Former Scotland international Charlie Nicholas has had his say on what one of the current crop, John McGinn, needs to do in order to help Aston Villa close out matches in the Premier League.
As per Sky Sports, Nicholas wants McGinn to drop into a holding midfield role when Villa are in front, after they twice surrendered a lead against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium to lose 3-2 last Sunday.
The 20-cap Scot said: “Villa should have got something from the Emirates but are too vulnerable at the back. When they go in front, they have Jack Grealish and John McGinn further forward. When it’s not working, [McGinn] should play a bit deeper for 15 minutes or so.
“They don’t need to change the personnel, they just need to change a position around five to 10 yards. If Grealish plays further forward, McGinn and Marvelous Nakamba can sit in there.”
TBR’s View – Arsenal result was more due to clumsy tackling than McGinn’s positioning
It’s easy to say this in hindsight, but if Villa had set back against the ten men of Arsenal last weekend, they would likely have drawn even more criticism if they’d lost.
Bjorn Engels gave away a penalty and a free kick and in truth, those crunch moments were more important than a slight alteration in McGinn’s positioning might have been.
If Villa do get in front this weekend, that Arsenal result will creep into their thinking but they can’t afford to go into their shell – certainly not at home – and McGinn’s energy will be a vital part of that.