Aston Villa secured a vital win over Reading last night but stayed in 17th place. Is the average age of the side a reason for their league position?
Ron Vlaar missing from the Aston Villa side in the match against Reading took the average age of the team down to 23-years-old. Villa are under pressure every single week because of their current league position and the massive inexperience in the side could be one of the main reasons they are just above the relegation zone.
Villa have conceded 17 goals in the second half of games this season as they continue with a young and inexperienced defence. Although they coped admirably against Reading last night the example of Manchester United’s comeback in the recent league game is the perfect demonstration of where youth and inexperience can cost the side.
Experience is vital to Aston Villa scrapping away near the bottom of the league because they need players in their side who are going to make the right decisions consistently from the defence through the midfield and up to the strikers. Poor decision making has cost Villa a high volume of second half goals this season which has in turn cost them vital league points.
There is nothing Paul Lambert can do for the time being because Richard Dunne, Charles N’Zogbia, Stilian Petrov, Ron Vlaar and Stephen Warnock are all out of action and all players that would add experience into a very young team.
The worrying factor is that Lambert may now be tempted to stick with a young and inexperienced side because they managed to secure a 1-0 win over Reading, who are in the bottom three of the Premier League. A higher quality and more experienced opponent may have come back to secure a 1-1 draw which may have forced changes.
There is absolutely no harm in playing a very young team because every member of the Aston Villa side is undoubtedly talented. It’s a case of getting the right balance over the rest of the season because if Lambert ignores this aspect of his team, they could well be hovering around 15t, 16th, 17th place for most of the season which will irritate the fans and the powers that be at the club.
Richard Dunne is closest to a return and if he can get in the middle of the defence with Ron Vlaar, it would be harsh on Ciaran Clark but it would give Villa the best chance of survival.
image: © Ben Sutherland