Alan Hutton Exclusive Interview With OLBG

Updated: 226 Football

Discover the life and legacy of Alan Hutton, a former Scottish professional footballer known for his resilience on the pitch and successful stints at Rangers, Tottenham Hotspur, and Aston Villa. This biography spans his early life, career achievements, and post-retirement endeavors.

Alan Hutton Exclusive Interview With OLBG
Steve Madgwick Editor-In-Chief

Editor-In-Chief with 20 years experience covering the betting angles to breaking news stories. Daily slots player, Portsmouth fan and League Snooker Player

Alan Hutton Biography

Alan Hutton is a name synonymous with determination and defensive prowess on the football field. The Scottish right-back, often called the "Scottish Cafu," carved out an impressive career with his tenacity and robust tackling. This biography highlights Hutton's journey from his beginnings in Glasgow to his retirement, encapsulating a career that took him to the heights of the English Premier League and international stardom with the Scotland national team.

Early Life and Background:

Born on November 30, 1984, in Glasgow, Scotland, Alan Hutton rose through the ranks of the Rangers Youth Academy. His potential was evident early on, as he stood out for his work ethic and physicality, key attributes for a burgeoning defender.

Ivica Drusany//shutterstock

Career Overview:

Hutton's professional career began at Rangers in 2002. Over the next five years, his reputation as a solid and reliable right-back grew, and in 2007 he was signed by Tottenham Hotspur for what was at the time a record fee for a Scottish defender. Despite injury setbacks, he became known for his marauding runs down the flank. In 2011, he secured a transfer to Aston Villa, where he enjoyed a steady career, becoming a fan favorite for his passionate play. He also had brief spells on loan with Nottingham Forest and Real Mallorca. Internationally, Hutton earned 50 caps for Scotland, proudly representing his country from 2007 to 2016.

Post-Retirement Activities:

After hanging up his boots in 2020, Alan Hutton has remained active in the football community, providing analysis and commentary, and engaging with fans through various media platforms.

Alan Hutton Interview November 2023

We spoke exclusively to Alan ahead of the November international break, discussing Scotland's soccer team under Steve Clarke, emphasizing the importance of maintaining form and learning from matches despite already qualifying for the Euros, and underlining key players like an injured Andy Robertson, the leadership of captain John McGinn, and the roles of Scott McTominay, Aaron Hickey, and potential recruitments like Tina Livramento and Anthony Gordon. 

Exclusive: Diving Into The Heart of Scottish Football with Alan 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿⚽

🎙️⚽ Exclusive chat with Alan! We tackle Scotland's Euro hopes with Steve Clarke, 🤕 Andy Robertson's injury, and McGinn's captaincy. Plus, Club insights on Rangers, Spurs with Postecoglou, Villa under Emery, and England's rising stars!🦁

We also spoke of Club football topics including Rangers' management and transfer strategies, the style and impact of Ange Postecoglou at Spurs, Villa's impressive performance under Unai Emery, and the potential of Ollie Watkins and Ezri Konsa in the England squad. The interview also touches on squad depth challenges for former clubs, Spurs and Aston Villa's potential to further strengthen their team.

Scotland play twice during the international break but they have already qualified for the Euros next summer, despite losing their last three games. What are these games coming up really about now for this team?

“I think nothing changes with how they play, to be honest. Steve Clarke has stamped the style into the squad since he's been in charge. So I think they'll go and play in the exact same way. They'll want to win these games. They’ll want to win the group, despite it being difficult.

Image: Shutterstock/Alizada Studios

Steadfast Scotland: Clarke's Consistent Charge

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿⚽️ Steve Clarke's consistency is key for Scotland! Sticking to their style, aiming to top the group, and learning from the best. Still need a 🇪🇸 slip-up, but it's full throttle ahead! 💪

“We need Spain to slip up in their remaining two games, but I think it's full speed ahead. You want to go out on top, as high as you can. I know they've lost the last three against very good opposition, but it's good for them to learn how to play against these big teams. That's the only way they're going to get better.”

