It's been nearly two weeks since we've gotten to see Aston Villa take the pitch. In that time, the new players have had some chance to settle in, Paul Lambert has had time to refine his tactics to fit the new-look squad, and we've al had times to build our expectations after the draw at Newcastle. There has also been the small thing of not having any news either. So two weeks of nothing but building our expectations for what's to come in the match against Swansea.
In that spirit, this week's Friday Feedback focuses on the upcoming match at Villa Park. But instead of just a straight-up prediction, we want to look at the bigger picture at work. In that vein:
This Week's Question: win, lose, or draw, what is one thing you hope to see from Aston Villa this weekend against Swansea?
You'll find our answers below, of course. We hope to find your answers in the comments!
Kirsten: Based on this statistic by WhoScored I want Gabby to start. Well, I want Gabby to start just because I enjoyed the small amount of time he was on the pitch against Newcastle (it was Newcastle, right? Club matches seem so far away). I want to see how a Paul Lambert side looks with Agbonlahor's pace included from the start. Of course, then I'll have to be sad when he inevitably breaks himself and has to sit out for eight weeks, but let's not think about that yet.
Gareth: I'd be really excited to see at least one of the new signings, if not more. Joe Bennett, as I said in the depth chart last week, has a pretty decent chance of making left back his own due to lack of serious competition. However, seeing a bit of Ashley Westwood or Christian Benteke is what I'm really hoping for. It'll also be interesting just to see how much Lambert trusts his new players, because that will be our first real sense of how good these guys actually are in comparison to our first team.
Andrew: More than anything I'm excited to look at the entire squad and revel in our newfound depth. We have options now and we have players that don't immediately raise bile.
And of course they'd better win because I'm going to the match and I want happy fans.
Aaron: The biggest difference between Aston Villa against Newcastle and Aston Villa's first two games this season was Villa's ability to not only pass the ball and maintain some decent spells of possession, but to actually do something with said possession. There was a pretty clear plan, and Villa were able to execute it with a reasonable amount of effectiveness. That's what we should be looking for this season, and while it's not always going to be effective it's really important to eliminate the "chickens with their heads cut off" style of panicked, aimless play that we've seen from this team at times in the recent past.
It's doubtful that Villa will be able to out-possess Swansea or to pass them off of the pitch, but they don't have to do anything like that. They just need to execute a cohesive gameplan effectively. If they can do that, they'll have a very good chance of winning, and even if they aren't able to take three points it will be something off of which they can continue to build.
Matt: The signing I've found myself most excited about since deadline day has been Ashley Westwood. While Benteke is probably the flashiest and most exciting, everything I've seen about Westwood has drawn me towards him. While I'm a little apprehensive about bringing him straight from League One to the Premier League, I hope we see him against Swansea. Maybe not in the starting XI, but I really hope we see him as a second half sub, at some point.
Robert: I'd love to see the continuing development of left-wing Barry Bannan. The way he distributed the ball in the last match was amazing, and if he can prove it was more than a fluke, we've got a lot to be excited about. I'd also love to see any of the new players, but I can understand if they're not still ready. Just give me some sign that Aston Villa will continue going in the direction we saw two weeks ago.