Five things Aston Villa got wrong that Newcastle got right
Clearing out the deadwood
Ok, so selling the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Georginio Wijnaldum is by no means a masterstroke in the transfer market, but Benitez largely cleared his ranks of the deadwood. That’s not to say these two, in particular, are bad players – moves to Tottenham and Liverpool respectively clearly indicate they aren’t – yet their attitudes at times last term were indicative of the poisonous mood within the club.
Furthermore, the likes of Fabricio Coloccini, Steven Taylor and Daryl Janmaat were all cut adrift as the Spaniard sought to completely change the atmosphere within the club. Meanwhile, Villa kept a hold of players such as Gabriel Agbonlahor, Libor Kozak and Alan Hutton, men who’d watched their employers fall from grace for years.