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Player Match Ratings: Potential victory to sad defeat!


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I actually thought we might win this one when we went a goal ahead with 28 minutes of this game left to be played. All we then needed was to do was to keep a clean sheet but we seldom do that do we?

Up until then it had been our visitors that had looked the team most likely to break the deadlock and within 6 short minutes they were level. Inevitably our heads then dropped and we fell behind to a cruel late winner that spelt the end for our beleaguered former manager.

This was another unusual team selection and the team selected did not really do enough to keep their manager in a job or to keep us off the bottom.

A win or even a draw might have given Tim a chance to try to get another win at Spurs which might possibly have turned things around. But there was no guarantee of this given the poor run of results we have had this season. The parting of the ways and our relegation has looked increasingly more likely of late. Tim was not to be given as many chances to turn things around as was Lambert. Players brought in during the transfer window have yet to gel as a team so something had to change. If that change was not to be the owner it clearly had to be the manager once again.

Another sad defeat was always going to be an ominous one for both manager and football club. So it has proved and we are back to square one and looking for someone to come in and rescue our season in the same way that Tim did 8 short months ago.

Replacing managers is proving a costly business at Villa Park and it is certainly costing our absentee custodian more than his net outlay on players these days. In fact had we spent the money on players we have spent on paying off managers I doubt we would have been in our current sad, sad situation.

Thanks for keeping the club up with the players you inherited last season Tim, for giving us our pride back albeit only fleetingly and for getting us to that Cup Final which is when it all began to fall apart. Good luck in the future at another club it is a pity it did not work out at this one for you and for us.

Let us hope whoever is prepared to take over our football club given the position it currently finds itself in and the way it is being so under funded on the playing side that it faces an annual relegation battle can turn things around. Defeats like this one against a team that were themselves on a poor run before yesterday will not make the task any easier. The R word looms large at Villa Park again but is written even larger this season. We have given everyone else a head start and a point a game is unlikely to be enough to keep us up. We need clean sheets and to win games again. These are habits we have lost this season and need to regain quickly.

My player ratings from a game that has left us with only 4 points from 10 league games and with one foot in the relegation trap door are:

Brad Guzan – 4 – Made a splendid point blank save to deny Ayew on 62 minutes but then undid that with his poor positioning for a free kick from the edge of the box which cost us our lead. Sigurdsson lined up a free kick just outside the box and hit the ball over the wall and past Guzan who not for the first time had left too much space on the right hand side of his goal to be able to protect adequately. This cost us very dear and is a lesson he should have learned by now.

Alan Hutton – 5 – Worked hard enough and was good enough up until it came to putting the ball into the box when his crosses were frankly woeful.                

Joleon Lescott – 4 – He continues to give more concern than would have been expected given his experience during games.     

Michah Richards – 6 – Stood out again as the best of our defenders and has a will to win that others do not demonstrate as often. Michah was head-butted on 33 minutes by Fernandez which it seems all the officials missed so our opponents were not brought down to 10 men as a result.                                

Kieran Richardson – 4 – Again preferred to Amavi for a reason best known to the former manager. Wanted too much time on the ball at times and his lack of pace was exposed by the introduction of the speedy Barrow on 76 minutes.                      

Leandro Bacuna – 5 – Battled very well to hold onto the ball and hit a cross on 48 minutes that just needed a touch on it that neither Gabby nor Gestede were able to get.

Jack Grealish – 4 – The performance he gave yesterday and the one he produced in last season’s FA Cup semi final were as different as chalk and cheese. He can be a much bigger influence on and be much more involved in games than this.

Gabriel Agbonlahor - 4 – Inexplicably given an opportunity to walk straight back into the side following injury that his recent performances did not merit by our now departed manager. Played a nice one-two with Gestede on 46 minutes before he picked his spot but this was unfortunately a couple of yards wide of the far post.    

Idrissa Gana – 5 – A reasonably solid performance.

Jordan Ayew – 7 – MOTM – Got what could have proved a crucial goal on the day and one that will give him confidence for the games to come. Grealish picked the ball up inside his own half and ran forward before finding Bacuna who in turn found Gabby inside the box. His cross was met at the far post by a diving header from the unmarked Ayew that found the corner of the net on 62 minutes. Hit a shot from the edge of the box on 82 minutes that was gathered by Fabianski. Jordan looked the player most up for it during this game.          

Rudy Gestede – 5 – Won a challenge on the edge of the box on 22 minutes but his shot was wide and posed no threat for the keeper. Climbed well to a Bacuna corner but headed over. He is a threat in the air but on the floor he is comfortably handled more often than not. He gives what it says on the tin but is not a like for like replacement for the striker we so miss. 


Carles Gil – Replaced Jack on 74 minutes. Should have started or come on sooner than this but was not given enough time to either turn things around or to earn a rating.     

Adama Traore – Replaced Gabby on 85 minutes so was not on the field long enough to gather a rating or to show what we know he can do.  

Stay up Villa!

John Lewis

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Yeah I'd give brad an extra point for that great save, otherwise I almost agree with the markings. Our Ayew was decent and deserves a run in the side. It was a shitty first half between two crap teams but until they levelled I thought we looked good. I know it's boring and oft-repeated but Villa REALLY ARE the team you want to play if you're on an awful run.

Of course, letting in a goal always leads to a late late second and our capitulation was totally expected  even by as-yet undiscovered aliens on a planet in a far-off galaxy, FFS.

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I was near to a 5 for Guzan and he did make a very good save Tom13 & RJW63 but his positioning at free kicks is a weakness that should have been sorted by now and that costs us points that we cannot afford to lose so I went for a 4.

Gestede did as much as we can reasonably expect for a player that we signed for around 20% of the cost of the player he was expected to replace RJW63 although he was much nearer to a 4 than a 6 for me.

I agree that Gana will prove one of our more astute signings LancsVillan and with your other observations RJW63. 

Thanks for your comments above one and all. 


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