Struggling Hull City kept its Premiership hopes alive with a crucial 2-0 win over Fulham on Saturday. Of interest to U.S. fans is that striker
I'm not convinced he'll ever become a consistent 20-goal-a-season striker, but I do think his upside is that he'll gradually evolve into a more prolific version of a
Since then though, Smith has struggled with injuries, consistency and subsequently bounced around with various clubs in the lower English tier, before arriving in MLS. It'll be interesting to see how he progresses with the Wizards, on early evidence very few players in MLS have his ability to take on defenders one-on-one. Others to impress include the Red Bulls' tandem of rookie defender
However, to my amazement, Chelsea destroyed Villa 7-1 (there really wasn't much Friedel could do on any of the goals), which brings me to my point. I really don't think Villa can finish in the top four this season, and not just because of that result. Under manager
At least O'Neill used to have the excuse of coping with a tired team and lack of depth (although some would argue that's also partially due to his penchant for using the same lineup game-in and game-out, with little rotation). However, this season, with Villa possessing its deepest squad-ever under O'Neill, that clearly should be less of an issue. Although no one can deny that O'Neill has done wonders with the Villa squad since taking over, he does tend to be one-dimensional with his tactics. His teams are always set up to counterattack and get the ball out wide to the wingers and bang the ball in to a big target man. When Plan A fails, his teams often have no alternative strategy or imagination and that's why, of all the teams in the top third of the Premiership, Villa tends to struggle the most offensively. If they continue their present swoon, O'Neil's men might even find themselves beaten out for the final Europa League spot by hard-charging Everton.