How Tom Cleverley can improve at Aston Villa?

Tom Cleverley has been subject to criticism more than often for his performances in recent years and has finally found his way out, or been kicked out of Manchester depending on your outlook. For the Englishman the move to Villa Park is a chance to prove himself as a Premiership player and to silence the critics for his position in Roy Hodgson’s plans. In this article I shall outline some reasons how Tom Cleverley can improve at premier outfit Aston Villa writes Ben Taylor.

Playing time

Seems like a rather poor reason for Tom Cleverley to improve his game. Especially considering he played 22 games at Manchester United last season and he didn’t exactly shine with only one goal and ten chances created. However at the age of twenty five Tom Cleverley will benefit from starting games for Aston Villa, sitting on the bench certainly isn’t going to help him. Additionally the standards at Aston Villa are understandably not as high meaning Tom Cleverley can let his game grow without never ending disgruntled United fans breathing down his neck. So over the course of the season, if Tom gets the minutes, his game could get the rewards.

Looking Forward

Tom Cleverley needs to look forward this coming season if he is to polish his performances. This means forgetting all about his Manchester United form that has inevitably haunted him while he’s been at Old Trafford and standing into a new light. Moreover it also means actually looking forward. Manchester United are used to the fast flowing midfield maestro’s that seamlessly create the ebb and flow of the game. But Cleverley’s mentality seemed to be solely placed making sure his pass found its mark, which is a good trait to possess, however it seems to have swallowed up the attributes of creating chances and looking forward to seek a pass. Almost 40% of his passes were backwards. It doesn’t sound overwhelmingly large amount but this was a Man United central midfielder. How can he improve? Change the mentality, pick a pass, and don’t be afraid.

Have a go

You are correct in thinking these reasons are starting to sound like advice given to an under elevens team but if Tom was lacking something last season it was confidence. In a way, as absurd as it seems, the twenty five year old will thrive if he can start to implement simple mechanics such as taking a risk. This reason is not only related to passing forwards but also increasing his goal tally, or more specifically his shot tally. One goal is a poor fact. Add the fact he had the best shot accuracy at the club after Hernandez and it’s not actually as bad. Only three of his eight shots missed the mark and one of them went in. The point here is that maybe if he had a little more confidence Tom Cleverley would’ve scored a handful more and created a bag full more chances.

At Aston Villa the stage is set and no one seems to be expecting a good show. With backing from new manager Lambert and fellow central midfielder Ashley Westwood, the English international could finally flourish and validate his ability once and for all.


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