One thing we, Aston Villa fans are guilty of is not having patience with players. We, myself included, in the past have been quick to right players off following 1-2 bad games.
I will hold my hands up, I got it wrong with Emi Buendia. I was very excited about his signing as I admired him from afar during his time at Norwich without saying I was an expert. It took the Argentinian a little time to settle in following his move to Villa Park last summer. I was unsure if he was going to fit in after the first month or two are started to doubt the signing. The rest is obviously history as he is now an integral part of our squad and someone we all expect to step up even more next season.
Academy players, more so than others, need us to be patient. We cant be writing them off following 1 or 2 bad performances. Young players will be inconsistent. It is all part of their development. Some of them will go on to have long and successful careers at the top level while overs will find their home in the lower leagues.
I guess the reason why I am writing this is because of the recent clamour on social media for Cameron Archer to play a big part next season. Archer scored 4 in 5 appearances for Villa before a loan spell to Preston where he impressed and scored 7 in 20. And then more recently he has scored 3 in 2 for the England u21’s.
My one big worry is if Archer doesn’t go back out on loan, as I think he will, some Villa fans are expecting him to set the world alight straight away in the Premier League. With all young players, there is that possibility but most youth players take a little while to adjust. It is one thing to score goals in the Championship and u21 level but it’s another thing to score goals in the Premier League.
In recent times we have seen the likes of Tim Iroegbunam and Carney Chukwuemeka breakthrough into the first team. I have heard both positive and negative comments about both. As I have already mentioned, young players will be inconsistent. They need us to be patient and our support.
Take a look at Borrusia Dortmund. They have signed plenty of young players in recent years who have gone on to be very good players at Dortmund and in some cases onto pasters new. The one thing they and their fans do is get behind their young players despite their inconsistencies and generally, long term it pays off.
In years gone by Villa, fans have got on the backs of young players for bad form. Barry Bannan and Andreas Weimann come to mind. Both have had decent careers and maybe could have played bigger parts at Villa Park.
Yes, both have spent a lot of their careers in the Championship but it wasn’t so long ago when we were there and if we are honest, both probably would have shown more heart and desire than the side we got relegated with.
We don’t know what younger players will be around the first-team squad next season. I don’t think Gerrard fully knows either until we get pre-season underway but for those who are around, let’s be patient. Let’s celebrate their joys but more importantly, lets get behind them when they need us the most, during the bad patches.