After a mid-season autumn break ‘Star Players’ is back and firing following another humbling Villa defeat. The 3-0 defeat against Everton means that Villa haven’t scored since September 13th and have let in 11 goals in the process. Granted this has been in games against last year’s top five, but you still have to look at this period with some concern.
Going into the game there was a significant amount of optimism with the return of the beast to the starting xi. The stats looked in our favour too with Villa only having lost only once in their last five visits to Goodison Park. Also, Everton hadn’t won at home yet this season, so a fast start would have sent nerves shuddering through the stadium. But that start never came.
Stat of the Week – With one shot on target in both halves against Everton, Villa now have only managed 12 shots on target in 8 games!
What was a worry in this lacklustre display was the manner of the three goals. The first goal was a simple short corner routine which seemed to confuse everyone in white and claret shirts and saw some of the worst marking ever seen by Cissokho, which led to Jagielka nodding home.
Shortly after half time, Everton’s own Belgium Beast struck a less than fierce shot which somehow managed to squirm under the body of Guzan.
Finally, the third goal, which summed up the performance, came from a severe lack of concentration. Hutton presented the ball, virtually gift wrapped, to Leon Osman allowing him to take a quick free kick with the Scot out of position for Baines to cross in for Coleman to get in front of Cissokho (again!) to slot in.
As you can probably tell the top three ratings this week are going to be the three players that weren’t as bad as the rest rather than being stand out players. Maybe the lack of beards on the touch-line and in the dressing room had a real negative effect on the team and their morale?
Aston Villa Star Players of the Week
3rd Place – Nathan Baker (1pt)
The fact that Baker is getting the third place award proves how bad a day it was on Merseyside for the Villa. Baker, taken off after 25 minutes to join the ever-growing injury list at Bodymoor Heath, can’t be blamed for the defeat so therefore I’m going to give the Viking look-a-like the benefit of the doubt and third place. I mean anything is better than Calamity Clark at the back.
2nd Place – Alan Hutton (3pts)
Yet again the reliable Scotsman put in a performance full of determination and willingness to get forward. The only reason he didn’t get the Star Player of the Week was due to his lack of concentration and poor game management which led to him giving the ball back to Everton so they could take a quick free kick in the build up to the third goal. Apart from this however, it was another steady performance from the former exile.
1st Place – Tom Cleverley (5pts)
Yet again the Star of the Week goes to the ex-United scapegoat. The England international looked bright throughout linking up well with Westwood in the middle and always demanding the ball. His variation of passing adds another dimension to our play which we have definitely lacked. We need him to perform more than ever now Delph is out and need him to be our driving force in the middle. On current form I would think he would be certain to activate the option to buy during January.
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