How big of a miss will Andy Robertson be for the side, and how important is he if Scotland are to have success next summer? 

“He's a huge loss. He's a huge part of everything that they do defensively and going forward in attack. It dovetails really well with Kieran Tierney when he plays at left-centre half. They've got a really good relationship. When Tierney goes forward, Robertson sits in and vice versa. 

“We've seen throughout this campaign, how pivotal they are to the team and everything that Scotland does. I think that they'll be massively important at the Euros next summer in Germany. So hopefully the two of them are going to be fit. They've had their injury problems, but if they are fit they are the first two names on the team sheet.”

John McGinn is set to be made captain of the side, what does he bring to the team with both his ability and his leadership skills?

“There is no doubt in my mind that John McGinn can go and lead this team. I think he's shown the maturity that he has already had at Aston Villa. When I was at the club he came in as a boy, he took a little bit of time to settle in, but I think he's really grown in stature and really grown into the role. 

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“I always think leaders can be different, you have to lead both on and off the pitch. I think John's real qualities are that he's got both. He leads by example on the pitch, with the way he plays the game, but off it, he's highly thought of by all the coaching staff and by his teammates. So I think that's what really sets him apart from others and makes him a captain option.”

Does Aaron Hickey's absence from the upcoming Scotland squad allow Nathan Patterson the chance to remind everyone of his abilities?

“Yes, this is a real opportunity for Patterson. I thought the position was obviously up for grabs and I thought Patterson would have really taken hold of it and he could have been in charge of it for years to come. He's obviously got the technical ability. 

“Unfortunately, through injury and a little bit of loss of form, he found it difficult when he first went down to Everton, so that's probably what's kind of hampered him a little bit getting back in the team. 

“Aaron Hickey has really blossomed into the player that we see today, has played to high standards and he's deserved his run in the team. So it's been difficult for Patterson to get back in, but I think this is a real opportunity for him to go and grasp the position with two hands. 

“I think they're both quite similar. Hickey can play with both feet, so he can come inside. I think that's what possibly gives him an advantage in certain aspects of the game. But overall, I think they're two guys that defend very well. They like to get forward, they like to create opportunities and get in the box. So as modern-day wingbacks, they both tick all the boxes, which isn’t a bad problem to have.”

Scott McTominay has obviously played a crucial role in securing Scotland’s qualification with six goals in the campaign so far- how has Steve Clarke got such a good tune out of him?

“I think Clarke allows him to play with freedom. That's what it looks like to me when he’s in a Scotland strip. I think when you see him playing at Manchester United, it's very structured. He sits in that defensive role and he's got a good range of passing and we see that, but I think when it comes to Scotland, it allows him to go and express himself, especially higher up the pitch. 

McTominay's Liberation in a Scotland Shirt

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿⚽️💥 Clarke's magic touch unleashes McTominay! In a Scotland strip, he soars from defense to offense, transforming from structured to spectacular. His midfield duo with McGinn thrives in the 3-4-2-1 setup. Crossing, driving, scoring - that's Scott's Scottish symphony!

“The way Scotland plays the 3-4-2-1 formation, it's like a box in midfield with McTominay and McGinn, and they're allowed to drive forward with lots of crosses coming into the box. They end up on the end of a lot of things and as we've seen with the amount of goals that Scott has scored, I think Scotland is really giving him that confidence to go and shine. So I think that's why we're seeing the best of him.”

Should he be getting more of a chance at Man United, especially further up the pitch?

“I can't see it happening if I'm totally honest. I think with the players that they've got in forward areas, it's going to be very difficult. Unless there are injuries and he plays further up the pitch and he really goes and flourishes up there, even then I still think it will be hard with the likes of Fernandes, Eriksen, Garnacho and Sancho if he is going to come back. 

