This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Aston Villa began their pre-season preparations with a routine 3-0 victory over Minnesota on Thursday morning as supporters got a first glimpse of a host of their new signings.
Jack Grealish, Henri Lansbury and Birkir Bjarnason were all on the score-sheet as some older heads in the team also impressed.
It’s already been an incredibly busy summer for the Villans, bringing eight new faces through the door. Just how they line-up come the new season will, therefore, be fascinating.
However, Chief Executive Christian Purslow has already produced an eye-opening quote demonstrating how they’re going to approach matters.
Before Villa’s game in the United States, Purslow was at the centre of a question and answer session with supporters in Minnesota as he discussed a variety of topics.
One of the questions he was asked was what the ambitions and aims for next term were. His response showed they’d be taking no prisoners. He revealed:
“Dean [Smith] thinks we should win every game of football. He thinks if they score three, we’ll score four.
“Be ready guys, he’s not going to go away at Manchester City and try and play for a nil-nil. Every game is play to win. We want to surprise people outside of the club.”
This is a fascinating quote but given the way Villa played last season is hardly surprising. Yet despite that, it would have been easy to go with a defensive thought process so this is an admirable approach.
After all, Wolves proved it can work against the top sides last term, taking advantage of the space in behind by playing fluid and attacking football against the top six.
In matches versus those who finished above them in the table, they recorded 16 points.
It looks as though Villa have already worked out the advantage of doing that and they’ll be perfectly suited to playing attacking football against the big teams judging by the players they’ve signed.
Anwar El Ghazi and Jota should produce plenty of flair in attack whilst the full-backs, Frederic Guilbert and Matt Targett are astute going forward too.
With that in mind, it feels like Dean Smith’s men are well equipped to play an attacking brand of football, even against those competing for the title.