Hey, the defense isn't bad! Thank god for that, too, since the offense is just astonishingly miserable.
Aston Villa's rank (tied with Arsenal) in the Premier League for the number of clean sheets they've had this season. It's startiling to think that the club has already equalled the number of clean sheets they had last season. We know there are plenty of problems with the club's attack, but the defense is just astonishingly better than we expected.
I feel like I keep finding some new way to say this every week, but it really does bear repeating. Coming into the season, plenty of people (myself included) thought that the defense was the team's weakest unit was the back line. Well, we've been emphatically proven wrong. And I've never been happier to be wrong.
The number of matches this season in which Aston Villa have not scored. For those of you keeping track at home, that's 46% of their matches. If the defense was the biggest positive surprise of the season, the offense has to be the biggest negative one.
I suppose we could make this a positive stat, though. In matches in which they have scored, Villa have averaged 1.86 goals! That's good!
No, I'm not just repeating the number from above (percent of matches in which Aston Villa haven't scored). Instead, this 46% (also 6 of 13) represents the percentage of goals scored by midfielders or defenders. Just looking at goals scored by the club paints a pretty grim picture of this offense. But when you realize that the players who are paid to score goals have only done so seven times it's even worse.
And of those seven goals scored by the front line, six have come from either Christian Benteke or Libor Kozak. Andi Weimann has looked largely terrible, but at least he has one goal. That's better than Aleksandar Tonev (who some think of as a midfielder, but takes shots as if he were the only forward) and Gabby Agbonlahor, who have combined for zero. There are flashes in which this team is really fun to watch, but they're few and far between. And we've really got this terrible offense to blame.
The number of goals scored in the other nine Premier League matches this weekend, an average of 3.22 goals per match. And yet, because we are all Aston Villa fans we got treated to the ONE match that had zero goals. When Death eventually comes for us, I think we've all got a pretty good argument that we should be given an extra 90 minutes on this earth. "But I wait for no man," Death will say. "I understand that," we'll reply, "but I had to sit through one of the most boring matches in the history of football. Certainly I should get a refund for that time." Death, in its infinite wisdom will remember the match and likely side with us.