Rotherham at Villa Park, James Chester signs and a great opportunity today

James Chester signed from West Brom yesterday to bolster the back four and like most of the players we have brought in this summer, I know little about him.

What I mean is that I know I've seen him play, but I don't recall a stand out performance. And I've read what supporters think on Twitter, but all I really know is that he played for Wales at the Euros, was liked at Hull but never really made the leap under Tony Pulis, who paid £8mn for him.


And I don't think he's available for selection today, although I've read reports that he is. And while I believe we need a new central defender, especially now that the Club have confirmed that Lescott can go and the manager has now seen that Richards is a liability, I'm not sure Chester would be the difference today even if Baker is injured, so I don't think it's critical that he play and he has plenty of time.

And by that I mean it's not about not conceding today, it's about winning and we're not going to have that many opportunities this season to get that win to change the mood that the manager is talking about. You could say, as some are, that it's a must win game today.

And I mean no disrespect to Rotherham, but they finished one place above the relegation zone last season and I'm fairly confident the manager has now had enough time to tell the team to get the ball to Ayew and McCormack as quickly as possible. And I say quickly, because this isn't the Premier League and we have to play to the strengths of the players we have.

And when we lost to Luton, I wrote that it didn't inspire confidence - but at the same time, when you start with Richards near the team, you have to accept that things will likely not end well. Today, I believe they will.

Updates and team news

Aston Villa need a performance that inspires confidence and not just for the players or those at the Club, but mostly for the supporters. We need to score a few goals, we need to create a lot of chances and we need to control a game. And as I wrote above, there are not going to be many better opportunities this season than today and they have to take it, without making it complicated.

So on that, I'll be back later with updates, links and team news. But lets be clear; we need to win today and as long as we're controlling games and scoring goals, the back four will be okay.