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Player Match Ratings: Spurs prove too hot for a depleted Villa!


John
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So Spurs continue on the road to Wembley having eased past us all too comfortably last night and we are left with just the league programme to concentrate on for the remainder of this calendar year.

 

 

Looking at the line ups before the game it had seemed it would take a special performance for us to progress in the competition that we reached the semi-final stage of last season. Our team showed seven changes from the one that started our last game at Norwich and unlike our opponents of yesterday we really do not have the depth of squad that can cope with that number of changes.

 

Spurs selected a comparatively strong starting eleven and unlike us demonstrated that they intended to take this cup competition seriously. The result was not unexpected given the wholesale changes we made through injury and the desire to rest players with an eye on the coming league clash against a Manchester City that will be rampant following a heavy win against their near neighbours. Will resting players last night make any real difference to the outcome of that game? I hope so but it is without doubt that it had an impact last night.                         

 

I thought we gave a surprisingly decent account of ourselves in the first half. But the first goal was always going to be crucial and they claimed it in first half stoppage time. When they added a second shortly after the start of the second half after we were denied a penalty that could have brought us level there seemed little left for us to do than prevent an embarrassing looking score line. Spurs coasted for much of the second half but two late goals mercilessly widened their winning margin and we can but hope that this sort of home trouncing will not have an impact on our confidence level in the way that similar drubbings did last season. 

 

My player ratings from a game that we lacked the will to win that Spurs showed both on and off the pitch and in which Defoe added yet more goals to the tally he has already got from games against us are:

 

Jed Steer – 6 – Had done pretty well until the third goal when he was disappointedly beaten at his near post by a Chadli shot he really should have kept out. He had earlier parried away a Defoe shot from the edge of the box on 19 minutes, done well to tip a shot from Lamela over the bar on 38 minutes and kept out a Defoe shot that he was trying to place inside the far post 5 minutes later. Jed was beaten by a Defoe header after he had done well to time his run into the box to get on the end of a Holtby chip for their opener, was beaten by a prod from a Holtby corner by Paulinho that went in between the near post and himself and he was rounded by Defoe on the edge of the box for their fourth.                                         

 

Matt Lowton – 5 – Unable to get forward as often as he likes to and needs to get back to the level of performance he showed so consistently last season.    

 

Ron Vlaar – 6 – His partnership with Baker ensured that central defence was the one area that we were no weaker in than is usual despite our enforced and other team changes last night.                   

 

Nathan Baker – 6 – Looked very competent and assured on his return to first team action and will challenge Clark strongly for a place in the absence of Okore.     

 

Joe Bennett - 6 – A decent enough performance on what was a rare outing for him.                             

 

Marc Albrighton – 7 – MOTM – Emerged with quite a lot of credit from this game returning to something nearer the level of performances he gave earlier in a Villa shirt which is something we have been waiting to see for a long time now. Forced a one handed save from Freidel with a shot from the edge of the box on 16 minutes and supplied a good cross on 68 minutes that had to be turned out for a corner. Looks well worth another outing or three on this display.              

 

Karim El Ahmadi – 5 – Replaced at half time having found difficulty (and he was not alone in that) in competing with what was a strong Spurs midfield prior to that.           

 

Leandro Bacuna – 6 – A decent game and worked hard but he looks more comfortable at full back than in the middle presently.                     

 

Yacouba Sylla - 6 – Dispossessed by Holtby in the build up to their fourth but had by then staked his claim for a starting place on Saturday.                        

 

Aleksandar Tonev – 5 – A quiet evening for a player who is still in the process of settling into a new league and club. Showed some signs of improvement just prior to his 82nd minute substitution having hit a decent shot from outside the area which was pushed out for a corner by Freidel on 77 minutes having earlier hit a good cross on 37 minutes that Kozak failed to get to.             

 

Libor Kozak – 5 – Lacked service and was given a difficult role to fill as a lone striker so soon after joining us and one which he struggled with.                                    

 

Substitutes:

 

Jordan Bowery – 5 - Replaced El Ahmadi for the second half and produced a workmanlike performance. Jordan ran tirelessly but could not provide the goal threat that we were badly missing last night.    

 

Nicklas Helenius – 5 – The other of our double substitutions on 46 minutes when he replaced Kozak. Really should have been given a penalty when Vertonghen all but pulled his shorts off him inside the box but rather than going down when being so clearly pulled back by the defender he stayed on his feet and got a shot in that flew high and wide despite if not due to his shorts being at half mast. Nick showed some nice touches but not quite enough of them. Probably should have started this one to give Kozak some support and himself some more game time to settle in.

 

Callum Robinson - Replaced Tonev on 82 minutes. Not on long enough to earn a rating.

                                                                                         

Up the Villa!

John Lewis

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Good summary Mr Lewis. I find myself in total agreement with practically all you have written but would have given Albrighton an 8 & Steer a 7 as he made 3 absolutely fantastic saves before eventually conceding, but as you say he would surely be very disappointed on being beaten on his near post for their 3rd goal. Still a very encouraging display by him nonetheless.

 

The obvious key point from last night is that Spurs undoubtedly have far greater strength in depth than we do & it showed. 

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  • VT Supporter

Good summary Mr Lewis. I find myself in total agreement with practically all you have written but would have given Albrighton an 8 & Steer a 7 as he made 3 absolutely fantastic saves before eventually conceding, but as you say he would surely be very disappointed on being beaten on his near post for their 3rd goal. Still a very encouraging display by him nonetheless.

 

The obvious key point from last night is that Spurs undoubtedly have far greater strength in depth than we do & it showed.

So what was the excuse, sorry reason against Newcastle.

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Jed was close to being in the running for MOTM up until that third goal villa-revolution but Marc ended by some way our best performer on what was a poor night for us. His return to something near his form of old was one of the very few positives we can take from this one. I agree Spurs have the greater depth of squad and they have pulled away from us on the field in recent years as results have demonstrated.

 

I can offer no acceptable excuse or valid reason for the Newcastle performance TRO.

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