Your Aston Villa eleven and a little mention of Burnley

The votes are in. You have picked your preferred starting eleven and by default, your bench. You have also voted on your preferred formation. This isn't just me, but I have to say I agree with it 100%.

Why did I do this? Well, first there was not much going on and someone emailed in a suggestion for a quick question; the preferred right back and that was where the idea came from. So, here it is and nearly 5,000 of you voted, so it might not be what everyone wants, but it is a big number of votes.

Formation


This was asked, simply so we knew what questions to ask and 4-2-3-1 picked up 33.4% of the vote, followed by 4-5-1 with 30.2% - this was the closest vote and 4-4-2 came in third with 26.9% of all votes. But this was what we used for the questions and is the basis for this post.

Goalkeeper

This went to Big Brad, but it was close. Not the closest, but it was close with Friedel picking up just over 60% of the votes. I agree with this but I think the vote shows how close Guzan is to making the first team. We all know it is a big step up and playing in the Premier League week in week out has it's unique pressures, but who better for Guzan to learn from?

Defenders

Right back went to Luke Young, the two centre back positions went to James Collins and Richard Dunne and left back to Stephen Warnock. No surprises so far I guess you are thinking? Well, there are not really any surprises with any of the votes, but well, the questions were asked.

Holding Midfielders

Stan Petrov and Nigel Reo-Coker. I think everyone agrees that when these two play together with an extra midfielder we are at our best. It suits the way both like to play. It maybe isn't how both thought they were going to play when they came to Villa but it works and they were the clear winners.

Attacking Midfielders

This actually turned out quite close in the end. James Milner was the clear winner for the right with nearly 78% of the vote but the centre position and right was a close contest. Ashley Young won for the left with 52% of the vote, followed by Stewart Downing on 44.7% of the vote. Downing however won the vote for the middle with 50.2% of the vote.

As Young had been taken out of the vote, seeing as he won the vote for the left, it was clear Downing was going to win but Fabian Delph also got 25.1% of the votes.

Striker

Gabby won this with 69.7% of the votes. Once again, you can't argue with this. His pace and ability to get down the left and the right channel has been seen by all of us. He also has age on his side and I think it fair to say that he will only get better.

Summary

It is easy to vote on your preferred players when you only have to pick it on a website, but it is more difficult when you have 40,000 people demanding a result and the pressure of a match coming up. Also, while 4-2-3-1 won the formation vote, 4-4-2 and 4-5-1 were close behind and I think had we voted for 4-5-1 we might have seen Delph or even Sidwell in the side and had 4-4-2 won the vote, I'm fairly sure we would have seen John Carew too.

What I think is clear is we all know who the better players are and we all know where the best results come from. It is also, I think, clear that, if Martin O'Neill were to play this way that Downing, Young and Milner wouldn't be playing in these set positions for 90 minutes.

We have already seen O'Neill switch Milner and Young and with the added ability of Downing you could possibly see all three of them playing across the midfield in all positions over ninety minutes.

It is going to be interesting when Downing is fit to see what happens. I think it is fair to say that if all players are fit, Downing, Milner and Young will all play and it might just be that Martin O'Neill has 4-2-3-1 in mind. Pat yourselves on the back, I think you got it spot on.

I'm off for an early lunch and a pint of London Pride and I'm bringing my laptop to start my post about Burnley on Saturday. Also something from John later with something about a DJ and a look into the future.