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Ratings & Reactions: Villa v Reading


Who was your Man of the Match?  

114 members have voted

  1. 1. Who was your Man of the Match?

    • Brad Guzan
    • Matthew Lowton
    • Enda Stevens
    • Ciaran Clark
    • Nathan Baker
    • Barry Bannan
    • Ashley Westwood
    • Brett Holman
    • Andreas Weimann
    • Gabby Agbonlahor (capt)
    • Christian Benteke
    • Eric Lichaj (on for Stevens - 24')
    • Stephen Ireland (on for Holman - 67')
    • Marc Albrighton (on for Weimann - 68')

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Bent - clearly something afoot here. we have 11 goals in 14 games and he doesnt even make the bench. i feel sorry for him and think we are treating him poorly whatever the issue

Don't feel too sorry for him because he earnt more sitting watching last nights game than most people will earn all year

Also "whatever the issue" could cover anything - He has either really blotted his copybook with PL or more likely, a deal for him to move out in January is signed and sealed (Liverpool is the rumour). Forget about Bent he's history as a Villa player

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My first game of the season, so thought I'd write up some reasonably detailed ratings:

Guzan 8 - Flawless performance from Guzan, came to collect balls at the right time and took the pressure off the centre backs. Pulled off a couple of neat saves with his feet and just looked solid.

Lowton 7 - Was impressed with his contribution, as I was with the entire defense. I didn't think he showed too much going forward, but he was solid in defense, which was far more important. Looking like a really good signing.

Clark 7.5 - Marshalled the defense well, and probably deserves an 8, but I thought we allowed too many crosses to drop between the posts. Was playing a little out of position however and looked very assured.

Baker 7.5 - Very similar to Clark, just with a couple of extra last ditch challenges. Is looking every bit the Premier League player, but in all honesty I'd still rather see Vlaar alongside one of them.

Stevens - Not really on long enough to earn a rating.

Westwood 8 - MOTM - Thought Ashley was fantastic yesterday, was very impressed with him. His passing is always crisp, and he has the ability to get the ball into the feet of someone in the final third better than any midfielder I can remember in the last 10 years, perhaps with the exception of Gareth Barry. As much as I like Bannan, I'd like to see Westwood paired with someone with a bit more steel so he doesnt have to be so concerned with the midfield battle. Oh, and an assist too.

Bannan 6 - Some people have been very critical of Barry, and he did have an off day. But he still put in a hell of a lot of effort, it just wasn't coming off for him on the night. He did do a lot of good work defensively and there were a few occasions when it was left to Barry to sort out defensive muddles. Going forward he wasn't as good as he can be, but I don't think he really benefited from playing with Holman either. Still our best option for this position going into the next game though.

Holman 7 - He gets a 7 because his individual display was quite good, but I don't think his selection massively benefited the team. He shows a lot of effort and determination but doesnt link play like Ireland can. I think he played a little too far forward in the first half and because of this never really got much time on the ball. He was probably our most threatening player while he was on the pitch, but replacing him with Ireland made the entire team more of a threat.

Weimann 6.5 - Really do like Weimann, but this wasn't quite his best game for us. Wasted a chance in the first half that he really should have buried, and was also slightly wasteful when in possession, particularly in the final third. I still think he is our best option for this position ahead of Abrighton and NZogbia though.

Gabby 7 - Put a shift in for the team, a lot of good defensive work, but as always with Gabby, his decision making was lacking a little bit of sharpness. There's not a cat in hell's chance I'd take him out of the team though, specially to be replaced by some lazy-arse like NZogbia. He does need to learn to run off Benteke's flick ons a bit though.

Benteke 7.5 - Gets an extra point for his goal, but I don't entirely agree with the universal praise of his performance last night. Up until his goal I thought he looked a bit lazy, like he wasnt really up for it. That said, he's a striker and he basically won us the 3 points, we weren't exactly carving Reading apart. You can see how good he is though, I just got the impression that he wasn't really up for it last night.

