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Carlton Palmer, while speaking exclusively to Tom Ward of Football FanCast, has endorsed Dean Smith to fulfill the impossible dream and guide Aston Villa to Europe this season.
The Villans avoided the Premier League relegation threat on the final day of last season, but have drastically changed their luck this period to sit just two points behind West Ham United, ranked fifth, after the first 10 rounds of matches.
Villa also has a game in hand over the London Stadium natives, who with a win could see Smith move the Birmingham-based team into the top four with the Claret and Blue team with better goal difference than Leicester, fourth place from Brendan Rodger. City.
Will Aston Villa qualify for Europe this season?
Yes, the Champions League
Yes, but only in the Europa League
No, they will miss European football
Palmer has praised Smith for the work he has done to improve Villa’s luck after a challenging debut season in the top flight, with the 49-year-old now in charge of a well-organized unit.
“I think Villa could push for a top-six and top-seven result this season. I think they really could. I think they are hard-working and very well organized now, ”Palmer told Football FanCast.
Aston Villa ended the 2019/20 campaign just one point above the drop zone with a draw on the final day at West Ham United enough to force AFC Bournemouth to join Norwich City and Watford to fall in the Championship.
Smith struggled to establish Villa as a top-flight team during its first season as head coach of the Premier League, with the Villans allowing the second highest number of goals (67) in the division with only the Norwich basement boys sending more (75). Only the Canaries (27) and Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth (22) also lost more times (21).
Villa has been an almost entirely different defensive unit since the summer, with league leaders Tottenham Hotspur (9), plus Chelsea (10), Manchester City (11), West Ham (11), Wolves (11) and Arsenal ( 12). the only sides to have allowed fewer goals than Smith’s men (13) in the new campaign thus far.
The Birmingham-based side too ranked 11th in the division for the highest number of shots allowed per game this season with 11.9, the same as the Spurs who lead the table with 21 points having lost just once in ten games.
In fact, Smith’s work to better organize the Villans’ bottom line has seen the blue and claret side win. WhoScored’s The best defensive index of the season so far at 6.97, thanks to averaging 12.4 tackles and 10.4 interceptions, catching the opponent offside 1.9 times and committing just 11.3 fouls per game.
That’s a far cry from last season, you saw Villa in position 17 with 16 shots allowed per game while recording fewer tackles per game than all but Manchester City and Bournemouth.
And in other news, Dean Smith must demand more from his “erratic” favorite Aston Villa of £ 75,000 per week.