Here’s why N’Zogbia would be one of five #avfc players I’d let go now

Villa Park - Holte End - - 43869I reckon Baker, Bennett, Tonev, Herd, and N’Zogbia are no longer required at Aston Villa.

Considering Sherwood, I feel we may play a combination of an attacking 4-4-2 at home and a conservative 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 away. In my view, at the moment none of those players get on the bench in either of those formations.

This isn’t really about ability, or whether they are ‘good enough’. It’s about the way the club builds a squad, its vision to move on players that don’t fit the plan, and promoting development prospects into positions we need.

Nathan Baker: first defensive subs are likely to be Clark and Cissokho, and then there is Senderos, Crespo, and Richardson ahead of him in the squad. It would take two injured centre backs just for Baker to make the bench let alone the team, and this is not a good use of the lad, who isn’t a bad defender. He may also be able to play left back, but that is our strongest position, which brings me to…

Joe Bennett: in Amavi and Cissokho we now have two first team left backs competing. On top of that, Richards, Hutton, Richardson, Kinsella and even Baker are all stronger left backs than Bennett. The lad is never going to get a game for us, and he’s not going to push for a place. Move him on.

Aleks Tonev: I this he’s an inside forward who cuts inside and shoots, not a winger or a wide midfielder, which puts him behind Gabby, Scott Sinclair, Jack Grealish, Carles Gil, Leandro Bacuna, Callum Robinson, Charles N’Zogbia and even Joe Cole in the pecking order. Ninth in line! Move him on.

Chris Herd: two of Westwood, Sánchez and Gueye will play most games in centre midfield. If a backup is required, it’s more likely to be Gary Gardner and probably Riccardo Calder too, knowing Sherwood. Herd has an outside chance of making the bench from time to time, but at 26 and in no danger of pushing for the first team, he should be moved on.

Charles N’Zogbia: I don’t think he should even make our bench. Like Tonev, he’s a wide forward who has too many people ahead of him. Unlike the other four players on this list, his performances are an issue, especially at over £3m wages a year. I’d play him if he started performing, but in 4 seasons (78 league games) he’s got 4 goals and 10 assists, and he’s 29 years old. Contrast that with Ashley Young who from a similar position got 7 goals and 10 assists (34 league games) in the 10-11 season alone.

Here are my current picks:

Home (4-4-2):


Hutton – Okore – Richards – Amavi

Sinclair – Gueye – Sánchez – Grealish

Ayew – Agbonlahor

Subs: Bunn, Clark, Cissokho, Bacuna, Gil, Westwood, Kozák, Robinson

Squad: Steer, Senderos, Crespo, Richardson, Cole, Gardner, Kinsella, Calder


Away (4-5-1 / 4-3-3):


Hutton – Okore – Richards – Amavi

Agbonlahor – Gueye – Sánchez – Westwood – Grealish


Subs: Bunn, Clark, Cissokho, Gardner, Bacuna, Gil, Sinclair, Kozák

Squad: Steer, Senderos, Crespo, Richardson, Cole, Gardner, Kinsella, Robinson, Calder


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