Aston Villa midfielder Jordan Veretout gave an interview to L’Équipe on Friday about the beginnings of his career at the struggling Premier League club. In full below.
How would you sum up your first five months in the Premier League?
The beginning of the league was quite difficult for me, with the change of the club, settling in England. Leaving Nantes was not easy, since I was very little I was playing there. Today, I feel settled. But, at the start, I barely played.
What sort of relationship did you have with your first manager at Aston Villa, Tim Sherwood?
I was told that he believed in me, but, when it came to it, I was on the bench every weekend. I was not given a explanation and it was difficult to speak, especially with the language barrier. I did not have a dialogue with him, I did not understand and I still do not understand.
When I was playing, I thought I was performing well… Admittedly, I was not at 100%, but I was in a period of adaptation, so he chose players who he saw as tried and tested. The arrival of coach Garde has been beneficial for me.
When you signed for Aston Villa, did you imagine that you were going to be in a relegation battle this season?
It was a club that spoke to me, a very big club. All you have to do is look at this club’s history. They have won the Champions’ League. Today, there is a collective lack of confidence, but we are going to fight to climb back up. And we feel like we are doing good performances, even if the results are not always there.
With seven French speaking players, you have replaced Newcastle as the most French club in England. Is that an advantage for you?
It is certain that you have to be careful not to just stay with the French, but we are not privileged. If you are in the starting XI, you need perform well on the weekend, if you are bad, you are going to get punished for that like everyone else. In the group, I try to gravitate towards the English. Admittedly, I do not understand everything that they say.
Last summer, 13 Ligue 1 players joined the Premier League. And some of them are struggling to perform well. Is this exodus worrying for the French league?
England dominates Europe and from a salary point of view too. A lot of players want to be here. If they want to leave France… it is their decision. Me, I wanted a new adventure. But, admittedly, you have to cope with the competition. At Nantes, I was never really confronted by that.