Aston Villla's Bjorn Engels hails John Terry the ideal tutor

By Matt Maher | Sport | Published:

Bjorn Engels believes he could not have wished for a better teacher than John Terry after making an impressive start to life at Villa.

Bjorn Engels of Aston Villa

The 24-year-old centre-back was one of the standout performers despite Dean Smith’s team falling to a 3-1 defeat at Tottenham on Saturday, on their Premier League return.

Engels looked strong in the air, showed good positional awareness and already appeared to have a strong understanding with Tyrone Mings at the heart of the Villa defence.

And he was quick to credit the help of Villa’s assistant head coach Terry.

Engels, an £8million summer signing from Reims, admitted he was initially nervous in the presence of the five-time Premier League winner.

He explained: “When I arrived, I was a bit scared. You look up to him, such a legend.

“You expect him to step on to a training field with an attitude of ‘who are you’, but he is not at all condescending. Completely the opposite, even.”

Smith and his backroom team use video clips as a key part of their coaching methods.

Engels revealed how he and Terry had studied his performances for Reims in order to prepare him for the Premier League.


He continued: “I can’t imagine a better mentor. If you look at the legendary defenders in the Premier League, it’s him and maybe a pair from Man United – Rio Ferdinand.

“If you can learn, it is the ideal guide in a new competition. It’s the details that can make a difference.”

Engels drew praise from defensive partner Mings for his performance at Tottenham. Villa, who led through John McGinn’s early goal, held out for more than an hour against last season’s Champions League finalists before eventually falling to defeat.

“I thought Bjorn was brilliant,” said Mings. “He is a really good guy to play with, really calm in possession. It was a backs-to-the-wall job, particularly after we scored so early.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher

Chief sports writer for the Express & Star.


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