Aston Villa have their current longest serving manager in charge Nick Justice, the 24-year-old manager from a place called Chelmsford, yes in Essex (Don’t worry we believe he does have a few brain cells but he is blonde…so…) But back on track, and back to the Villa.
When Justice took the rein at Villa Park in May of 2017, the squad was in a big need of a revamp, and well we all know that is not the easiest to do in a game-world like T100, but he set about his business and began the rebuild of a team, that had some solid foundations from previous managers Rahul, and Ben Hall.
Under Justice we’ve seen a plethora of changes, and even in this current season, we saw plenty, with some big outgoings in the forms of star man Heung Min-Son, young English prospect Demari Gray and leading centre-back Jamal Lascelles, who all went to pastures new. But we saw plenty of top talent arrive at the club, and not just in those deal, be through transfers in, some the biggest names are, Thorgan Hazard, Morgan Sanson, Rolando Mandragora, Wilmar Barrios, as well as many top long term youngsters in the likes of Hamed Traore, Moussa Diaby and more.
So in this season alone their has been mass changes, which could have well cost the Midlands club, that despite only losing six games during the regular season, they slipped from the automatic promotion spots to the dreaded play-offs and tonight fell victim to the cruel means of promotion, as they lost to the team that also cost them the top three, Montpellier.
The game ended with the French side winning the game by three goals to two, with two goals from Belgian international Thorgan Hazard not being enough to see them through- back to the aforementioned six defeats in the season…until the last five games of the regular season, Villa were sitting third, with only three defeats, but they lost a horrific three in row leading them to fall to 6th in the league and their fourth defeat in a row came in the play-off semi-final.
A torrid run of form at the end of the season truly cost the side, but Justice is hopeful the changes made this season and hopefully during the post-season/pre-season, can help his side to push on that next step, next season and go on to glory. The young manager, has missed out on promotion twice int he past two season during the play-offs, and so will be praying and hoping his side can finish above the dotted line of the play-offs next season, and try to get the promotion they’ve been craving since Justice took over.
The club were actually in a spot of bother when he first took the reins in Division 3 and his appointment saw them rise to 8th from a very damning position, and many sung his name as their saviour from their torrid season, but the following season, reality hit and Villa finished 17th and found themselves relegated to Division 4, and since then Justice began his big re-build to get his side back up, and the club, board and fans have full faith that he experiences and abilities can see them back up the leagues, and with the youngsters he’s brought in that, they can have a long term sustainable success.
However, right now they’ll be feeling a bit upset, bitter, and frustrated to once again miss out via the play-offs and that a bad run late on in the season has truly cost them. However on the whole it was actually quite a successful season, despite the poor end, and Justice believes that they can for sure push on from this campaign and comeback fighting harder and stronger next season with the changes made this season, they can use that to their advantage next term, here is why Justice believes that …
” I believe that despite our bitter end tonight, with defeat to Montpellier in the Play-offs, that with a full season with the squad we have, and perhaps a few tweaks to the squad that we can move on once again, and more over, go one step better and get into the automatic spots in the league.
It’s no secret we made some big changes mid season, including allowing Son to leave, and we moved on a few others, and brought in a couple new faces, but the change was with one eye on next season, and if that’d of been in Division 3 then great, but we’re in Division 4, and the plans remain. The plans are to continue to grow and build on what we have and progress that one step further.
We will have a few of the lads that we didn’t have last season from the off, now from the very beginning, the likes of Thorgan (Hazard) and Morgan (Sanson), that can make a big difference to have in and around this squad.
We’ve got a young bunch, but they’re gaining more and more experience, season on season and that’ll also help. I can’t just click my fingers and have the magic answer on how to win the league, but that’s what I’d like to do, and believe with my resources that we can certainly push at the very top, but we don’t want to put too much pressure on ourselves, but we will do our upmost to be successful, and bring this club and the fans the football they deserve and they want to see!
We must try our best to score more goals too, we will be in the market for a forward player, but we do already have some great striker options at the club, and Lukasz Teodorczyk had another solid season with goals, getting fifteen in the league, after nineteen last season, we know he wants to get to the twenty plus mark, and we will do our best to push him and get that from him.
We have some great plans, and will implement them in pre-season, and we will go for warm weather intensive training in the states, and see how that goes, but we won’t spend too much time apart in the post-season, I want the team to bond and gel ahead of a BIG season, next term!
Up the Villa, let’s give the fans something to be proud of!!!”
It appears the play-off defeat hasn’t dampened the mood of Justice, but only pushed him to want to better himself next season! We’ll keep a watchful eye on them and see how they do, and we’re positive they’ll improve from this season.