“They've got so many forward options up the pitch. I think it's going to be difficult for him. So I think it's about learning how to play that defensive role, adapting, and when the opportunity arises, can he arrive late into the box as he does for Scotland and possibly get that opportunity to score.”

Angus Gunn is out for these games and Scotland now has three internationally inexperienced goalkeepers in their squad- Clark, Kelly and McCrorie. Should Gunn be the no.1 or is this an opportunity for these keepers to challenge him?

“I think Angus Gunn is the number one. I think it was a problem situation. When you look at the goalkeepers of the past, Scotland had McGregor, Gordon and Marshall who were really experienced and you could rely on any one of them. So this situation was always going to come up in the end. Gunn has had an opportunity and has played seven games, six competitive, and a friendly, he's done really well up until this stage. So I don't really see why he would not be seen as Scotland’s number one.”

Goalkeeper Showdown: Gunn's Spot to Lose? 🧤⚽️

Angus Gunn shines as 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿's potential #1⃣ keeper! With solid performances in 7⃣ games, the gloves fit well.👏 But will Clarke give Clark a run for his money in the next match? Tough call! 🥅🔍 Both are ready to prove their worth!

“I still believe this is an opportunity for the less experienced keepers. After only seven caps, you can still go and prove yourself to be pushing Gunn all away. It'll be interesting to see what Steve Clarke does because, in the last game against France, he gave both keepers 45 minutes each. So that's a big decision that he's got to make. I think he'll choose Zander Clark, but it'll be interesting to see what he actually does. But there's an opportunity for whichever one Clarke chooses to shine and show the manager how good they are.” 

I saw that John Carver said over the last couple of days that Steve Clarke is interested in talking to Tina Livremento from Newcastle about switching allegiances as he has a Scottish mother. Anthony Gordon is in a similar position. How good would it be for Scotland if they could manage to convince one of those two players to join the project?

“They are absolutely fantastic footballers. They've done really well and I think Gordon and Livramento in addition to the Scottish team, which is already doing really well at the moment, could be a great help. I don't think Steve Clarke will shut the door to anybody. I think he'll look at all options.

“It's a huge decision for these players to make to switch allegiances. They normally take time. You look at Elliott Anderson, at Newcastle as well, he came up, he didn't seem to settle in as everybody would like, and left the camp. 

“It's a huge decision, but ultimately you need to remember the players that are playing at this moment in time got them to where they are. So it's difficult to just put them to one side. But, if there's a player out there that's going to make you better, you're always going to look at that.”

Billy Gilmour has had a good start to the season with Brighton, is he a player you’re excited to watch play and lead Scotland in the future?  What qualities does he possess that you like?

“It’s taken a little bit of time to kind of show his qualities. He’s not just tidy on the ball or someone who just keeps the ball ticking over, which at times I thought he was. I think he's now added to his game going forward and he's tenacious.

Midfield Maestro Rising: Scotland’s Tenacious Star Shines

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“I didn't realise he was like that. He wants to win the ball back. He can be aggressive and he very rarely gives the ball away I think those are top qualities to have as a midfielder. He stands out for Scotland. 

“He's now playing at a very high level for Brighton. He's still very young and he's learning from a top-quality manager. So I think he's only going to get better and his confidence will grow. In a Scotland shirt, he’s a key part of what we’re doing at this moment in time. I think he really does stand out for Scotland with the qualities he has.”

You’ve watched Rangers close up for quite some time..what are the key differences between Michael Beale and Philippe Clement in terms of the team tactics and managerial styles? 

“I think from what I've seen, Michael Beale very much looked to score that perfect goal. The width came from the fullbacks. His attacking players were inside the pitch, close to the number nine, and everything was very ‘let's score the perfect goal’. Let's get it wide, let's work it out, which worked to a certain extent, but it didn't always. That was the main takeaway I had from Beale. 

