Aston Villa in Four: Not scoring is a problem, it's even worse at Villa Park

Clive Mason

I promise that only 75% of these numbers are depressing. That's an improvement!

Short intro goes here

94.7

The average amount of time, in minutes, between Aston Villa goals this season. And that's being a bit generous, since I didn't bother adding stoppage time in there. I hate to keep on harping on this, but the club's attack is just so obviously terrible that it's hard to avoid. We shouldn't panic, though. Villa aren't worst in the league in this statistic. They're tied with West Ham United and Stoke City (such illustrious company!) and better than Norwich City, Cardiff City, Sunderland, and Crystal Palace. No, if we want to see a scoring statistic in which Aston Villa are bottom of the league, we could look at...

128.6

This is the number of minutes between goals scored at Villa Park this season. Seven goals in ten matches. Kirsten touched on this a bit last week, but Aston Villa are absolutely miserable at home. On the road, they're actually tied with Newcastle for eighth in goals scored (with 12), and manage more than a goal a match.

But in Villa Park? Nothing. Fans, who are paying money to watch the matches live, are being rewarded by efforts that would insult the word "tepid" if I were to use it to describe them. And if you take away the Cardiff City and Manchester City matches, Villa have scored 2 goals in 8 matches. Speaking strictly in terms of matches, you've actually had a better chance of going to Villa Park and seeing the home side shut out than you have of seeing them score this season.

46

The number of yellow cards that Aston Villa have received this season. Put another way, that's 2.3 yellows per match. That's tied for Stoke with most cards in the league (though their 46 come in the form of 44 yellows and 2 reds) and is 21 more than the team with the fewest (Crystal Palace, who have 23 yellows and 2 reds). I'm honestly not sure if this is something about which we should be worried or not, but there are enough problems with it to make me think we ought to be.

There is the obvious one, for instance: playing with yellows makes Villa a more tentative squad. If you really need a tough tackle to stop the attack, you're far more likely to not make it when you've got a yellow in the match already. Then there's the cumulative effect: Villa have already lost several players to one-match bans for gathering 5 yellows over the course of the season.

Obviously, with this many, there had to have been a few unfair cards. But at this point, it's hard not to think that Villa are getting a reputation and that refs may be a bit more quick to reach for their pockets. Let's hope that the new year sees Villa players controlling themselves more, because this is beginning to get irritating.

11

Let's end on a happy note, shall we? This is the number of goals Aston Villa have allowed in ten matches on the road this season. Good enough to tie them for second in the league, behind Everton's 10. The club actually has a positive goal differential on the road, and Wednesday's match certainly helped.

By beating Sunderland 0-1, Villa not only made life miserable for the league's worst team, but also secured their fourth away clean sheet of the season. The continued ability for this team to be better on the road than they are at home absolutely baffles me. It's a fun little quirk though, in a season when any fun we can have is oh-so-appreciated.

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