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Tottenham 2-0 Aston Villa: Three things that we learnt

Jake Jackman

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Tottenham managed to get through to the fourth round of the FA Cup after overcoming Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon. It was far from a classic display as Villa dug in and restricted Tottenham’s chances, especially in the first half. However, as the match progressed, the quality difference was clear and Tottenham managed to score two goals to clinch their progression. Pochettino made several changes, but stuck to the 3-4-3 formation and there is a feeling that this could be his favoured set-up for the rest of the season. Here are three things that we learnt from the match:

Tottenham have strength in depth

There have been doubts about the strength in depth at Tottenham, but several of the players that came in today showed their quality and pushed their cases for more involvement over the second half of the season. Only Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier would be considered first team regulars and Tottenham’s dominance showed that there are players within the squad that can step up if required. Harry Winks shone in central midfield, while Cameron Carter-Vickers delivered a man-of-the-match display. The American centre back completed two interceptions, ten clearances and won ten aerial duels. He dealt well with Villa’s attack and will be hoping for more opportunities, especially in this competition and the Europa League.

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Although they have a young and hungry squad, that is well covered in most areas, there remain a few positions of concern, namely in attack. There will also be a concern about the left midfield position of the 3-4-3 as Ben Davies didn’t look as comfortable in that role as Kieran Trippier did on the right hand side. Despite his goal on Sunday, Davies is arguably the worst attacker out of Tottenham’s four full backs and he looked much more comfortable after the change to four at the back. That said, there are reasons to be optimistic for the future at White Hart Lane. Their players are improving all the time and they are becoming a force in English football under Pochettino.

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Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

Aston Villa

Forgotten man Ritchie De Laet could play important role for Aston Villa

Aston Villa may have to give a second chance to the 29-year-old.

Mathew Nash

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When Aston Villa snapped up Premier League winner Ritchie De Laet from Leicester City in the summer of 2016 it looked a great deal. He arrived after a season in which he won both the Premier League with Leicester City and promotion with Middlesbrough whilst on loan.

Considering he had also won promotion with Leicester in 2014, he looked a perfect addition for Aston Villa at just £2.5 million.

However, De Laet struggled. He played just three times in his first season at the club before picking up a knee injury against Brentford. He was subsequently ruled out for the rest of the campaign.

Last season he featured sporadically through the first-half of the season but in January was sent out on loan to his boyhood club Royal Antwerp until the end of the season.

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

That deal proved to be unsuccessful as well. The Belgian side decided not to bring in De Laet permanently after a struggle of a loan campaign which eventually saw him dropped.

But Aston Villa should embrace the fact the 29-year-old is back. Considering they need to sell highly-marketable players this summer, keeping De Laet on board would be wise.

He can play at left-back, right-back and on the wing. Add to that his excellent experience of winning promotion and Aston Villa need to keep him on board.                                                                                                                    

De Laet could be like a new signing for Aston Villa.

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Aston Villa

James Bree must make an impact at Aston Villa next season

The right-back needs to make an impact at Villa this season.

Mathew Nash

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It has been a tough summer for Aston Villa. The club failed to win promotion to the Premier League after a play-off final defeat to Fulham. That defeat at Wembley soon became even more significant, as Villa’s financial issues came to the fore.

Two summers of overspending without the reward of promotion means the club are in serious financial peril. Aston Villa are now set to offload some of their prized possessions, such as Jack Grealish, James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia.

For some players, the lack of funds at Aston Villa will present them with a chance. One such player is James Bree.

The former Barnsley man has been telling the Express and Star this week all about his hopes for the season, suggesting Villa are still looking at a promotion push.

(during the Sky Bet Championship Play Off Semi Final second leg match between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough at Villa Park on May 15, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

It might also be a season where Bree features more regularly. He played just 10 times last season but with Villa now unable to bring in big name new signings, Bree might get a chance at right-back.

Everyone wants to get promotion every year, no matter what’s going on.

“I think that’s what we’ve got to push for. We’ve just got to go and see what happens this season.”

– James Bree on Aston Villla’s promotion hopes

Signed for a fee in the region of £3 million the former Barnsley man must grab this opportunity. There is still competition at right-back. Alan Hutton signed a new deal, Ahmed Elmohamady can play the role and Ritchie De Laet has returned from a loan spell.

Bree will need to prove he is a player Aston Villa can count on in their season of need. If he cannot make the breakthrough in the current circumstances, then he may never do so at Villa Park.

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Aston Villa

Is Corey Blackett-Taylor’s in last chance saloon at Aston Villa?

The 20-year-old will be hoping to play for Aston Villa this season.

Mathew Nash

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Aston Villa are facing a difficult summer and, it seems, a difficult season. The club is in turmoil off the pitch. Since Aston Villa failed to win promotion to the Premier League it has emerged that the club is struggling financially. It appears they cannot currently sign players and are in fact trying to offload some of their current talent in order to get by.

With that in mind, Aston Villa may need to bring through some of their young players next season.

So is this season set to be a breakout campaign for attacker Corey Blackett-Taylor?

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The 20-year-old has impressed for the Aston Villa youth teams in recent times and he has all the natural attributes to make it into the first-team set-up. Capable of playing on the right or left wing the England youth international signed a new deal with the club in April, suggesting he does have a future at Villa Park.

He played 15 times for the Aston Villa under-23s last season and was one of their best players. With four goals and two assists, he looked like a player ready to take the step up.

It has to be now, or it will surely be never. His extension is until next summer and the wideman turns 21-years-old in September.

If Blackett-s not playing regular football at Aston Villa next season, then his long-term future would seem to be elsewhere.

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