What a weekend. The ball hit the net after the symphony of catastrophes in the Villa defence and every Villa fan sighed and thought to themselves “I hope we’re not going to lose again”. Then the Villa side played well after going a goal down, rather than hanging their heads in disbelief and battered self-confidence, and we found ourselves celebrating a 2-1 win.
Adomah played well, and added two to his tally to push himself further ahead as Villa’s leading goal scorer this season. Hourihane had an almighty game, too. As did young starlet Keinan Davis, who played the entire ninety minutes whilst he bullied the Queens Park Rangers defence like they were school children – just a few days after signing a brand new contract.
But within that sentence is a key phrase. Keinan Davis is only nineteen and has been introduced to first team football at a relatively high level only a few months ago. We cannot afford to let him tire himself out by playing 90 minutes, sometimes twice a week and potentially let him injure himself in the process. You’ve got to remember it wasn’t that long ago that he was playing for Biggleswade.
If Keinan’s injured, we’re done-zo. We have no Kodjia or Hogan for the forseeable future, Gabby Agbonlahor is still suffering from an injury, and the only replacement that could potentially happen is Callum O’Hare, who brings an entirely different type of brilliance to the team.
As well as this, Villa need to be wary of the kind of players, managers and teams that we’re playing against. Other sides will be aware of our lack of striking depth at the moment, and may even be sent out by another play-off chasing manager to take Keinan out of the game completely – leaving us striker-less.
Whilst the vast majority of our goals have come from midfielders this season, it’s worthwhile to consider the role that the forwards play even when they’re not scoring goals. Keinan had a number of opportunities against Queens Park Rangers to bag himself a goal, but his main threat came in the air and in his strength, which evidently helps the other players around him.
By all means, we need to play him, and we need him to develop more, but we also need to be wary of wetting the spark before it has a chance to ignite.