Villa’s inexperience will cost them

When the news that Stiliyan Petrov was suffering from acute leukaemia, the news really hit the Aston Villa players and supporters harder than a Mike Tyson knockout punch. Their captain, learning of his condition almost a year ago, hasn’t played since, although is fortuitously in remission.

However, the lack of experience and leadership in the middle of the park has often cost Villa this season. The Capital One Cup defeat at the hands of Bradford City would never have happened had a senior head been operating in midfield, a role the Petrov would’ve fulfilled.

Yet, relying on the likes of Ashley Westwood and Fabian Delph, two young players signed from the lower leagues, was always going to see Paul Lambert’s side struggle. Fortunately, the experience of the team as a whole shone through in the recent relegation encounter with Reading, a game Villa walked away from with all three points to lift them out of the relegation zone.

Next up for the Villains is the visit of Queen’s Park Rangers to Villa Park, a team in a similar position to that of Villa. However, Harry Redknapp’s side appear to have found their form in recent weeks, picking up six points from two games following the training camp shenanigans reported in Dubai.

With Jermaine Jenas and Christopher Samba, amongst others, providing Premier League experience to QPR, it could well see them edge out Villa next weekend, a defeat that would surely provide, close to, a knockout blow to the side in their bid to stave off the threat of relegation.