By Graham Hill
DEAN Smith insists Villa’s £130million major summer spend is no gamble.
Villa have had their fair share of critics since returning to the Premier League and splashing cash in sums that have been unprecedented at the club.
Should Villa have a poor season, it will be used as a stick to beat them with.
But if Snith’s fearless brand of football pays off, the new signings will be seen as a shrewd investment by a team looking to reclaim their spot as one of the division’s established Premier League clubs.
The Villa boss had heard it all before and told Sky Sports: “People can talk about a gamble but it wasn’t a gamble to us – it was a necessity.
”We had a squad of nine players left at the end of last season and we had to build on that.
“We know that being a Premier League team means that you’ve got to get some quality in. We’ve added quality but there’s always been a bit of a connection with those players as well. It was integral that we kept the core of the team together.
“There’s definitely a hunger to prove ourselves. Now we can challenge and have a hunger and drive to become a really competitive team in the Premier League, which is what our aim is.”
Smith also has to prove his worth as a Premier League boss. Despite being viewed as one of the brightest young managers around – his previous managerial jobs were at Walsall and Brentford.
But he plans to use his solid grounding in the game to his advantage.
He added: “I’ve learnt an awful lot through each club I’ve been at. At Walsall I was a charge of everything – recruitment, the budgets, the training structure, the technical programme. Everything to do with Walsall was me.
“Brentford was a different kettle of fish. It was a Championship team with two sporting directors. They controlled budgetary matters. I was in control of the training ground and coaching. I always believe that every day is a school day and I can certainly vouch for that.”