Aston Villa defender Matty Cash recently committed his international career to the Polish national team, switching allegiances from England as his mother was born in Poland. Since he’s made the switch, he made two appearances for Poland during the last international break in World Cup qualifying wins over Andorra and Hungary. For Villa, he’s enjoyed a solid individual campaign having made 18 appearances across all competitions and has been buoyed, along with the rest of the squad, by the arrival of Steven Gerrard as manager, who replaced Dean Smith. Since Gerrard has taken charge, Villa has won four, and lost two, both losses coming at the hands of top six teams in Manchester City and Liverpool.
While there are certainly a multitude of differences between Villa’s squad and the Polish national team, Cash said that he’s thoroughly enjoyed being able to train and play alongside Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, albeit only a few times at this point. His expressed his admiration of the prolific number 9 in a recent interview with TalkSport (via Birmingham Mail). “On international duty, the training’s not as long and hard because you have games obviously. We did crossing and finishing after every session and obviously, I was crossing from wide and crossing balls for Lewandowski is just unbelievable,” Cash said of the most recent international break.
A right-back by trade, Cash spends a fair amount of time trekking forward, especially after being given more attacking freedom since Gerrard has taken charge of Villa. With an automatic finisher like Lewandowski on the receiving end of balls whipped in from the right flank, Cash said it makes his job that much easier, but also adds pressure to ensure the delivery is up to par. “His finishing is next level! All you’ve got to do is leave it in there and next time you look the ball is in the top corner! Before I hit the cross I was thinking ‘I’ve got to put this on the money because he’s used to that,” he said.
Sine he joined Villa from Nottingham Forest in the fall of 2020, Cash has been on a quick trajectory into one of the Premier League’s top defenders. While he might’ve had a tougher path breaking into the senior squad for England, he knows just how much he’ll benefit playing alongside players like Lewandowski for Poland. “Playing with those sorts of players is brilliant for me. And seeing him, one of the best players in the world, up close in training, in games, being around him in the training ground, and having conversations with him was really good for me,” he explained.