Should Aston Villa be doing better in the Championship?
By Joe Harker
Money doesn't always lead to success in football and Aston Villa appear to be learning that the hard way in the Championship. They have spent a lot of money but that hasn't put them at the top of the table. With the squad they have and the money they've spent there is an argument that they should be doing far better than they currently are. A 2-1 defeat to Brentford set them back in their push for promotion back to the Premier League and questions are being asked about the club's ability to meet expectations after a significant spend on transfers.
That is not to say that spending money is not necessary for success. There are few teams that have been successful without spending anything and table toppers Wolves have spent millions to get into pole position and manager Nuno Espirito Santo has been promised "limitless" funds if he achieves promotion to the Premier League. They have spent a lot of money this season and it appears to be paying off, so a large transfer investment can be just what a club needs if invested correctly. It may be that Villa have signed the wrong players, or overspent on a player in relation to their ability.
All the money in the world will not guarantee success if a club is not well run and GetWestLondon believes the defeat to Brentford demonstrates that Aston Villa are not a well run club. They suggest that Villa have signed players on reputation rather than considering how they fit into the team. That is a transfer strategy that costs a lot of money and can end up with little in the way of success. If Villa really are buying big names rather than building a team then they may indeed be badly run. Clubs that have a lot of money to spend can get carried away trying to sign big names and can ignore better suited players that would not cost so much.
The club is targeting promotion to the Premier League this season and as long as they are in the Championship that will continue to be the ultimate goal. Although Villa are doing better than most in the league fans are not happy at the performances and struggles to be in the promotion places. Some fans believe the team are "simply not good enough" in their current state.
Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce admitted that his side were not good enough against Brentford and said that the fans had a right to be critical of the team. He also said that he saw the club's struggles as a blip that many clubs go through in the hunt for promotion. Injuries have hampered the club's progress and Bruce believes high expectations mean that any setbacks can be seen as a major problem. He said: "We're only a week away from a crisis at Aston Villa. Everything is a crisis if we don't win. It was only two or three weeks ago that we were in the thick of it.
"We're having our blip. Cardiff have had it, Sheffield (United) have had it, Derby had theirs at the start. It's all to play for."