Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has offered a refreshingly frank take on what he learned in the Premier League last season, as quoted by the Express and Star.

The Villans managed to stay in the Premier League after some final day drama in the top flight and they will have learned a great deal from it.

Indeed, after the restart they looked a lot tighter defensively compared to before where they were giving away soft goals and affording opponents too many chances.

It was a shift in style that ultimately kept them up, and Smith’s comments suggest that it’s something he has realised he needs to do going forwards.

He said:

“I probably went into the season a little bit naive in terms of trying to win every game.

“That is natural and I won’t ever lose that but sometimes you have to be a bit more pragmatic. You can’t expect a lot of the ball at times against Liverpool and Manchester City and we have to play a little bit differently at times.”

We know Smith likes to play an expansive, attacking game but Villa, at times, simply cannot do that yet against the very biggest sides.

It’s humble of Smith to admit areas where he got it wrong last season but providing he has learned from it, and there’s already evidence that he has, we could see Villa build on things in 2020/21.


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