Better late than never…for the completists, here’s the player ratings for Villa’s 2-1 home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday, that certainly gave Villans plenty to think about with the kind of questions the game raised.
Why did Villa look clueless in responding to adversity? How will they cope without Terry? Why was Snodgrass risked with two broken ribs? Where does Grealish fit in now? Are the play-offs the best Villa can hope for?
Aston Villa Player Ratings vs Sheffield Wednesday
Sam Johnstone – 6
No chance with the rocket that hit his net after 18 seconds and not really to blame for the second goal. it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts to John Terry’s absence. A settle backline has been a massive help for the keeper’s confidence.
Ahmed Elmohamady – 5
Again, he was restricted in what he did going forward. Adam Reach cut in off the wing to score the opener, but despite Whelan trying to blame Elmohamady (and Chester) for not picking him up, equal blame or more could be attributed to the Irish midfielder.
Part of the reason Elomhamady is playing right-back above the three recognised Villa players in that position, is what he should/could bring to the team going forward. Improvement is needed in that respect in the winter months.
John Terry – 6
James Chester – 6
it’s hard to criticise Chester for much even in defeat, although he should have perhaps done better with the free header he had from Hourihane’s second half free kick.
Stat attack – he’s made the most headed clearances in Championship this season, of any player, with 97.
Alan Hutton – 5.5
Again kept out Neil Taylor out of the team, but despite decent enough performances, are Villa really playing to their strengths with two right footers playing on the left? Lets put it this way, in terms of balance, it’s not ideal. I’d be surprised if Taylor doesn’t start after the international break.
Glen Whelan – 5.5
If you want to analyse how Villa could have stopped Wednesday’s opening goal, then Whelan not tracking Adam Reach’s run could be the starting point. Reach cut in-field taking him out of Elmohamady’s jurisdiction. On closer analysis though, when Whelan spots the run, the ref does get in his way for a second.
With Villa chasing the game, Whelan didn’t really do enough to rectify the situation and was understandably subbed off.
After some decent recent performances, this wasn’t one of his better showings.
Robert Snodgrass – 5
Hang on a minute. Snodgrass was playing with broken ribs? Why did Bruce gamble? There were other options. One being switching Adomah back on the right and playing Grealish on the left and just have Davis up top.
After Terry going off, Snodgrass following him before half-time and his reaction to it, rubber stamped defeat all over the team.
Conor Hourihane – 6.5
Did his best, while everything was falling down around him. Needs more support in the middle, as Villa can’t afford to be overrun in the middle of the park like they did against Wolves and Wednesday, if they have legit aims of automatic promotion.
Scott Hogan – 6
John Terry touched the ball more times in the 20 minutes than Hogan did the whole game. The striker touched the ball the least time of any Villa player, which breeds some credence into some fan’s belief that Villa play with 10-men when he’s in the team.
Hogan does run tirelessly though, so the fact Villa aren’t getting Hogan more involved is perhaps more of a reflection on how Villa are set up to play.
Keinan Davis – 6.5 (MOTM)
Wednesday dealt with him very well and his impact in giving Villa a focal point was limited, but still his willingness to come deeper and out on the left flank showed his intent on trying to make things happen for the team. Missed Onomah, whom he links up well with.
Albert Adomah – 6
A bit of a quiet one for Adomah compared to his recent performances, although did get more into the game late on.
Off the Bench
O’Hare (40) – 6
Buzzed around the midfield, which was lacking in direction and structure. Made a good run to provide the assist, but despite the growing hype around the youngster, Bruce would have to rewire his approach to football to accommodate O’Hare in a proper fashion.
Grealish (77) – 6.5
Showed good vision in providing the key pass that led to Villa’s consolation goal and on the whole demonstrated that he may have a part to play yet in this season.
Samba (21) – 6
Caught out (and nutmegged) for Wednesday’s second, after only just coming on for Terry. A goal at the death will do him no harm when Bruce comes to address the question of who should replace John Terry. Hard to see him being the outright answer in covering Terry though.