This afternoon we saw the club bring in its first signing of the summer.
Since the news broke last week that Villa were on the verge of tying up a move for Jota we’ve all seen many a post from a Blue that they’re pleased that he’s leaving due to his inconsistent displays and there are some who think that they’ve sold us a dud.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d never care to listen to a Nose or its opinion, but if any of you were even remotely swayed by their bitter words then I’m hoping that this reading will bring you back around.
We thought who best to discuss the truer version of King Jota than Billy ‘The Bee’ from the Beesotted fanzine who rates the wee Spaniard as the best player he has seen play down at Griffin Park and fellow content producer Dave Lane over at the Brentford Fans Network happens to agree. In his article published in March 2017 he wrote, ‘He floats all over the pitch and works tirelessly. I never get the impression that Jota is a pushy player… the ball finds its way to him because he positions himself perfectly.’ Click here to read it in full.
Billy – who is currently over in Portugal ahead of the England’s Nations League semi-final with the Netherlands – took time away from sipping his Vinho Verde to have a brief chat with me about Villa’s new man.
What do Brentford fans think of Jota?
“Brentford fans absolutely love him, King Jota! He was an integral part of the team that got us to the Championship play-offs in the 2014-15 season. He managed 11 goals that season and was just absolutely quality for us but then on the opening day of the new season he got injured playing against Ipswich in a challenge by his former team mate Jonathan Douglas.
A few months passed and then by the time he got back himself fit Dean Smith had come in, but it was clear to see that Jota’s head was all over the place and so we sent him back home to Spain with Eibar and we thought that could be the end. But it didn’t work out for him there and then in January 2017 he came back and it all just clicked. I remember his return to action for the Bees was against Eastleigh in the cup and the crowd reaction when he was announced, then came out the tunnel, it was like the Messiah had come home. A few weeks later he was the best player on the pitch versus your lot.”
What went wrong for him at Blues?
“Originally he claimed that he’d rather earn less and play in the Premier League rather than stay in the Championship on more money – wherever that may be. His agent didn’t deliver on his original promise of Premier League football and so he ended up at Birmingham on close to £40k-a-week – maybe money came first over his career.
I think from Birmingham’s perspective it was all a bit rushed and they didn’t necessarily know what they were getting. I think that when Harlee Dean made the move to St Andrews, Harry Redknapp asked him who else that they could nick and they came in for three more.
Jota is the type of player who needs to be loved and nurtured. Blues fans saw the record price tag and instantly expected he’d deliver solely because of it rather than hone in on the intricacies of what might make a player tick. He’s had three managers there, four if you include Lee Carsley, which doesn’t help and generally speaking their formation and the way they set-up hasn’t really ever suited him. He’s a player that needs to be at the centre of your plans.
I think Monk got the best out of him of the managers he had there but he wasn’t his player and that may have had something to do with why they weren’t getting the levels of what Brentford were able to get from him.”
What are the chances of Jota succeeding at Villa?
“Dean Smith was able to get the best out of him when he was with us and so that’s certainly a positive from a Villa persuasion. At least he knows from their time at Brentford just how to handle him. If his confidence is up and he has that arm around him then everything is fine and he will produce. He’ll go well if you give him more of a free role and to move in centrally.”
From a personal stand-point I’m just delighted that we’ve got the ball rolling in terms of new faces being added to the roster early on in the window. A £3-4 million fee plus Gary Gardner, who was never going to get game time anyway, is certainly reasonable. We can’t go about splashing £10-£20m on every acquisition and these sorts of ‘bargain’ buys can often turn out to be more fruitful than paying top dollar.
Some people have pointed out that we’ve only given Jota a two year deal. Essentially we’re picking up the contract he left at Birmingham as he was half way through a 4 year deal there anyway. I’m certainly not reading too much into this, especially seeing how much we’ve been stung on long contracts previously. Had he been younger then it’s likely that we would’ve offered him 3-4 years from the offset.
Perhaps the only one minor concern that stands out from the discussion I had with Billy was that Jota might be the type of player where it’s more about him rather than the team. He isn’t guaranteed game time at Villa and competition will be much fiercer than at our inferior near neighbours and so he’s just got to get his head down and take his chance when it comes.
Written by Ryan Pitcher
UP THE VILLA!
***DAN MORGAN ANNOUNCES THE SIGNING OF JOTA IN THE VIDEO BELOW***
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