An off-season of change ~ squad report

With the failure of Villa to secure a play-off spot in D3, collapsing on the final day, manager Rahul W  faced the music in the board meeting yesterday, however, the board were impressed by his resolve to secure promotion and backed him with funds. They stressed though that money would also have be generated by sales.

As it is, many players face the dreaded sale. Due to SW destroying the squad with a ton of drops in ratings, many sales have be made due to the lack of quality. Joe Bennett and Charles N’Zogbia were sold before the last game, going for a combined 4.5 mil, decent money. Two more bids were accepted today for defenders Nathan Baker, who dropped to an 83 at age 24, and Philippe Senderos, who in fact made the first TOTW of the season.

The downsizing of the youth team also took place, with only players who would be eligible for the Youth Cup/CL next season staying. That meant that Lewis Kinsella, Janoi Donacien, Kevin Toner and Riccardo Calder were on the list. Also, it was noticed that Tommie Hoban turns 22 next month, so off he is going too. As a result, a LB and a CB for the youth team is now needed, as well as a GK, since Ander Bardaji didn’t really impress.

The main team is now in a very bad shape, with the midfield particularly strong, however it is the defence which need sorting. 2 CBs, a RB or two and a LB will have to join. Richards, Clark and Okore will be staying at the club, however we will need some depth. RB is a weak link now, with Hutton and Bacuna not good enough. On the left, we have Aly Cissokho who will be the starter at the moment. In goal, Brad Guzan is good enough to hold a spot, given the paucity of decent goalkeepers.

In midfielder, we have Gueye and Sanchez starting, along with Westwood and Doucoure. Doucoure is 86 rated at 23 years of age so he will be a good rotation option. Further up, we have Ruben Garcia, the signing from Levante who didn’t do much but he will get more chances. Along with him, Filip Djuricic, Jordan Veretout and Scott Sinclair will be compete. Carles Gil provides a useful rotation option.

Up front, we have Ayew and Agbonlahor, who should be starters, but apart from them we have Kozak who can do a job as we saw, but Gestede is clearly not good enough so he will be going.

Overall, the squad needs some work, and this needs to be done by the end of the season in order to prepare for next season.

The new signing from Stade Rennais

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