Non-negotiables: Rodgers - Courage in management has been very important for meSep 24 | 6 min read
Aston Villa Fan’s Premier League Season Preview
After a summer of shrewd business in the transfer market, can Aston Villa secure European football in their third season back in the Premier League?
Ahead of a brand new season of Premier League football on BT Sport, we spoke to fans of each and every team about their expectations for what lies ahead over the next nine months.
I think Aston Villa are flying under the radar at the moment.
Last season we did the double over Arsenal, beat Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea but our form against the bottom six clubs really cost us.
If we’ve got ambitions of qualifying for Europe we really need to be taking maximum points from teams in the bottom half of the table.
I’ve spoken to the CEO and he says Europe is definitely on the cards next season and we have the infrastructure to break into the top six. It’s a second city club with a big fan base, a wealthy owner and a high ceiling.
Bringing in Emi Buendia is a huge coup. We’ve now got someone who can create from the middle of the park. Danny Ings is as close to being a banker, in terms of guaranteed goals, as you can get.
If Buendia can strike up the same connection with Ollie Watkins that he had with Teemu Pukki then it could be crucial in breaking down teams who set up with two banks of four.
After some of the player's summer exploits in the Euros, Copa America and Olympics, there’s potential for a ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’ situation where there might be a bit of a comedown.
The last two seasons we have been one key injury away from a catastrophe. Before signing Ings we were crying out for more depth up front.
Most Important Player
I believe Buendia has the potential to help turn Watkins into a 20-goal striker.
An attacking partnership of Buendia and Watkins, and now Ings, is a really mouth-watering prospect.
An attacking midfielder who led Villa to victory in the FA Youth Cup last season.
He came on as a substitute in the final five minutes against Spurs and he was the most confident player I’ve ever seen.
There’s high hopes for him at Villa Park and he should be a regular fixture on the bench for the first team next season.
What I’ve missed the most
Not having to listen to canned fan noise!
It’s just not the same buzz as sharing the highs and lows with your friends. Nothing beats that emotion of watching live football from the stands.
That, and the Villa dogs!
7th. I’m basing that on the assumption that we get another top quality player in before the transfer deadline.
We were only four wins away from the European places last season and I'm hopeful we've improved enough to get us over the line this time.
A lot of the top teams are still in transition so opportunity knocks!