Manager: Alex McLiesh
Captain: Stiliyan Petrov
Last Season: 9th
Shay Given – Manchester City - £3.3 million
Charles N’Zogbia – £9.5 million
Ashley Young – Manchester United - £15.8 million
Stewart Downing – Liverpool – £20 million
Brad Friedel – Tottenham – Free
Isaiah Osbourne – Free
Robert Pires – Free
Nigel Reo-Coker – Bolton Wanderers - Free
Transfers correct as of 8/8/2011
I see this as a transitional season for Villa, they finished 9th last season and I expect more of the same this season.
They cashed in on Stewart Downing, for a tidy £20 million sum and picked up an excellent replacement in eccentric winger Charles N’Zogbia. Ashley Young parted ways and joined Manchester United in one of the more dignified transfers of the summer, as well as getting rid of some of the deadwood from the last season’s squad, while bringing in one of the best goalkeeper’s in the Premiership.
I may not be Alex McLeish’s biggest fan, it’s evident he’s a firm believer in team work and working with a solid defensive foundation, the ingredients which helped him lead Birmingham to Carling Cup glory last season, but subsequently ended in relegation. It remains to be seen how he’ll do this season, but he’ll look to re-establish himself as a good manager, and take this Aston Villa team back to the brink of Europe, which they were close to a couple of seasons ago.
A top ten finish is a strong possibility, competing for the Europe League positions. They still have their sold defensive base, also with several quality midfielders. The addition of Charles N’Zogbia will replace some of the departed creativity, as well as experience and ability in Shay Given, McLeish should look to add a striker and Villa will surely secure a top 10 finish.
Best Starting XI
One to watch this season: Marc Albrighton
How do you think Aston Villa will do this season? Leave a comment below, or vote in our poll.
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