Given our tough start to the league campaign and our counter-attacking style, our defenders have once again been called upon too much for our liking. Here is how the stats look:
Top 3 ‘tacklers’ (tackles per game): Delph (4.8), El Ahmadi (4.2), Bacuna (2.7).
Top 3 number of interceptions: Delph (3), Lowton (2.3), Luna (1).
Delph’s role as an ‘all-action midfelder’ really shows here – he wins the ball back and is happy to run forward with the ball too. Delph also shows up Westwood: better passing, more tackles, more chances created and more interceptions.
As a team, Villa have been conceding fewer chances and shots than last season. Even though Guzan’s performance was deemed to be fantastic against Norwich, Norwich only had 2 shots on target (1 was the penalty and the 2nd was the Banks-esque save).
‘Big chances’ conceded per game: 2 – 2012/13. 2 – 2013/14.
Shots against per game: 16.63 – 2012/13. 13 – 2013/14.
Despite a very difficult start to the season, Villa have conceded fewer shots and the same number of ‘big chances’ as last season.
In conclusion, given the difficult start to the season, it’s great to see stronger attacking and defensive displays this season. Delph has continued his excellent end of 2012/13 form (as previously highlighted in the Delph MOMS article, his stats for passing and dribbling in 12/13 were superb). Westwood on the other hand has been poor statistically, and although I’d like to see his stay in the XI, his position is not quite as nailed on as last season. We need more from him than we’re getting. Similarly with Lowton, his pass completion needs improving -his average position is higher than Luna’s, and now that Okore is out for the season, Vlaar will be playing as RCB. Vlaar is liable to get caught out so Lowton needs to ensure he’s not caught out himself with poor passes.
Also, we are still conceding more shots against than we are taking ourselves. We should probably expect more of this if we’re going to sit back and give the opposition more possession, however. What the shooting and possession stats tell me is that I’d like to see us take on teams a bit more at home (or tell Gabby to shoot more!).
The stats generally support what we expected (particularly with the passing statistics) given that our counter-attacking style so far, with a few surprises. However, Delph’s performance here was not one of these surprises. UTV.
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