Glenn Whelan is 34, Irish, and disliked by a significant portion of Aston Villa supporters. And I’ll be honest — I don’t fully understand the hate. He plays the unfashionable role he is asked to play and he does it well. Cover the back four and try to spread the ball around — usually to the outside. It is not always a pretty way to play but it is effective.
And — brace yourself if you are a Whelan hater — he is going to play there even more this year with Mile Jedinak likely heading into the backline. At least as long as Father Time let’s Whelan keeping playing the kind of physical game he likes to play. He isn’t going to add many goals or assists — having only picked up one each in his time for Villa.
He will face some pressure from Birkir Bjarnason — but they can play the deep role in different ways and the players SHOULD (emphasis added for the benefit of Steve Bruce who may or may not be reading this) be used based on opponent and tactic. Rotation, eh?
But seriously — stop with the Whelan hate. He is a useful player and gives his complete effort every time out on the pitch.