Aston Villa notched up another impressive victory on Saturday, seeing off Arsenal 1-0.

Ollie Watkins notched once again, although it was a rare occasion when Jack Grealish didn’t score or tee one up.

The English duo tend to get the praise when pundits talk about Villa but former Villan Peter Crouch gave some love to the supporting cast in the Daily Mail.

As many as five Villa players were in line for praise from Crouch after the weekend win.

Aston Villa Training Session
(Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images)

“There is no denying what an excellent year it has been for Dean Smith and his squad,” said Crouch. “What impressed me was how solid they looked.

“I’m impressed by Ezri Konsa, who is blossoming into one of the finest young central defenders in the division. Tyrone Mings continues to improve and they were given fantastic protection by John McGinn and Douglas Luiz.


The signing of Emi Martinez, meanwhile, has been critical. I couldn’t understand why Arsenal sold him and I was even more confused by that decision on Saturday.

“He was in possession of the jersey, he had won the FA Cup, so why let him go? Also, are any of Arsenal’s keepers better than him? I’d say no.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool FC - Premier League
(Photo by Visionhaus)

As Crouch said in his column, Villa are one of the two most improved sides in the league this season along with West Ham.

Last season, survival was secured on the final day and Dean Smith went into the transfer market in the summer and built a team who could go higher up the league this time around.

They were defensively soft for much of last season but that’s not the case any more.

They’re a match for any side in the league and will be looking to push into the European places as the season draws on.

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