With Aston Villa’s switch to a 3-5-2 system in recent weeks, Matty Cash has been one of, if not the biggest, beneficiaries of the move from Dean Smith.
The Villa boss has deployed the formation in difficult games away from home against top sides, and having stuck with it for the win over Everton at home too, it could be the way forward until a tweak is deemed necessary.
The expectation is that we’ll go with it again when we visit Tottenham on Sunday, and one player who is seemingly flourishing in the new system is Cash.
As per the tweet below, the 24-year-old failed to score a goal and provided just two assists in 28 appearances for the club last season.
Matty Cash last season:
– 28 apps
– 0 goals
– 2 assists
Matty Cash so far this season:
– 7 apps
– 1 goal
– 1 assist
— Talk Villa (@thetalkvilla) September 29, 2021
In just seven games so far this season, he already has a goal to his name and one assist as he looks to go many better between now and the end of the campaign, although better finishing from Matt Targett will undoubtedly help the cause after his glaring miss from a Cash cross at Old Trafford last weekend.
With a license to get forward down the right flank more often to utilise his attacking qualities, and his clear talent for a long throw being used now too by set-pieces coach Austin MacPhee, Cash is revelling in his new wing-back role, and it’s hoped that it continues for the foreseeable future.
The former Nottingham Forest man has proven to be an astute addition to the Villa squad, putting in a string of solid performances last season to firmly establish himself as our first-choice right-back. With a lack of natural competition for that role this year, there is a big responsibility and expectation on Cash’s shoulders, and he’s certainly stepped up and delivered thus far.
It’s a long season and a gruelling league with the little mistakes being punished. In turn, it’s going to be a real test of his quality and ability to produce throughout the year, but particularly with the 3-5-2, he looks more comfortable and assured in his role and he will hope to see it continue to pay dividends for Villa in the coming weeks and months.
Should we opt to switch back to a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, it’s imperative Cash performs at the standard he has set so far this season, and if he can do that, he’ll no doubt be a fundamental figure in our push to evolve and progress from our 11th-place finish last season and start to push for a European qualification spot.