Ireland 7.5 - Changed the game when he came on, it's easy to say he should have started, but I'd have started Holman too. His ability to find space infront of the back 4 is something that sets him apart from our other options in this position, bringing him on made things much easier for Bannan and Westwood. Needs to start the next game and be kept in the side, even if he suffers the odd below par performance.

Albrighton 4 - Sorry but the kid offers nothing, apart from helping to bundle the Reading defender out of the way of Benteke's header ofcourse.

Lichaj 6 - I'm not really convinced by him, his positioning leaves him vulnerable and I thought he was the weak link in defense.

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Don't feel too sorry for him because he earnt more sitting watching last nights game than most people will earn all year

Also "whatever the issue" could cover anything - He has either really blotted his copybook with PL or more likely, a deal for him to move out in January is signed and sealed (Liverpool is the rumour). Forget about Bent he's history as a Villa player

agreed on the money of course but i think if paul lambert is giving it this "honestly, there is no issue" line i think he's treating the media and public as mugs. or is prepared to risk his job by leaving the alledged star player out of a squad when we cant score goals. career suicide unless his "honesty" is rubbish and he has lerners backing to drop him,

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I'd have Bent in for Weimann next game



gabby Holman

I reckon we would have won more comfortably with a better finisher.

Secondly part the reason we were poor stemmed from how narrowly we played - we rarely moved the ball out to the wings so Reading could just pack the middle of the park and intercept our short passes

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..... or maybe you are just getting it wrong ?

Its all about opinions at the end of the day but yours is as extreme and inappropriate as those you criticize.

Its a young team, lacking in a little confidence but with a lot of potential. Nobody expects Westwood to be a premiership A-lister yet but - given where he was just a few months ago - he is making massive strides towards becoming a top drawer midfielder and i agree with the majority here as well as most TV pundits and newspaper hacks that he played very well.

Newspapers? Including the telegraph that gave him a 7! Supportive of your point until you notice they gave Bannan an 8.

I dont think my opinion is extreme. I think its quite balanced. In a woeful team performance, Westwood was largely ineffective. Thats not a witch hunt at Westwood. Merely an honest assesment of what happened. The transition from defence to attack was appauling, and Westwood should be at the forefront of that. Most of the good possesion was neat passes backwards. It wasnt the worst performance Ive seen from a player, nor was it his best performance for Villa. He shouldnt be dropped, and I think he could be an asset... but please, lets wait a little longer until we start saying he is future captain etc. If the midfield played like they did last night against Man Utd and Arsenal, we would have been murdered!

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Shillzz, that is spooky. I agree with every word of that. Ireland HAS to start and Benteke was having one of his poorer games for us I thought until he came up with the powerful header which won us the game. He had already missed a couple of good chances. I guess it shows what a great talent we have that he can play like that and still win us three points.

Bannan was superb against Arsenal but had a real stinker in this game, but I would keep the faith in him for the time being. Westwood oozes class on the ball and (here comes an exaggeration) if he keeps developing like this he'll probably be in United's midfield in two/three years time. Laugh all you want, but that's my personal prediction based on what I've seen of him so far.

I really like Wiemann but, admittedly, it wasn't his best game against Reading. But those calling for him to be dropped all of a sudden are being rather harsh imo. He looks like a very good player in the making and it wasn't just him who was wasteful with chances last night (Bentekkers, Clark, Baker etc...).

The performances have been improving for the last month, but without the points tally to show for it. Last night was all about getting the three points at any cost, which we did. That was the objective. We've shown we can play pretty football, which is good to see, but if we have to alter our approach slightly to grind out a few wins then that is fine by me.

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It's a game we very much could have won comfortably had we had better finishing. Had a good shout for a penalty also. This was our youngest ever X1 fielded and the nerves showed. We always looked more dangerous than Reading I thought. Far from great, but not as bad as others have made out

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