Emiliano Martinez has admitted Aston Villa have been ‘inconsistent’ but blames a difficult transition and losing star player Jack Grealish.
Villa’s squad has had a very new look to it in the past couple of seasons. Indeed, of the starting XI that drew 0-0 with Leicester City at the weekend, only three of them played for the Villans in the Championship.
Thos players were: Jacob Ramsey – who made just one appearance – Tyrone Mings, and John McGinn. There have been a host of new players, and a new coaching staff since then.
Another big change was the loss of club captain Grealish in the summer. Of course, the boyhood Villa star left in a big-money move to Manchester City.
As such, there has clearly been a tough transition. What’s more, Villa are currently 15th in the league, after finishing 11th last season.
Goalkeeper Martinez has cited the transition for some inconsistent form.
“Obviously there has been investment at the club and everyone expected us to be top eight or top seven but it is difficult when there are so many changes in one season,” he said via Birmingham Mail.
“We have been inconsistent but we have to realise we sold Jack, a homegrown player and the best we had at Villa.”
A change in the manager has not helped matters either, thinks Martinez.
“We have had to rebuild and find new players but they need time to adapt. We changed the manager in mid-season too, with a new philosophy. It isn’t as easy as it looks,” he said.
Grealish sale was a massive blow – Martinez
Clearly, selling Grealish meant for a slight drop in quality, given the massive role he played in the side.
“He was the best player we had. He was outstanding last season but we understood he needed to make that step. The signings we made were really positive but they needed time to adapt,” Martinez said.
Philippe Coutinho has played a similar role to Grealish, and added that spark of quality. However, it cannot be expected that all new signings will hit the ground running, and gel together immediately.
“You can see now at the end of the season the inconsistency as well because we have a new manager, a new philosophy,” Martinez added.
“Next season, we will know what to do. It has been difficult inside [the club] but we have been very positive and we have double figures in clean sheets now. Saturday we showed how good we are defensively and it is something to build on for the final six games.”
Villa will want to play their best football until the end of the season, and then build on that during the next campaign.