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Explained: Why Nakamba’s struggles are far from over at Aston Villa

Marvelous Nakamba’s woes at Aston Villa continues after the Zimbabwean midfielder was dropped from the matchday squad again.

The 28-year-old was not named in the Villa XI to face Newcastle United in the EPL on Saturday afternoon.

This is the fifth time the Hwange-born star has failed to make the matchday squad.

Nakamba is also yet to play his first minute this season, having been an unused substitute in the games he made the selection.

The sacking of Steven Gerrard brought little hope for the player but interim coach Aaron Danks is sticking with regular players.

Why Marvelous Nakamba has struggled at Villa

Since arriving at Aston Villa in 2019, Marvelous Nakamba has struggled to get regular game time.

The double six-system which has been used by coaches has greatly affected Nakamba’s output.

Two of the last three coaches at Villa have used the 4-4-2 – double 6 or the 4-2-3-1 formations.

Both formations have two central midfielders – the traditional number 6s. Their roles are split to balance the defence and the attack.

One of the “number sixes” is more offensively oriented and is often unmarked in the midfield, and is responsible for creating the play if his team is in possession of the ball.

The other “number six” is responsible for the holding midfielder’s role and is actively involved when his side is fighting to winning possession.

However, the two players are supposed to swap their roles in the system of play time and time again, in order to become less predictable.

This has proven to be Nakamba’s biggest weakness as the player is more effective as a holding midfielder, while the level of his play creationis low.

Under Dean Smith’s tenure, the Zimbabwean international was initially a regular in the Villa first XI but dropped behind Douglas Luiz, who took the central midfield role.

Smith preferred the double-6 system which would require a creative central midfield to get involve in the attack and defence.

When Steven Gerrard took over the reins, Nakamba started enjoying regular game time again but a long-term injury saw him losing his first team berth.

Gerrard’s style suited Nakamba as the player’s would play as the sole holding midfielder where he wouldn’t swap to the attacking role anytime in the game.

When he recovered from the injury, the Warriors international failed to dislodge new signing Boubacar Kamara, while Luiz would stand as the second option in that position.

Villa has reverted to the double-six system again under current interim coach Aaron Danks and this is why Nakamba’s struggles have continued.

In coming coach Unai Emery also prefers the same formation and this could affect the player’s chances of becoming a regular in the first XI if he fails to adapt to the system.

Emery will officially begin his reign on November 1 after completing all the formalities of his work permit.

One thought on “Explained: Why Nakamba’s struggles are far from over at Aston Villa

  1. He plays too defensively and is absolutely unable to transition and show creativity that’s why he’s unpopular with coaches and that’s why his career hasn’t made as much headway as we expected.

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