COMMENT by Amir Mir
The downward spiral at Aston Villa continues following their latest defeat this time at the hands of Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest.
Steve Bruce has faced many problems since walking through the doors of Bodymoor Heath in mid-October and at this moment in time, he cannot seem to win a game.
This despite the club adding eight players to their squad in January to help them push up the table and earn promotion – two defeats and five goals conceded since the window shut.
As a result, they have fallen further away from their target and a run of five defeats in 2017 is increasingly damaging any hopes of a top six finish.
Mile Jedinak was purchased by Bruce’s predecessor, Roberto Di Matteo, in the summer and it is fair to say since his arrival the Villa ace has very much been an underrated figure.
The midfielder’s combative style, calm head in the middle of the park, ability to see the danger is currently what Bruce requires to solve his defensive problems.
One aspect of Jedinak’s game which has come under scrutiny is his inability to keep the ball moving or pick out a long range pass.
However, three of the club’s January additions, Henri Lansbury, Conor Hourihane and Birkir Bjarnason are tailor made to do that.
Furthermore, they are yet to play with the Australian as he is still recovering from injury and the quicker he is brought back into action the better it is for Bruce’s promotion hopes.
Jedinak’s style will now be appreciated by supporters because he would provide that solidity in front of the defence, while the new signings produce the goods in the final third.
Villa are yet to win a game without Jedinak in the team this season which is perhaps a big indication as to how important he is.
In other Aston Villa news, Tony Xia has this message to the club’s supporters.