Thursday, April 26, 2018

Villa show lack of ambition with Grant Holt signing

Veteran striker Grant Holt joined Aston Villa from Championship Wigan on-loan for the rest of the season

Veteran striker Grant Holt joined Aston Villa from Championship Wigan on-loan for the rest of the season

Aston Villa yesterday signed veteran striker Grant Holt from Wigan on loan for the remainder of the season.

The 32-year-old has scored just two goals for Wigan in the Championship this season in 14 appearances in the second tier. Inspiring stuff eh Villa fans!


My first question would be does Aston Villa really need another striker? The Villans already have Christian Benteke, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Andreas Weimann and Nicklas Helenius in the first team squad.

Then there is Jordan Bowery and Nathan Delfouneso, who are in reserve and Libor Kozak, who will miss the rest of the season through injury. That is six strikers currently available to Villa boss Paul Lambert, even without the injured Kozak.

Signing another striker really does seem unnecessary at this point of the season. Villa signing Holt is obviously a short-term thing, but it seems strange because of the number of strikers already at the club. It is difficult to see the veteran striker breaking into the Villa team, especially when he struggled to hold down a regular starting berth at Wigan.


Like so many of Paul Lambert’s signings Holt has come from a lower league club. The striker had only previously played two seasons in the Premier League and enjoyed just one decent goal scoring season. Lambert may know him well, but this signing seems like a desperate one.

If Lambert keeps making signings like Holt, then Villa could themselves be looking at playing football in the second tier in the near future.


I have always thought of Aston Villa as a big club, with good pedigree and history. However, in recent years the Villans have dropped down the pecking order in the Premier League and struggled to even maintain a midtable position in the top-flight.

Owner Randy Lerner has pumped millions into the club, but it seems his only ambition as Villa owner now is to get some of that money back. The clubs supporters will see a different picture to Lerner though. They are ambitious and want to see their team prospering on the pitch.

At the moment their team is very poor to watch and seems to lack any sort of creativity. The team’s poor performance on the pitch is due to the players simply not being good enough for the club they represent.


Paul Lambert always struck me as a manager that had good knowledge of the game. That knowledge has to be questioned now though, as the former-Norwich boss has brought some really mediocre players into the club.

The Villa boss has not been given a heap of cash to spend, but what cash he was given in the summer was spent on a lot of unknown talent. He went for quantity instead of quality and the decision really has not paid off.

Two of the summers more promising signings Jores Okore and Libor Kozak are out injured, but the rest of the signings have not exactly set the world on fire. Lambert claims that he has a young team, but not a lot of the players, if any are under-21 in his squad.

The signing of Grant Holt really will not inspire the Villa Park faithful with confidence. In fact I think the signing has a few thousands despairing from the feeling on the message boards and forums. The signing really is one that is difficult to fathom.

I hope that all those Villa fans and myself are wrong about the Holt signing, but I very much doubt we are and it just shows the lack of drive and situation Villa are in at the moment. The Wigan fans seem to be happy to get rid of Holt, which is a damning indictment of the striker’s current condition.

Surely Villa can do better than signing a 32-year-old striker from a Championship club? Even newly-promoted Hull are showing more ambition in January by looking to sign international strikers, albeit that is not the area that the Villans need to strengthen in, but you see my point.

Relegation battle

Aston Villa are currently in 11th place, but are five points clear of the relegation zone, largely due to their away form, as they have now suffered seven defeats at Villa Park this season. The Villans cannot continue to perform as poorly as they have done for much of the season and expect to avoid a relegation battle.

Villa are currently odds of 7/1 to be relegated this season, so the bookmakers do not believe that the Villans are in any danger. I do not believe that Villa will be relegated either, but I also believe that Villa will not move forward by making uninspiring signings like Grant Holt.

Is there anybody that disagrees with me that Grant Holt is a poor signing for Villa?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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