Journalist Luke Hatfield has suggested that Dean Smith is struggling to find his best starting XI at Aston Villa due to the number of attacking options he has at his disposal.
Villa spent close to £90m on Emiliano Buendia, Leon Bailey and Danny Ings in the summer, but have been unable to click into gear so far this season.
How has Aston Villa’s season gone so far?
The Midlands club won just one of their opening four league fixtures, but appeared to be turning a corner when they picked up back-to-back victories over Everton and Manchester United.
However, that has proved to be a false dawn, as Villa have lost their last three top-flight matches, conceding eight goals in the process.
Their most recent defeat came against Arsenal, with Smith’s men slipping to a 3-1 defeat after arguably their worst performance of the campaign.
What has Hatfield said about the issues facing Smith at Villa?
Smith has tried 4-2-3-1 and 3-5-2 formations this term, but neither have been particularly effective.
Hatfield feels that the Villa boss is having an issue with fitting all of his attacking talent into the same team, and has stated that Smith must find a way to solve this issue to arrest his side’s current slump.
Speaking about Villa’s underwhelming start to the season, Hatfield told GIVEMESPORT: “That’s the problem that Dean Smith has, having brought in so much talent and having young players come through, not to mention they’ve got the likes of Morgan Sanson still on the bench.
“So, he’s got decisions to make, Dean Smith. He needs to find solutions quickly and get results because the slide can’t really continue.”
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How can Smith get Villa back to winning ways?
Despite Jack Grealish leaving, it seemed that Villa had a relatively positive summer, with sporting director Johan Lange managing to attract some exciting players to Villa Park.
However, it seems that Smith has been trying to shoehorn some of these players into the team at times, and it has not been working.
The 3-5-2 system does not seem to suit Villa’s backline, and Buendia has been playing centrally rather than on the right wing, where he had so much success with Norwich last season.
Smith needs to think about the balance of his team, and must get his players in their best positions. He ought to also be brave, and not be afraid to leave some his big-name players out if he feels that it will give his side a better chance of winning matches.
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