“But Clement wants to be more aggressive with the ball. He wants to get it forward quicker. He's not scared to go in behind and allow the likes of Abdallah Sima to run in behind the channels, especially if they are playing against a low block. Clement wants a lot of movement between the forward players, there are subtle changes between the two managers. 

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Next Glasgow Rangers Manager Betting Odds (Contenders & History)

“I think the difference in management is that Clement has got that aura about him, that aggressiveness, that nature that you need. If you need to give a player a rocket, you can go and get after him and get what he needs out of them. So far, so good. He's just in the door. He's unbeaten, which is obviously great so far, but we'll wait and see how it develops. But I really like what I've seen so far.”

The January transfer window is just around the corner, are there any position or positions you think they should look to add? And do you feel many could leave? 

“He'll be analysing his squad daily. He's given everybody a clean slate, a second chance to people that could have been kind of pushed out the door ever so slightly. At this moment in time, a place where have they struggled is number nine. I think Danilo's came in and done well recently. There's still a question mark with Lammers and Dessers. 

“On the right-hand side of their attack, there have been a lot of changes. Ross McCausland has played there, Cantwell's played there, Lammers has played there. It's a position clearly up for grabs. So does he like those players, or does he feel that he needs somebody else? 

“I think at this moment in time, he'll have to analyse the full squad between now and January and depending on that we'll then see who he goes for.”

I have seen some rumours, over the last week or so, that maybe Lawrence Shankland might be an option for them and he has just been called up to the Scotland squad. Is this a good chance for both the Scotland and Rangers bosses to take a look at him? 

“I think for me personally, I think I've seen enough of him. I can't really understand why they didn't go and buy Lawrence Shankland in the summer under Michael Beale. He scored 21 league goals last season playing in a Hearts team, and I mean no disrespect to them, but I think playing in a Rangers team, he would get a lot more opportunities. 

“He’s become the Hearts captain, so he's really grown into that leadership role and been rewarded with a Scotland call-up. So I think having a striker like that at Rangers is only going to make them stronger.”

Do you think Adam Devine needs to go out on loan in January from Rangers given his complete lack of game time? If so, where would suit?

“Adam Devine is a player who has come through the youth set-up and plays in the same position as me, so I keep a close eye on him. He played a few games last season and I thought he'd played really well. His one problem is James Tavernier. Tavernier is the club captain, he's a standout performer. He scored his 112th goal for the club at the weekend, which is quite incredible. So it's always going to be difficult for him. That being said, he's not going to be there forever.

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Rising through the ranks ⚽️ Adam Devine's got talent to watch 👀, but James Tavernier, our skipper & goal machine ⚒️🥅, sets a high bar! Devine's challenge? To gain experience & shine bright 🔥. Loan spells? Maybe 💭. One thing's sure: His time will come! 🔄⏳

“So if Devine's not playing at this moment in time, I think he has to go out and play football games, whether it be in the SPFL or down south in England. He has to get those minutes under his belt so he's ready to come back and hopefully be ready to be a starter. I think he's got what it takes, but he needs to go and learn and play football.”

Is there anybody better that he could learn from than James Tavernier? 

“Not at the club that he's at this moment in time. I think he's perfect to learn from. Can you learn from different players? Of course, you can. Different leagues, different cultures, different ways of playing. I think that all adds to him as a player and he would come back a better player.”

Ange Postecoglou has made a brilliant start to the season as Spurs manager becoming the first manager to win Manager of the Month three times in a row, how high is the bar for Ange and what do you think Spurs can achieve this season?

“It will be an interesting season for Tottenham. I've spoken about them a lot and to think that they haven't won a trophy since 2008 is incredible with some of the teams that they've had. I think Ange Postecoglou has gone down there and has been a breath of fresh air. He was at Celtic, he was a winner there and he'll want to do the same thing at Spurs. 

