I THINK IT has been difficult for Aston Villa. If I look at what they achieved last season it was fabulous. David O'Leary has added players to his squad, but probably not the amount he would have liked in order to better what they did last season.
It was always going to be hard and, taking it all into consideration, he has done a really good job. One thing you mustn't take away from them is that they are a good side and a good footballing side. When you have this you are capable of winning any game.
Over the last four or five games they have made a few changes due to the injuries they have had. Apart from one game they have gone with a 4-4-2 and over the last two seasons this has been the system they have decided to play.
Angel, who is a top front player, has been starting and he is one they look to now he has been here two or three seasons. Initially he had a difficult time but he is very much immersed in the English game now. Villa can also call on Cole or Vassell up front and both are very dangerous.
If Solano plays he offers them great quality down the right hand side, with De La Cruz at right back. They also have natural wide players with Barry and Samuel on the left.
Overall they are a good footballing side who can beat anyone on their day.
Chris Hughton offers his regular assessment of forthcoming opponents - next up, Aston Villa at the Lane on Sunday.