Villa put in the kind of home performance that suggested they would end the season as a play-off team at best, rather than an automatic promotion prospect.
Against Millwall’s rearguard action they simply lacked ideas or urgency and were happy to tempt fate allowing Millwall to counter, often with a man over.
Villa mustered one shot on target, compared to Millwall’s eight attempts, despite having more of the possession.
Luckily Sam Johnstone was alert all game or Millwall would have nicked their first away win of the season. Millwall will no doubt kick themselves for not doing better with some of the openings they had.
Not a great game for anybody.
Aston Villa Player Ratings vs Millwall
Sam Johnstone – 8 MOTM
Didn’t put a foot wrong in a competent display. He showed his alertness a couple of times early in the first half coming out well to cut out Millwall’s break away’s. Was forced into several smart saves due to slackness by the Villa backline.
Villa’s Man of the Match by far.
Alan Hutton – 6
Functional coming forward, when Villa needed a smarter player on the overlap or to help overload. Subbed by Bruce due to this. Exposed by Millwall’s counter more than once.
Chris Samba – 7
Plenty of clearances, many with his head, notably cutting out a promising Millwall counter on the 20th minute. Went off injured though. Kept it simple with his distribution, but was found lacking when it came to the pace of Millwall’s counter. Still, overall, and okay offering.
James Chester – 6.5
Chester was caught out on the ball early in the first half that almost cost Villa a goal. The defence at times was prone to lapses, and in his role as captain, the Welshman must take some of the liability for that.
Neil Taylor – 6
While defensively he was ok overall, again like Hutton, he was a little one-dimensional going forward, when Villa needed something a little extra to break Millwall down.
Glen Whelan – 6
A clean sheet, so he did his job in that respect, but Whelan had one of his more sloppy games in possession, with a handful of wayward passes. He didn’t help Villa’s cause going forward or dictating more meaningful possession.
Robert Snodgrass – 6
A bit predictable favouring in his right foot and cutting in all the time. Despite a good slide rule through ball to set up a chance for Davis, not his greatest game in the opponent’s half.
Snodgrass got caught in possession allowing Millwall to counter attack in the first half, an opportunity the visitors should have done much better with. That said, defensively he did break-up a couple of promising Millwall attacks.
Henri Lansbury – 6.5
Pivoted deep in the midfield and statistically had the most touches of the ball of any Villa play, but offered nothing inspirational ala his goal against Leeds.
For me, Lansbury or Hourihane are not playing forward enough to make things happen on a more regular basis.
Josh Onomah – 6
Saw a lot of the ball and had a few shots off target, but failed to influence the game or provide the spark needed to break Millwall down. Disappointing again from the point of view of failing to make things happen.
Keinan Davis – 6
Fired over after 10 minutes, then should perhaps should have done better when put clean through by Snodgrass just before the half-hour mark.
This was a game where you needed your striker to snatch a goal, but in the end it proved that Davis, despite his effort and hustle, isn’t that match-winner just yet.
Albert Adomah – 6
Looked lively early on with both a header and curled shot going wide. The intent was there, but the space he’s been used to wasn’t. Not helped by Villa lacking in ideas when going forward.
Off the Bench
Grealish (59) – 6.5
Was one of Villa’s more positive players in the half-an-hour he was on the pitch for. He also had the only Villa shot on target.
El Mohamady (70) – 6
His delivery was no better than Hutton’s when he came on.
Elphick (78) – N/A
Funnily enough MOMS on the last podcast (see below) had predicted Tommy Elphick would play more of a role for Villa this month. Only touched the ball a few times in the 10 minutes or so he was on.
Villa Team Performance – 5
A lack of ideas and invention going forward, coupled with carelessness in relation to Millwall’s counter-attack.
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The description in some player’s ratings (one-dimensional, predictable) applied to the whole team. We had no idea how to break down their defence. Constantly passing sideways or backwards in front of them, pushed up our possession stats, but the crucial stat was one shot on target. At home. So that’s eleven points dropped at Villa Park (coincidentally, maybe, the gap between us and Wolves). Looking for another striker in January won’t help if our midfield cannot see a killer pass, and nobody is making the runs to allow one. Bruce swapped Hourihane (who is playing too deep) for Lansbury (who played too deep). Do we really need two holding defensive midfield players at home (Whelan plus a.n.other) when a team is defending deep and playing on the break? We have one creative midfielder, who can see killer passes, and can vary the play. He’s our number ten. And should be starting every week.
The last home game against Ipswich was our best home performance. The reason was Hourihane played more inside and fetched and carried giving Whelan an easy forward pass. Lansbury when he first came and today was always available and looked forward. We need all 3 of these in midfield. It’s called a balance. I just cannot see what Onomah brings to the table. Yes he has some pretty forward touches but he goes missing most of the game. In the second half he again failed to beat the first man with a forward ball. Then he stood on the half way line and watched his man go past him into the 6 yard box while they broke. If the cross had got to him he was completely unmarked. Appalling this should have cost us the game. I saw nothing that could have won it us from him. Bruce still is unable to put out a team that can break teams down at home. What was the ElHammady sub about when we were crying out up front and midfield. These still a long way to go but if Cardiff win the game in hand we are further away from promotion than ever. And, instead of consolidation our t 6 position that now loOks in jeopardy. Manager – sort it!
i just hope its one of those handful of games a season where you just dont click,, and this is the sort of game that green and kodjia would have been useful to have,,,
a few players seem to have gone off the boil,,, onoma hurihane snoddy davies,,,, really need to step up a bit,,, to be fair adoma has kept us going in the past few games but we need threats from other areas of the pitch which we know we have but bruce cant seem to get whats required from the ones who can provide that bit of quality,,,
lets face it we are not playing particularly well at the moment and i just hope this result just shakes them up a bit,,, certainly it might be worth dropping onoma to the bench for grealish just to see if it gets any better,,,
one thing is for certain,,, davies will not get us many more goals this season
and elmo and snoddy just feel more threatening than hutton and snoddy,,, and we need one full back to give us some decent attacking threat,,
bit worried for the next period of fixtures,,, need a few players to stand up and provide the quality that we need at the mo and im just a bit doubtful it will happen
He has to get a forward in January. Davis is slow ,ponderous and for such a big person is nudged off the ball.
Bruce is clueless.
For the first time in his managerial reign he managed to get a 4, 8 and a 10 on the pitch together for the last half hour against Leeds and we looked a different team – with energy and we controlled the game.
Why then go into the next game with a 4 and two 8’s and leave out our best player?? Madness. We have decent options BUT he refuses to play a balanced midfield and put people in their best positions:
– 4: Hourihane (he played this for Barnsley so well at the first half of last season and is more creative than the other two, particularly when you are playing at home against a bottom half team), Whelan or Jedi (better against physical teams like Blues or for closing out games),
– 8: Lansbury or Onomah (he is not a 10 – he looks uncomfortable receiving the ball high up and is better driving from deep), and
– 10: Jack with O’Hare covering.
I think those ratings are generally a bit generous except Grealish who again was by far the best player when he came on, not that it was hard to be the best player today as unfortunately we were poor all round I felt
For the life of me I cannot understand how a loan player ( Onomah ) gets in ahead of Grealish The only spark we had was when Grealish came on. Why is an home grown player left out for a loan man who has said he is determined to go back and make a name at Spurs. He’s not in the same league which must drive the academy coaches crazy. Grealish was only on a few minutes at Leeds last week when he provided the pass for Landsbury’s goal Come on Bruce you need a reality check pal. .
think a serious look @ who plays next to Chester next game if Samba is injured with Terry perhaps not close to a start is required
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