The pressure is mounting on Aston Villa forward Wesley – but he’s five games into an entirely different world.
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Aston Villa’s record signing Wesley Moraes has been the recipient of a number of complaints in his opening games for the club. In some instances, these complaints have been warranted – often regarding his perceived weakness in some challenges.
Pressure is mounting on the young Brazilian, simply because he hasn’t hit the heights that were haphazardly placed on him by all of us when his transfer was announced without truly understanding too much about the forward. That, and because he hasn’t hit the ‘heights’ of other record-breaking forwards like Sebastian Haller.
There are things that Wesley can do better. It’s been highlighted that he needs to be smarter in possession, stronger in possession and probably less trivial in his reactions to things going against him.
What Wesley doesn’t need, nor deserve, however, is to be scapegoated as the reason as to why Aston Villa have been limp in the attacking phase. The blame cannot just be bundled into a social media formed bottle, set alight and thrown at the door of the attacker like a Molotov cocktail.
Criticism, in some instances, is warranted. But Wesley is not the reason that Aston Villa are perceived to be struggling when they’re attacking – these issues come from the wide areas.
Besides Anwar El Ghazi’s goal and Jota’s assist against Everton in Aston Villa’s single win in the Premier League season to date, the wide outlets of Dean Smith’s 4-3-3 have offered little to be impressed by and have often taken it upon themselves to cut inside before being dispossessed rather than attempt a killer through ball or look for an overlapping fullback.
There are issues across the squad that need to be, and will be, ironed out as the season progresses – but the lack of depth in wide areas is something that will have to wait until January to fix – showcased by the arrival of Ahmed Elmohamady as a replacement for a disappointing Jota.
Fans are pining for the complete forward silhouette of Tammy Abraham that shook the Holte End over and over in the Sky Bet Championship and is making a name for himself in the Premier League with Chelsea, and because Wesley hasn’t arrived from the Jupiler League and bagged more than his solitary goal against Everton, doesn’t make the forward a bad player.
Time is key. Patience is key. And that’s the same for the players on the pitch too. Wesley is often overlooked as an attacking outlet, and seemingly tries to make up for it by taking the weight of Villa Park (or the away end) upon his shoulders – and it hasn’t paid off – yet.
Don’t play the blame game for singular players. There’s been a lot of consistent disappointing performances to date, but alternatively there’s been a number of impressive performances too.
Keep singing for the badge, and the players on the pitch. The twelfth man truly does make a difference.