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Player ratings vs. Aston Villa

Just back from panic-buying some eggs after a much-improved performance and result. Hopefully a big confidence boost to the squad.

Here are my ratings:

Schmeichel: 7 - Not left with a lot to do in terms of shot-stopping, but provided a reliable presence at the back. Chalk and cheese compared to what was going on at the other end.
Ricardo: 7 - Seemed half a yard behind the play at times today, but made up for that with some penetrating runs and watchful defending/fouling.
Evans: 8 - Made one excellent double tackle during a period of Villa pressure that ultimately led to a goal at the other end. Controlled the game comfortably from the back.
Soyuncu: 7 - Recovered a couple of small errors and otherwise solid in defence and calm on the ball.
Justin: 8 - Showed footballing intelligence to me, not daunted by the situation and willing to wait a second more so that a pass would open up. Not greatly pressured at the back but gave nothing away either. A surprisingly mature performance that surely means Chilwell won't get his place back against Watford even if he's fit.
Ndidi: 8 - Back to stretching out his long legs and coming away with the ball. Adds real confidence to the midfield when he's there. A vital cog.
Albrighton: 8 - Another who's making a strong claim to retain his spot in upcoming matches. Kept a watchful eye on Grealish while still pressuring the Villa defence at the other end. His vision set up the first goal, and too many others in the team haven't been spotting or playing that kind of pass recently.
Praet: 7 - The word I saw used the other day about him was metronomic. That seems to fit. Playing well at the moment and able to provide Ndidi with some cover if he wasn't at full fitness. In the end he was able to roam, keep play moving and was decent defensively too.
Maddison: 6 - Largely marked out of the game and struggled to influence it as a result. Still knocked in some nice corners and played a fine pass to Iheanacho that he should have done better with.
Barnes: 9 - Looked really up for this one early on, keen to get the ball and commit defenders, even from fairly far out. Didn't get everything right and still needs more arrogance in his game at times (he turned down two opportunities to chance his arm at the far corner when the team were 4-0 up and himself on a hat trick) but he was involved in all four goals and had Villa defenders back-pedalling all evening. My choice for our MOTM.
Iheanacho: 6 - Maybe I'm feeling a little generous for this mark, but even though this wasn't a great game from him, his attitude compared to last season is so markedly improved. Linked up play reasonably well but forgot to put his shooting boots on. Looks like a real confidence player, and was frustrated with himself several times tonight when fluffing with good chances.

Vardy: 8 - Getting Vardy back on the scoresheet will be a big boost to the squad. Made his second goal look easy when it wasn't.
Tielemans: 7 - Provided some late entertainment.
Mendy: 7 - Whatever my criticisms and comments of his limitations, I have to pay tribute to his professionalism and the way he's kept on striving to perform in a squad where he's very much on the periphery. And you generally know what you're going to get from him.


Needless to say, it was a big result for us tonight. For the periods in the match where Villa struggled, it was clear early on that they had come to challenge and close down hard, and it was important that we met that energy and competed back. We did, and slowly we managed to get ourselves a foothold in the game. The aggression and the fire had returned to our game, probably in no small part due to the presence of Ndidi, but also with Albrighton and Barnes looking far more willing to take the attack to the opposition than we've seen recently. Keep that attitude and, although we'd lose a few, we'd surely win more.

Now, to have a celebratory omelette before bed.

comment by RJC (U17308)

posted on 10/3/20

Lot's of 8s (and a 9) against a poor Villa side destined for relegation. Anything other than a routine win would have been a surprise.

posted on 10/3/20

True, but you can only beat what's in front of you. And the performances were definitely improved from recently. For instance, the performances were much improved from our 1-0 scraping past of Birmingham in the FA Cup last week.

posted on 10/3/20

comment by RJC (U17308)
posted 7 minutes ago
Lot's of 8s (and a 9) against a poor Villa side destined for relegation. Anything other than a routine win would have been a surprise.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
I don’t think there have been too many routine victories of late based on current form, and listening to a live commentary on national radio, it sounded like Aston Villa could have been 2 goals ahead early on. Had that happened it wouldn’t have surprised me in the least.

posted on 10/3/20

Villa competed well in the first 15 or 20 minutes, but the only time I felt they were likely to score was just before our third goal. After that the game was dead.

posted on 10/3/20

Nothing to argue about Dunge. If Chillers gets back in after Justin's performance tonight it would be a travesty.

