Aston Villa’s demolition of Norwich City over the weekend was a result that was coming given the performances Dean Smith’s side had been producing in recent weeks.
The only problem was that Villa weren’t able to hold onto any lead – eight points dropped from winning positions is proof of that.
But on Saturday, they put five past fellow promoted side Norwich, with striker Wesley netting a brace, Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane and Douglas Luiz also getting on the scoresheet.
Here we take a look at the three things we learned from Villa’s thrashing of Norwich:
Matt Targett & Fred Guilbert making a difference:
Smith opted to select the more senior duo of Neil Taylor and Ahmed Elmohamady during Villa’s first two Premier League games of the season. But slowly, but surely, Smith has eased the new faces into the starting XI and he has timed it perfectly.
Both players were outstanding at Carrow Road, and from an attacking standpoint, they are exactly what Villa need. They have showcased their high energy, ability to put quality crosses into the box and link up with the more attack-minded players.
Against Burnley, Guilbert provided an assist for Anwar El Ghazi’s brilliant finish following a counter-attack, and against Norwich, Targett also provided his first assist. The signs are very encouraging.
Marvelous by name, Marvelous by nature:
What a signing this kid has been! Nakamba needed to get up to speed during the first few weeks of the season, so Smith opted against selecting him. Ever since his Premier League debut against West Ham last month, he has gone from strength to strength.
At Carrow Road, he was a livewire in the middle of the park and his more deeper role allows the likes of Grealish, John McGinn, Conor Hourihane and El Ghazi to thrive in the more dangerous areas.
Nakamba may prove to be a bit of an unsung hero this season because whilst others get the plaudits in the attacking third, he’s continually winning possession and making sure his teammates are pushing higher up the field.
Wesley answers his critics again…
Wesley was one of Villa’s most expensive signings over the summer, so he was understandably going to grab most of the headlines. And prior to the weekend clash, he was perhaps one of Villa’s most talked-about players. Unfortunately, not in a positive light!
Against Burnley last time out, Wesley was pretty much anonymous and was more or less dealt with by Sean Dyche’s more senior pairing of James Tarkowski and Ben Mee. That resulted in some fans questioning him and whether he is cut out for this level. But he answered those people on Saturday.
When provided with the chances, Wesley produced the goods and scored Villa’s first two goals, and in truth, he should have netted a hat-trick. His penalty miss in the first-half stopped it being a near-perfect game for the Brazilian, who enjoyed his best performance in a Villa shirt. That game showed that if the chances are created for Wesley then he will deliver, but most importantly patience is needed because Smith has a quality player and team on his hands.