Aston Villa have had a tough opening few fixtures, yet we’ve managed to beat Arsenal and put on a great display in a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea. Behind these performances is a midfield trio of El Ahmadi, Westwood and Delph who sit behind the defence and also participate in Villa’s attack. I’ll try to make it short, these three have been superb recently. All three midfielders can slot into defence, should one full back engage in a counter-attack. Also, they two engage in attacks.
El Ahmadi has been put into the side following a good pre-season and he has definitely impressed, apart from his miscommunication with Lowton that resulted in Chelsea’s first goal. But apart from that, he has put in a solid display, had plenty of interventions and played better once Aston Villa had control over the game. I can’t see Sylla coming on in place of El Ahmadi, especially after his last two games.
Westwood is a tricky one, I admire his work ethic, vision and passing but as of now, he hasn’t matched the performances of Delph and arguably El Ahmadi. Still, Westwood does his job in defence and can pick out a pass from further up the pitch. What I really want to see from Westwood is more forward play, I want to see him creating more assists for the team. Obviously that might be hard if you are playing in the heart of the midfield and tend to have a more defensive role, but I think there is more to see of Westwood.
Delph has impressed me the most, very vocal, passionate and strong. Delph is starting to come of age, and rather quickly. What impresses me is the energy he puts into every game and his stamina. Delph is a box to box midfield and you often see him defence duties and in attacks. I also love his body language, when he hit the post against Arsenal I loved his reaction of him hitting the ground. It shows that he really wants to score for the club, and I have a feeling he’ll finally score his first Premier League goal this season. Some people have been calling Westwood as Villa’s future captain, I think they’ve got it wrong. Delph is very vocal, and in a weird way, one of the more experienced players in this side. It should be him carrying the armband in the future.
So there we have it, our three midfielders. There is only one thing I’d like to see them do a bit more, I’d like to see the midfield being involved more in attack and holding the ball in the opponents half for a longer duration. That might very well be the plan, but against Arsenal and Chelsea that would’ve never been easy.