A New Spark at Spurs: Postecoglou's Promise 🌬️⚽️

🗣️ Big talk about #Tottenham's season under Ange Postecoglou! 🌟 Since 2008, no silverware despite strong squads. Now, a winning aura from Celtic carries hopes of a 🏆! Style ✅, setbacks 🔁, but with smart Jan moves... a trophy could sparkle in Spurs' cabinet! 🛍️🏅

“I think that's the remit for Tottenham moving forward. I don’t think they thought it would be such a quick turnaround, but the style of play is exactly what the fans want to see. The injuries haven't been great, back-to-back defeats. He's going to go through a little bit of a difficult time. I think the international breaks came at a good time for Tottenham. But I do think they can win something this year. 

“I think it's going to be difficult to challenge for the league. The big thing for me is what they do in the January transfer window. If Ange gets funds to go and reinvest and they recruit well, I think we will be talking about them winning something.”

So you talk about them reinvesting in January. Where do you think on the pitch they need to maybe have a look at buying a couple of players? Obviously, Mickey Van De Ven has been injured recently, so they might be looking into the centre-back market. Where do you think they need to strengthen? 

“I think at centre-back, you've got two top-quality centre-backs in Romero and De Ven, the big question is, ‘Where do you go if one of them gets injured?’. As we see at this moment in time, they've had to turn to Ben Davies and Eric Dier, and I think it is probably about time to move on from those pair. They need cover at left back. I think Udogie has done really well, but they need cover. 

“They definitely need a number nine. I think Son's been brilliant, but they need that out-and-out striker and that allows Spurs different options to play Son in different areas, if Maddison's injured, who else comes in? Who fills that void? There are a few areas that I think they will look at. 

“That's not all going to happen in one transfer window. They're not going to spend like that, it's going to take time. But I think these areas are where the manager will be monitoring.”

Do you think the culture of the club has really changed since Ange has come in? 

Image: shutterstock

“Yeah absolutely. It reminds me of when I was first there under the likes of Juande Ramos, and Harry Redknapp. It was a case at times if you score two, we'll score three. We've got talented players at the moment who can go and make something happen. I think they've gone through too many seasons now where it was very defensive-minded.

“It was a very low block, hitting teams on the counterattack, and to be honest, that's not really what the fans want to see. Ange has played the exact same way as he did when he was at Celtic and it’s a winning formula for him. He likes his fullbacks to get high and tuck in the pitch. He likes to be aggressive. 

“He wants to win the ball back within the first five seconds and really put the team under pressure. I think the players have really bought into that and that's why we're seeing some great performances. 

What do you think of Pedro Porro seeing as he played in the same position as you? 

“I think he's come on a lot. When I first saw him, I thought there were flaws, but look, everybody can get better, everybody needs time to adapt. When you come to a new team, a new culture, a new way of thinking, a new manager, all that it is going to take time, but I think we are now seeing the best of him. 

“His deadball situations, corners, free kicks are great. He's got the energy to get up and down. He's aggressive in the tackle. He wants to win the ball back. He can play on the inside as well. It’s something I could never have done. I could never go inside the pitch and play head-on a swivel. I'd just be getting tackled right and left, so that wouldn't be for me. Pedro Porro ticks all those boxes and obviously, the manager believes in him.“

Spurs looked a little bit fragile at the weekend and I’m not sure if you saw their bench but it had four very inexperienced players on it, is their squad a little bit light to maintain their previous form throughout the season?

“I think their squad is a little bit light. When the Tottenham team is fully fit, I think they've got an excellent starting XI and the next few players on the bench that can go and really challenge. But when injuries and suspensions creep up it is a problem and then it's like, well, who do you look at to step up? 

“I know Bentancur has just come back. I think that's good for Spurs, but Lo Celso, I think his time is up at Tottenham. He's needed at this moment in time, but I don't think he'll ever be your go-to guy. Ange isn't going to turn it around overnight, he's going to need a couple of transfer windows to try and get it right and I think he will.

“I think his recruitment has been good so far, and when it's a fully fit squad, they're good, but they're just a little bit light in a few areas. 

