With Manchester United facing Aston Villa at Villa Park on Friday, we posed several questions to members of the Heroes & Villains forum.
Streford End Arising: What are your thoughts on Friday’s game?
TheMalandro: Hate the fixture. Still bitter about the injury time against Sheff Wed.
Dave P: A real test given we virtually have a new team. To be honest, I’m beginning to think will we ever beat you at home?
tomd2103: First time I’ve looked forward to this fixture for years. We should be on somewhat of a high and as last weekend proved, Manchester United still have a sense of vulnerability that has been exhibited post Ferguson.
SEA: What team, formation and brand of football can we expect from Sherwood?
LukeJames: I’d imagine we’ll continue with the 4-3-3 from last week, I’m not sure if he’ll go for a counter attacking approach or stick Gestede on from the start and go direct.
Mister E: A more flexible formation approach than his recent predecessors ever managed; very attacking and more binary (win or lose).
SEA: Is Sherwood the manager to take Villa forward?
paul_e: I think he the right man for us right now, we needed someone bold and positive who’d get the fans behind him after four years of largely poor football and dour management.
Rudy Can’t Fail: Hopefully, yes. He talks a very good game, he’s signed what looks like some very interesting players, now all he needs to do is the difficult bit – get them playing. He has the great advantage of not being Paul Lambert so will be given time to show what he can do.
tomd2103: The jury is still out. He had a good start, but got things badly wrong in the FA Cup final. He seems to have been very proactive this summer and it has to be remembered that he is still learning as a top flight manager.
SEA: What are your expectations for the 2015-16 season?
LukeJames: I’ll take anything other than a relegation battle, a boring 12th will be fine.
supertom: Potentially we could be a surprise package. It depends if our signings settle well. There’s plenty of talent. We’re hoping for the same effect as when Big Ron first came in and swept the place clean, or indeed Brian Little in 95.
SEA: Who will fill the void left by Benteke?
supertom: Not one player, but several. We put far too much on Benteke’s shoulders. He did keep us up for 3 seasons, but we need to have more players winning games and scoring goals for us.
Dave P: Gestede. He looks an absolute monster!
paul_e: I’m not sure we need to, as a squad we’re much stronger now so as good as he is I think the £32.5m was probably more important to us than him this summer. I’m surprised your lot didn’t go for him though, I think he’d have been an excellent signing for you.
SEA: Which of the new signings has most impressed so far?
Mister E: Gueye. He looks like a more skilful Delph.
paul_e: Amavi has impressed a lot of fans very quickly. He’s quick, two footed and plays on his toes so he reacts very quickly. For the stattos he was the best left back in Europe last season on whoscored.com and it is quickly becoming clear why that was the case.
SEA: What positions do you need to strengthen? Who would be the players you would want brought in?
paul_e: I think we’re close to the limit of how many players we can bring in, we need someone with pace and skill to play on the right so the links to Adama Traore are promising. Other than that I think we’re ok, maybe another central defender if Sherwood doesn’t trust Senderos and Baker as backup.
Villa in Denmark: A right back to match Amavi would really be the cherry on the top of a the most exciting & promising summer transfer period since Ron Atkinson in 1991.
If we could find a better back up to Ciaran Clark and dispense with Senderos that would be a bonus.
SEA: Does Grealish have what it takes to reach the top of the game?
paul_e: Yes, he has a lovely low centre of gravity which means he drifts away from defenders effortlessly, he needs to add more end product but that’s not unusual for a young attacking midfielder. On top of that he’s more than happy to draw players in even if he ends up taking a few kicks. He’ll play centre mid long term and will be a very good one.
supertom: Yes. As long as he stays grounded and works hard. We don’t want him to get too swept up in his own hype. We’ve seen too many lads come through our academy and get too much too soon and then not deliver/develop. Grealish has more talent than I’ve seen from one of our lads, since Hendrie and Barry.
tomd2103: He was a revelation at times last season, but needs to add goals to his game if he is to become a top player. Those could come with age.