3 Players Who Must See More Playing Time Next Season
Thanks once again to contributor Sam Tighe for this piece, if you’re on Twitter check him out on there, he produces some top work on a range of footballing subjects:
‘Under Paul Lambert, Aston Villa are widely expected to experience a resurgence – the kind of resurgence that sees them back into the top half of the table.
A potential transfer budget of £20 million has been rumoured, but that won’t be enough to fill the vacancies in Villa’s team. Lambert must look to his current crop in order to improve results and here are three players who need more playing time than they’ve received in the last 12 months.
With the majority of Aston Villa fans disgruntled at even the slightest mention of Alan Hutton, right-back is a position Paul Lambert needs to look at. Certain newspapers have linked Kyle Naughton to the Villans, but unless it’s a loan deal the money is better spent on other areas of the team.
Lichaj is ready and waiting to claim a first team spot, and while his performances over the 2011/2012 season were up and down, no one can forget the potential he has. His long throw ability is an attacking quality not to be overlooked, and his performance against Gareth Bale in the 2010/2011 season shows he knows what he’s doing from a defensive point of view.
Failing a chance to usurp Hutton or a potential new recruit, left-back is an option too. Lichaj shows great versatility – despite his blatant one-footedness – and could take over from the much-maligned Stephen Warnock.
Where was the Albrighton we grew to love under Kevin MacDonald and Gerard Houllier? Alex McLeish’s 9-0-1 tactics didn’t help the young winger make an impact at all – something which consequently found him benched for half the season.
In the end it felt like his career would stagnate to a fatal degree should McLeish continue as manager, but with the Scot gone he has a chance to re-establish himself. With the arrival of Brett Holman and the potential rediscovery of form pending for Charles N’Zogbia, Albrighton’s task during this pre-season is laid out for all to see. He should be given his fair chance, though.
Lambert used a variety of tactics during his first season in the Premier League but one thing remained constant – a tidy midfielder who marshalled the central area would always find a way into the line up. When Lambert opted for a three-man midfield, David Fox got the nod to sweep around the back of the other two midfielders and help maintain
Gardner could fill this role, no doubt about it. He needs regular game time to improve and fulfill his potential and you get the feeling once he scores a free-kick, he’ll smash five or six more in and become a real asset.’
Thanks again to Sam for taking the time to write this. What do you all think though? Any other players you feel we need to see more of next season? As per, let us know!