Can you expand on those thoughts into Maddison's replacements? As has been such a creative influence for Tottenham this season.

“It's going to be very difficult. I think Bentancur will have to step up, a lot of the Tottenham fans are happy that he's back. But for me, I think the likes of Lo Celso, can he do it? I'm not sure. I think he's had enough opportunities. 

“The big thing for me going into this new season was Spurs needed a player up front who's going to progress the ball forward who can take a chance. Look at some of Maddison's passing this season. It's been outstanding. He sees things that most people don't. They have been crying out for a player like him since Eriksen left. 

Spurs Creative Conundrum: Who Will Step Up?

😬 Tough times ahead for #Spurs! Bentancur's back & fans are buzzing ✨ but will Lo Celso rise to the occasion? 🤔 Missing a playmaker like Maddison since Eriksen's exit.🎨 With injury woes😷, who can be the creative spark?🔥

“So for him to be injured at this moment in time, that's a real problem because I don't believe they've got that player that can replace him in that role. So it'll be interesting to see who steps up. It's definitely an opportunity for somebody but I think Spurs might struggle creatively while he is out. 

How good has Maddison been for Spurs and how much of a bargain was he compared to the likes of Alexis Mac Allister, Mason Mount, and Kai Havertz?

“Maddison is my standout signing for the season so far. I think when you look at what he's done, what he's brought to the table, he's taken Spurs to the next level. He's one of the main reasons they are where they are, and for the 40 million he signed for, I know obviously Leicester got relegated, but when you think of the prices of summer players at this moment in time like Kai Havertz, I mean, Mason Mount, who cost £70 million plus and has hardly kicked a ball so far this season. So £40 million looks like a bargain at this moment in time. 

“He’s only 26, I think he's still got so much more to give and you think that he's only going to get better and Spurs could build the squad around him for years to come.”

Do you think Spurs are better without Kane?

Photo: Shutterstock/Cosmin Iftode

“I think they're better with Kane. Last season it used to annoy me at times when Kane used to drop really deep. I know he can do that, he's a brilliant footballer, and he can see a path for the ball but I want him to score the goals. That's where he's at his best. 

“If he played under Ange, I think Ange tells him, you play up front, I don't need you to drop back in. I've got Maddison who can do that. I've got other guys like Son, Kulusevski. All these players can make something happen. You go and score me the goals. I think if Kane stayed, they'd be even more of a complete team. 

“They'd be next level but, unfortunately, he left and he's really doing well in Germany, but I think if he was still there at this moment in time, we're probably talking about them actually challenging for the title, without the injuries and the different things, just the squad alone and the way they've been playing so far.”

Do you think it's just a case of Champions League places are probably the best that Spurs can do this season, then? 

At this moment in time, I don't think we can get too ahead of ourselves with Spurs. I think they've had an excellent start. The manager's been brilliant, recruitment's been good, but you have to build on that You look at it and say, if we win a trophy, some sort of cup or we get back into the top four, we then build on that next season.

“But you never know what could happen if you sign a couple of good players in January, you might be pushing for the league. It's very close at this moment in time. Only a few points between four or five teams, so the opportunity is still there. But can they do it for the course of the season, who knows? But I think it's a step in the right direction.”

Villa have had a great start to the season and Emery has seen some real success at Villa and has arguably transformed the club over the last couple of seasons, what makes him and his team so good? 

Image: skysports

“I think Emery is meticulous in everything that he does. Whether it comes to the video analysis, team meetings, work on the training pitch, all this is geared towards being a top team and I think that's what you need, and you need all the players to buy into it. 

“The hour-and-a-half meetings are difficult for footballers. They can get bored of going through every single pass, but they do it daily and it's working. You see them playing out from the back, so training is geared towards that. They go through every phase, what can happen and where they should play it. This is difficult because it's repetitive, but when you're seeing the results on the pitch, you don't mind doing it. I think that's what he's brought to Villa.

