Aston Villa manager, Dean Smith, has admitted that Sheffield United are the benchmark for his own team following their disappointing first season back in the top-flight.
The Villa boss was speaking to Football Daily about his first Premier League campaign. It’s been a campaign in which Villa have struggled in the main. Indeed, they currently sit fourth from bottom and just a single point clear of the 18th and 19th.
And Smith concedes that he sees Sheffield United as the ideal for his own team.
“Listen, we all dream of being Sheffield United and what they’re doing this season“, Smith said.
“You want to be there. But, we know that we’ve got a brand new team and people will talk about the money we’ve spent but we had to”.
Villa got themselves promoted via the playoffs last term. Their record against the Blades wasn’t great, either. Smith’s men lost 4-1 at Bramall Lane before coming back to draw 3-3 in the return fixture at Bramall Lane.
This season has been a similar story, with Chris Wilder’s men winning out 2-0 at Bramall Lane. The return fixture was set to take place this weekend, however, Villa’s League Cup run has seen the game postponed.
Another complement but Villa should be doing better
It’s nice that Dean Smith believes Sheffield United are something to aim for. The Blades have been superb all season so they are rightly getting the plaudits.
However, Smith will be disappointed with his team’s performances. In Jack Grealish, they have one of the best young midfielders in the country. Add to that the amount invested in the summer and they should be much higher in the table.
If Villa do go down then there will be big cause for concern. It happened last time they got relegated and although they now have wealthy owners in place, they would surely need to sell the likes of Grealish to balance the books.