The Chalkboard: Training ground debriefs proving vital for Villa

Last summer Aston Villa were in the midst of financial turmoil. However, step forward two new investors to save the day and everything felt rosier.

Also, step forward Dean Smith. The former Brentford boss replaced Steve Bruce in October and the club haven’t looked back since, leading a phenomenal charge to the play-offs.

The club are currently on a ten match winning streak, the best in their history and their remarkable turnaround this season has been quite something.

But more recently, a specific training ground method looks to have been pivotal in their good form.

On the chalkboard

Every manager is different. Some prefer a more hands-on approach in training and others prefer detailed analysis. For Villa, it appears the latter is true after Smith revealed that he and the players have been doing detailed debriefs after matches.

In quotes, per the Express & Star, the Villa manager claimed: “We did a debrief on the Millwall game on Thursday and it was the players who took it.”

Smith further went onto say: “Players will see eight or nine clips and they will pull three or four out themselves to present to the rest of the players. Some of it will be self-critical, some of it things we are doing really well. It is all about the team improving.”

This has been absolutely vital and with such detailed analysis in play, it’s no surprise to see the players doing so well.

It’s been a masterstroke from Smith and dedicated time in training to this particular aspect only speaks volumes about what they’ve achieved so far.

Players in the modern game don’t often take responsibility but judging by the 48-year-old’s comments this isn’t the case at Villa Park. It’s intriguing to note that the players are at the forefront of this method too.

Villa finish the season with matches against Leeds and Norwich. They’re two huge fixtures that will really be a measure of how far the club have come this season. After that, of course, is the play-offs and in these situations, it’s all about momentum.

For now, the Midlands club have that in abundance.