The crowd score a 7 tonight, not very noisy for a night game, but getting a bonus point for assorted barbs at Villa, finishing with the old classic 'Grealish Grealish - what's the score?' (4-0 at the time)

I dud my panic buying a couple of weeks ago.

posted on 10/3/20

BR picked a high energy team to force Villa back. Look how few Few ouches Grealish had tonight.

Awful performance by Villa - awful setup

posted on 10/3/20

Pretty much agree Dunge. You can only rate players in how they perform irrespective of how the opposition played.

And let’s not forget, we also made Villa look poor. Less so at the back where they are really poor, but more going forward where our tactics nullified their threat, normally posed by players overlapping Grealish.

Bringing Albrighton in was a very clever move on that front, but did something else - it gave us a plan B. When Pereira can’t overlap Perez they both look blunt going forward, but with Albrighton in that meant he would just put a really dangerous ball in the box instead. Nice.

Agree with others - the only reason Chilwell should get back in the team now is to boost his transfer value. I said exactly the same Dunge - he looks to have a real footballing brain, especially defensively. If only Barnes has that same brain he’d have the potential to be world class!!

On that note, I’m not sure I agree Barnes was MOTM. I thought he had a very good game but he still found himself making poor decisions too often for me.

I’d give it to Ndidi or Justin personally, but understand anyone who wishes to disagree.

Some really good selection questions posed last night. I’d like to see the same team for Watford to help negate their threat on the counter, but maybe see Tielemans back for Everton. With Albrighton covering and Ndidi back I think we could be a little more aggressive against 4-4-2 and Tielemans showed what he’s about when he has a bit of space to operate in last night.

In fact that 20 minute spell in the second half was a joy to watch - first time we’ve actually looked genuinely very good in a long time. More of that please!!!!

posted on 10/3/20

While I think Albrighton is very much on the decline, it was a much better performance from him last night and he was involved in 2 goals. His balls into the box were, for a change, accurate and dangerous. Let’s not forget much of the time they’re aimless and get easily dealt with.

It was the right move against a Villa side that absolutely can’t deal with any kind of set piece or cross into the box. Does it give us a plan B? I’m not so sure about that, there have been plenty of sub appearances where it’s made no difference, but credit to Marc last night

posted on 10/3/20

Villa were terrible but Leicester deserved all they got.

I would pull the trigger now if i was the Villa chairman, Dean Smith is out of his depth and they need a reaction. Time to gamble or go down anyway.

posted on 10/3/20

comment by Black Starr (U12353)
posted 1 hour, 7 minutes ago
While I think Albrighton is very much on the decline, it was a much better performance from him last night and he was involved in 2 goals. His balls into the box were, for a change, accurate and dangerous. Let’s not forget much of the time they’re aimless and get easily dealt with.

It was the right move against a Villa side that absolutely can’t deal with any kind of set piece or cross into the box. Does it give us a plan B? I’m not so sure about that, there have been plenty of sub appearances where it’s made no difference, but credit to Marc last night
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Whilst I don’t disagree Albrighton has struggled in 4-2-3-1, I think he’s far more suited to the role he played last night and even linked the play much better than he normally does.

However, his first thought is always to play a quick through ball or swing one in to the box. The former was pointless and frustrating whilst Ian was on the pitch, but the latter a massive danger all game.

So in 4-1-4-1, I think it does give us a plan B when attempting to break the lines just isn’t working.

We need to practise our heading though 😳

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