this man right for the Villa or should he think of going elsewhere?
The ageing Richard Dunne and James Collins aside Villa only have youngsters amongst their defensive ranks and Vlaar’s leadership qualities and Dutch technique would be welcomed with open arms in Aston. However he is said to be a little on the slow side and this would make it very easy to exploit Villa’s defence which was consistent last season but often exposed by balls played in behind the back line.
A team that Paul Lambert exposed as having shallow depth in defence last season was Newcastle United. After an excellent run from the Toon army they were abruptly stopped by an well executed Norwich performance. The score was 3-1 and all Norwich’s goals came from a cross from the byline.
This was the result of a makeshift defence that played without the aerial prowess of Coloccini and Taylor for the first time that season. Vlaar could bring that depth to the squad but wouldn’t be guaranteed a first team place at Newcastle and so Villa would still be a better option.
Somewhere he could be getting first team action is either Swansea City or Sunderland. Swansea relied heavily upon Tottenham loanee Steve Caulker to partner Ashley Williams last season and has now returned to north London. Vlaar could add some muscle to the Swans defence as well as using his silky passing skills to fit into their way of playing.
Sunderland are undergoing a makeover this summer with Martin O’Neil their personal shopper. Carlos Cuellar has been added to the squad but at 30 he isn’t getting any younger so Vlaar could be a good partner to Wes Brown in defence with Cuellar as back up.
Considering that Vlaar has had talks with Lambert about a move then Villa would have to be first in the que but since this story was published on the Sky Sports website Feyenoord claim not to have heard anything from Villa regarding Vlaar so the door may be open to an offer from another club.
Villa looks to be the ideal destination for Vlaar but looks can be deceiving so I wouldn’t be shocked if Sunderland or Swansea City made a late dash to secure his services.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!