“I think if you look at the results and what they've had, 13 home wins in a row, which is outstanding. Villa Park has become a fortress. I think to really challenge and be in the conversation for the top four, their away form has to be slightly better. I’m sure it’s something that they've been working on, but to be from where they were a couple of years ago to be where they are at this moment in time, in such a short period of time, is quite incredible.”

Watkins seems to be really stepping up to the plate the last few seasons, do you think he has what it takes to provide real competition to Kane in the England squad?

“I think the Harry Kane situation is always a difficult one because when he's fit he plays. I think he's shown over the years what he's all about, and what he's capable of. He's moved to a different country, and he's doing the exact same thing. He's number one. Then you've got the conversation where Watkins finds himself. I think you’ve got Ollie, Ivan Toney, Callum Wilson, all these guys who are playing for decent teams and scoring regularly. He just has to keep it up. He needs to keep scoring, working hard, trying to improve as much as he can, game after game, and if he's scoring goals, that's what he's there for.”

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🤔 Difficult to overlook a fit Harry Kane as he keeps shining abroad!🌟🇮🇹 With Watkins, Toney, and Wilson knocking on the door, the stakes are high! Keep scoring & Southgate will notice! 🦁👀

“If he's scoring goals, Southgate will sit up and take notice. Then it's all about when you get that opportunity for the England team, which will be in a pressure situation. Can you go and take it? As long as he continues to do what he's doing, I think he’ll always be in the England conversation.”

Ezri Konsa has finally been called up for England and it seems to feel like a long time coming, what do you like about his game and do you think he’ll succeed in an England shirt?

“I think Konsa really deserves it. I think he's probably been overlooked a couple of times, but Ezri Konsa for me is one of those guys who signed for £12 million and he's flown under the radar, as he's such a big part of what Villa do defensively. Diego Carlos came in for big money, Pau Torres came in for big money, and Tyrone Mings is meant to be the main centre half, but I think Konsa has made each one of those centre-backs better. I think he's Villa’s best defender, so I'm glad that he's getting recognition for England. 

“Hopefully, he gets an opportunity, I think he demonstrates leadership, it's very difficult to play such a high line constantly as Villa do. You have to really be on it to do that for 90 minutes and we can see that as they do concede goals, but I think defensively Konsa is a key part of what they do.”

Will need to strengthen in January to maintain their current form for the rest of the season, and who would you like to see them target?

“I think slowly but surely they're building up that strength and depth. The subs bench is getting better, which is good for them and competition for places is always good. But I think there are a couple of areas they could strengthen. Matty Cash needs cover at right back, they had Ashley Young last season but he's now gone. So they'll need to sign someone.  

Villa's Squad Depth and Transfer Targets 📈⚽

🏋️‍♂️ Progressing step by step, #Villa's squad depth increases! Strong subs bench signals fierce competition.🔥 Yet, Matty Cash needs backup at RB since Ashley Young's exit. 🛡️ Could also boost the frontline with a new No.9 to challenge Watkins. 🥅 Duran's a gem to be polished! 💎

“I love Watkins as a player, but Villa could do with a number nine as competition. I know Duran's there, but he’s raw, a bit rough around the edges. He's obviously going to get better, but I think in terms of the squad, at this moment in time, they're in a decent place. One or two extra players can never hurt, but I think if you look at them all over the pitch, they are strong.”

Two of your former clubs take each other on after the International Break - what is your prediction for Spurs v Villa on November 26?

“It's a tough one to decide because you think of all the factors. Villa have done well against Spurs; they won the last two league games they played last season. It might depend on, Tottenham's injury situation, they'll still have a couple suspended. 

“Villa haven't been great away from home. It needs to improve. So I think it will be close with the high lines and the way the teams play, there could be goals. 

“All the things that are going on at this moment in time and the way Villa plays such a high line and the space in behind, obviously Ange's team with the full-backs going forward, it could be one of those games where they're just goals galore, but I'll go for a 2-2 draw.”

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