The two blogs come together to debate again regarding a hot topic within the Aston Villa world.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @findfoy


Disclaimer: These debates do not necessarily showcase the opinion of the ‘entities’ in which those debating represent.

Once more, our editor Regan Foy (@findfoy) and the editor of popular Aston Villa website 7500toHolte – James Rushton (@Jamorushton) have been debating some of the pressing topics in the world of Aston Villa.

This week, the debate centres on whether Aston Villa should attempt a new system against West Ham United, due to the lack of impact from wingers in most of the club’s previous matches in the Premier League.

James Rushton will be referred to as JR, whilst Regan Foy will be referred to as RF.

Should Aston Villa attempt to deploy a different tactical system after the international break?

RF: Is there a better time than now to work on a system and potentially try something away from our wingers who seem to be having a muted impact, or should we wade through the mud and hope that they can come good?

JR: I think it’s tough. A break gives us a chance to refine our game – but are we really doing so badly as to rip up our foundation of wing play?

I don’t think so. I’ve seen a lot of promise in our performances so far. Our toughest game was against Palace, and our worst team performance in my eyes was against Bournemouth.

Against Palace, we were away against a ball-winning side and were well-beaten. Against Bournemouth we self-destructed and handed them victory.

I’m relatively happy so far – but I won’t be if we don’t see the improvements that we need to win games. We do need a different approach – but I think that may be in sitting back in select fixtures rather than ripping up our foundation.

RF: I don’t think we’re performing that poorly either, but in all of our games bar the one that we won against Everton, our wingers have had no impact on the game.

Statistically, against Palace, both of our wingers (pre-dismissal and sub) were of little use, which effectively stranded Wesley and meant that we were missing three players at once for some points in the game.

For me, it makes more sense to make or attempt a change now, during and after the international break, even if it is for one game, just to try and see, rather than wait until we’re maybe struggling later on in the season.

An attempted tactical change now should herald better results than if we were battling against relegation come January.

JR: I think Palace is difficult to asses and there can be an over-reliance on using the metrics to critique the performance.

We need context and the context here is that Palace executed their plan and played well. We have a reluctance to offer credit when it’s due and Roy Hodgson and his team deserve that. We don’t have a right to beat teams.

I think our lack of impact on the wings is worrying, but apart from the elite and near-elite, it’s an inconsistent and physical position. I’m happy to stay put for now.

RF: I have to agree with you that it’s difficult to asses this Palace side. But metrics aside, I think visibly Jota was poor – but Trezeguet offered more of a livewire style of play from the left.

So many people were concerned with our lack of forwards going into the season, but I’m more worried about these first games at our lack of impact from the wings.

We have such depth of quality centrally – would it not make sense to use this to our advantage, even just to try it?

Then again, you’re moving completely away from a certain philosophy and style of play.

JR: I think we’ll wait and see for a few more games.

I’d like to see us get some points on the Board!

I think this break comes too early for any wholesale changes though…

RF: I guess so.

But let’s say we’re edging to December – will that have been too late to attempt something new?

JR: It’s hard.

If it pays off, the decision is vindicated – but if it doesn’t work, we’ve wasted so much time going up the wrong path.

Thankfully we’ve got a smart and thoughtful bloke in charge.

RF: That’s true. It’s a hard one to decipher.

In Deano we trust.

JR: Agreed.

RF: If there was one thing to change for West Ham though, what would it be?

JR: I almost have no idea.

I think a back three with more reserved wingers might be an option, and give us a bit more might but I’m almost stumped.

We’ve got too little to go off.

RF: That’s the trouble with it being so early in the season I guess.

JR: Absolutely. I think anything right now is on the brink of a knee jerk.

RF: That’s fair enough. It’s a case of wait and see!

One thought on “The Debate: Stick or Twist With Aston Villa’s System?”

  1. I think we should change it. It is early but we need to get points on the board!

    I would switch it up to a 4-4(diamond)-2. Two options for the diamond:
    ————– Marvelous —————
    Luiz/Henry ———————- SJM
    —————– Jack ——————–
    ——————- Luiz ——————
    Jack ——————————- SJM
    ————— Hourihane ————–

    and Davis and Wes up front. But this needs Guilbert at RB and Targett or Hause at LB – full backs that can get forward and up and down.

    Alternatively, get Jack playing in the inside left position that he did against Liverpool all those years ago with Trez or Jota in the NZogbia role. Marvelous can come in and we push Douggie into Jack’s role.

    Having said all of this, I don’t think we will do anything as Smith is quite inflexible around his 4-3-3 as we saw last year when Jack was injured and we didn’t have another body to bring energy into the 3 as Henry was also injured but he still stuck with it.

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