Villa’s horror run of both opponents and results continued with an insipid loss against Everton and the kind of non-performance that we have unfortunately come to expect from the club. With the only silver lining coming in the form of a new contract for the club’s hottest prospect, here’s the Good, Bad and Ugly of another defeat.
Villa finally tied Jack Grealish down to a new deal during the break. Despite the media desperately trying to whip up a frenzy surrounding his future and a possible move to Chelsea you never really got the feeling that the teenager would do anything other than commit to Villa, at least in the short-term. However, the longer it rumbled on without him putting pen to paper the more worry and doubt began to creep in, and it was a huge relief to see him sign.
If his rise to prominence and integration into the first-team is handled correctly by Lambert and Villa, Grealish could be the most exciting academy prospect at the club in years. However, he needs at least semi-regular game time even at this stage if he is to develop smoothly.
Alan Hutton and Tom Cleverley looked Villa’s best players at Goodison Park. Hutton, although leaving Leighton Baines in far too much space on a few occasions, continued his resurgence in a Villa shirt with some threatening attacking runs and undoubted commitment to what looked a lost cause from upsettingly early on.
Cleverley looks useful on the ball, but also looks like the kind of player who needs a stronger midfield core around him. Without Delph he may struggle to find any sort of foothold in games over the next few weeks.
[Click ‘Next’ for the Bad & the Ugly]