The last couple seasons for Aston Villa have been really frustrating and quite disappointing. This summer, most people seem to be pretty happy with what Villa have done. In part four of our season preview roundtable, we look at what Villa need to do to not be a disappointment and the new players can help take them there.
What does Villa need to do in order for you to consider this a successful season?
Robert: Be out of the relegation race by the beginning of April. That's me being realistic. But the optimistic part of me thinks that we could be aiming for a top-half finish. But success is entering the last two months and not being terrified.
James: Villa need to get a grip and realise that it has been pure luck that has kept them up in the past. Sherwood has made some great signings this summer, but don't underestimate that Villa have lost heavily this postseason.
Tom: Avoid a relegation battle. Not bothered about the cups, just make some proper progress up that table.
Adam: Stay out of the relegation dogfight, make at least one deep cup run and develop a coherent style of play.
Herbert: Be out of the relegation picture by the new year.
RJ: A significant improvement in the league. Villa had a cup run last season, and it was good fun, but this season needs to have some consistency and success in the Premier League for me to call it a success. Top half would be a realistic aiming point.
Rory: Obviously avoiding relegation, but for variety's sake I'll also add this: I want goals. Our goal differential the past three years has been -22, -22, and -26. That's... well, it's not great. Last season Leicester ended up with a total of -9, and if we can match or surpass that, I think we'll be in good shape.
Brian: Not make us all sweat out the last couple matches.
Alex: In a vacuum, survival is nice with such a large squad upheaval, but I'll be hoping the club steers clear of the drop throughout the entire season. Sitting on 30+ points in February and well distanced from the drop is a very reasonable, and comfortable goal given our fixtures.
Elis: Get comfortably clear of the relegation battle by March.
Matt: I just don't want to be worried for the whole season. Even last year when they got off to that incredible start, we knew Villa probably would get dragged back down into the relegation race. And they were. Just for once, start well and get some real distance between you and the lower part of the table, or go on a late season run to cross the line in a reasonable position. Just don't make me dread watching every match for another whole season.
Which new players are you most looking forward to watching?
Robert: Jordan Amavi. I cannot wait to see what a competent attacking left back can do under Tim Sherwood.
James: In a sense, the whole team is new. It's Grealish's first full season and Kozak is finally back. Sinclair and Gil will feel like new signings. I've got to go for Gueye though. He who can step into the team where Fabian Delph and Cleverley left off and that is an immense sign for Villa.
Tom: Without a doubt I'm most excited to watch Jordan Amavi. A left back that can actualy play FOOTBALL?! What's that supposed to look like! We've made some great signings so I guess I'm just looking to see which of them can make an impact and if they can gel into a good team.
Adam: Jordan Amavi is the top prospect for me but I'm also hugely excited to see how Carles Gil develops this season.
Herbert: Jordan Amavi and Micah Richards.
RJ: Every signing with the first name Jordan. I can't say I've seen Amavi, Ayew or Veretout much in Ligue 1, but each seem to have the potential to be very exciting additions.
Rory: Jordan Amavi. Out of all the summer signings, I think he's the most exciting. He's everything you want in a fullback. He's young, so I anticipate a few mistakes here and there, but he's bursting with potential. It'll take me at least until October to get used to having a capable left-back.
Brian: Can I just say Amavi over and over? He looks like a budding superstar.
Alex: All of them! Above all else though, probably Jordan Amavi. This club has needed a competent left back for so long, and it's nice to (seemingly) finally have one.
Elis: All of the players called Jordan, again! Also Scott Sinclair in his first full season.
Matt: I have gradually become more and more excited by nearly every signing. I'm gonna go with Jordan Veretout because he seems like the type player that I love and my early impression is that he will become my favorite.
We want to hear your answers and be sure to come back tomorrow for the conclusion of our season preview roundtable.